Why Don’t We Do This More?

The Value of Safety Stand-Downs & The Impact of Construction Safety Week

Why Don’t We Do This More?

The Value of Safety Stand-Downs & The Impact of Construction Safety Week

Another Construction Safety Week has come to a close and GPRS logged record-breaking attendance!

Our Business Development Managers, Area Managers, and Project Managers organized 187 separate safety stand-downs/lunch & learn meetings across the country and trained over 16,500 workers on the best practices for construction site safety.

Construction workers gather on job sites for GPRS’ Construction Safety Week Talks

That 16,500 number includes 4,500 more workers than we reached in 2022, and is a new attendance record since GPRS became a sponsor of the event in 2020.

GPRS Western U.S Sales Director Dave Mulcahey attributes the surge in attendance to a rising interest in safety issues from companies with large on-site workforces. “The industry as a whole is much more receptive to what we’re offering.” He went on to note that we did a lot more talks for 300+ people on site than ever before. It is important to note, however, that whether we’re talking to 400 people on a California jobsite or ten people in an office in Minnesota, GPRS’ safety talks are a valuable resource for any construction crew.

Construction Safety Week 2023 ran May 1-5 and focused on “strengthening our industry’s safety culture and performance by strengthening the resolve of every person who walks onto a job site to be fully focused – mind and body – on safety.”

That has been the mission of CSW since its inception in 2014, and nine years later it remains the core of every CSW safety talk. GPRS takes that message seriously, and expands on it to include site risks that, while not often talked about, could save lives.

“Although subsurface damage prevention is the hot topic on everyone’s mind right now, we got lots of great feedback on the additional information we provided on preventing heat stroke and managing mental health challenges in the workplace, as well,” Mulcahey shared.

For context, construction workers make up just 7% of the U.S. workforce, but experience 38% of all heat-related workplace deaths. 78% of those deaths occur between June and August, in the peak of construction season. Understanding the warning signs of heat stroke, knowing how to properly hydrate, and when to seek medical care can all help reduce heat-related workplace incidents.

A group of men wearing safety vests and helmetsDescription automatically generated with low confidence

One of the rarely discussed issues happening on jobsites across the nation is the rise in PTSD and depression among the construction trades. Some 43% of workers report experiencing continued anxiety and depression more than two years after witnessing a fatal jobsite accident.

One in five adults experience mental illness, regardless of their industry, and statistics show the construction industry experiences the second highest rate of death by suicide among workers.  

The focus of GPRS’ CSW outreach, however, remains subsurface damage prevention and the best practices in locating subsurface utilities and buried infrastructure before excavating, or cutting and coring concrete.

A construction crew poses with the GPRS Construction Safety Week banner and a ground penetrating radar unit

As part of this year’s theme, “Strong Voices, Safe Choices,” Construction Safety Week asked workers to sign a pledge designed to reinforce “their commitment to supporting and building a strong safety culture where they work” via P R Newswire.

GPRS is pleased to report that we were in the top 10 companies with 500-1,000 employees to pledge, with a full 20% of our team promising to commit to a safer workplace.

 Standings in the Construction Safety Week Pledge Leaderboard, showing GPRS in the top 10.

It is not surprising when you consider that GPRS promotes safety in every aspect of our workplace and take that message into our business relationships on a national scale via both Construction Safety Week and our own Concrete Sawing & Drilling Safety Week, that takes place each January.

Discussing the success of this year’s Construction Safety Week, Mulcahey said, “We have received nothing but positive feedback overall. We were booked weeks and months in advance for these talks without ever having to pick up the phone.”

He reports that one of his favorite comments came from a safety director after a talk, “Why don’t we do this more often?”

GPRS is pleased to bring safety to your site, anytime.