February 17, 2022

An Interview with Tony Stevens

An Interview with Tony Stevens

Worldwide Scaffold and Access was formed in 2017.


I have been involved in the scaffolding and Access Industry for over 40 years and have made many friends and customers along my journey. I have, by nature of being in the industry so long, gained much experience within the scaffolding and access industry. I believe you must ensure that you keep up with all the changes that happen in our industry on a regular basis.

I have worked closely with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), where I also carried out all my scaffold training under their supervision in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

The training methods have changed significantly for the better since I took my training courses.

A few years ago, I tried to encourage more women into the scaffolding industry, but that proved very difficult at the time, but I believe it can still happen with the right governing body driving this, maybe talking to young students in their final years at secondary education and highlighting the options open to them in this industry. I was in discussion with Kath Moore MBE, who heads up an organisation called Women into Construction, and may I add what a fantastic job she is doing. It is a slow progress, but progress, nevertheless.

Our Business (WWSA) continues to look at advising our customers worldwide on what their options are when it comes to choosing the right access solution for their project. We can also add value to their project , working with our business partners where we can offer a full design and calculation package as well as offering key personnel to work on any projects worldwide.

I got involved in this industry back in 1975, working in my father’s business during the school holidays, doing the jobs that nobody else like doing, servicing scaffold fittings and repairing scaffold boards, which my younger brother also did many years later. I believe we were born into the business and there are many other people in our industry have taken the same journey as my brother and I. He Incidentally now owns and runs that same business still today.

The industry has taught me a lot about many manufacturers products, how they work together and what works well for each project.

My knowledge of the industry has been gained over many years, where I have met many influential people from all over the world.

Did I have a Mentor?

The answer to that question is a definite yes and would have to be my Dad. My Dad was a scaffolder back in the late 50’s and 60’s in London and worked on some of the Capitals most iconic buildings. It is fair to say that if he had not pushed me in those early years, I certainly would not have the knowledge that I have today.

 

What 3 things would you tell your younger self?

  1. When I look back, I took so many chances when working at height, because that was the norm for most of us back in the 70’s. I am glad to say that is not the case now, because our industry is much better managed by the associations that govern our industry. The scaffolders of today are trained now to, not only be aware of the dangers for themselves, but also their colleagues and other trades that have to work on any scaffolding or access applications
  2. Pay more attention to what your peers tell you. Don’t assume you know everything at such a young age. You don’t !! In fact, I am still learning everyday over 45 years later. 
  3. Get more knowledge of the other parts of the industry. Grab every opportunity to learn more. I wish I had gained more skills in design, calculations, and engineering.

The future of the industry is in good hands with organisations such as CITB, NASC and The Scaffolding Association here in the UK driving to improve standards and all-round safety within our industry daily. I also believe that we will find a way to get more women in to our industry in a hands-on capacity and this would be something I would give my full support to if the opportunity arises again. I believe there will also be an increase in more lightweight scaffolding systems globally, which ultimately will protect the welfare of scaffolders in our industry in the future.

I am more than happy to share my experiences and give any advice to any person who wants to try and get into the scaffolding and access industry at any stage of their lives. The industry will continue to flourish, as there will always be a requirement for temporary access.-


Tony Stevens
Worldwide Scaffold and Access Ltd

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