I often use this column as a soapbox for issues facing the structural steelwork sector, who wouldn’t? But this month’s column is all about celebration. Celebration of the incredible industry that is structural steelwork. An industry that I’ve worked in for 15 years. When I’m walking around the City of London and look up to see one of the many great buildings I’ve worked on over the years, I feel a rush of pride as I tell myself , I helped create that. And happily for me, I’m able to travel the length and breadth of the UK and more often than not, I will come across one of ‘my’ projects. Of course, these projects aren’t really mine. They belong to the whole team; from the client to the designers to the specialists who took a concept and made something out of it. They also belong to the people who live, work or play in that building or structure. Every time I cross the Forth, I look at those three beautiful bridges lined up one next to the other. The grandfather, the father and the son. I think of the people who designed them, who built them, and those who maintain them today. All of them servicing a need, and each of them a fantastic piece of engineering and construction in their own right. And they will all still be there, serving our community long after I’m gone. Of course, it would have been far better for UK Plc if the main span of the Queensferry Crossing had been made by a UK steelwork contractor, see I really can’t keep off my soapbox, because UK steelwork contractors, and in particular, BCSA members, really are the best in the world.
BCSA members are pre-assessed across many different aspects. This means that clients and contractors can be assured they have the specialist experience and qualifications for the job. Over time, BCSA has pushed faster compliance with new regulation, helped improve quality and health and safety in the sector and driven best practice among members. In turn, a better performing structural steelwork sector benefits clients and main contractors. BCSA members can also raise and address issues and problems of mutual interest that can only be solved by working together. I see BCSA membership as a benchmark for professionalism and the can-do attitude BCSA members have. I know that like me, future generations of BCSA members across the UK will also look up with pride to admire ‘their’ buildings.