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The Role of Site Manager on Construction Sites

The Site Manager plays a pivotal role on a housing development, ensuring work is completed on time and to budget, and overseeing health and safety.

Construction is one of the biggest industries in the UK, employing more than three million people, and it is expected to grow even more over the next five years. As an industry, it is hugely varied, offering more than 150 different roles, including Labourers, Joiners, CAD Operatives, and Planners along with a multitude of others. One key role in the construction industry, particularly on a housing development project is that of the Site Manager.

Generally speaking, the Site Manager is responsible for overseeing the construction process and ensuring that the housing development project is carried out on budget, on time and in line with the client’s requirements. It is a very varied role and involves a number of different elements.

Project Preparation

A Site Manager’s responsibilities begin at the initial preparation stage of a project. He or she will be responsible for planning out the work and preparing the site ready for the work to begin. This will include appointing labourers and sub-contractors to undertake the work, installing temporary offices and coordinating the arrival of the materials and equipment needed to start work on the development.

Overseeing the Work

Once the work has begun, the Site Manager is the person tasked with overseeing the construction work and ensuring it is carried out correctly, as well as spotting and resolving any problems that could potentially hold up work. As part of this, the Site Manager is expected to manage staff and oversee work output, liaise with other contractors such as architects, surveyors and engineers, and ensure that the work complies with legal requirements such as building regulations and health and safety legislation.

The Site Manager is also first point of contact for any customer queries or complaints, and is expected to keep clients regularly updated on progress – so good communication skills are vital.

Health and Safety

One of the key responsibilities of any Site Manager is ensuring the health and safety of the development site. A housing development project is potentially a very dangerous place to work, with risks including working at a height, moving vehicles and electric shocks – so this is an important part of the Site Manager role.

Ensuring health and safety on a construction site requires a number of different elements.

To protect against hazards, you first need to understand the potential risks, and a Site Manager will need to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment which helps to highlight potential health and safety risks. Once the risks are identified they can then put in place adequate measures to help mitigate them, such as arranging staff training, providing appropriate PPE or displaying health and safety signage. As well as protecting site staff, construction safety signs can also help to safeguard the safety of the general public by making them aware that construction work is going on and warning them of potential hazards.

Housing developments tend to be expensive, large-scale projects, so there is a lot of pressure for work to be completed on time and to budget. As such, the Site Manager is a pivotal role in the whole process, requiring somebody with excellent organisational skills, a head for planning and who can remain cool, calm and collected under pressure.