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Thank the robots for a modern construction sector

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

Construction sites are difficult and dangerous places to work, and not always the best place for humans. 

I should know, I once had a summer job on a building site. I was a labourer on a large housing estate and the foreman no less, said it was a tough job, but one way to get around it was to cat-nap in various parts of the site. He maybe didn’t mean to impart this bit of knowledge to me, afterall, I was only the odd job guy hired for the summer. But, I had walked into the bedroom of a partially built detached house and seemingly out of nowhere (it was out of in-built wardrobe) the foreman appeared.

I won’t say he arose like lazarus, but he still frightened the life out of me. Rubbing his eyes, he explained that it was a skill being able to cat-nap upright in concealed areas. Being the impressionable lad I was, I set about acquiring the skill, although didn’t quite manage it. I got bored and couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was about to be caught.

I walked around the site without a care in the world, sometimes with my prized hardhat on, sometimes just sitting on my weird haircut at a rakish angle. I would dodge heavy machinery, swerve out of the way lorries laying tarmac and grapple with all manner of heavy loads. How I’m not still a part of that building site amazes me now. Health and safety were two words that the site had vaguely heard of, but paid little attention to. His favourite refrain was, “...keep your f-ing eyes open and you’ll be okay.”

We may have moved on, but the point is, construction sites will become safer as more robotics and automation is introduced.