BY MIKE MCKELVY, CEO, GILBANE BUILDING COMPANY, AND CO-CHAIR, NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY WEEK
In the construction industry, safety is a value and belief shared by all. Since 2014, national and global construction firms have joined forces during an annual industry-wide initiative designed to celebrate and promote a continued commitment to safety. Construction Safety Week is a fully integrated annual campaign with a growing number of members and sponsors. It is an opportunity for companies across the spectrum of construction services to come together and inspire everyone to be leaders in safety.
The risks across our field are real, including the ones we cannot physically see. When it comes to creating a safe and productive work environment, construction leaders recognize the importance of creating both physically and mentally safe spaces. Safety Week 2021 will take place May 3-7, and the theme this year is Committed to Holistic Safety. The commitment to staying safe and focused on the job is a point of pride and strength that runs across the entire construction industry. Safety extends beyond gloves, glasses, and harnesses — an individual’s focus and choices have real consequences for everyone around them. For that reason, it is critical that both physical and mental safety in the workplace are prioritized and recognized as playing important roles in the wellbeing of workers in the industry.
Construction workers are statistically at a higher risk for mental health issues than virtually any other occupation. Conversations about widespread issues involving depression, stress, anxiety and substance abuse among construction workers have recently become less stigmatized, but there are still critical steps companies across the industry can take to help support mental health in the workplace. Awareness is the most important tool in opening a dialogue that helps individuals identify struggles and feel comfortable coming forward to find support. This year, construction leaders joined together to provide resources and education that will further drive a collective commitment to holistic safety. The industry’s culture of safety has expanded to include mental wellbeing with the goal of reducing factors that increase risks on the job.
Be sure to listen to AGC’s latest ConstructorCast episode, Committed To Holistic Safety. President and CEO at Gilbane Building Company Mike McKelvy covers everything you need to know about Construction Safety Week 2021 – happening May 3rd through May 7th. Mike shares his excitement to be the chairman of this year’s event and his passion behind the “Holistic Safety” theme; walks through the wealth of planning resources and communication tools that firms can use to participate. Also hear from Kevin Cannon, head of AGC’s safety and health services, on what you need to know about OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which is happening the same week.
Whether it’s through education and awareness activities, promotional events or sharing of safety stories, there are many ways to participate and support Safety Week 2021. Please visit constructionsafetyweek.com for full details on how you can get involved, including daily topics designed to spark team discussions and downloadable resources/materials.
Additionally, tune into activities leading up to Safety Week including a webinar — Committed to Holistic Safety — hosted by Engineering News-Record (ENR) on March 17 from 2-3 p.m. (EST) and an AGC ConstructorCast podcast episode available now.
If you or someone you know is struggling or having a hard time, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741.