The strange case of the ubiquitous Cinderella
The nature of the lifting industry is that it is actually a collection of a wide range of specialist industries which coalesce around the single act of fighting gravity. Designers, manufacturers, inspectors, fitters, engineers; the list of front line occupations in our industry goes on and on. Before you even think of the numerous support staff that keep us safe, paid, legally compliant, transported and the rest, it is clear that ours is a massive and wide ranging industry.
However, much of what we achieve is in the background and we are normally a quietly efficient and, therefore, a silent partner. We get on with what we do, so that people can move, services are delivered, goods can be produced, transported, sold, replaced, changed and everything in between. And these activities happen in a whole range of supply chains which the recent lockdown crisis has really shown are often central to our way of life.
In this sense it has been clear that ours is a ubiquitous and underpinning industry. Our way of living is founded on our ability to overcome gravity. To move things that are heavy. To scale heights that make us dizzy. To lift and to shift.
And yet, while we the industry know and recognise all of the above, it is often the case that it seems as though government, agencies and our end users do not understand the central function that we fulfil. In this way, the lifting industry is the ubiquitous Cinderella mentioned above. We are everywhere and yet always in the shadows, doing everything required and necessary so that the world can keep turning, but often without praise or recognition.
So how do we move into the foreground and get the attention and support that we deserve?
We were grateful to receive correspondence from Michael Gove MP at the start of May which responded to our request around clarification of essential workers. Some of our members had been questioned about continuing to operate during lockdown and we were pleased to be able to obtain some detail, which helped them from the highest parts of government. LEEA’s technical team is also delighted to be working closely with the HSE and other stakeholders to put a collective industry shaped voice in relation to standards, legislation and compliance. Having so much real life experience and insight from our members means that LEEA is rightfully acknowledged as being an important friend in shaping and framing guidance to the industry.
Raising our industry’s profile means that the difference between high quality and lower quality becomes more apparent. What the industry does is not generic. It is neither simple nor straightforward. What LEEA members do is routinely difficult, specialised and possible only after years of learning and professional development. We can prevent the race to the bottom and instead highlight the importance of high quality products and services, and in this way we can look to raise standards worldwide.
An important way that we can raise our collective profile is to take part in the Global Lifting Awareness Day 2020 on 9 July. Using the #GLAD2020 hashtag and the logo which can be freely downloaded from the LEEA website, the hope is that social media will be full of content, which make people not from our sector, recognise who we are and the importance of what we do.
Simply posting the hashtag will raise recognition of what we do and is something that all individuals in the industry can do. Using the logo on adverts or email signatures will be useful and is in the gift of most employers. Sharing good news stories, video clips, talking heads giving examples of the things we’re GLAD about will really help this initiative to raise our collective profile.
So we know what we know. It’s time to raise our profile. Maybe this Cinderella will make it to the ball after all!