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Overcoming Day-to-Day Challenges on a Jobsite

A construction superintendent schedules and coordinates construction work in the field. Up-front planning is critical to a superintendent’s success on a job site, and there are many challenges that can arise, including:


Safety Concerns

Not everyone is willing to follow OSHA safety

regulations, from the basics of wearing a

hard hat, boots, safety glasses, and general housekeeping, to not-so-basic trench, ladder, and fall protection safety items. Providing proper weekly training helps mitigate the concerns, along with holding others accountable with a “Keeping it real, while keeping it safe” mentality.


Drawing Errors

It turns out not all construction documents are perfect! Details can be missed, items mislabeled, or stairs drawn completely out of scale. Experience, knowledge, careful plan review, and collaboration with your trade partners will help minimize mistakes. By identifying the error, working with the trades that it will affect, and providing a solution to the design professionals will help expedite the correction.


Logistics

Another day-to-day challenge on a jobsite can be the logistics of a project. Not all construction sites are ideal for construction. It can impact parking, material deliveries, material storage, and an efficient flow for access to a contractor’s working area. The superintendent on the job may need to plan a schedule specific to a job site. For example, a retention pond that is planned on a construction project may need to be graded at the end of a project versus at the beginning of a project to allow for contractors to access a working area without expensive and inefficient equipment.


Materials

Superintendents also face different challenges based off how fluid the economy is. Not all construction materials are readily available. Not all materials have a consistent lead time from ordering dates to delivery dates, and lead times on materials often change. A superintendent must determine lead times of materials as early as possible and communicate to owners when decisions or selections need to be made on those materials to avoid delays.


Scheduling

Another challenge superintendents face is scheduling work. There needs to be adequate up-front planning to determine the most efficient flow of work needed for the project to meet finish dates. Schedules will change on a project from week-to-week or even day-to-day. It’s important to make sure the schedule is updated and communicated to everyone involved in the project. Schedules can fall behind as well. When that happens, it takes a coordinated team effort to understand how a project’s schedule can get caught up to the end date. One subcontractor can catch a project while another can cause it to fall behind.


Quality Expectations

A superintendent faces the challenge of ensuring expectations are met with correct manufacturer’s installation guidelines, building codes, as well as the general quality of the project. Mockups of different scopes of work prior to allowing construction to begin can be very beneficial when working with unfamiliar contractors. A superintendent must ensure that there is a system of quality control in place from the beginning to the end of a construction project.

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