Supervising/Leading Work Teams
Before starting the project, you should make sure
your crew understands what is expected of them. Give
your crew instructions, and urge them to ask questions.
Be honest in your answers. If you do not know, say so;
then find the correct answers and inform your crew.
Establish goals for each workday and encourage your
crew members to work together as a team while
accomplishing these goals. Goals should be set that
will keep your crew busy but also ensure these goals
are realistic. Do not overload your crew or undertask
them. During an emergency, most crew members will
make an all-out effort to meet the deadline. But people
are not machines, and when there is no emergency,
they cannot be expected to work at an excessively high
While the job is underway, check from time to
time to ensure that the work is progressing
satisfactorily. Determine if the proper methods, the
materials, the tools, and the equipment are being used.
If crew members are doing the job incorrectly, stop
them, and point out what is being done
unsatisfactorily. Then explain the correct procedure
and check to see that it is followed.
NOTE: When you check the work of your crew
members, do it in such a way that they will feel that
the purpose of checking is to teach, guide, or direct,
rather than to criticize or find fault.
Make sure your crew members take all applicable
safety precautions and wear/use safety apparel/
equipment that is required. Also, watch for hazardous
conditions, improper use of tools and equipment, and
unsafe work practices that could cause mishaps and
possibly result in injury to personnel. Many young
personnel ignore danger or think a particular safety
practice is unnecessary. This can normally be
corrected by proper instruction and training. Safety
awareness is paramount, and it must be a state of
mind and enforced daily until the crew understands its
importance. When this occurs, you MUST NOT allow
the crew to become complacent in safety matters.
Constant training and awareness is the key; therefore,
conduct safety lectures daily!
When time permits, rotate crew members on
various jobs within the project. Rotation gives them
varied experience. It also helps you, as a crew leader,
to get the job done when a crew member is out for any
length of time.
As a crew leader, you should be able to get others
to work together in getting the job accomplished.
Maintain an approachable attitude toward your crew
so that each crew member will feel free to seek your
advice when in doubt about any phase of the work.
Emotional balance is especially important; you must
not panic before your crew, nor be unsure of yourself
in the face of conflict.
Be tactful and courteous in dealing with your
crew. Never show partiality to certain members of the
crew. Keep your crew members informed on matters
that affect them personally or concern their work.
Also, seek to maintain a high level of morale because
low morale can have a detrimental effect on safety
awareness and the quality and quantity of the work
your crew performs.
As you advance in rate, more and more of your
time will be spent in supervising others. Therefore,
learn as much as you can about the subject of
supervision. Study books on supervision as well as
leadership. Also, watch how other supervisors operate
and do not be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS.
TOOL KITS AND REQUISITIONS
Tool kits contain all of the craft hand tools
required by one four-member construction crew of a
given rating to pursue their trade. The kits kits can be
augmented with additional tools to complete a specific
job requirement. However, kits must not be reduced in
any type of item and must be maintained at 100 percent
of the kit allowance.
As a crew leader, you are authorized to draw the
tools required by the crew. In so doing, you are
responsible for the following:
Maintaining complete tool kits at all times
Assigning tools within the crew
Ensuring proper use and care of assigned tools
by the crew
Preserving tools not in use
Securing assigned tools
TOOL KIT INVENTORIES
To ensure that the tools are maintained properly,
the operations officer and the supply officer establish
a formal tool kit inventory and inspection program.
You, as a crew leader, must have a tool kit inventory
performed at least once a month. Damaged and worn
tools must be returned to the central toolroom (CTR)