Today marks the start of the 2017 Construction Safety Week. Safety Week was created by a group of contractors with the common goal of elevating safety awareness to a new level. Being safe on every job site crosses competitive boundaries, which is why it is important to band together in a commitment to eliminating worker injury and to clearly communicate a shared culture of the belief that every week must be Safety Week.
You see construction workers every day, wearing brightly colored vests, hard hats, and other protective gear. They might be wrestling with heavy machinery, tightening a bolt four stories in the sky or kicking up dust with steel-toed boots as they move the earth beneath their feet.
There are thousands of workers in our communities currently working on millions of dollars of construction projects, which is especially evident if you visit downtown Des Moines right now. These men and women are literally reshaping our community – building roads, bridges, hospitals, homes, stores and parks. But, these workers face risks every day as they work with heavy equipment in dangerous places. It’s truly heartbreaking that across the U.S., nearly 80,000 workers suffer an on the job injury each year, and we’ve seen more than 800 deaths occur in any given year. That’s why we have joined hands with our colleagues at construction companies across the U.S. and Canada to hold an annual campaign to encourage workers to adopt safe work practices.
Safety Week is not only a celebration of our safety success, but a chance to remind everyone of the shared commitment to safety. Construction safety is truly a community-wide concern, especially when you consider not only the thousands of workers on job sites, but the millions of residents who drive or walk near those sites each day. We know that each worker on a job site leaves people he or she cares about each day to come to work, and we want to make sure all workers get home safely. We also know that any incident on a job site can have a financial impact on our community.
Safety is an essential part of MBI, and during Safety Week (May 1 – 5) we are with contractors across Iowa to remind workers about the steps we need take each day to remain safe.
So, the next time you pass a construction site, take a minute to consider the risks these workers are taking and give them a smile and a thumbs up.