Leaders of the nation’s largest construction companies are uniting this week to promote a new culture of worker safety, one that is changing the industry that built America.
The centerpiece of the campaign is Safety Week, running May 4-8, during which 44 sponsor companies will host activities nationwide to reinforce a commitment to ending jobsite accidents.
The construction industry, with roughly 10 million U.S. workers, is a driver of the economy and shaper of local communities.
The upcoming events underscore a national trend story: The industry is getting safer.
Federal statistics show the overall construction fatalities are down 36 percent since 2006. Among construction trade workers in particular, fatal work injuries have dropped 42 percent in that time. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
“Safety is who we are. That is now the fundamental mindset of our industry, and it is our responsibility to ensure the culture of safety deepens every day,” said Charlie Bacon, co-chair of Safety Week and CEO of Limbach Facility Services.
“Safety Week is a time to highlight an effort that we, as an industry, make year long. Our mission is making sure that at the end of every shift, all our workers go home safe to their loved ones. Safety takes work. It is no accident.”
Safety Week is supported by the federal agency charged with ensuring safe working conditions – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In an industry with a reputation for tough workers, today’s culture is one in which employees are constantly reminded of their loved ones when they make decisions on the job.
The old mentality of solely enforcing rules and punishing violators has been expanded to focus on the human cost of being safe, where workers intervene to help coworkers who may not be taking every safety precaution.
“Fluor Corporation understands that the protection of worker health and safety must be a core value and not just a priority,” said Herb Morgan, co-chair of Safety Week and senior vice president at Fluor.
Beginning May 4, each company will be holding scores of events ranging from fall protection to truck safety, from heat-stroke training to distracted-driving prevention. They will draw attention to the little details of everyday work – and the major commitment to safety – that help ensure they are protected from injury.