The role of the site manager is to oversee on-site operations, paying special attention to safety, schedule, budget and quality.
“Anything that pops up that’s not in the plan presents us with a challenge, but we don’t let that stop progress,” says Dewey Cook, a site manager at Burns & McDonnell. “We continue working on other aspects of the project until that piece of the puzzle arrives.”
Environmental factors also are something site managers must consider on the job site. Even if a project design is vetted through an in-house environmental specialist, not everything can be planned for.
“We are environmentally conscious about the location we are working in and the species that inhabit that area,” Cook says. “If a protected bird species is nesting on a piece of equipment we need to use that day, I will instruct my team to tackle other areas of the project to keep the schedule moving until the bird is ready to move on, even if it takes many days or even weeks.”
Then comes the issue of noise. For construction sites located near a community’s residents, the site manager must plan ahead, whether that means creating sound barriers or scheduling out specific tasks so that noises created by the equipment won’t exceed the decibel levels mandated in local permits.
In many communities, construction work noises can’t exceed a specific decibel limit before or after certain hours of the day. For example, according to the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, sound control codes in Kansas City, Missouri, indicate that anything exceeding 55 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. in a noise-sensitive zone is considered a disturbance. To put this in perspective, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that sounds from a jackhammer can reach up to 100 decibels.
By including the site manager as early as possible in the project discussions, he or she can identify potential issues or threats to the construction timeline, create a strategy based on deliverables, and determine an applicable schedule and number of days required for each particular project.
Regardless of any unforeseen issues, the role of the site manager is to forge the project ahead. A successful site manager is experienced and prepared to tackle any challenge that comes his or her way, all while keeping boots busy on-site.