07/12/2020 - 11:16 am

A clear vision for Australasian lifting  

Steven Flint, founder and CEO of The Rigging Shed in Western Australia, will be speaking for the members as he takes his place on the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) Board as Regional Director – Australia.

In 1992 I travelled to the UK and worked for Bristol Wire Rope – then a Bridon company, where I was lucky enough to be mentored by great manager in Dave Clare. It was during this time that I had my first involvement with LEEA, when taking the Association’s training with Bridon.  A phone call on Christmas Eve 1992, lured me back to Australia to begin managing Sling Rig Kalgoorlie for the best part of 6 years. Taking time out in 2000 at University to complete an accounting degree, I was also able to muddle about with tyre protection chains and stainless steel balustrading before, in 2001, co-forming The Rigging Shed proper.

I always knew the value of what LEEA had to offer and when they made a move to be involved in the Australian market we immediately became involved. Fast forward to 2020, when Ashley Thacker decided to step down from the LEEA Board after nine years’ of highly valued service, I offered to join the board to communicate the needs and wishes of individual Australian and New Zealand members, and their vision of what LEEA should look like in the Australian/New Zealand market. I would like to thank Ashley for his work and dedication to LEEA during his tenure in the role. I wish also to thank the members who endorsed me to represent them.

This is, after all, more about LEEA going forward as we deal with key industry trends such as developing technology in communications, information technology and automation. While these topics will continue to draw our attention, we also must contend with the immediate issue of how our daily working lives have changed so much in the last 10 months due to the Covid pandemic. There are other topics topping our region’s agenda, including material quality in terms of grades of metals and synthetics and manufacturing processes as well as addressing climate change through the adoption of renewable energy.

Taking on the role of conduit between stakeholders, my overall focus will be the membership – and communicating their views, thoughts and aspirations to the rest of the LEEA Board and the Association’s team. But I would like to lay down some objectives. Firstly, I want to create closer links between the membership and the Association. It is also important that we demonstrate a clear and definitive differentiator in dealing with a LEEA accredited organisation and one that is not.

After finding my first job in the lifting industry back in 1986, I quickly found myself working at an industry leading company. When I joined Sling Rig, the management were focused on premium service and products, it was a fantastic and fertile learning ground and provided me with a background in providing premium service and product. At LEEA, we need to create commercial value for all members by educating end users in the advantages of using and relying on a LEEA member and the ‘gold standard’, which that represents, rather than risking using a non-member. I would also like to see greater education of industry participants and getting training and qualifications formally acknowledged and accredited.

The plans put in place for our region going forward by the Association’s CEO, Ross Moloney, and the LEEA team will mean a great deal more autonomy for the Australian and New Zealand members, leading to some real and meaningful improvements on several levels, with additional member and industry benefit. Industry education is the future, creating industry specific qualifications will enhance our ability to attract, train and retain technical people. Working with Justin Boehm, LEEA’s Member Engagement Manager for Australia, we will be driving this forward and I particularly look forward to hearing from our members.”

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