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‘The Biggest Risk You Can Take is Taking No Risks’ Says BESA President

‘The Biggest Risk You Can Take is Taking No Risks’ Says BESA President
14 September 2023 | Updated 15 September 2023
 

BESA President Claire Curran said that the building services sector needs to take more action and do less talking about the challenges and risks it faces.

At the annual BESA President’s Lunch at the Oxo Tower in London, Claire spoke about the importance of actions over words when it comes to the new culture at the heart of their industry:

“The biggest risk you can take…is taking no risks. BESA’s challenge is facing up to the risks, and ensuring the guidance and support we give to our members allows them to change and manage their risk so they can, not just keep up, but thrive. That requires us to do more than pay lip service to the changes happening around us.

“A lot of people talk a good game – not least about getting to grips with the new culture of building safety, the push for healthier and more sustainable indoor environments, the rapid growth in digital processes, and the need to pay suppliers fairly and on time.

“But there is also plenty of evidence that not everyone is truly embracing these changes. What we do, rather than what we say is the true measure of success – and as a trade association we must be measured by our actions.”

 

"You can’t make buildings safer if you keep working in the same broken way. Time is running out for those companies who still think this will quietly go away. It won’t. They need to act. We all know there is no construction, installation, or maintenance without safety."

–Claire Curran

President, BESA

 

Embracing AI, Net-Zero and New Skills

 

Claire continued: “BESA has always embraced its leadership role – and will continue to do so in my time as your President,” added Curran. “However, if I had to pick out just two areas where we must make real progress quickly, it would have to be the Building Safety Act and the use of information.

“You can’t make buildings safer if you keep working in the same broken way. Time is running out for those companies who still think this will quietly go away. It won’t. They need to act. We all know there is no construction, installation, or maintenance without safety.

“AI is out of its box and is not going back in – so, like it or not, we must embrace it. We must be aware of the potential negatives but grasp the positives. Harnessing AI to some of the digital improvements we have already made like 4D modelling, APIs and data mining will make us more efficient and productive.

“It is competitive out there; there’s no more margin and there’s only a small pool of skilled people on offer, so we must operate effectively and efficiently. Digitisation will unlock the potential to ace net-zero, even across difficult retrofit and refurbishment areas of our industry. Not to mention the data we need to inform and update technical standards and competency frameworks.

“The digital takeover means we need completely new skills…but this also creates an amazing opportunity to reach out to a whole new generation and state our case for being their career of choice, so they can contribute to a better, greener future.

“Rather than protesting and campaigning for environmental change, let’s encourage a younger and more diverse audience to join an industry that can actually make change happen and is using the latest technologies to do it.”

Picture: a photograph of Claire Curran. Image Credit: BESA

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 September 2023

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