What is a General Foreman?

In electrical construction, a general foreman (aka “GF”) typically manages many crews. General foremen are responsible for scheduling work based on critical due dates and other conditions. General foremen may schedule work based on a foreman’s knowledge in a specific area, and supervise the progress of the entire project.

General foremen schedule work around many factors including environmental requirements, holidays, weather conditions, availability of equipment, availability of Employees, emergent work, emergency work, jurisdiction requirements, and much more. The job is very complex and requires years of construction experience.

To ensure a general foreman can effectively schedule and manage a workload with many moving parts, they typically have a construction coordinator or project manager to ensure all requirements are met. Construction coordinator’s help schedule the pre-job tasks to be done, such as scheduling a tree trimming company to clear the lines of vegetation or to have a area excavated.

In the construction of electrical infrastructure, a general foreman must ensure the safety of their crew and the public. Since electrical infrastructure is all around us, scheduling work must be coordinated with many other agencies and entities. Requirements by city, county, state and federal depend on the type of work being performed. Environmental clearance must be approved before the construction can begin. Often, joint meets are required due to other services existing on the power poles. Hazardous materials may exist on job sites and must be noted for all construction workers on the job site.

Federal, state, union, and religious holidays must not be interrupted. Customers of the utility must be notified of the construction to be done. No Park signs must be put up 48 hours or more in advance. Traffic control such as flagging road closures, lane closures and pedestrian control ensure public safety and crew safety.

A general foreman is also responsible for scheduling additional equipment required such as cranes, backyard machines, helicopters and more. General foremen typically are required to identify and submit change orders when the scope of work changed, to ensure the company gets paid for ALL the work they do.

Construction safety must be very important to the general foreman to ensure a safe work environment for his or her crews. A general foreman should have daily verbal exchanges with their crews to reduce work related accidents. Mobile app and other technologies make it possible for sharing important knowledge easier than ever.

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