Getting a job in Britain Part thirteen: Working in the building trade

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This is the first of a two-part piece on language you might need if you are working in the building trade in Britain. This week we will look at useful language on a building site.

This is the first of a two-part piece on language you might need if you are working in the building trade in Britain. This week we will look at useful language on a building site.

Some things you might hear your employer say to you:
We have a deadline to meet.
– Mamy termin na zrobienie tego.
In other words, time is important.
Take it over to the building site.
– Zanieś to na budowę.
Use the hoist for this load.
If you remember from last week a hoist is a kind of crane. On a building site the word normally means a rope over a pulley (a wheel) attached to a small platform.
You need an HGV licence to drive this.
HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle.
Wear a hard hat at all times.
– Cały czas noś kask.
Do you have a good head for heights?
– Czy nie masz lęku wysokości?
This question asks if you get frightened if you work high up. The name for a fear of heights is vertigo, about the only fear that does not end in phobia.

We’ll pick you up from the end of the road.
– Weźmiemy Cię z końca ulicy.
Many building companies will provide transport to and from the site if you live near to the route most people take in to work.

A supplier might say:
We can deliver it for you. What’s the address?
Możemy to do Panu dostarczyć. Jaki jest Pana adres?
To which you might answer:
It’s OK. I’ve got my own transport.
– OK, mam własny transport.
We can start as soon as the next delivery arrives.
– Możemy rozpocząć jak tylko otrzymamy kolejną dostawę.
Do you have any experience with this sort of machinery?
– Czy ma Pan doświadczenie w obsłudze takich urządzeń?
If you are asked to do something that legally needs an expert, and you are not that sort of expert, this phrase will be useful:
I’m not qualified for this sort of work.
– Nie posiadam kwalifikacji do tego typu prac.

Some general phrases you may hear or use:
Could you lend me a hand with this?
– Czy możesz mi z tym pomóc?
Keep it level.
– Utrzymuj poziom.
Mind your back! This is said when someone is trying to get past behind you with something wide or heavy.

Unload this lot as soon as possible. We need the van for another job.
I’ve got three more deliveries to make before lunchtime. Tie a rag to the end.
A rag is a piece of cloth or fabric. If you haven’t got a red warning triangle and your van is carrying something that sticks out the back, you may be told to do this. We can’t do any more work in this rain. If this happens, we say that the job has been rained off. There’s a canteen on the site. One other vocabulary point: The word lay is what people do to concrete when they are making a floor. The word lie is what you do in bed. Health And Safety is a phrase you will hear a lot. It is the official law about what you can and can’t do at work because of safety matters. It’s often pronounced without the H, as ‘elf an safety. By law there must be a large Health And Safety notice somewhere on the building site, as there has to be one visible in just about all places where people work. I don’t think I have met too many people who have read the whole thing, so don’t worry if it all looks too confusing. On the other hand, your employer expects you to read it, so that he or she is protected against legal action from careless employees.
Apart from the usual common sense regulations, remember that nearly all work places in Britain are non-smoking, and even building sites may have rules about whether you can smoke on the job. You will probably find that smoking in the minibus to and from the site is also banned. Don’t confuse it with the Polish laws on smoking which everyone knows about and nobody takes any notice of. In Britain people can contact the police if someone breaks this particular law.

polecane: Flesz: Historyczny sukces Polki. Mamy Nagrodę Nobla!

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