The first-ever construction industry safety week is wrapping, after having gained participation from the CEOs and leaders of 31 national and global construction firms representing the Construction Industry Safety Group and the Incident and Injury Free® CEO Forum.
Every year, more than 90,000 individuals are injured on construction jobsites across the U.S. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that 806 workers were killed in 2012, an increase of 9% over the previous year.
Coming together as an industry
The mission of Safety Week 2014: to eliminate worker injury by coming together as an industry to raise awareness about the importance of safety in the workplace; share safety ideas and best practices that can save lives and prevent injuries; and inspire the entire construction workforce to make the commitment to be pioneers in promoting a strong safety culture on every job site, every day. The group is also encouraging other companies to join them in their call to action to raise awareness for workplace safety and for living a safe and healthy lifestyle on and off the job.
“As leaders of the construction industry, we have an obligation to make safety our top priority and ensure that our employees and partners echo that commitment,” said Mike McNally, president and CEO of Skanska USA. “The analogy that I use with my colleagues is that if everyone in the pool is a lifeguard, no one drowns. We need to take care of ourselves and everyone around us. We need to work together as a team, and never stop educating, motivating and inspiring each other to practice safety with the highest possible standards in mind.”
More needs to be done
“The construction industry has improved its injury track record over the years, but much more needs to be done to ensure that every worker comes home safely to their families every day,” said Robert Alger, CEO of The Lane Construction Corporation. “It’s our job and responsibility to enforce the strictest safety measures on our jobsites, and we hope this safety campaign will lead to more sharing of ideas and engagement across the construction industry as a whole.”
“The construction industry is experiencing rapid growth, and we need to make sure that growth does not result in more workers being hurt and killed,” said Jim Maddux, Director, OSHA Directorate of Construction. “As new workers and new companies join the industry, we need to make sure contractors build safety into every construction project and every worker has the equipment and training to do the work safely. Your participation in this campaign is one way you can help make the industry safer.”
“It’s great to see industry leaders promote activities like Safety Week to raise awareness of construction safety and health,” said Pete Stafford, executive director of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, a nonprofit headquartered in Silver Spring, Md. “For us, as an organization devoted to construction industry research and training, it hopefully provides us an opportunity to partner and share all of the great resources we have on construction safety and health. We applaud the effort, and look forward to exploring combining forces with Safety Week sponsors in the future with our own national Construction Falls Fatalities campaign.”
Other construction firms, subcontractors and industry organizations across the country have heeded the call to action. More than 1,275 individuals have joined Safety Week’s LinkedIn group page to learn new safety procedures and share their own best practices and experiences.
This week, job sites across the country participated in a variety of activities that elevate worker safety and health. Some sites held training sessions, such as first responder training, emergency action drills and fire extinguishing exercises, while others will partner with local organizations to hold educational presentations on themes like defensive driving and how to use new safety tools. Sites also held informational sessions on important topics such as health screenings or hardhat inspection, and engage workers through fun activities and events such as safety trivia and scavenger hunts, family safety days, and lunches to celebrate employees’ commitment to safety.
For more information on Safety Week 2014, visit www.safetyweek2014.com.
The 31 sponsors of Safety Week 2014 are
Skanska USA; American Infrastructure; BMWC Constructors; Granite; Barnard; Kiewit; Manson Construction Co.; Terracon; Atkinson Construction; FlatIron Construction Corp; Hunter Roberts Construction Group; Lane Construction; Massman Construction; Traylor Bros, Inc.; Fluor; The J.F. Shea Company; Lend Lease; Mortenson Construction; Walsh Construction; Ames Construction, Inc.; Boh Bros Construction, LLC; Gilbane; JMJ Associates; Limbach; Nicholson; Weeks Marine; Baker Concrete Construction; Jacobs M+W Group; and Zachry.