What does a foreman do?
Do you ever wonder how the work on a construction site gets done? Well, the workers do it. But who manages all of the different workers on a construction site? A foreman coordinates the workers from a specific trade and ensures their work is done correctly. A foreman’s job isn’t so cut and dry though. They hold many more responsibilities that help any construction site run like a well oiled machine. Let’s take a look at what a foreman actually does on a construction site.
Foreman or Construction Manager?
At a glance, both positions sound the same. They make sure work is completed to contract standards and manage workers. So what’s the difference? While they do share similar responsibilities, there is a glaring difference in the two positions. Foremen are on the construction site daily. They work directly with their employees day after day, making sure each step of the process is done up to standard. Foremen typically have specialized industry knowledge. If we pretended that a construction site was a restaurant, a foreman would be like a store manager and a construction manager would be like a district manager.
Foremen manage the daily schedules of their employees. They generally coordinate tasks for the day to make sure everyone is on track. Both construction managers and foremen are responsible for the safety of their employees. Foremen directly manage safety regulations, implement company safety requirements, carry out site inspections, and last but not least, lead by example on site. Leading by example can be a strong tool on a construction site. It’s like the saying “I wouldn’t make you do anything I wouldn’t do”. A foreman wearing proper safety equipment should have an easier time making his employees wear safety equipment because he’s doing it too.
Why do we need a construction foreman?
A foreman will have their hands in most, if not all, projects on the site. They’ll know where materials are, what employees are doing, and any problems on the site. This knowledge is extremely valuable to everyone on site. Workers without materials can’t work efficiently, meaning the project is likely to run over time and budget. Managers need to keep projects on time and budget, so a foreman that can alert them to potential roadblocks or shortages on site is vital. Construction foremen may also be responsible for training new employees.
What are some qualities a good foreman has?
A foreman also needs strong vision. Not 20/20 vision, although that would help. We mean a vision for the future. Foremen that can see the plans and schedule for a week or two out can more effectively manage employees and adapt to potential problems. This vision also includes seeing the state of the working crew. Productivity can drop for any number of reasons, but it’s a foreman’s job to help fix the problems and raise morale. Any foreman that can’t see the problems workers are having will have a difficult time managing the site.
What can you expect from a good foreman?
You can expect strong leadership skills. They’ll bring the workers on your construction site together. Productivity should increase and your projects should stay on time and on budget. Overall, your foreman should be able to make decisions with the information they have, easing the burden on management and workers.
If you’re in the market for experienced construction services, Sole Source Construction has you covered. Our diverse skill set covers everything from general contracting to construction management. For a free consultation and quote, call us at 401-712-2700 or visit our website here.