Site Engineers Manual First Edition

Site Engineers Manual First Edition

Quality, safety, completion on time and profitability are essential ingredients of a
successful contract. Provided these targets are met then both client and contractor
will be satisfied.
Much has been written on the need for quality assurance (QA). For many, the
means to achieve satisfactory quality has become unnecessarily synonymous with
excessive bureaucracy typified by overburdening paperwork. It is unfortunate that
little emphasis has been placed on the need for well-educated, trained and dedicated
people to achieve these objectives.

The term quality assurance has been used in recent times to describe the manage-
ment process by which appropriate quality can be achieved. Definitions proliferate.

The process has not been helped by the fact that much of the early work on the topic
was based in the manufacturing industry. Two definitions of QA will suffice:
• Quality will not be indicative of special merit, excellence or high status. It will be
used in its engineering sense in which it conveys the concepts of compliance with

a defined requirement of value for money, of fitness for purpose or customer sat-
isfaction. With this definition, a palace or a bicycle shed may be of equal quality

if both function as they should and both give their owners an equal feeling of
having received their money’s worth (Ashford, 1989).
• All those planned actions and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate
confidence that a product or service will satisfy requirements for quality
(BSI, 1987).

It is essential that any QA system has the support of the Chief Executive of a com-
pany. This support should be stated in a signed policy statement. An example of this

is shown below:
The corporate purpose of Construction Incorporated Ltd is to provide service
of outstanding quality and efficiency in the construction industry.
Quality, profitability, programme and safety are essential to our business. All
four are interrelated and the achievement of quality is, together with the
others, the responsibility of line management.
The Managing Director is responsible to me for implementation of the quality
assurance policy. He will monitor and report to me on its implementation

within the company.

This should be accompanied by and related to a company QA Manual which should
address the following:
• Chairman’s statement
• policy
• organisation
• review and audit

• company instructions.

For the information and education of staff there should be available, to all, a simple
statement outlining the aims and objectives of the company and an organisation chart

explaining the interrelationships between different parts of the company. For exam-
ple, a project manager will need to know if a central engineering department exists

which is capable of carrying out temporary works design. It will also be important
for him to know who to contact should he need advice and how the cost of that
advice will be reimbursed.

Throughout this book examples have been shown of checklists that can be used by
engineers as an aide-memoire and also a record that essential items have been
checked. However these must be used conscientiously otherwise they are of very

limited value. It is impossible to illustrate every type of checklist so it is recom-
mended that a review occurs before the commencement of each major phase of work

to determine what is available and to draw up bespoke lists to cover any shortcom-
ings. Good examples appear from time to time in technical journals such as The

Building Engineer published by the ABE.


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