Look at any construction site and you will see the big machines going about their work, cranes, excavators, trucks and so on, all play a vital role in any construction project. What you may not pay so much attention to are all the people on the site working around those machines, the laborer, so a common question is, why are they there?
If we think about construction sites, and what goes on, while the heavy lifting, whether that is actually lifting by cranes, or moving heavy materials, digging and moving soil or drilling, is all done by machine, none of them can operate entirely alone. It is laborers on site who do much of the construction work, using hand power tools, moving materials into position after they have been dropped in bulk, carrying out assembly and other skilled work within the construction where large machines simply cannot reach. All of these things are carried out by laborers, but that is just a fraction of the workload the site laborers will carry out on any construction project.
It is laborers that are the lifeblood of a construction site, they make it tick bringing everything together, they, as much as heavy machinery in their own way, power the construction industry. That is why laborers are so important, and why the skilled laborer has seen an increase in demand and increase in pay while other industries go the opposite way.
Laborers do need specific skills to, of course, using hand tools, jackhammers, erecting scaffolding, forming up concrete and other tasks that they perform every day all require a level of understanding of the process to carry them out well, and importantly, safely. They should also be able to read plans on site, and as such, laborers are skilled workers, carrying out essential tasks that often form a structural part of a construction project, but those skills are not all a laborer needs.
The job is physically demanding, lifting and carrying materials, working hand tools and powered machines all require a level of physical strength and stamina, and in combination with that, the coordination and dexterity to carry out assembly tasks or operate small machinery. Safety training is also important, not just for the work they do, but awareness of other safety issues on site.
For instance, a laborer working on a site with large cranes or a lot of heavy machinery, awareness of what is going on around the site and good safety training is essential, laborers are particularly vulnerable with such large machines moving around, many of which provide the operator with limited vision around or below.
Skilled laborers perform essential tasks on any site, not just construction, but in mining and other industries too. While technology has advanced the capabilities of our machines, the laborers are still the driving force on any project.