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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.

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Although it’s often viewed as a male-dominated industry, the number of women in construction continues to rise. This is due to the fact that the industry offers women a smaller gender pay gap and more opportunities for advancement

In honor of Women in Construction Week, we want to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry.

History of Women in Construction 

Women have played a key role in the growth and advancement of construction throughout history. In fact, without women, some of the most iconic bridges would not be built, such as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge is a widely-known masterpiece of architecture. However, it would not be complete if it weren’t for Emily Warren Roebling. In 1870, Washington Roebling became bedridden and unable to oversee the continuation of the project. His wife stepped in to fill his position as chief engineer and worked on the bridge until its completion over a decade later.

With time, more and more women continued to play an important role in the industry and even became known as industry leaders. A great example of this is Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-British architect, who became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Some of her work includes the Danjiang Bridge, the world’s largest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge with a single tower.

The Impact of Diversity

Despite the low numbers of women working in construction, a recent report reveals that gender-diverse companies are more likely to achieve above-average profitability. It also indicates that companies with at least 30% or more women executive-level positions had a 48% likelihood of outperforming other businesses.  

This means that diversifying your company can have some major advantages. Ensuring a diverse staff can not only help bring women into the industry but can also provide new viewpoints to projects. Schools and education programs can also help by highlighting the value of working in the construction industry.

With more companies chipping away at gender norms, the industry is taking larger steps than ever before at becoming a more diverse and inclusive space for future generations of women.

Women in Leadership Positions

The areas in which women are most underrepresented are in trade and executive positions. The lack of women in these positions makes the industry often appear intimidating. Because of this, many organizations are making efforts to promote more women into leadership positions.

Aside from education, many resources and organizations provide mentorships, marketing, and networking opportunities. Organizations such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) provide resources for women to help ensure business success.

There have also been efforts in educating women about the benefits of working in construction. Communities and construction companies have worked together to help bring awareness to the industry by offering boot camps and classes to interested women.

Recruiting Women into the Industry

So what can construction companies do to help women in the industry? Well, one aspect to consider is the way you recruit staff members.

Job Listings

Ensure that your job listings include gender-neutral terms so as to not unintentionally turn off potential candidates. In addition, make sure to highlight the company’s commitment to staff diversity and inclusion.

The Hiring Process

Including women in the hiring process for your company will not only encourage the women applying but also reaffirm your company’s commitment to diversity.

Internal Support

Consider partnering with organizations such as NAWIC and Women Construction Owners & Executives USA for mentorship and conference seminars. An apprenticeship program is another great way to attract women to trade work as well.

Working with U.S. Bridge

Here at U.S. Bridge, we are proud of the women who make up our team in all parts of our operations. It is their hard work and determination that help shape U.S. Bridge into the high-quality business we are known for.

If you would like to know more about our construction process or bridge design feel free to contact us. Also, check out our exclusive BridgeScope tool designed to provide a free quote in just five minutes!

Even as temperatures drop, construction work continues. It’s important for worker safety and health, and job productivity for all workers to stay warm as much as possible during winter construction.

While job efficiency is important, an even more important factor is worker health. Without healthy employees, a whole construction can get disrupted and cause delays. The health of any worker is a crucial area of concern during the cold winter months.

Here are five ways that a construction worker can stay warm during the cold winter months:

1. Watch Fingers & Toes

The most exposed parts of our bodies, our extremities, are often the most vulnerable in cold weather. When it’s cold, it forces our bodies to work harder to keep blood flowing to our core.

That means exposed areas such as our fingers and toes are prone to suffer from a cold-related injury such as chilblains or frostbite. Wool socks and warm gloves are the first lines of protection against the cold. If one pair of gloves isn’t enough, look into glove liners.

Also, consider using composite-toe boots as opposed to steel-toed boots during winter construction. Steel-toed boots can exacerbate the cold by not keeping your toes warm. Though a steel toe does offer more protection for your toes, a composite toe boot will keep your toes warm throughout the cold day. Hand warmers and feet warmers can also help keep you warm. Plus, they can be easily concealed.

2. Stay Dry

Nothing is worse than being cold and wet at the same time, especially on cold and slushy days. Sometimes winter construction means snow, sleet, rain, or a messy combination of all three. If it’s not bad enough to shut down the site for the day, be sure to stay dry.

Wearing moisture-wicking material close to your skin will help keep moisture from lowering body temperature. One last way to stay dry is probably the most obvious, but goes without saying; invest in a waterproof outer layer as well for even more protection against damp weather.

3. Have Extra Pairs of Everything

Imagine yourself waking up on a cold winter morning, you are getting ready for the workday, and you put on your favorite pair of long johns, and you find a giant hole in the most inconvenient spot. Now you have to go through the day with a giant hole in your long johns, exposing yourself to a cold, damp tundra.

Avoid this nightmare situation by investing in extra pairs of gloves, socks, liners, moisture-wicking material, and of course, long johns. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, so some of these extra items might be used to double up when it gets frigid for extra warmth.

4. Keep Your Head and Neck Covered

As mentioned in our first tip, keeping your extremities covered is vital to staying warm and often overlooked extremities are our ears and neck. Ears get cold extremely fast and while it’s a myth that you lose a majority of your heat through your head, it’s still wise to keep your head covered while out in the cold. Earmuffs, a warm scarf and a turtleneck will go a long way to insulating your body heat while enduring the cold weather.

Ears can be overlooked as an extremity, but they can get cold fast.

5. Fuel Your Body

Have a thermos with you of a hot beverage or soup to help you stay warm. Your body uses a lot of energy when you’re working, especially in the cold so it’s important to have hot beverages and meals to fuel your body. Eat an extra meal or consume hot caffeinated beverages to help you stay warm and also fight the lethargy of the cold.

During winter construction, it also helps to take frequent breaks and give crews somewhere to get warm. Make sure your workers are aware of the signs of overexposure and what to do.

All of these things will help to keep you warm on a construction site.

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we work hard to meet the needs of our staff, our customers, and the industry with our attention to detail, our high-quality materials, and our 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.