Construction Safety Week 2023

This article is included in the Great Things: Issue 9 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

Embedding Wellbeing into EHS Everyday

More than 20,000 DPR employees and trade partners around the globe from hundreds of job sites participated in Construction Safety Week events May 1-5 to promote safety, health and wellness. While safety is a value embedded into our everyday culture, during Construction Safety Week, DPR joined construction industry peers around the world to collectively celebrate a safe mindset and foster engagement around environmental health, safety and wellbeing.

A project team gathered at the jobsite.
On a jobsite in Southern California, the team celebrated both Cinco de Mayo and Construction Safety Week on May 5 with a taco lunch. Photo courtesy Cathy Wang.

An industry-wide collaboration, Construction Safety Week is an annual event when construction companies re-focus and re-energize efforts to eliminate incidents on jobsites and bring awareness to mental health and wellness.

Members of the EIG family with Construction Safety Week banner.
The entire DPR family of companies participated in Construction Safety Week. Photo courtesy Kass Orr.
Each year, we grow more intentional about the importance of Safety Week, expanding opportunities to include conversations about psychological safety are reinforcing the correlation between physical safety and mental health with our teams.

Joe Garza

EHS Leader

Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing

“As a company, we are prioritizing the mental health and wellbeing of our workforce and recognize that this has never been more important,” said Tiffany Newell, one of DPR’s talent advocates. “Who we build is as important as what we build, and that mindset includes working to create environments where our employees’ mental health is as important as their physical health. Overall wellness is a barometer for a life well-lived and the foundation for leading fulfilling lives at work and outside of it. Seeking to understand and support our team members is who we are, and how we take care of our people and respect the individual.”

In addition to mental health discussions and presentations, project teams engaged in Toolbox Talks that focused on psychological safety.

Mental health presentation on jobsite.
A Texas project team gathers for lunch and a presentation on mental health given by the One Tribe Foundation, an organization committed to raising suicide awareness. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023), construction consistently ranks as one of the top industries with the highest rate of suicide. Photo courtesy Tyler Wilson.
Activities, Resources, and Recognition

Throughout the week, DPR team members participated in safety demonstrations from vendors, mental health awareness presentations and discussions, project team safety recognition events, personal protective equipment (PPE) and equipment giveaways, appreciation BBQs and food trucks, special stretch and flex sessions and watermelon eating competitions focused on heat and hydration awareness. In support of furthering awareness and discussions, teams were provided with resources available through DPR’s Employee Assistance Program as well.

A project team does guided yoga.
In Southern California, a project engineer guided the team through a gentle yoga session to introduce various stretches. A talk on taking care of our bodies followed, given by a physical therapist who works with project team members who have existing pain to prevent future soft tissue injuries. Photo courtesy Amy Duck.
A project team participates in an interactive safety presentation.
In Europe, team members participated in an obstacle course competition and an interactive presentation on identifying and preventing hazardous situations. Photo courtesy Harmen Rockler.
A project team gathers for a safety discussion and demonstration.
On a Bay Area project, the project team learned about hand injury prevention. The discussion was held in a multipurpose space on the project, and in the background is equipment from a fall prevention safety demo from earlier in the day. Photo courtesy Adam Rogge.

In Zurich, DPR teams participated in Toolbox Talks and Safety Week activities holding events like a real-time rescue demonstration using fall protection PPE. Observers learned the equipment and techniques to rescue an unconscious person and were able to witness the challenge of a time-critical rescue. Other DPR jobsites across Europe held safety workshops, trivia and quizzes, a hazard-spotting contest, and some friendly safety-related competition in the offices.

Employees gather in an office to talk about safety.
DPR’s Austin office gathered for an open conversation on safety and wellbeing in the workplace. Photo courtesy Brie Rutterford.
A project teams gathers under a tent during a presentation in the rain.
Around the country, jobsites held safety stand downs, presentations and demonstrations, rain or shine. Photo courtesy Sarah Skarka.

Jobsites throughout Texas held demonstrations on scaffolding safety and fall protection, a DPR SPW concrete team led a demo on hazard safety, and mental health presentations were given on several jobsites statewide. In Dallas, OSHA also gave a presentation on the four greatest hazards that lead to fatalities on construction sites, “The Focus Four.”

Group photo of a large project team on a jobsite.
On a project in North Carolina, the craft team was all smiles after receiving vouchers for new Red Wing Shoes work boots during a Safety Week event. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Foss.

A project site in Washington, D.C. gave a demonstration on the importance of hydration using props to depict real life dehydration circumstances. Other jobsites promoted hydration by taste-testing and selecting winners of various flavored electrolyte packets added to water.

Fall protection demonstration on a jobsite.
Jobsites around the country held safety demonstrations much like the one seen here on fall protection. Photo courtesy Danny Sandler.

While Construction Safety Week activities are intended to re-focus and re-energize efforts to eliminate jobsite incidents and support engagement in safety and overall wellbeing, it wouldn’t be DPR without also including the core value of enjoyment.

Project team participating in a watermelon eating contest.
A watermelon eating contest provided a hands-on, informative way to spotlight the importance of staying hydrated. Photo courtesy Kelsey Evans.
A jobsite prepares for a raffle.
In Virginia, a project team awaits the start of a raffle in celebration of Construction Safety Week. Photo courtesy Rebekah Rafferty.
Team members enjoy treats at a food truck.
A project team enjoys some sweet appreciation and gratitude for their dedication to fostering a safe working environment. Photo courtesy Ashley Rondeau.

“Each year, we grow more intentional about the importance of Safety Week,” said DPR EHS leader, Joe Garza. “Expanding opportunities to include conversations about psychological safety are reinforcing the correlation between physical safety and mental health with our teams. The “Strong Voices” theme is also a call beyond our workforce—it's an opportunity for deeper collaboration with our construction peers to unite and change the industry together in our drive toward zero worker incidents.”

Two workers wearing PPE walk on a jobsite with other workers in the background.

EHS is more than a program at DPR—safety is a core value. Learn more about this foundational pillar of our business.

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