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Every year in May the industry brings attention to different ways we can keep construction workers safe with Construction Safety Week. Although it often focuses on ways we can keep workers safe physically, it also covers mental health issues within the industry as well.

In celebration of this, here are some tips on how construction workers can stay safe and build a more secure industry.

Construction Safety Week 2022

This year, in particular, the theme “Connected. Supported. Safe.” is meant to emphasize mental health safety by encouraging workers to build connections and support within the industry.

In fact, a study conducted by CIRP revealed that 83% of construction workers struggle with mental health issues. As the world and the industry still slowly recover from COVID-19, it’s not surprising that many are bringing attention to this topic.

Connected. Supported. Safe.

Build Connections

Not only do we urge workers to stay connected with their loved ones but we also strongly suggest building connections with fellow crew members. Without a doubt, connection brings comfort, and this brings peace of mind. But building connections within your team and even better, the industry, allows for more open and honest discussions.

This leads to having a healthy work environment where a foundation of care goes beyond profits. In turn, this builds a stronger and safer crew and work environment.

Be Supportive

Though the topic of mental health might feel taboo or negative, the first step is starting the discussion. Discussion allows workers to identify any potential struggles in themselves and helps them to find an appropriate solution. Support crewmates by hearing them out, allowing for a safe and informed workplace.

When a crew member supports another crew member, it is likely to become even more support for the team as a whole. This will also give workers the courage to speak up against unsafe work conditions.

Stay Safe

Safety is the overarching theme, but what does it mean to be safe?

Each crew member has a duty to be constantly aware of any hazardous conditions that might harm the project and fellow crewmates. Communication creates a safer worksite, both verbal and written communication help. But also signage indicating on-site hazards can create a safer work environment.

Supervision is also crucial to any safe worksite. Defining and enforcing safety procedures is essential. A safety-conscious supervisor is capable of enforcing safety procedures. They can also keep an eye on operations, and take corrective action when a worker fails to follow proper procedures.

Continue Learning

What makes an industry safe and successful is when members share new discoveries and methods with each other. Sharing lessons on new innovations on common issues or streamlining tasks will make it a safer and more efficient industry. It will also permit continuous learning. This will ensure workers of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures can join together in making the construction world a much safer place to work.

Take the time to make safety a priority at your worksite. Enforcing safety procedures and standards creates a safer workplace and decreases the chance for error. Starting a conversation on mental health makes for more self-aware crews. Awareness is one of the most important tools to help supervisors support mental health in their worksite.

Stay Safe with a Reliable Team

Throughout our decades of high-quality manufacturing, we have made safety a priority above all else. Our workers and leaders work together in a healthy and collaborative atmosphere. This is how we create the best-prefabricated bridges that the industry has to offer.

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

Construction sites are a common place for trespassing and theft to occur, especially when working on residential and commercial sites. In fact, a study conducted found that less than 25% of all items stolen from construction sites are ever recovered. Strong construction site security can keep workers safe, save companies money, and keep projects on time.

Here are some key tactics to consider for maintaining a tight security and keeping your workers and materials safe.

Fences & Locks

Secure fences and locks are a great way to deter trespassers. Make sure that your construction site has a perimeter fence with strong locks to protect equipment storage, expensive supplies, and data. For an even more effective site security, consider tools like electronic locks with keycard or code access.

It’ll provide stronger protection and appear more intimidating to thefts or invaders. Plus, you can even limit access to areas of the job site for certain individuals.

Posts Signs Around the Site

Don’t underestimate the benefit of a well-placed sign. Signs that the site is under 24×7 video surveillance, as well as fines and penalties, can go a long way. This is a great option especially for construction sites that are left unoccupied for extended periods. Having signs around will often prevent theft and vandalism from young trouble-makers looking to stir up some trouble. 

Invest in the Right Tools

Video surveillance systems are a great construction site security solution. They can perform multiple functions, including a full view of your site, 24/7 motion-recording, or even thermal detection. Some systems are also monitored live by security companies who can directly contact the authorities if needed.

Nowadays there are a lot of different options for alarm systems. Instead of getting a loud overbearing alarm, consider a silent alarm that directly notifies essential personnel. This way you can avoid panicking workers or the thief and catch them without delaying the project.

If an alarm system is out of the budget, bright lighting is another great option that will keep your workers and materials safe. Not only will it make it easier for your crew but tools like floodlights make it difficult for thieves to hide or operate unseen. This can discourage them from stealing from your site to look for easier prey. 

On-site Security 

Hiring on-site staff is always an option when you’re looking for strong construction site security. However, this option may be better suited for bigger construction projects or those in residential and commercial areas. Depending on your location, you should be able to find various options for private security for hire.

While it may seem unnecessary, it can save you not only the money of replacing equipment and tools but also lost project time. Compare the costs against purchasing tools like cameras and an alarm system vs personal security to determine which option works best for your project.

Keep Meticulous Records

One easy and effective method for preventing theft is tracking tool usage and inventory. Knowing that at the end of the day someone is checking the items may dissuade workers from attempting to swipe a small piece.

Keep detailed records of what materials and machines are on your site. Write down serial numbers, the equipment’s PIN, or use barcodes to keep easy track of your items and where they should be. Consider registering with companies like the National Equipment Register or the Heavy Equipment Registration to register your heavy equipment. Registering your equipment will help law enforcement to locate and recover your stolen items.

Construction site security concerns everyone involved in the project. Enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding site access and site conduct. This policy along with the tips above should keep your construction site safe.

Build with U.S. Bridge

With decades of bridge design and building experience, U.S. Bridge is proud to work with companies all around the world. Our bridges are well-made, easy to maintain, and available in a variety of designs. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise will fit the needs of your project. Contact us on our website to learn more about our bridges or how we can help you with your project. Or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote!

Whatever span you need to cross, U.S. Bridge has what you need.

On August 10th the Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill intended to invest into America’s economy and roadways. The approval on the 2, 702-page bill came after months of negotiations and deficit concerns. This past Monday, President Biden signed the new bill into law.

The Infrastructure Bill

After passing congress in a 69-30 vote, the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill was later signed into law by President Joe Biden— providing one of the biggest investments in infrastructure in over a decade.

The bill is said to encompass physical structures such as roads, bridges, waterways, and airports. And it includes around $550 billion in new spending, as well as $450 billion in previously approved infrastructure investments.

The idea behind the bills’ spending allocations is to combine the urgent need to fix the country’s deteriorating infrastructure while also tackling long-term goals such as climate change. That’s not all, the hope is that a sequel of the bill will be proposed in later years.

Regardless, the Congressional Budget Office still fears that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill would increase federal budget deficits. This assessment, however, was rejected by negotiators who argue that the CBO did not adequately consider the revenue the bill would generate.

Estimated Benefits

Aside from greatly improving America’s infrastructure system, another major goal is to greatly boost the economy. The bill proposes around $110 billion to replace and repair roads, bridges, and highways, and $66 billion for passenger and freight rail. This marks the most significant investment into the country’s railways for almost half a century.

An additional $55 billion is intended to repair the U.S. water supply; as well as $65 billion to improve the country’s power grid. A small portion of the bill is devoted to rehabilitating waterways, improving airports, and expanding broadband Internet service.

These surges of construction projects are intended to ensure new jobs across the country and a steady rise in the construction industry.

In Senator Portman’s speech regarding the bill, he stated, “It will improve the lives of all Americans.” And continues with “People do expect here in America, [with] this great economy we have, we should also be able to lead the world in infrastructure. But we don’t.” The hope is that the infrastructure bill will provide the improvements necessary to revamp the country’s infrastructure.

Build with U.S. Bridge

U.S. Bridge is an industry leader and expert with projects and experience all around the world.

Visit our blogs for more information on the construction industry or our services. Get a quote from us for your next bridge project or learn more about our steel bridges. Together, we’ll build a better future for America’s infrastructure.

Unresolved conflicts in any workplace can cause a handful of lingering ill-effects such as poor morale, hostility, and inefficient work. The most effective way to handle a dispute is by being prepared with a response plan. To help we’ve compiled a list of tips for conflict resolution in the construction industry.

Addressing the Conflict

Whether passive or combative, allowing conflict to linger is deadly for workplace morale and productivity. Disagreements can easily occur in projects between crew members within a team, supervisors, suppliers, or contractors. Your first step should be to address the conflict head-on as quickly as possible with all the parties involved. The most effective way to do this is by understanding the underlying points of the situation.

Arguments are often due to misunderstandings between parties caused by poor communication or by different interpretations of the project. Sometimes the wrong materials are delivered, equipment is damaged, or a crew member isn’t abiding by company rules. This can delay productivity and jeopardize the project.

As construction sites are already a stressful environment, you might have to calm everyone down before you can get them to calmly discuss what happened. Building a timeline and talking to others helps ensure that there isn’t another underlying cause that you’ve missed that could arise again later.

Then, once you’ve identified every individual involved and their point of view you can then begin to determine how everyone arrived at their current state. 

In some instances, it is easier to keep the dispute contained, however, if the issue is more pervasive it may need to be addressed at a larger scale, for instance, throughout an entire department.

Developing a Resolution

A strong conflict resolution ensures that everyone impacted understands the decision initiated. When developing a conflict resolution on construction sites, or really in general, chances are not everyone will be thrilled with the final result. Demonstrating competence, fairness, and respect for the project and all its stakeholders will encourage others to feel confident in your decisions.

By this point, you’ve already identified the root cause. Most likely your project is comprised of various team members, so you want to build a compromise that will salvage your relationship.

But don’t just focus on the people, instead, look at the problem itself. Consider what is important vs. what is urgent for the matter at hand and the project overall. An acceptable solution often requires both disputants to compromise.

Be clear in your delivery. It’s vital that everyone understands what to expect moving forward. Once a decision is made, offer a rationalization and a follow-up to make it easier for others to accept.

Consider Proactive Measures

You don’t have to wait until after a confrontation to start thinking about how to stop fights. Businesses can take proactive steps to avoid conflicts by building teamwork and enrolling their crew in conflict resolution training. Although this may seem more costly and time-consuming in the beginning, it does save crew time, money, and face by being able to avoid conflict before it even begins. Not to mention, it leaves a better impression on others.

In the end, conflicts are going to happen in any workplace. What’s important is how you react to them. The best way to keep productivity, employee morale, and overall job satisfaction up is through a well-established plan

Success with U.S. Bridge

When it comes to your construction project you only want the best. Our 80+ years working with various companies all across the world has provided us with the skills and experience needed for even the most challenging projects.

At U.S. Bridge, we serve to meet the needs of our customers and the industry with our high-quality materials and skills.

Interested in starting your project with us? Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

A crisis on a construction site can mean a lot of different things; a natural disaster, medical emergency, hazardous materials or accidents, and more. No matter what it is, a crisis will always have a huge impact on job sites and project funding. The best way to mitigate its effects is with a well-developed crisis management plan. But how do you plan for the unexpected?

The Importance of a Crisis Management Plan

A crisis in any job occupation is a mess and naturally the same applies to construction. It affects all subcontractors, trades, and shipments involved in the project. Plus the delay means a potential loss of money and credibility. A company or crew that can successfully navigate that kind of situation not only proves its leadership and adaptability but also leaves a positive impression.

A prompt and well-organized response will minimize the negative effects of a crisis on the project and your business.

Identify Potential Crises

In order to properly plan for something, you need to know what exactly you’re planning for. Obviously, this becomes tricky when you’re trying to plan for something unexpected. But one way to make it easier is to identify every potential crisis in a project before construction even begins. Even if it never actually happens it’s good to acknowledge every area of the project that could go wrong or that could be a potential danger to the crew. Once you thoroughly identify every potential crisis then you are able to take the next step of the planning process.

Develop a Response

With your list of potential crises, you can now begin crafting a practical strategy. The best crisis management plan is tailored to the construction project and takes location, type of construction, and external conflict into consideration. Understanding what and who is needed for each crisis early on will help you establish a well-planned and effective response. Using this information, create step-by-step templates for different emergency situations. This guide should include a list of risk factors, site hazards, and each person’s role before, during, and after the crisis.

Now, you can then begin to consider what resources such as equipment and materials are needed to address the situation. In addition, you should predetermine your evacuation routes and communication line beforehand and confirm that your crew knows as well.

Establish a Communication Line

An important part of your crisis management plan is establishing a line of communication with local off-site first-aid responders such as hospitals, police, and fire departments. Connecting first responders with construction engineers, project managers, or others who have a thorough understanding of the job site will speed the crisis response. In addition, develop an efficient method to communicate with employees and their families in emergency situations.

The coordination of a well-developed crisis management plan will help you not only handle the crisis as it happens but become pivotal in the investigation of the crisis afterward.

Train your Team

A good crisis management plan is only helpful if your team actually knows it. Training will help your team recognize their areas of weakness as well as any weaknesses in the plan itself. Include a safety checklist to determine how prepared your team and job site are for a real crisis.

Create a system or policy that confirms that training is updated regularly to ensure the best results. Conducting mock drills and training will not only reinforce the plan to your crew but also produce a prompt and well-trained response.

Consider the Aftereffects 

The crisis doesn’t just end when the emergency is over. As a business, it’s important that you have a public relations strategy prepared to avoid causing irreparable damage to the company. This plan of action should specify what you can and can’t say as well as who will be overseeing public announcements. It’s important to have a strategy in place beforehand when you have more time to think than make a mistake in the heat of the moment.

Working with U.S. Bridge

Our 80 years of construction experience is why we can handle construction projects of various caliber. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise is just what you’re looking for to complete your project! Contact us on our website to learn more about how we can turn your project into a success or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.