A construction site can be both a dangerous and hectic place to manage if you aren’t an experienced foreman. Fortunately, you can pick up some helpful tips and management tricks from almost any experienced construction site manager, or even with online guides like this. Whether it’s your first time managing a construction site due to emergency circumstances, such as your current foreman being off sick or if it’s because you wanted to gain more control over a development process, here are four handy tips to help you get off to a good start.
Manage your work schedule and deadlines
You’re probably on a construction site for a reason. It could be renovations to a building or a completely new development project. Regardless of what the end goal is, there needs to be a coherent plan for all of your workers to follow. It’s essential that the planning stage goes smoothly and that you take enough time meeting your contractors to ensure that you can safely meet deadlines. Rushing a construction job is dangerous and trying your hardest to meet deadlines can turn into an unsafe building with plenty of problems that will become apparent as the building is used.
Bad structural design, using cheap materials or shaky electrical work will all come to light, and if the building collapses, suffers damage or becomes ruined, then it will be on your shoulders to answer for why you cut corners to meet deadlines. Work with your contractors to outline a plan, give enough time for your builders to meet deadlines, and always ensure that you aren’t rushing the job. The key to efficient working is to separate large jobs into smaller manageable pieces. If you need to install electrical work in a building with 20 floors, then give your electricians enough time to tackle each floor and set a deadline of just one or two floors per day to give ample time for them to run tests and ensure that everything is safe and secured.
Keep an eye on inventory and materials
It can be difficult trying to manage all of the raw materials and pieces that come together to make a building. A Load Scanner is a perfect companion to a building site because you’ll understand how much of each material you’re carrying when trucks come in to deliver your items. This is especially important when filling in the land with raw materials to flatten out an area, or to cover up structural components when building the foundation of a building.
Keeping track of every piece of equipment and material that you use is an incredibly important way of making your construction more efficient. A missing plank of wood or steel beam could cost weeks of downtime. Whether it was the fault of the distributor that didn’t pack your order correctly or a drill or hammer that was stolen from the construction site, you always have to maintain a close eye on all of the materials you have.
If you account for everything, then the possibility of having something lost due to bad management reduces drastically. You can save an incredible amount of money by just simply keeping an eye on all the materials and equipment that you have purchased for the building, so don’t neglect keeping an inventory and scanning every single piece of material that comes in and out of your construction site, and what materials are being used to construct the building each day.
Don’t neglect the importance of protecting your building site when there are no workers around. Fencing, security entrances and anti-climb paint are good ways to deter thieves and hooligans that see your construction site as a playground.
Site security should be set up almost immediately on the first day. Make sure they are managing what vehicles enter and exit your construction site and set up patrols across all major entrances to your construction site. If the site isn’t protected by high fencing, then it’s a good idea to have security cameras installed around your construction site so that your patrols have a central location to monitor all activity around your construction site.
It’s important to have enough guards on duty throughout the night to protect your investment. The last thing you want is for criminals to invade your construction site to delay your works, steal your equipment and materials or even disrupt the construction by damaging it. It can be difficult trying to account for loose bolts, materials that have been cut or even weakened materials due to people coming into your construction site and tampering with your construction.
- Keep communications running
There could be hundreds of workers on a construction site at a time. Communications between the security guards, the builders, the truck drivers and machinery workers has to be constant and easy to use. Depending on the type of construction work you’re doing, you might have several options for a communications network within your site. For example, two-way radios are a portable and easy to use method of communication between different teams.
But on-site communications aren’t the only issue. You also have to keep communications open between your workers, clients and investors that are funding your project. Email is the preferred method of communications over a long period of time, but investing in a business phone for text messages and phone calls is also ideal. The reason you want to have a dedicated line is so that your important contacts will always have a direct line to you.
When speaking with your workers on the site, make sure that you aren’t cutting into each other’s talks. Concentrate on what they are saying because they could be reporting some vital piece of information that has to be relayed. Perhaps your foreman is expecting there to be delays, or perhaps they’re missing some vital piece of equipment or materials that need to arrive as soon as possible or else they can’t continue their works. The same applies to your clients and investors. If they have concerns, you need to be transparent and tell them when there’s a problem, or if the build is going smoothly.