Lawrence Technological University and a group of industry partners are launching a Construction Safety Research Center on the Southfield campus to make construction workplaces safer across Michigan and the nation.
Industry partners in the endeavor include The Bouma Corp. in Grand Rapids, and Carhatt Inc., DTE Energy, and RBV Contracting Inc. in Detroit. The cities of Southfield and Kalamazoo also have signed on as founding municipal members.
According to Ahmed Al-Bayati, an assistant professor of civil and architectural engineering at LTU, 1,061 construction workers were killed in 2019, the largest total since 2007, and more than 200,000 more workers suffered injuries.
“The center’s goal is to reduce work-related facilities and injuries by providing construction firms with nationally recognized training, which will be derived from the cutting edge research that will be conducted by the center, in collaboration with our industry partners,” Al-Bayati says.
Al-Bayati says he expects membership in the center to grow by adding leaders and safety influencers from the nation’s construction industry including companies, municipalities, associations, and agencies in all areas of construction.
Members will participate in deciding which research projects will be performed and gain access to the research results and any corresponding training materials. They also are recognized for their leadership in safety in the center’s public outreach efforts. Some membership options also provide for onsite safety inspections, expert onsite safety presentations, and reviews of written safety programs.
“I have spent most of my career working on improving the infrastructure and redevelopment of the city of Detroit and southeast Michigan communities,” says Michael Darga, a partner at the Giffels Webster civil engineering firm in Detroit who also is involved in the new center. “Supporting the CRSC is one more logical step in training and protecting the workers that make those efforts a reality.”
It’s expected that the work of the center’s members, through their extensive field experience and commitment to overall construction site safety, will help identify and validate the most needed interventions to reduce fatalities and injuries on construction workplaces.
For more information on the Construction Safety Research Center at LTU, visit here.