Fence erectors install and repair a variety of types of fence, including light security fencing, wooden panel and domestic fencing, high security fencing, vehicle and motorway safety fencing and animal stock fencing.
Working locations include homes and gardens, factories and industrial storage premises, airfields, prisons, sports grounds, forest and trust property, farms, and on roads, motorways and bridges.
Prior to installation, information about ground levels, underground utility services and sub-structures is obtained, along with checks to ensure that planning regulations have been adhered to, particularly where trees have to be felled or lopped to accommodate the fencing. Safety measures such as temporary signs and barriers must be in place before work on preparing the ground can begin.
Installation involves digging and levelling by hand or mechanical digger, and back-filling holes for support posts with concrete. Fencing is then put in. This may be steel mesh, chain-link, galvanised wire, wire rope, timber or steel girders.
Other aspects of the work include the ordering, receipt and storage of fencing materials, occasional use of heavy machinery, and ensuring statutory regulations regarding health and safety are observed.
Fence erectors usually work 39 hours a week, with overtime and weekend work as required. Work is outside in all weathers, and involves digging and lifting heavy materials. Protective clothing is worn, as are ear protectors if using noisy equipment.
As the work involves travel to different sites, a driving licence is essential.
To be a fence erector you need:
About 47,500 people are employed in fencing businesses in the UK. These range from large commercial companies to small self-employed contractors.
Promotion to supervisor, estimator or foreman/woman is possible within a larger organisation. There are opportunities to move into the sales and marketing side with fencing suppliers or building merchants.
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