If the project is in the stage of preliminary works, a quality engineer might as well in the stage of preparation, that is the opportunity for a quality engineer to make himself ready for the coming battle. So, a quality engineer might want to ask these questions “What will I do when the project is just starting out?” or “What are the things that I should do to be prepared?” and so on.
If you are a newly joined quality engineer in the field, those question might be your questions as well. That questions could also be the question of a newly joined civil engineer in the field because in some countries, correct me if I’m wrong, a civil engineer will also handle quality engineer jobs.
So, without further ado. Here are the 6 important guide on what a quality engineer should do when the project is just starting out.
1. Read the Specification
Reading the specification is the important thing that a quality engineer can do during construction preliminary works. It is easy to recall or remember the requirements in the specification if you have read it because you will gonna highlight all important things along the way while you are reading it and then you can easily return back.
2. Obtain and log the tests required
While you are reading the specification, you can write down on your worksheet the tests requirements for the job. You may even prepare your own excel sheet to log the tests requirements. The importance of this task is you can determine the quantity of test, on when the test to be done in an interval phase. Like for example if you are going to take the test of “Field Density” in most of the time the frequency of this test is written on the specification so, you can easily count on how many tests that you need to require from the approved independent laboratory.
3. Set up the location of the checkpoint and concrete cubes storage
The location of the checkpoint must be properly set up in a location that is convenient and accessible. It may include in the logistic plan because truck mixers shall stop in this area for fresh concrete testing and for taking cube samples. The quality engineer should prepare the size of the curing tank for the concrete cubes samples. The quality engineer shall make sure the size of the curing tank can accommodate the potential cubes quantity per day casting production. Because concrete cubes samples are even better to be cured in the site curing tank prior to transporting to the independent laboratory for re-curing prior to 7 and 28 days testing.
4. Study the drawings
While the project is at the preliminary stage, you have the opportunity to study the drawings. Just make sure you review the drawings to familiarize the outlook of the foundation, the framing plans, the columns, the elevations etc. Don’t forget to read the “General Notes” in the structural drawing because some of the important requirements might be written there. Similar to the architectural drawings.
5. Prepare method statements and inspection and test plan
Well, this is the best time that you can take advantage, you can prepare all the necessary method statement for the jobs required in your project. That is the importance of reading the specification and drawing because your methodology of the work, site planning, and any other important things can be based on it.
Once you complete the method statement then you can go ahead to prepare an Inspection and Test Plan for the job that you have made an MS for.
It would be better if you can prepare a log of your method statement and ITP, the advantage of having the log is you can monitor when you have submitted the MS and ITP and you can trace the revisions of it. That is really very important.
6. Obtain list of subcontractors
This is the time that you will get all subcontractors in your project especially, those major subcontractor. You might ask “where I can get those lists of subcontractors?” Well, the lists can be obtained from the procurement department which they are the one who search or we may say “select” a subcontractor, some subcontractors are in the vendors list which may mean they are already selected by the Client.
If you could make the 6 preparations, then you are most likely ready to assault the battle for your project construction.
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