You may have noticed that in the world of construction, we talk about safety a lot.
In the building trades, we talk about safety a lot. And for good reason! There are some very real hazards on construction sites - heavy machinery, working from high places, moving objects, and loud noises, to name a few - that can cause serious injury if we don’t lead with a safety mindset in everything we do.
In the building trades, no one should struggle alone.
One of the first lessons you learn in a building trades apprenticeship is that asking for help is never a sign of weakness; it’s an essential skill. Maybe the most essential skill. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, problems get compounded, deadlines get missed, the project suffers, and most importantly, safety is greatly compromised for you and those around you.
Whether you need an extra hand to carry a heavy load, an extra set of eyes on a tricky installation, help troubleshooting malfunctioning equipment, or someone to hold a ladder, you’re sure to get it. Anyone who has ever worked in construction can attest that it’s a team sport. Work in the construction trades can never, and will never, be done alone.
And needing help can extend far beyond the physical. All trades workers, whether electrical workers, painters, plumbers, carpenters, masons, roofers, or other trades, face unique stressors that can take a toll on their mental health. Just like their need for help extends far beyond the physical, so does the support. The construction trades are renowned for their commitment to the safety, health, and well-being of their workers, both physically and mentally.
How so? Many unions and trade organizations offer mental health resources and programs to help and support their members. These can range from confidential counseling services to support groups to education and training on managing stress and anxiety. For example, SMART Union and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), IUPAT has an initiative called Helping Hand, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has confidential mental health and addiction programs available to its members and their families at the local level. This is much, much more than other industries are doing!
There are also national organizations like the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that offer resources specifically tailored to those in the building trades.
And let's remember the power of peer support. In the trades, it’s a brotherhood and a sisterhood; tradespeople are known for the steadfast support they give each other through thick and thin. A culture of caring and having the help of someone who understands the unique challenges of working in the trades can make all the difference.
In the building trades, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you ever need help, no matter what that help is, know you will get it here.
Looking for a new career where you know you’ll be supported no matter what circumstances you face, whether in your job or your personal life? Consider a career in the trades. Learn more and get started today!
The best defense is a good offense. If you love games or have spent time in the military, you’ve surely heard this phrase. It means that the best way to defend, or protect, yourself is to be proactive, not reactive. The same approach applies to safety on a construction job site: the best way to prevent injury is to actively put safety first. Always.
By the numbers, construction still remains one of the most dangerous professions. What’s unrivaled, though, is the building trades’ dedication to the health, safety, and welfare of all workers. Safety is prioritized above all else. They’re on the offensive. Here’s how they work hard to put worker safety first:
Is construction work dangerous? We’re not going to sugar-coat it: working on a construction site is inherently high-risk. Heights, heavy machinery, noise, strenuous physical requirements, and environmental hazards all pose risks to health and safety that aren’t present in many other jobs.
For the men and women who work in construction, the most important goal is to go home safe at the end of each shift.
As the coronavirus pandemic forced the United States and the rest of the world's educational systems to switch much of its learning online, construction industry apprentices were able to adapt much quicker because a major component of their learning was unchanged.