BY BOB LANHAM
Since the start of the pandemic, members have engaged with AGC to overcome many different challenges. Foremost among those challenges has been keeping workers safe and healthy. That is why it was great to see so many members engaging earlier this year in two key AGC safety initiatives. The first was our nationwide COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week and the other was the AGC-supported National Construction Safety Week.
AGC organized the Vaccine Awareness Week after various reports noted that construction workers were among the least likely segment of the population to get vaccinated. Regardless of their ultimate accuracy, these reports presented us with an opportunity to urge members and AGC chapters to engage and educate workers about the safety of the vaccines and why it is so important for people to get their shot. Our mes-sage was simple: Just as you wouldn’t let a colleague walk on a jobsite without their PPE and get hurt, you shouldn’t let yourself walk on a jobsite and hurt your co-workers by not being vaccinated.
The response from members and chapters to our call for action was overwhelming. Members hosted vaccine clinics for their workers and their families. A number of these clinics took place right on the construction jobsite. Other firms even hosted vaccine clinics for all local con-struction workers, including one hosted by Tellepsen in my hometown of Houston, Texas. Many other firms hosted COVID-19 vaccine safety stand downs, where they talked about the safety of the vaccines, showed the public service announcement we created with the CDC, and en-couraged their workers to get their shot. Meanwhile, many AGC chapters hosted their own local vaccine clinics. I am confident that tens of thousands of construction workers have their vaccine because of our efforts. It is hard to think of a more significant service to our country than so many members and chapters doing their part to put an end to the pandemic.
AGC organized the Vaccine Awareness Week after various reports noted that construction workers were among the least likely segment of the population to get vaccinated.
AGC also continues to serve as a signature supporter of National Construction Safety Week. This is an industry-led national effort to focus on construction safety and health education. It is a week when we ask member firms to organize safety stand downs and reinforce key safety messages. The goal is to further reduce construction-related accidents, injuries and fatalities.
And just like with the vaccine awareness effort, we saw a tremendous number of members and chapters engaging in this vital safety cam-paign. Firms held safety stand downs and organized safety lunches. They recognized safe behavior, they pointed out new and existing hazards, and they talked about the steps employees should take to protect their mental health, in addition to their physical well-being. Chapters played a vital role in making National Construction Safety Week a success too — pushing out important information, organizing their own safety events and supporting their member events.
Last year, members across the country engaged to show the country how the construction industry could work safely during a pandemic. Thanks to their engagement, we succeeded and kept America building in most parts of the country. And now, thanks to their continued engagement, they are showing America how to get vaccinated and how to apply last year’s safety lessons to the everyday