First Construction Safety Week Aims for Change

May 9th, 2014 by DWM Magazine

The construction industry has seen a recent increase in fatalities on jobsites, and members across the industry have now come together this week to raise awareness about the importance of safety in the workplace in an effort to turn that trend around.

Leaders from 31 construction firms across the globe, representing the Construction Industry Safety Group and the Incident and Injury Free CEO forum, announced the first-every industry-wide “Safety Week,” which kicked off May 4 and runs through Saturday.

According to a press release, Safety Week 2014’s mission is to eliminate worker injury by bringing people throughout the construction industry to share safety ideas and best practices that can save lives and prevent injuries, in addition to inspiring the entire construction workforce “to make the commitment to be pioneers on promoting a strong safety culture on every job site, every day.”

According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 806 workers were killed on construction jobsites, a 9-percent increase over the previous year.

“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,” says 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,” adds Pete Stafford, executive director of 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 1,400 individuals have joined Safety Week’s LinkedIn group page to learn new safety procedures and share their own best practices and experiences—and many vow to keep the conversation going.

In fact, one member of the LinkedIn group, Jordan Kannon, Structural & Civil Engineering says, “Numbers vary, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows approximately 6 million employees in the construction industry. So this leaves a lot of room to gather additional members for this group. The more reading these discussions and participating [sic], the closer we can get to the goal of zero. If each person can gather one additional member, we will double the size of this group (two additional members will triple it).

“The discussions that are being created in this group as well as the range of participants (age, location and company) is incredible and I hope it continues well past this Friday,” he adds.
Join and follow the Safety Week 2014 conversation on social media using the hashtag #safetyweek2014. For more information visit the Safety Week 2014 website. www.safetyweek2014.com.

Please check out the below infographic, courtesy of Compliance and Safety, on safety in the workplace and the companies responsible for helping to keep you safe on the job.

 

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