EDA Contractors was excited to once again participate in Construction Safety Week. The theme for 2022 was Connected. Supported. Safe., and while we at EDA believe that these behaviors should be exhibited everyday on our jobsites, we were excited to take a week to recognize the importance of safety. Let’s take a look at what we focused on each day…
Monday, May 2: Remain Connected
Remaining connected is not just important on the jobsite. Staying connected at home to family and friends is related to how we stay connected and safe at work. Research shows that poor mental health may begin at home, but the results of being stressed in silence can lead to more mistakes and lost focus on jobsites. On the job, it is imperative that crews build trust, minimize conflict, and ensure everyone understands the work plan. There should be no such thing as working in silos in our industry because everybody’s work effects the safety of the entire crew and every person has a role in keeping their team safe.
Just like at work, keeping your personal connections close can have a major impact on safety in the field and is key to ensuring that you return home safely each night. By being more open with your family and friends about problems and speaking about what is on your mind, you can grow a strong support network when you are in need. Construction workers have some of the highest rates of suicides when compared to other professions, but by remaining connected both at home and at work, each of us can help change that. At EDA, we have a special commitment to suicide awareness and emotional intelligence that helps lay the groundwork for change in the industry.
Tuesday, May 3: Be Supported
Support can be shown in a number of ways and is integral to keeping your coworkers and yourself safe. Feeling supported helps us become more comfortable speaking up when something is wrong, and for many even a simple gesture can be the boost needed to get through the day safely. It is important to support workers that have the courage to speak up when something is wrong. This could mean voicing concerns when they don’t have proper PPE, tools, or equipment, not understanding a change on the jobsite, and more.
EDA encourages its employees to speak up, providing a workplace where people feel psychologically safe to address issues and safety concerns, build trust, and demonstrate our commitment to being successful together. At EDA, we expect that crews be willing to listen to each other and not be deterred by how a coworker will react. In addition, everybody – especially management – should be appreciative when somebody speaks up and shares their concerns. Being supported when voicing an opinion on safety is an important part of building trust and will make everybody more likely to speak up again in the future. Ultimately, it has the potential to save a life.
Just like remaining connected, being supported at work is often related to being supported at home. In today’s world, work life and home life are interconnected and many of our concerns and challenges at home will make their way into how we perform in our work. Aside from suicide, addiction is a major issue in the construction industry and is something that cannot be left at the door when you come to work. For many that struggle with addiction, knowing that you are supported and heard, is the first step to recovery. At EDA, one of the best ways to get support is through the EDA PACT Program. This initiative encourages all members of the EDA team to self-identify their substance abuse issues, assist them in seeking treatment, and helps to facilitate reentry into the field or workplace.
Wednesday, May 4: Stay Safe
Staying safe is the reason for safety week and each day is meant to give us a better understanding of what it takes to remain safe at work. According to OSHA, roughly 20%, or over 1,000 of private industry worker fatalities in recent years have happened in construction. Everybody has a duty to each other to recognize potentially hazardous situations and we each must be willing to work together to resolve them as soon as possible. To correct hazards, you should recognize and call out the issue, analyze and correct any close calls, and look for patterns that increase the risk of injury to you and your coworkers. Understanding and resolving hazards immediately is the first step to preventing unnecessary injuries.
In addition to recognizing hazards, be sure to always understand the safety plan for your job. Understanding the safety plan at each job will give you a basic understanding of the requirements for the site and help you remain safe. Oftentimes safety plans are revised based on lessons learned, so be sure to stay updated on your safety plan and ask for help if something doesn’t make sense. Asking for help should always be welcomed on your team, because everybody needs help at some point, and being reluctant to ask for help can lead to more accidents. In addition to asking for help, be sure to offer help to others as well. This will build a better team culture and also emphasizes the need for support.
Lastly, you cannot stay safe without teamwork. It takes a team to complete jobs safely and effectively. At EDA, “Build Trust” is one of our core values, and without trust you cannot have good team chemistry. Safety is a team effort and being a team means we all have a part to play in identifying hazards and preventing injuries. Nobody is above safety, and we all play a part in keeping each other safe.
Thursday, May 5: Continue Learning
Mike Constantino from Sales Solutions Inc. joined a group of workers from EDA Contractors to give a demonstration on fall protection.
When it comes to safety, we should never stop learning and developing new safety practices. Sharing lessons with each other is one way to keep all of us safe while developing a better support structure. At EDA, we believe that continued learning is a critical role in emphasizing the importance of our team’s safety and well-being. In conjunction with Sales Solutions Inc. presenter Mike Constantino, we conducted a live fall protection demonstration to highlight the importance of fall protection, provide opportunities for the EDA team to ask questions, and give resources to ensure that we are all equipped with the knowledge to stay safe on the job. Always remember to be proactive, remain open to learning, and pay attention to what is happening around you at all times. Learning about and being mindful of the first three days of Construction Safety Week are a great start to helping you stay safe and being a safety leader.
Friday, May 6: Thank You
The last day of Construction Safety Week is a day to thank everyone for their devotion to safety and reflect on things that we can do to be safer together. Don’t forget to have a plan and be mindful to identify, eliminate, and control potential hazards. Be sure to speak up when a work environment is not safe and always be supportive of somebody who raises these concern; if an environment is not safe for them, it is also not safe for you. Remember that you are a team and that teamwork is an important part of remaining safe on jobsites. Finally, safety does not start or end when you cross through the gates of the job; remaining connected and supported at home will have a direct impact on how you stay safe at work. Take care of yourself and seek assistance when you need help. When it comes to safety, you should never stop learning and you should always remain alert. At EDA safety is at the forefront of everything we do. From setting up jobsites, to continuous improvement practices, to education and training, we strive to be a leader in construction safety and we hope to influence positive change in all of the projects we work on.