Some industries are essential and commonplace yet despite existing in plain sight there is little or no perception of them among the wider world. The Lifting Sector is a good example. Fortunately its key stakeholders have resolved to change this. They are now shouting out from the rooftops, or rather from their laptops on social media, about their pride in their industry and how vital something as ubiquitous as lifting is to everyday lives.
“Lifting is a key role in the supply chains of many industries. Wherever goods, products, materials or people are moved, lifting equipment is involved,” points out Ross Moloney, CEO of leading industry trade association, LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association). “With lifting there is an inherent on-going battle between mankind and gravity. As we reach higher and further, the challenges become ever greater, involving more complexity and danger. By highlighting the importance of high standards, safe practices and technological innovation we can showcase to end users how important safe lifting is in their own sectors.”
Moloney recalls how a chat about this issue one day in a hotel lobby with two other Lifting Industry stakeholders – LHI magazine’s Guy Harris and Mark Bridger of lifting sector media company Bridger Howes – sparked the idea behind a day dedicated to celebrating the lifting and working at height sector, particularly on social media. And so, Global Lifting Awareness Day – or GLAD, as it is appropriately known – was born.
Outlining the objectives behind GLAD, Moloney says: “The Lifting Industry wants to attract the next generation of recruits into this incredible sector. But it is also crucial that we remind end users of how important it is to use high quality suppliers who utilise years of experience and high-quality training, and who routinely develop innovative and thoughtful solutions. Through GLAD we can highlight to policymakers that we need them to recognise and support the role we play in improving health and safety across numerous key industries. Finally, GLAD is a great chance for us all to celebrate the incredible role our industry has performed and continues to play.”
The inaugural annual Global Lifting Awareness Day took place on 9th July 2020. “GLAD was conceived before the pandemic, but the Covid crisis gave the day an extra impetus to boost the sector and it was a tremendous success,” says Moloney. People took to social media in their droves to post messages proclaiming what makes them glad to be in the industry. Across the platforms such as of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram there were almost 1000 individual and original mentions of #GLAD2020. Not bad for a first go.
There are even greater expectations for this year’s GLAD. Taking place on 8th July 2021, companies and individuals will again be able to highlight what they do and the importance of skills, competence and innovation. With vaccine rollouts well under way, there’s sure to be a mood of optimism among the messages.
“We encourage everyone with an interest in the Lifting Industry to support GLAD2021,” says Moloney. “We hope that on 8th July, social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook will be filled with content from across the sector. We encourage trade journals to also consider supporting the effort in their publication schedules. There are many pieces of content that can be used or amended, such as the ‘LEEA Think Lifting’ films, which can be downloaded at leeaint.com. But we hope to see new and original posts too, which might include written pieces, films, podcasts or interviews –anything that spreads the message.”
Moloney concludes: “This isn’t about any single company or organisation – it is an industry day. Posting messages using the GLAD logo – which is also available to download at leeaint.com – together with hash-tagging GLAD2021 will help to raise our collective voices and drive greater awareness of our vital sector.”