The Site Engineer’s Roles and Responsibilities


Quality Control – The Site Engineers Role and Responsibilities

Accurate extraction of pertinent setting out information from issued drawings

  1. Coordinates, Levels, Built in Items, References to Standard details checked. Notes on the drawings have been read and understood

Preparation for setting out

  1. Ensuring that Control stations and Temporary level points have been traversed and checked.
  2. Ensuring that the Instruments have been checked, levels 2 peg tested etc.
  3. Checking that the proposed work area has been checked with a cable avoidance tool and any service drawings.

Setting out accurately

  1. Field books are a legal document, each page is to be dated and titled.
  2. Backsight checks are to be carried out for each level set up, and when observing your orientation point, verify that the coordinates and or HD are accurate to ensure that control stations have not been disturbed.
  3. Chainmen, it has been agreed that chainmen will be employed where required, if you are using a joiner or non trained operative, ensure that they understand your requirements.
  4. Its common knowledge that as engineers you are often rushed when setting out, this causes shortcuts and inevitable errors, plan your setting out in advance and don’t feel pressured by anyone on site to rush through the work and run to the next area, Company policy is that we will never compromise quality and safety for the programme.
  5. Check your work, take some extra levels, check your lines, and where possible check diagonals with a tape. Review the requirements; ensure that you have not forgotten anything.

Preparing for the pour 

  1. The pre pour checks and check sheet must be completed prior to the pour, check line and levels check the Steel reinforcement against the drawing, if you are not experienced then ask the sub or site agent to check this section of work.
  2. When all shutters etc have been checked, built in items checked etc, and you are happy with the area to be poured, then you may sign the QA document giving permission to pour, This is not being done, and most of the time you are filling out the required paperwork after the pour, sometimes days have passed before the required paperwork is being completed.
  3. If the Site Agent has given you the task of completing the prepour sheet, and you are not happy with the structure, report this to him, if you are ignored, or the general foreman takes no notice, then you do not sign the form, and report the matter to the site manager.
  4. Verify that the correct concrete grade and slump has been ordered. 

During the pour

  1. The instrument and level must be set up during the pour, checks are to be made to ensure that the formwork is not moving, or if a problem occurs, adjustments can be carried out.
  2. It is vital that fillets are checked to ensure a uniform level on structures.
  3. Slump tests are an important check, ensure that this is done.
  4. Cubes are to be taken at the correct intervals, and made correctly, ensure that cubes are stored properly, cube tanks seem to have disappeared, and should be used.

After the pour

  1. The structure should be checked after the pour, verification of the line and levels, and checking walls are plumb.
  2. Its good practise to store the coordinates and heights when doing the post pour check to verify position and height against the design, and in addition the Asbuilt data will be available. (QA form for post pour checks).
  3. Any deviations must be recorded, and must be reported.

Pipework and Manholes

  1. Always check the start position invert level prior to calculating grades, and use the actual level, which should be as per design.
  2. Pipeline are to be checked on chainage, this could be every few pipes, for small diameter and every pipe for large diameter, The QA sheet, “open cut pipeline check” is to be used correctly, record the information on site, and complete the form daily, It is not acceptable to add the start MH and end MH info only, deviations could be picked up if the client requests a CCTV survey, should a problem be found this would be embarrassing.
  3. Lengths of steel process pipework should be checked in the same way, regardless of pipe diameter.
  4. Check the standard details for manholes, specific to your site, check if step irons or ladders are required, ensure that there are falls across the internal length of the manholes.


  1. Communications are vital to your success, some engineers have a habit of waiting to be told what to do, often this entails a rush of setting out as concrete may have been ordered, or men are standing around waiting for your setting out, Its good practice to have a weekly meeting to discus programme, and plan the works, this does not occur on most sites, or if it does the Engineer is not invited, here you need to be proactive, request the meeting, or at least get the Foreman/agent to complete his planning board (if he has one), either way you should be a couple of days ahead of construction with your setting out.
  2. Remember that you are a vital part of the site team, much of the work will fall on your shoulders, and increase the more senior you become, therefore you need to act as part of the team, many of you see things that are unsafe, or of poor quality, and fail to warn relevant persons of these problems, plan your work load, and not be bullied into rash decisions, The only way to obtain job satisfaction is to do your job well, and see the results of good planning and accurate work.
  3. Management should encourage communications at all levels, your foreman and agent should be approachable, your contracts manager will be happy to talk about any problems you face on site, If you are experiencing problems and need a solution that is not forthcoming on site, speak to your line manager who should address your problems immediately.
  4. If in doubt……….Ask! Some engineers are happy to coast along without a full understanding of aspects of the work, management should help wherever they can, so don’t be embarrassed, discuss the problem. Coaching will be given, just ask for it.

RF Concrete and Level