Times have changed, both for the better and for worse. We’ve seen crippling inflation in the price of vital commodities such as chocolates and lollies, when a bag full of sweets used to cost you a penny. That’s the bad side of things. On the positive end of the spectrum, things are much safer in the construction industry. Even injuries, deformities and physical imperfections are far less visible these days. Last time I saw an amputee was at the ANZAAC day parade – they used to be all over the place.
I used to work as a contractor with some buddies back in my heyday. It was hard work but good money – that much hasn’t changed – and regulations and safety procedures were almost nonexistent in Melbourne. We never used to put ear plugs in to use a jackhammer, and welding goggles? Hah, forget it! I remember this one time our boss got us some new equipment which was so poorly built that the scaffold gave out and one poor bloke dropped a height of about three metres. It was nothing like the beautiful designs of things like folding platform steps that they make these days. It’s obvious that the building materials have improved, and the industry standards ensure that they’re made well.
On the topic of aluminium work platforms, Melbourne companies have not only made vast improvements on the designs but also taken into consideration the needs of the contractors. As a builder, you kind of feel like a bit of a slave to the man sometimes, so it’s nice when the suppliers do something special, ya know? For example, I’m left handed so I need my rails on the right side of truck access platforms. Small detail, but makes a heck of a difference. The people who make our gear for us make custom platforms and ladders, which is perfect if you’ve got a specific way of working like I do.