The Main Duties Of A Site Engineer

The Main Duties Of A Site Engineer

Here is a typical list of the day-to-day responsibilities for a site engineer on a main contractors building site.

  • Checking the weather – not only for today, but for the next 5 days. You would need to be aware of any high winds or heavy rain that may be coming your way. You should also take note of hot days, this may effect concrete pours (or the sites stock of sunscreen!).
  • Start writing the site diary – How is the weather in the morning? Who is on site today and what are they doing?
  • Site inductions – Ideally other manager’s should be helping out with these, but if there are only a couple of managers on site you will have to do your fair share of early morning inductions.
  • Setting out construction work – the operatives on site will be relying on you to show them what to build and wear to build it.
  • Studying the drawings – You will need to figure out how things go together, what other things are attached and where they go. Furthermore, you will need to figure out if there is any missing information like dimensions, or anything that could cause problems at a later date.
  • Studying the specifications – The specifications will allow you to form and complete your Quality Assurance check sheets when tasks are completed or prior to tasks being carried out such as pre-pour concrete checks.
  • Temporary Works – Is there any scaffolding being erected, or trenches being dug? if so, you will need to ensure the temporary works checks are in place so they don’t collapse!
  • Marking up the construction programme – The programme helps you see which jobs are coming up, what subcontractors are soon to be coming to site as well as how well you are doing. This will help you to plan ahead and ask subcontractors for the Risk Assessments and Method Statements for the work they are about to do, along with figuring out if anything needs to be in place before they turn up on site, after all, you can’t put windows in if you have no walls!
  • Ordering site supplies – Do you have enough material on site to keep you going? Do you have enough pens? How about toilet roll?! Don’t ever run out of toilet roll or you will start a riot – especially on a Monday morning, this happened to me once and it definitely set me off on the wrong foot for the week, a quick trip to Tesco’s and a shopping trolley full of toilet roll later, I could finally get on with what I was supposed to be doing.
  • Exchanging the skips – Skip exchanges usually need at least one days notice and you never know how much waste the site is going to generate, so this one job alone can be tricky to master – as silly as that sounds.
  • Minutes of meetings – I try to stay out of as many of these as I can as I believe that there aren’t many PM’s that stick to “short” and “to the point” meetings, but everyone needs a meeting every now and then, chances are, you will need to write out the notes, type them up and distribute them to the necessary people. If there are any actions for you to do, make sure they are done before the next meeting. (That one can be quite embarrassing).
  • Appraising the Method Statements and Risk Assessments – If your site has a small number of staff you will need to make sure the Methods Statement and Risk Assessments (RAMS) are up to the correct standard. These documents will be used in a court of law when something goes wrong so be sure not to cut any corners.
  • Health & safety, safety and safety – Health & Safety is every bodies responsibility, the law states that you will be liable to prosecution if you act carelessly or put someone’s life at risk.
  • Finish the site diary! – write down what has been done and how well the day went, be sure to include the weather update and if there were any complications.

I’m trying not to put you off, but this is a small handful of general tasks you may encounter on site as a site engineer, all sites will differ. You will need to spin many plates and ensure they all remain spinning, as soon as one falls, generally the rest will follow.

Are you an engineer? What other jobs have I missed?