The scaffolding industry has been forced to change significantly in recent months as countries all over the world tackle the spread of COVID-19.
In many places work halted entirely, with Simian International shutting the doors to our training centres worldwide when necessary for the safety of our delegates and trainers. Much of the world is still very much in the midst of tackling the virus, whilst others are trying to find that all-important balance between reopening and providing a boost to the economy whilst implementing the right measures to stop the virus from spreading.
With a new normal starting to emerge, it is clear that all industries will face change for the foreseeable future, including scaffolding. All countries we work in will use construction as a means to getting their economies back on track and this should see an upturn in training and consultancy.
This is why we here at Simian International have kept all of our instructors employed, because our people are our most important asset and it shows we care. Even though we are not running at 100%, our people are ready once the work comes . We have let staff go home to see family to make sure they are safe in India and Nepal.
Below, we take a look at what the future may hold for the scaffolding industry:
Small set teams
As scaffolding businesses worldwide try to limit potential exposure to the virus, many are opting to divide their workforce into set teams. This, alongside differing shift patterns and break times, means that workers are limited to who they come into contact with. In middle eastern countries site scaffolders are being contained in bubbles with no access to other staff in the camps. They live together, work together, travel and eat together.
A tactic utilised by countries worldwide, albeit at varying distances; we expect to see social distancing in place on scaffolding sites for the foreseeable future, at least until a vaccine is found and offered to people within each country. We have been promoting the COVID NASC guidance to our centre partners and customers to assist them with up to date guidance that their countries may not produce.
Hygiene on site
Vital measures that have been implemented over the past few months will likely serve as a stark reminder of the importance of hygiene in reducing risk to illness, something that expect to continue far past the pandemic. This will ensure that all equipment is regularly cleaned and scaffolders are regularly sanitising their hands.
Consistently adapting to measures
Specifically for Simian International, due to the fact that we work in a number of different countries, each at their own stage of controlling the virus, the next few months (and years) will see us adapting to the ever-changing regulations that are introduced in response to the current situation. We are working with our partners, local municipalities, CISRS and PASMA to implement the new normal.
Investment in training
Looking past the pandemic, we predict that there will be a much more critical view on the importance of the workforce following many months of being unable to work. As a result of this, we expect to see a boost in investment for worker training. This will not only ensure that scaffolders are working to best practice standards, but in having this knowledge a scaffolding company will have a much more competitive advantage in the industry.