A construction site is one of the most complex workplaces that require a lot of knowledge and responsibility to manage which is why having a well-planned and efficient construction site management is important. Health and safety on construction sites should be prioritized regardless of scale, duration, and location. Construction site managers play a key role in the management of construction work. They are responsible for ensuring that the project is managed safely and appoint competent people to assist with its successful delivery.
Construction and project managers play a crucial role in the overall success and development of any project from start to finish. To ensure the success of a project, the six basic functions of construction management need to be executed.
1.Project management planning- worker's tasks and the duration for the completion of the project are defined to develop a budget and work schedule.
2.Cost management- this helps determine the total costs and returns expected from a particular project as well as help build the payment table. It also covers the cost plan which outlines all the costs of the construction and the costs of the entire project.
3.Time management- helps every member of the construction team use time wisely and efficiently to avoid spending more time on a project which equates to higher expenses.
4.Quality management- this ensures that project quality including work practices, materials used, and the finished product are excellent.
5.Contract administration- this is between the owner and the construction management team where the exchange of information and decision making take place, ensuring that both parties are happy with the development of the project.
6.Safety management- helps identify all possible health and safety hazards and implement safety protocols.
To help ensure a safe and productive working environment, construction project managers must plan, manage, and monitor construction work under their control to ensure it is carried out without risks to everyone’s health and safety. Their scope of responsibilities include:
Ensure that a suitable site induction is provided.
Ensure that unauthorized access to the site is prevented.
Provide adequate welfare facilities for eating, resting, and sanitation.
Provide the right tools, materials, plant, and equipment, including PPE.
Provide the workers with sufficient time to prepare and carry out work.
Quality control is a very important element of construction management. It ensures that the needs and expectations of a client are met at the end of the project. A successful construction project is one that can achieve a balance between cost, time, and quality. First-hand knowledge in materials selection and handling as well as in the installation process are qualities of a professional construction management team. This will ensure that products and facilities comply with requirements and established standards.
To minimize the chance of defects in a project, the construction management team must constantly monitor the flow of work, examine the quality of the ongoing construction tasks and materials, and provide daily reports for any unsatisfactory work output which forms part of the punch list. Excellent quality monitoring not only prevents expensive delays but also ensures that the method followed to complete the project is going through a planned procedure.
Time management is the process of organizing and implementing a strategy to successfully and efficiently meet budget and program targets, as well as achieve profitability. It should also make allowances for activities including project supervision and monitoring, execution of liaison tasks with third parties such as the local authority, client approval and decision-making processes, training, accidents and emergencies, and internal and external meetings.
When managing a construction project, consideration should also be given to holidays, sudden sickness of workers, supplier and subcontractor activities, equipment breakdowns, missed deliveries, interruptions to work progress due to inclement weather, inspections, testing, and other forms of quality control.
Cost management refers to planning and controlling a project’s budget ensuring that it is completed according to its scope. It determines a project's outcome and undergoes four phases:
Resource planning- This is part of a project's initiation stage which uses a work breakdown structure to calculate the full cost of resources needed to complete a project successfully.
Cost estimating- In this phase, different estimating techniques are used to determine the total cost of completing a project.
Cost budgeting- A project’s budget is appropriately released in stages according to the level of its progress. These allocations include contingencies and reserves.
Cost control- This phase measures a project’s cost performance according to cost and schedule baselines. It also includes other related responsibilities, such as ensuring that updated project budgets reflect changes to a project’s scope.
Risk assessment is a term used to describe the overall process or method where hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm are identified. It is also involved in analyzing and evaluating the risk associated with that hazard. Hazard identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation are important aspects of construction site management. Common hazards in a construction site include:
Working at height- causes falls that may lead to injury or even death.
Moving objects- these include overhead lifting equipment shifting heavy loads, supply vehicles, and dumper trucks.
Noise- repetitive and excessive noise can cause long-term hearing problems as well as cause distraction resulting in accidents.
Material and manual handling- all the lifting and moving poses some degree of hazard.
Asbestos- causes lung disease.
Airborne fibers and materials- causes respiratory diseases.
Electricity- causes electric shock and electrocution.
Slips, trips, and falls as well as collapses that are associated with excavations, trenches, demolitions, and scaffoldings are also common accidents that happen in the workplace. Prolonged use of vibratory power tools and ground working equipment also causes the painful and debilitating industrial disease Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, also known as “blue finger”.
The role of a construction site manager includes communicating and coordinating with the client regarding potential risks and to provide solutions. Reducing risks and unexpected surprises as well as identifying risk from the beginning stages of the project specifically in the schedule will reduce the overall cost and improve the quality of the entire project life-cycle.
Construction site management helps in ensuring that a project is finished on time and within the budget while ensuring the safety of the workers involved. It is crucial in increasing the quality and efficiency of any project.
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