Have You Worked In The Scaffolding Industry For Your Entire Career?
At the age of 17, my school life had ended and I decided to become a scaffolding labourer in a small company. The company was based in Chatham, Kent where I became a part of a three-man gang. While the work was dangerous and quite dirty, we did our best to report to our superior at 6 am in the yard.
Part of our daily routine was loading the lorry before we left for the day. It was in this job where I worked for years on end as a scaffolder. After some time had passed, my career has progressed with an opportunity that came from TRAD. The offer now left me becoming an Advanced Scaffold Inspector followed by a SHEQ Officer.
My career significantly advanced to the point that I'm now successfully the Group's Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality Manager.
How Much Has Scaffolding Changed Since You First Started?
During my entry into the industry, there were several small companies and the overall work culture was rather poor and only a small amount of training was provided. At the time, several scaffolders on the job opted to work in terribly unsafe manners. The term accident was something that came with this type of job, it was an occupational hazard.
However, as the years passed, several critical changes improved and companies, as well as clients and the NASC, were responsible for initiating change. In today's society, scaffolders now undergo proper training before they begin working. More and more trusted and highly reputable companies are now coming on stream the make the industry a safer place. Due to this, the high levels of risk are now being decreased at surprisingly alarming rates.
What Do You Think About The Injury At Work Statistics?
These new changes have brought about a drastic decline in the number of falls that the industry saw from 2000 when the SG4 guidance was introduced. Safety Guidance focused on safe working from heights. During the past 18 years, the NASC has seen a drastic 80% reduction and within the last year alone, they saw a 46% decline.
Before these actions, FFH accidents were even more common and I personally know someone who died from this type of injury. With that said, the last 5 years have passed without any fatal injuries. While this is exceptional, we still need to continue ensuring that the industry improves.
What Do You Think Are The Main Benefits Provided To NASC Members?
NASC members offer greater value to those that they work with. The benefits received from this can be compared to that of SSIP accreditation. It offers professional advice that revolves around tax issues, funding for training and even employment issues.
When you choose an NASC member, you should feel the burdens lift from your shoulders since they provide scaffolders that are more than capable. Their scaffolders are not only competent but are trained and audited.
What Do You Think Are The Biggest Challenges That The Scaffolding Industry Is Facing?
In due time, scaffolding can develop into specialised trading. In essence, more and more young persons will be dedicated to making a successful career out of it. There is still great potential within the industry.
However, it needs to be sought out. This must be done by the booming construction industry. TRAD not only employes apprentices buy also offers mentoring schemes. At TRAD, we're working exceptionally hard to ensure that we're able to recruit the next generation of dedicated scaffolders.
Do You Think The Previous Jobs You Have Done Have Helped You To Be A Better Safety Professional Today?
Yes, all of my past experiences have helped me a great deal. My overall experience gave me both practical and real-world knowledge to get to where I am. While working as a Scaffold Inspector, I was able to observe both good and bad quality work. Experiencing this has helped me to better understand and provide high-quality training for those that come my way.