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NEWS | Queensland

A day in the life of Project Manager, Ben Fehervary

20th April, 2016

The thing that Ben Fehervary says he enjoys most about working for Kane Constructions is that there is no ‘typical’ day.

“Our days are always different and that’s just the nature of building – something new and potentially unexpected is continually popping up to challenge us and keep us on top of the project,” he said.

Ben’s day begins on site at his current project, Park Avenue Apartments in Springfield, at around 7:00am, going through his comprehensive check-list and reviewing the programme for the day ahead.

In the site office, Ben is busy fielding phone calls from people requesting information and forward planning for the next phase of the project. Today is all about preparing to pour level 6 of the 7 storey multi-residential building Ben has been project managing since last July.

Working with his Contracts Manager, Jon Goupis, and Cadet Administrator, Van Nguyen, Ben reviews the construction programme and updates it, arranges and attends several meetings with subcontractors.

After catching-up with the Kane team on today’s issues, he grabs a coffee at the local cafe where they know him by name and coffee order, and he answer questions the locals have about the Park Avenue construction.

Ben believes it is a good thing that there is so much positive interest from local businesses, as the Springfield Land Corporation development benefits the whole community.

When he is not managing Kane projects, Ben sits as vice chairperson on the Property Industry Foundations Property Blitz committee, working with several charity organisations in Brisbane to improve the lives of homeless youth in the community. Ben has been involved in multiple refurbishment and workerbee projects of homeless accommodation facilities and fundraising charity events.

“Charity work is something I am very passionate about and to be able to utilise my work skills for smaller projects to benefit the community is a positive and fulfilling experience,” he said.

This particular day, Ben and the Kane team are prepping for a Health, Safety, Quality and Environment Audit. He says it has been front of mind and they’ve been planning for the past several weeks.

Ben keeps in regular contact with Kane’s Construction Manager, Will Scully, and WHS and QA Manager, Graham Thornton, and is expecting a visit from both of them as well as Kane’s Auditor at 10am.

“Our approach is to go into every audit with open attitude and an understanding that the auditor is there to help us make improvements in our processes and not to simply shake things up on site.”

“It’s a culture that’s fed from the top down at Kane, and we have always been open and honest about our practices. Today is a matter of making sure everything is in order, which is part of what we do day-to-day anyway.”

According to Ben, his day is also about walking the site and talking to everyone ensuring they have access to him whenever necessary, talking to the site workers to discuss safety concerns or find out how different people do things and learning potentially better ways for managing the project.

Ben touches base with Kane’s Site Manager, Adrian Willis, and Foreman, Jesse Clare, picking up any issues from the previous day, including safety and subcontractor works, and also planning for the coming week.

Park Avenue is currently one of Kane’s largest Queensland projects and is Ben’s first foray into high rise construction, which he says has been a steep but totally gratifying learning curve.

To-date, his experience has been predominantly in heritage and education sector projects, but Ben also likes that Kane’s jobs are diverse and consist of a variety of work.

His particular interest is with heritage projects, enjoying the detail involved and the level of patience and tolerance required for such meticulous work.

At the end of the day, Ben updates his comprehensive to-do list. His goal is to stay organised and keep ahead of the game for the next day and the weeks ahead. The project is currently tracking according to the programme and Ben fully expects it to be delivered to the client on time.

Ben plans a toolbox talk for Monday at 7am and locks in a date for the next site BBQ before he leaves for the day.

“Keeping up motivation levels in order to drive the project home, is so important for every projects’ success.”