Construction site personnel
 Main contractor's staff
The organisational structure of construction companies is designed to meet the needs of construction projects. As each project has a different context and content, so the roles and responsibilities of individuals will differ significantly from project to project. There are nonetheless generic definitions of typical job titles:
The site manager’s role is the supervision and management of all site-based staff employed by the company to ensure that the project is delivered within their contractual obligations. The major responsibilities of the role are to:
- Advise and assist in overall planning.
- Plan and coordinate resources.
- Monitor and control progress and quality.
- Communicate with the consultant team.
- Provide feedback and reports to the client.
- Ensure that all aspects of the project are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements.
- Ensure that all aspects of the project are carried out in accordance with company policy.
 Other site staff
The contractor's site-based staff will consist of some or all of the following personnel:
- General foreman.
- Site foreman.
- Trade foreman.
- Site engineer.
- Site supervisor.
- Other support staff:
Generally, a sub-contractor's staff will be distributed across a number of different sites. A ‘contracts supervisor’ based at the sub-contractors offices will travel to each site to ensure that contract works are executed efficiently and effectively. The contracts supervisor’s main duties are to:
- Liaise with the site manager in relation to the regular progress of the works.
- Coordinate the supply of all sub-contract resources.
- Attend site meetings and progress meetings as required.
- Ensure the quality and safety of the sub-contract works.
On each site, the contracts supervisor will be assisted by a 'chargehand'. The chargehand will be based on site permanently and will have responsibility for the supervision of all sub-contractor employees. Depending on the number of sub-contractor employees this post may be a full-time supervisory post, or it may be part-time, in which case the chargehand will also work in the physical execution of the sub-contract works.
The client's site inspector is directly appointed by the client; however, it is usual that this person is supplied by the consultant team. In the UK the nominal term for the client’s site inspector is the clerk of works.
- Inspection of materials and workmanship for compliance with contractual obligations.
- Arranging testing of material as required.
- Maintaining written records as required by the contract administrator.
- Advising the contract administrator of any outstanding information requirements.
- Verifying and endorsing records of labour and materials expended on the works.
- Verifying and endorsing records of variations to the original contractual obligations.
On smaller projects, the client’s site inspector may be an employee of the architect, and may only be based on site part time. On larger projects, this role may be a full-time site-based role. On exceptionally large projects there may be several client's site inspectors, each focussing on a different aspect of the works. Specialist inspections may also be necessary for specific aspects of the project such as; the client’s environmental policy, site waste management plan, accessibility and so on.
 Other inspectors
It is the contractor’s obligation to ensure that the works comply with relevant legislation. This will involve liaising with the local authority building control inspector (or approved inspector) and all other government officials that have statutory rights of inspection.
In the UK, certain inspectors (such as HM Factory Inspectorate Officials) have unrestricted rights of access at any time; others (such as the building control inspector) have right of access by arrangement.
The range of site inspections might include:
- Planning inspections to verify compliance with planning permissions, conditions and obligations.
- Inspections by funding bodies for the release of money.
- Inspections by insurers.
- Highways Authority inspection of roads and sewers.
- Health and Safety Executive inspections.
- Building control officer or approved inspector inspections.
- Environmental Health Officer inspections related to pollution (mud, noise, smoke and water) and certain installations, such as drainage and kitchens.
- Fire Officer inspection of fire escapes, and for hazards, storage of certain materials and protection systems.
- Archaeological inspection of excavations.
- Factory inspectorate inspections.
The text in this article is based on an extract from HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION, by David Eaton, Salford 2008. It was developed as part of the Construction Managers’ Library – created within the Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) project No: PL/06/B/F/PP/174014, entitled: “Common Learning Outcomes for European Managers in Construction”. It is reproduced here in a slightly modified form with the kind permission of the Chartered Institute of Building.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Diversity, social value and skills
- Diversity and inclusion
- Skills and careers
- Social value
- Academic research
- A-Z of EDI: Definitions
- Building People 'Network of Networks'
- Building People platform
 Join in
Building People is bringing together the huge amount of resource that exists across the Built Environment industry, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, skills and careers, and social value.
We need your help to do this.
Have you got useful material to share? Do you know of information that would be helpful to others? If it is relevant to the Built Environment and to diversity, skills and social value, then it's relevant to others. Help them find it by using the guidelines below.
 Add your own content
- For guidance about writing and adding your own content see Get started - top tips and help.
- Some articles are more popular and useful than others. This article explains more.
- Make sure you use the right title as this helps search engines find it. See here for guidance.
- Add your signature to link readers to your profile.
- Tick the 'People' box when you submit the article - that way your content will appear in this Building People microsite.
- Finding it tricky? Contact us for assistance.