On site and off, Phil’s fit for purpose
Published: 01 May 2015
Name: Phil Edgley
Job title: Site engineer
As well as being a site engineer, I also compete to a high level nationally as a triathlete. Dandara sponsors all my triathlon endeavours which is a huge help. Their funding goes towards paying for my kit and any transportation I need. It would be extremely difficult for me to continue competing in triathlon to the standard I do, and travel to the locations I race in, without the support of Dandara.
Most mornings my alarm goes off between 4.45am and 5.30am to allow me time to do some training. Before work I’ll either be at the pool, out on a run or cycling on my turbo-trainer for about an hour. I follow a weekly training plan which is put together by my coach, Ken Bryson, who owns coaching company Total Endurance. I’m in touch with Ken regularly and he keeps me right with all the relevant sessions I need to do as well as providing training and analysis of my performance. Once I’ve completed my morning exercise, I’ll shower, grab some breakfast and head to the City South development on the outskirts of Aberdeen for around 7am.
The morning is always the busiest period on site. The first thing I do is look at what all the sub-contractors are doing that day and assess whether they need daily safety permits, risk assessments and method statements in order to complete their jobs. I also look after any setting out needed first thing in the morning including drainage, roads, concrete and steel works.
I then need to brief the site staff, including groundworkers, steel fixers, electricians, plumbers and joiners on what their on-site tasks are so everyone knows what they’re working on. My duties then extend to general site management, which basically means making sure that the build is completed safely, on time and in spec. I’ll also handle any technical queries which come in regarding the building work which can be a full-on task and often takes up quite a chunk of my day.
I always prepare my own lunch the night before and it usually consists of salad with either chicken or fish. I tend to eat lunch on-the-go, usually in front of the laptop so I can check my e-mails.
Typically the afternoon is less hectic than the morning and I get the chance to catch up with myself. I usually spend this time processing site surveys and preparing setting out information for the next day. I will also be on call to other sites to carry out additional surveying and assistance. When I’m back in the office, I download any survey data collected to process it into a survey drawing, which usually happens later on in the day when it has quietened down.
I attend regular meetings with the site team where we discuss and evaluate issues relating to design plans, technical work, health and safety and contracts regarding existing or prospective clients. From time to time we’ll have visits from clients or local planning officials to the sites, especially the commercial ones like City South, so I’ll make sure they’re kitted out with personal protective equipment (PPE) and walk them round the development.
After work I’ll drive home to Aberdeen and after a quick change I’ll do another 90 minute session on the turbo trainer or I’ll go for a run.
Twice a week I coach Fleet Feet Triathletes, an Aberdeen-based local triathlon club which is open to members of all abilities. After training I enjoy relaxing and having dinner with my incredibly supportive fiancée Laura who is also a very keen triathlete.
People sometimes ask me – if I reached the level to which I could support myself as a triathlete full-time, whether I would give up my career with Dandara. For me, I really enjoy the variety of my job and I love that I’m able to balance my triathlon activity within my working week. There’s something really fulfilling about competing amongst full-time triathletes at competitions and returning to my day job as a Dandara site engineer. I think they both complement each other and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.