It’s no surprise many of us breathed a huge sigh of relief when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. The Covid-19 pandemic has completely transformed the way we live and work, and has inflicted untold misery on large swathes of our economy.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. New vaccines and the hope of a spring easing of restrictions has given us all a well needed boost as we battle with the latest lockdown.
The future looks bright for the scaffolding and construction industries too. As we look to keep the wheels of our economy turning, construction is going to be central to rebuilding our country, both literally and metaphorically.
To keep spirits high, the team at Leach’s has indulged in a spot of future-gazing. We’ve banged our heads together and come up with five trends that we feel could positively impact the scaffolding and construction industries in the months and years ahead.
#1 - Building back greener
There is no doubt 2020 was a tough year. However, hardship can bring with it opportunity, and there is no greater opportunity than to build our industries back in a more sustainable manner.
One way we can help our industry shift towards even greater environmentally friendly practices is the use of eco-friendly scaffold sheeting. It’s a vital tool in the scaffolding and construction sectors, helping many tradespersons undertake their duties safely without the risk of adverse weather disrupting productivity, such as rain, snow and wind chill.
That is why BIG BEN recently launched its BIG BEN Superclad ECO Scaffold Sheeting, which has been specially manufactured to be recycled, tested by independent third party testing houses for recyclability, and is halogen free. We believe it’s the future of scaffold sheeting. Hopefully, you will too.
#2 - Increased deployment of Scaffolding Systems
Many scaffolders and users of scaffold systems have been crying out for a solution that is faster to build, easy to erect and increasingly flexible to use. That inspired innovative businesses such as MonZon to pioneer new systems, including MonZon NO LIMIT™. This state-of-the-art scaffolding system is light but strong, quick and simple to build, and doesn’t compromise on safety.
We’re certain this solution will take the marketplace by storm in the coming years.
#3 – A laser focus on health and safety
Many in our sector will remember the poor culture of safety in years gone by. Training left something to be desired, and accidents were frustratingly frequent. Fast forward to today and much has changed. Training has been radically overhauled and scaffold inspections have become the norm, resulting in a sharp decline of accidents and injuries.
But that doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the gas. The only way these gains will continue is if we keep focussing on ensuring all those working on-site are able to do so safely.
And let us not forget, health and safety doesn’t just refer to preventing physical injuries anymore. 2020 proved just how important it is to create an environment that restricts the spread of illness too. It’s been a rapid learning curve for us all, but we should be encouraged by how quickly we’ve been able to adapt to our new normal.
#4 - Attracting new talent
Working in the scaffolding industry isn’t just a job, it’s a career, and a good one to boot. Yet, attracting a young and more diverse range of people into the sector has been a challenge for many.
Now more than ever, our industry must establish a culture that fosters ambition, delivers quality training, and provides support and opportunity to those interested in embarking on a career in scaffolding and construction.
#5 - Robots erecting scaffolding (!)
Or maybe we could rely on robots!
OK, so a shift to robotic scaffolders may not be on the cards any time soon… but we felt it was just too good an opportunity to pass an article like this by. If you do get 5 minutes on your lunch break, watch this video via ScaffMag and you’ll see NASA’s Valkyrie Robot using human tools to erect a scaffold. Admittedly it is a little slow at the moment, but who knows, we could be witnessing the first ever scaffolding robot!
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Leach’s is a trading name of “Beacon Group International Products Limited” registered in England and Wales, No. 8270847. Registered address: Hampton House, High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3AW