News + Views

CPWR offers resources to address mental health issues

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has made available online resources to address mental health issues such as suicide and opioid addiction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide kills nearly three times as many construction workers as falls do each year. In fact, the CDC reports the construction industry is the No. 1 industry for number of suicides and No. 2 in suicide rates.

CPWR offers suicide-prevention resources to help organizations and individuals understand the issue, start important conversations, and support friends, co-workers and family members. CPWR’s suicide-prevention resources are available at

Additionally, opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016 and 40% of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. The construction industry has one of the highest injury rates, and opioids commonly are prescribed to construction workers to treat pain caused by occupational injuries.

CPWR offers resources regarding opioid addiction, including information about prevention and pain management alternatives, at

Autodesk and AGC to provide custom safety harnesses for women

Construction technology company Autodesk is funding a grant program with the Associated General Contractors of America to supply fall-protection harnesses sized for women to select AGC member contractors, according to

Eighty percent of construction firms report filling hourly craft positions is a struggle. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represent about 10% of the overall construction labor force and are one of the largest demographics with the potential to fill the labor gap. Adapting job sites to meet the needs of a gender-diverse workforce, including properly sized and comfortable personal protective equipment, potentially could help attract and retain more women in the field.

“The construction industry agrees safety must be everyone’s priority, but we also need to recognize when safety needs aren’t being met for some workers,” says Allison Scott, head of construction thought leadership at Autodesk. “Technology is improving job-site safety, but it’s not a silver bullet. Construction is—and will continue to be—a people-driven business. The industry needs more people, and women must feel safe and welcome on job sites if we want them to choose a career in construction. Ultimately, when we address safety for women, we improve safety for everyone.”

Ill-fitting PPE can be uncomfortable and hazardous. For example, a loose fall-protection harness may catch a woman if the scaffolding beneath her collapses but could seriously injure her neck or shoulder. This affects the injured worker and costs the employer lost time and productivity and may lead to a potentially costly workers’ compensation claim.

The grant program will fund the purchase of about 300 fall-protection harnesses sized for women. AGC members had until Jan. 10 to apply for grants. Grant recipients will be announced during AGC’s annual convention March 9-12 in Las Vegas.

Apply today for Future Executives Institute—Class 10

NRCA now is accepting applications for NRCA University’s Future Executives Institute—Class 10.

FEI is a comprehensive and powerful learning experience that teaches participants how to lead and manage thriving roofing businesses. Held at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, the three-year program offers participants an in-depth look at management theory and practice and a unique industry networking opportunity while developing leadership and communication skills. The program is built on 10 core areas essential to small-business operations: leadership, management, strategic planning, human resources, financial management, marketing, roofing industry issues, risk management, family relationships/succession and personal-development skills.

“I am a better roofing professional, employee and business professional following this program,” says FEI—Class 8 graduate Daniel Ritter, commercial division manager at Academy Roofing Inc., Aurora, Colo. “The learning opportunities provided by the FEI program have had immediate applicability and I believe will continue to do so. Even better, the friendships and business connections with my counterparts in the industry have been spectacular. I walk away with increased knowledge, diverse experiences and solid friendships.”

Class size reflects qualified candidate applications and can vary but is limited to 40 participants. Acceptance into the program is based on criteria designed to ensure a candidate has a background that allows for sharing and learning from others’ experiences and has prepared him or her for the course work.

The application deadline is March 31. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at

Longtime roofing professional passes away

Derek Bodford, associate project manager for REI Engineers, Greenville, N.C., passed away Nov. 22, 2019. He was 56.

Bodford spent his professional life working within the roofing industry, first in sales at Roofers Supply of Greenville for seven years and most recently as associate project manager for REI Engineers.

Bodford is survived by his wife, Alicia; daughter, Jessica; son-in-law, Ryan; brother, Reid; sister-in-law, Elizabeth; siblings-in-law, Candace, Carol, Daniel and Richard; stepfather, Anthony; stepsister, Cynthia; nieces, Hannah, Mayci and Susan; and nephews, Holden, Jared and Joshua. Donations in Bodford’s memory may be made to the Church of the Nativity at; Inter-Faith Food Shuttle at; or Safe Haven for Cats at



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