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The key aim of any construction engineer or any project manager is to deliver quality work that is in line with the budget that was stipulated. Anything and everything that occurs in a construction site before, during and slightly after the project revolves at minimizing any added costs that were not budgeted for.

A lot of things, however, could go wrong in a construction site. This could range from minor defects in the construction to accidents within the construction site and even the possibility of reconstruction due to failure to meet the required standards. Construction engineers, therefore, strive to ensure that the project runs as smoothly as possible on the first attempt with no increased costs or accidents.

Conformance in Construction

The most crucial decisions of a construction project are made in the planning and designing stages. This paves way for a smooth running of the construction as the employees have an end goal in sight. The quality of the construction is dependent on the plans and designs made at the initial stage. Quality control is basically trying to ensure that everything works out as it was meant to in the plans and the designs.

Conformance implies that the project manager, construction engineers, and even employees are striving to carry out the stipulated activities as outlined in the plans and designs that were made in the initial stages. The plans and designs stipulate matters such as the specifications of the materials, the functional performance and the configurations for various components. Quality control concentrates on the quality requirements. It is required that these quality requirements be clear and in a way that they can easily be verified by all the parties that are involved in the project.

Unforeseen Underminers of Quality Control

It is accepted that the most important rule in ensuring quality control is concentrating on conformance. However, in most cases, there are unforeseen circumstances that further undermine quality control leading to cost overruns. To begin with, such unforeseen circumstances can be brought about by changes that the owner of the construction wishes to make on the designs or incorrect designs which hinders conformance.

Most of these changes when made is to ensure that the quality of the construction is upheld but in the process of re-designing there are delays and cost overruns. Secondly, quality control is highly undermined in situations where configurations and measurements are to be taken while the construction is in process. It is therefore hard to ensure that quality control is achieved when the process of planning and designing is carried out while the project is in action.

Safety in Construction

Just like quality control safety in constructions is partly dependent on the planning and designing that was carried out in the initial stages. The safety of a construction depends on whether the plans and designs are either difficult or easy to implement. Some designs are very difficult therefore raising the possibility of accidents occurring in the process of the construction greatly. For example, during a road construction or reconstruction clearing the traffic would highly reduce the possibility of any accidents occurring.

Apart from designs and plans that are made before the construction begins safety of the personnel highly depends on other factors such as level of expertise, vigilance and the cooperation between the workers as the construction is in progress. The construction personnel should at all times be aware that accidents may occur at any given time and strive to avoid them.

Achieving Quality and Safety

There are various ways in which a construction engineer or a project manager could ensure that quality and safety is achieved in a construction site. To begin within large organizations it is advisable to have two separate units, one in charge of quality control and another in charge of safety. By separating the two responsibilities it makes it even easier for them to ensure that the construction achieves quality and there are no accidents.

In smaller organizations, the same could be done by assigning the tasks to two separate individuals. However, where there is a shortage of personnel the project manager or even an assistant could handle both of those responsibilities and more. The project manager in any given construction is in charge of quality control and safety alongside being in charge of other responsibilities such as cost, management issues, time and many others.

Alternative Approaches

The other way to ensure quality and safety is relying on inspectors and quality assurance personnel. In any project, there are inspectors and quality assurance personnel that do not necessarily represent the interests of one group. There may be a number of inspectors and quality assurance personnel who represent different organizations each with different interests. Most of the inspectors are from quality assurance firms that are contracted to ascertain the safety and quality of the site.

Apart from assessing the site while it is in progress to ensure that quality and safety are maintained, inspectors also carry samples of different materials to test them in laboratories in order to ensure that the construction is in compliance with various construction guidelines. The main aim of hiring inspectors and quality assurance personnel is to ensure that the safety of workers and the general public and the quality of the project is paid attention to at any point in the construction.

Being a construction engineer in charge of an entire project means that the responsibility of whatever happens during and after the construction lays solely on you. It is highly unethical to oversee the construction of a building that ends up capsizing due to poor quality and in the process may end up killing or injuring people.

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