Are we more considerate?
BBC Radio Kent have asked 'have building sites really changed?' They pondered this question because the radio DJ, Julia George, had to walk past a building site which was constructing a number of houses and unfortunately had a less than pleasant experience.
As Julia walked past the site, a delivery was being made whereby the vehicle mounted the pavement and restricted access. After informing the operatives that it would be difficult for pushchairs and wheelchairs to pass-by, Julia was, to put it nicely, told to go away. After then going to speak to the site, she was ignored by other operatives and her request to speak to the site manager was denied.
Julia did eventually speak to someone at the site who was extremely apologetic and looked into the matter immediately. It transpired that it was not the main contractor's operatives that caused the issue, but subcontractors working for the site.
BBC Radio Kent contacted the Considerate Constructors Scheme and invited Monitor, and Ex-Director, Trevor Fish to comment on the situation and ask how far has the industry really come?
Trevor had no hesitation in replying that the industry has come a very long way since the Scheme was introduced in 1997, and many construction sites and companies work extremely hard to promote their considerate constructor credentials. However, as this example illustrates, there is unfortunately still an issue with the behaviour of a small minority of subcontractors and how they do not always work to the same high standards set by the main contractor.
Click here to listen to the interview with Trevor Fish.
It is extremely important that every company working in the industry understands how their actions can impact upon the industry's image. Many sites make great effort towards respecting the community and ensuring it becomes an asset, not a hindrance. However, those efforts may go to waste if even a small minority of individuals do not work to the same high standards that site has worked so hard to achieve.
This is why it is essential to educate all those connected with a registered site on the standard of work and behaviour that is expected from them. It is important for them to understand why the site registered with the Scheme and how they can help improve the image of construction.
The issue of subcontractors not being aware of the industry's efforts to improve its image is the principal reason behind the Scheme creating its Company Registration initiative.
Launched in 2009, Company Registration allowed any size and type of company, including subcontractors and those involved in the supply chain, to register with the Scheme. Companies would then be monitored against the same Code of Considerate Practice as sites and be advised on how they can improve their considerate practices. Not only does this mean the company understands the importance of how they present themselves, but main contractors can be secure in the knowledge that companies involved with the site are working to the same high standards as they are. As with sites, companies also receive their own Scheme branding which shows members of the public they have made a commitment to become a considerate constructor.
As more and more companies register with the Scheme and take a proactive approach to improving the industry's image, instances such as the one Julia faced should be very rare indeed.
To find out more about Company Registration, click here.
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