Construction Safety Week highlights the importance of safety on the job site and beyond. On a daily basis, tradespeople are exposed to potentially hazardous conditions, tools and materials. To protect all workers on the job, the union construction industry values safety training above all else. Mandatory training and education factor into why unionized construction workers face 34% fewer health and safety violations than their nonunion counterparts.
Safety training begins at the start of a union trades apprenticeship with OSHA-10 certification. For the next 3-5 years, apprentices are taught by certified training instructors and experienced journeymen. Continuing education and training opportunities are offered to every union tradesperson, helping the industry to stay at the forefront of new safety practices. Many local contractors employ safety professionals to manage and maintain safety protocols on job sites, furthering the industry’s commitment to safety.
Mental & Physical Health
Union construction’s investment in their people is their greatest asset. This also extends to mental health resources. Union-funded Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) support members by connecting them to mental health resources. A sound mind and a sound body are equally important for a tradesperson to have a lasting career. Simple things like stretching at the beginning and end of every day and properly lifting tools and materials can make a huge difference in the way your body functions throughout a tradesperson’s career.
Hard hats save lives, and the importance of proper PPE cannot be overstated. Fitted hard hats or helmets, safety glasses, hi-vis shirts or vests, steel-toed boots, ear protection and gloves are used to protect everyone on a project. In the past few years, the conversation of safety helmets vs hard hats has grown. Though more expensive, helmets seem to be a positive investment in a company’s safety policy.
Falls are the leading cause of death and injury on job sites. These tragedies are preventable with the right training, communication, PPE (belts, harnesses, lanyards, etc.) and blocked off hazards. CPWR is the nation’s leader in fall protection research and provides resources for contractors looking to create or maintain fall protection programs.
Job site safety is a choice. Our region’s union trades and contractors choose to invest in their people’s safety because everyone deserves to come home at the end of the workday.