Last edited 28 Sep 2020

General foreman

A general foreman, sometimes also known as a site supervisor or construction works manager, is responsible for general management, organisational and operational control of a construction site.

The role of general foreman differs from that of a site foreman in that they must have an overall understanding of the different construction disciplines in order to organise all site teams, inspect their work and control the overall job. By contrast, a site foreman generally oversees the work of one or two teams rather than multiple disciplines.

As well as being in overall control of the construction site’s operational activities, the general foreman is often responsible for placing material orders, coordinating health and safety inspections, providing safety briefings, and so on.

On some projects, the general foreman may be in sole control of the site, whereas on larger and more complex projects they may work alongside a project manager and/or site manager. In these circumstances, the site manager may take some of the responsibilities for material ordering and health and safety inspections, as there are more working gangs and disciplines on site which require the general foreman’s operational control.

A general foreman must have several years of site experience, and generally progresses up from being a site foreman working across a number of different disciplines. They should have an excellent knowledge of materials handling and the internal procedures of their organisation.

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