The key personnel employed by a civil engineering contractor on a construction
site are usually:
• the agent, who is in charge;
• sub-agents and/or section engineers;
• the plant manager;
• the general foreman;
• a quantity surveyor or measurement engineer;
• the office manager.
On large complex jobs there may be several sub-agents or section engineers, each responsible to the agent for some part of the construction. The plant manager or ‘site co-ordinator’ organizes all plant required on the job, including its maintenance and any repair that can be done on the job. The general foreman is usually a widely experienced ‘outside man’ whose main job is to organize and direct the work of the tradesmen and the skilled workers on site.
He will work closely with the sub-agents and usually have section foremen working under him.
The quantity surveyor will prepare the contractor’s accounts, using the subagents or section engineers to supply him with the measurements of work done. The office manager will have an ordering clerk who issues orders for materials and gets invoices checked; and a pay clerk who checks the time sheets, makes up the pay sheet, and pays the men. On the smaller civil engineering jobs there will often be only an agent, a site engineer, a general foreman and an office manager.
In the head office of the contractor will be a contracts manager (sometimes a director of the firm) who is responsible for head office services to the job and who decides overall policy for it. He may advise on technical problems in the execution of the contract, but he does not direct its day-to-day execution. He may frequently visit the site but he is not full time on site. In the larger contracting organizations which have many projects in hand, there may be – commercial managers, project or contract managers, a chief engineer with engineering staff, quantity surveyors and estimators, and a safety manager.
Men and women are employed in any of the foregoing positions in the UK and other countries.