Top Construction Myths
Trade Access Panels are often contacted by customers who have been wrongly informed or have themselves ‘Googled’ certain construction or DIY problems and received totally incorrect information and advice.
While a great number of DIY and construction misconceptions have thankfully been dismissed as the industry has grown and improvements put into place, many myths do unfortunately remain and the most commonly found by Trade Access Panels are mentioned below.
1. All construction projects are exactly the same
No two projects will ever be exactly the same and there will be many variables. Each project will be held at a different location with its own site issues; the weather may be different; there may be different clients; different subcontractors and different suppliers. Each of these variables will add its own challenges and difficulties to the project if you are under the misconception that it will be “exactly” the same as the last project and do not plan for the changes and differences at your new project accordingly. 2. Construction is a Man’s Game!
At the end of 2016, approximately 27 million people were working in the UK. The divide between men and women was almost 50-50. However, 2.3 million people were employed within the construction industry and from this only 296,000 were women. In this case, the split was around 87-13. This was an alarming wake-up call for the construction industry recruiters, and something had to be done to encourage more women into the industry.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case and increasing numbers of women are joining the construction instruction for many different roles. The pay gap has been addressed and the number of females joining the field is increasing year of year. there was an old-fashioned stigma that women should not be working in construction and thankfully with the increased focus on discriminations within the workplace, women no longer feel they are unable to seek employment within their preferred sector, whether that be construction or any other
3. Construction is only for those with few Qualifications!
This is possibly one of the biggest misconceptions which we hear. Higher education and Qualifications are as essential for the construction industry as they are for any other industry; possibly more so when Health & Safety is discussed. In fact, Architects, for example, may be required to train for in excess of six years.
As we are all aware, the construction industry is a multi-million-pound industry, and very large salaries can be offered to those who have the right skillset and experience. The Qualifications awarded to Construction workers can often be “on the job” thus the candidate would be gaining experience alongside the Qualification itself, such as Apprenticeship which include but are by no means limited to Electricians, Plumbers, Engineers, Decorators, Brick Layers (the list is endless). There are also annual Qualifications which must be taken and renewed for all personnel who work on construction sites across the UK alongside a vast array of inhouse training required by employers.
Thankfully, construction is no longer considered as being a career choice for people who did not do so well at school!
4. It is easy to work in construction!
This may come as a shock to some, however, please do not even consider a career within construction if you are after a 9 to 5 job! Contractors can work extremely long hours in all elements that the UK can throw at you whether it is the heat of the summer or the cold and rain of the winter months. Construction work is by no means easy, and it can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Many construction workers have to travel for employment and possibly stay overnight away from home on a regular basis; they may also be required to work weekends or late into the evening to get a project completed on time.
5. The construction industry is a limited career
This again is a very common misconception that the only job prospect in construction is to work with your hands building walls! This of course simply is not the case and many construction workers, in fact, work their way up the corporate ladder. Whilst working on site and gaining inside knowledge of all aspects of construction, this allows the construction worker to progress to a management role. Many Site Managers, Managing Directors and Senior Engineers first worked on-site themselves and the skills which they have learned now enable them to effectively lead a team and problem solve efficiently due to their own hands-on experience. Many University and College Lecturers also once worked on-site and this enables them to pass on the skills accurately to the apprentices or those enrolled on the courses.
6. The latest technology will make our projects more successful!
although this is partly correct, no technology (no matter how good) can turn a poor Project Manager into a good Project Manager, and therefore, it cannot, in turn, transform a poorly run and organised project into a good one! Likewise, not even the most expensive or most up-to-date technology can turn a poor contractor into a good contractor! The right technology for your particular project and role can of course however greatly assist you to achieve a first-class project.
7. Cowboy builders are more commonly found than reputable ones in the industry!
Of course, as with all industries, there will be a few rogue construction workers around who are producing shoddy, unsafe work however thankfully over recent years these builders are the minority and are easy to avoid! There are now numerous ways to check a construction worker out before you commit yourself to any contracts and nothing can be hidden from the internet! Make sure you do your research! Ensure that the person or company are qualified or certified by governing bodies such as the National Federation of Builders. Also, check for references and reviews on TrustPilot, Check a Trade, Google and other similar platforms. Finally, use your gut instincts; get quotes from numerous people and if one is considerably cheaper than the others, ask yourself why as cheapest is not always best!
8. I don’t need to wear PPE – nothing has ever happened to me before!
Every year across the globe, hundreds of people are either killed or seriously injured on construction sites. Thankfully, there are many Health & Safety Policies and procedures now in place to ensure that this is kept to a minimum, however, accidents do of course unfortunately still happen. Often, many accidents or site could have been avoided by ensuring the workspace is kept keep or trip hazard obstacles and debris. The implementation and compulsory enforcement of people wearing their personal protective equipment has made a big impact to reduce the number of incidents. Ensure that you do not become a statistic – always wear the correct PPE and adhere to all safety requirement when using power tools or when working at height.