A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—Builders, Bricklayers, Stone and Slate Workers; Contractors

564.—Builders' Labourers

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block and fall man
fixes pulleys in position on building scaffold, and ropes or chains for working pulleys, by which building material is hauled up to stagings; work usually done by scaffolder (q.v.).
brick chipper, brick cleaner
cleans previously used bricks, ready to be used again, by chipping them with an axe or chopper to remove pieces of mortar or cement adhering to them.
builder's labourer
assists, or waits upon, skilled building trades operative in a great variety of jobs.
drainer (builder's)
a skilled navvy (581) (q.v.), or labourer who digs channels, water courses, or sewers, to carry off water or drainage; sometimes lines channel with brick or concrete, usually done by bricklayer (565).
excavator (builder's)
(i) a navvy (581) (q.v.) engaged in digging out soil, with shovel, for foundations of buildings, trenches for drains, etc.;
(ii) helps to set up mechanical excavator, e.g., steam navvy, steam shovel, and remove excavated soil in barrows, or shovels it into skips or tubs, etc., for removal.
mortar grinder, mortar mill grinder
shovels rubble, bricks, sand, stone, lime, cement, or other materials into pan of machine, which either grinds them, simply, in dry state, or grinds and also mixes them into mortar; in latter ease, regulates by means of tap flow of water into pan; shovels ground and/or mixed material out of pan when operation is complete.
mortar mill labourer
assists mortar grinder (q.v.) in shovelling materials into mortar grinding or mixing machine, and in removing ground material, or mortar, therefrom; sometimes also wheels materials to machine, and wheels powdered material or mortar away, in a barrow.
mortar mixer
mixes mortar, for use of bricklayer (565), mason (572), etc. (q.v.); makes ring of sand, with shovel, and shovels lime into centre of ring; pours water on lime, to slake it; when it is slaked, pours on more water, draws sand into lime with a long-handled tool, i.e., larry, and works materials to and fro until they are thoroughly mixed; prior to mixing, sifts sand, if necessary, with a hand sieve or by throwing it, with a shovel, against a vertical sieve.
mosaic worker's labourer
a builder's labourer (q.v.) who mixes sand, cement, and water with a shovel, in correct proportions, as instructed by foreman (561) (q.v.); carries mixture to mosaic worker (571) (q.v.) for use in making cement bed for mosaics; also makes a slurry of cement with water, by stirring it about with shovel to make liquid cement for pouring over mosaic when laid; carries slurry to mosaic worker in pail or other receptacle.
pug mill machineman, pug mill worker
see mortar grinder; pug mill is commonly, though incorrectly used in building trade to denote an edge runner mortar grinding pan, driven by power; cf. pug miller (119).
rigger, scaffold rigger
see scaffolder.
scaffolder, scaffold builder ; rigger, scaffold rigger, slinger, staging hand
(i) sets up vertical poles, and secures them firmly in earth or in tubs filled with soil; attaches horizontal and diagonal poles, and putlogs, i.e., short horizontal poles at right angles to longer horizontal poles, thereto with ropes or chains, and tightens knots in ropes or chains by hammering wedges into them; lays boards across putlogs to form staging on which bricklayers (565), etc. (q.v.) work; erects pulleys, or blocks and falls, for use in raising material to staging;
(ii) erects patent scaffolding, i.e., steel tubes fitting into one another, which he secures by bolts.
see scaffolder.
staging hand
see scaffolder.
yard boy
engaged upon light unskilled labour in or about a builder's yard, e.g., sweeping and stacking material.
yard man
does the heavier type of unskilled labour in builder's yard, e.g., loading and unloading material, stacking heavy material, and preparing trucks of materials for jobs, as required.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.