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Industry

Construction Safety Week: Continue Learning

posted on 05.05.2022

The construction industry is filled with people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and experiences. How do we unite as one connected, supported, and safe industry? Sharing lessons learned on new innovations to a common issue or streamlining a task to make it safe and more efficient will allow us to continually learn and improve our overall safety.

 

TODAY'S TOPIC: CONTINUE LEARNING
Take time to plan an interactive demonstration aimed at improving the common knowledge of how to perform specific tasks safely. Seek out experienced crew members to help lead these discussions and demonstrations. Invite outside speakers to share insights and presentations and encourage participation from all in attendance. Make it interactive, educational, and fun. Here are a few examples to help you plan your demonstration day.

 

DEMO DAY EXAMPLES
A Safety Helmet Demonstration: Many companies are implementing the use of helmets rather than hard hats. Why might this be a good idea? Lead a discussion on the history of the hard hat, current head injury statistics, and why much of the industry is moving toward better head protection.

Emergency Action Planning: Do your team members know that to do in the case of an emergency, such as a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or some other type? Now is a good time to review your plan. Host discussions on potential emergencies that could arise and what protocols to follow. Maybe even run a mock drill a day or so after the demonstration.

Traffic Safety: Working in the public right-of-way can be extremely dangerous. As the weather warms up and road construction projects ramp up, it’s a great time to review the fundamentals of traffic safety. Set up a demonstration of traffic control and have experienced crew members or outside presenters lead the discussion.

Workplace Fatigue Awareness, Mental Health, and Nutrition: Invite outside speakers, such as nutritionists, wellness coaches, or personal trainers to come in and speak to the team. Focus on the realities of the work which can include long hours, long commutes, shift work, and much more. What practical things can one do to improve mental and physical health? If you offer an Employee Assistance Program, be sure to let your team know all the benefits offered.

Line of Fire Awareness: Take a deep look at past injuries or near misses experienced by members of your team or past incidents. Review the most likely line-of-fire injury potential on your site and how you’re handling it. Host discussions with project managers, team leaders or those workers with the most experience. Encourage your crews to search out other line-of-fire potential and reward them for their discoveries.

More ideas and examples for hosting your own demonstration day can be found at www.constructionsafetyweek.com.

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

1.) The History of the Hard Hat. Hard hats have come a long way since their origins on the battle fields of WWI. Back in those days, the number of construction workers getting killed on the job was a lot higher, owing largely to lax safety regulations and very basic standards of personal protective equipment. 
2.) 7 Safety Tips for Road Construction Work Zones. While there is a growing need for more road construction projects, states are starting to feel the pinch due to tighter budgets and a shrinking workforce. Even in the face of these variables, construction crews continue to take on high-risk projects on public roadways.
3.) Healthy Foods for Manual Laborers and Contractors. Poor diets and bad nutrition can have a detrimental effect on manual laborers and contractors: affecting their morale, safety, productivity and long-term health, according to a report by the  International Labor Organization, which examined the effects of poor nutrition on workers. 
4.) Don't Ignore Line of Fire Safety: Here's What You Need to Know. Did you know failure to have proper line of fire safety training could result in serious injuries? Line of fire hazards are one of the most deadly hazards in the construction and manufacturing industries — and are second only to slip and fall accidents.
5.) Is Your Construction Site Prepared for a Disaster? Natural and man-made disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. Because clear thinking is difficult when a crisis is occurring, creating emergency action plans in advance is the best way to ensure that the proper steps are taken when the “what if?” becomes “it’s happening!”

Industry

Construction Safety Week: Stay Safe

posted on 05.04.2022

While we pay particular attention to safety on the job during Construction Safety Week, safety should be a top priority the other 51 weeks of the year, too.

Each person on the job site has a duty to themselves and their coworkers to be constantly aware of potentially hazardous conditions. Policies surrounding PPE, fall protection, confined space, and more are what keep all involved safe and are the building block of a strong safety culture.

 

TODAY'S TOPIC: STAY SAFE
Did you know construction workers sustain more traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than employees at any other type of workplace in the U.S.? TBIs account for one-quarter of all construction fatalities, and more than half of fatal work-related traumatic injuries are the result of falls. This is a great reminder of one simple tool that can dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of TBIs: safety helmets!

 

HAZARD PLAN
You can’t construct a safety plan until you recognize the hazards. Don’t wait for an incident to happen before developing a good attitude toward safety. Focus on “state of mind/attitude," either before or during a task. Errors occur every day; we are human after all.

Put it to Action:
When you find yourself in a state of mind of rushing, frustration, feeling tired, or complacent, take action to prevent an error by:

- Recognizing the state of mind you are in and do something about it before making a mistake.
- Analyzing close calls and/or near misses.
- Looking for patterns that increase the risk of injury with everyone around you.

 

UNDERSTAND THE SAFETY PLAN
Safety plans will change from company to company, even task to task. Taking the time to educate yourself ensures you know the minimum requirements for each job and will ultimately keep everyone involved safe. If an item is not well-defined, ask your supervisor for clarification.

Proper PPE is key to staying safe. Although it is the last line of defense, everyone must remain committed to safety by supplying crews with the equipment and gear needed.

 

ASK FOR HELP
As much as we might hate to admit it, we have to accept the fact that we can’t do every particular job by ourselves. Material handling and confined space entries are two instances where teamwork is necessary. Accidents are more likely to occur if there is reluctance in asking for assistance with certain tasks. Don’t be too shy, too macho, or too experienced to ask for help. An injury isn’t worth it!

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

1.) How to Write a Construction Safety Plan. Having a thorough construction safety plan in place will give your team the direction to protect everyone on the job site and reassure the client that your company is capable of limiting hazards and responding to emergencies. 
2.) Construction Safety Products: Your Must-Haves. When performing your construction site hazard evaluation, be sure to take into account the different requirements of each role before selecting your preferred solutions.
3.) Switch to Safety Helmets; Here’s Why. Learn how safety helmets dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of traumatic injuries and fatalities on construction sites.
4.) Managing Complacency in Construction. To combat construction complacency and build enthusiasm, management must create ways to motivate employees and improve their job satisfaction.
5.) 10 Construction Injury Statistics (2022 Update). These statistics will give you some insight into how construction injuries happen as well as learn how to keep yourself safe in a construction environment. 

Industry

Construction Safety Week: Remain Connected

posted on 05.02.2022

Today kicks off the start of Construction Safety Week 2022, and it goes without saying that safety is something everyone on the jobsite and across the industry’s multitude of jobs will agree is a top priority. However, safety isn’t limited to the physical aspects of the job (through they are very important!). Mental health also needs to be a piece of the safety discussion.

Sadly, the suicide rate among construction and extraction workers is the highest of any occupation. This is according to a 2016 study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that looked at the correlation between suicide and occupation for the first time. The rate among construction is more than three times the national average, at 49.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 workers. (Source)

 

TODAY'S TOPIC: Remaining Connected
Remaining connected to your loved ones, your coworkers and crew members, and your community allows each of us to be bonded and know that we are not alone. Connection bring comfort. It brings peace of mind. It allows us to be open and honest about daily experiences – good and bad – and find common ground with others around us. In other words, we are each other’s keepers.

 

STAYING CONNECTED AT HOME
Research shows that social connections help support mental well-being and helps ward off depression, anxiety, and other health problems. Building on relationship with family members, friends, or even neighbors, can allow us to live happier lives and have a strong support network in times of need.

Put it to Action: Try to make one meaningful connection per day. In cases of long distance, keep in touch with web-based video calls or messages. Ask someone about their day, and really listen while showing sincere interest in what they have to share.

 

STAYING CONNECTED AT WORK
Stayed connected on the job creates a stronger and safer crew. A team’s success depends on good communication. Strong working relationships will help the team’s common goal. Connected crews also build trust in one another, minimize conflict, and ensure everyone understand the work plan.

Put it to Action: One way to actively keep connected with your coworkers is to engage in the daily job brief or weekly toolbox talk. Ask questions and share knowledge that is beneficial to your fellow crew members. Reach out and offer to help a new junior employee or ask questions of a senior employee you admire. A few simple questions can get, and keep, a conversation rolling.

 

 

HELPFUL LINKS

1.) Construction Safety Week. The official website and resource for this national week-long celebration.
2.) 5 Ways to Break the Ice at Work. Easy, easy ways to reach out and make connections with those you work with whether you’ve been on the job 10 years or are brand-new.
3.) Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
4.) Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via a medium people already use and trust: text.
5.) Tool Box Talk Guides for Suicide Prevention. Downloadable guides from the Construction Industry Alliance to help discuss a variety of tough subjects, such as suicide prevention and opiod addiction.

Industry

How to Make the Construction Industry Eco-Friendlier

posted on 04.22.2022

Happy Earth Day, construction workers!

Today, April 22, is the much-celebrated annual holiday known as Earth Day. As an industry, we should strive to make construction more efficient and eco-friendlier. What choices can we make across all parts of the industry that fill our need for infrastructure while keeping an eye on the future and protecting our world at the same time?

 

Start with Your Equipment
New technology and equipment investments can help improve the ROI on a project. Technology, which might feel scary at first, helps contractors get jobs done faster, reducing fuel consumption and allows contractors to move on to more jobs faster. Not to mention the carbon emission being saved by completing jobs faster and more efficiently.

 

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? However, many construction companies do not recycle materials on their jobsites. Estimates show that if all concrete and asphalt pavement generated annual in the U.S. were recycled, the energy equivalent of 1 billion gallons of gasoline, or 1 the removal of 1 million cars from the road, would be saved.

It’s not just good for the environment. Recycling can have economic benefits for your business, too! Some recyclers charge less to accept materials that can be recucled, especially if they are separated from other materials. Recycling or using material onsite can also reduce material hauling and disposal costs.

 

Research and Try New Materials
The industry also needs to look to more sustainable building materials to help preserve finite resources. For example, asphalt pavements are the number one recycled material in the U.S., using reclaimed asphalt pavement materials from old roads and parking lots and recycled asphalt roofing shingles. These reused materials are used in new asphalt pavement mixtures.

Other sustainable materials making waves inside the industry are composite roofing shingles, smart glass windows, bamboo floors, insulated concrete framing, solar panels, and eco-friendly hemp-based insulation.

 

Get to Know Green Rating Systems
If your company isn’t familiar with rating systems like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Envision: Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, Green Globes, Greenroads, Greenlites, etc., this is your sign to get to know them.

Learning about these programs can help put your company ahead of the competition.

 

Let’s work together toward a greener, healthier planet, and make everyday Earth Day.

Industry

SECTOR WATCH: Data Centers

posted on 02.21.2022

HUMMING ALONG IN 2022

While the type of surging demand data center construction saw during the pandemic would typically cool off as the world opens up, activity should keep humming along, thanks to a surge in orders by industries outside of e-commerce giants.

An increased diversity of business types building data center in 2022 that really stand out are sports arenas, convention centers, offices, hospitals and clinic projects. Cryptocurrency could also spark a surge in data center construction.

 

DEVELOPING TRENDS

Data center projects are getting longer while timelines and building schedules are getting shorter, said John Arcello, an advanced technology core market leader at DPR Construction.

The duration of a data center project previously could take around 2-3 years in the planning phase alone. But with the boom in pandemic-driven e-commerce, that process has been compressed to about 18 months. The actual construction phase of a project is even shorter, aided by standardized designs and repeatability in those designs.

Another trend affecting data center construction is the specific types of facilities that enterprises are using to meet their IT needs.

 

WHERE THESE PROJECTS ARE HAPPENING

Data center construction is concentrated in Northern Virginia, Dallas, Phoenix, Chicago, Silicon Valley, and Atlanta, according to a data center report from UK-based global real estate and infrastructure consultancy Turner & Townsen.

 

HOW MBEX MEMBER CAN BENEFIT

As of February 20, 2022, MBEX currently holds plans (by project category) for 78 Educational projects, 91 Local Government projects, 2 Office Building projects, 2 Health Care projects, and 1 Sports Complex project.

Also, when doing a Quick Search inside the MBEX Online Plan Room of ‘data center’ currently in the bidding phase, fifty different projects were pinged as a result.

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Read the full Sector Watch article on Construction Dive.

Industry

Projects to Watch in 2022: California High-Speed Rail

posted on 02.07.2022

This will be an 8-part series looking at some of 2022’s biggest project construction jobs.

A number of the nation’s largest construction projects are set to start construction, hit major development milestones, or otherwise spark interest in 2022. Priced from the hundreds of millions to the tens of billions, these developments-in-progress are notable for their size, impact and surrounding narratives.

For our second installment, we look at the Central Valley phase of the California High-Speed Rail project.

JUST THE FACTS: CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL
- Location: Central Valley, California
- Cost: $13.1 billion
- Project Size: 119-miles
- Fun Fact: Once complete, this will be the nation's first long-distance high-speed rail line.

Currently encompassing 35 construction sites across a 119-mile stretch of the Central Valley, the California High-Speed Rail project is divided across three design-build contracts: (1) Covering 32 miles of construction, the first Construction Package is led by Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons, and (2-3) Covering 65 miles of construction, the second and third Construction Package is led by Dragados/Flatiron. Roughly 1,000 construction workers are dispatched each day.

According to the State of California's High-Speed Rail Authority, this line is expected to run from San Fransisco to Los Angeles in under three hours via bullet trains moving up to 200 miles per hour. 

It's anticipated that operation between the two stops of San Fransisco and LA is expected to begin by December 2033. 

Learn more about this project, see progress photos, and watch video updates at buildHSR.com.

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