World Cup Hubbub

Dear Construction Connection Newsletter Subscribers:

June and summer have arrived.  In my household, we are working on the balance of work and quality time with our family as we plan the summer months. The industry is busy again and both my husband, John, and I love our careers, but every day is a test to keep us in check with making time for the things in life that are most important– our relationship, our family and what we already have entrusted to us–not to mention, recharging our own batteries. What are your summer plans?  Write to us and let us know.

In June, 2014, Brazil will host the World Cup and, in 2016, they will host the Olympics.  The people of Brazil are protesting because the leaders of their country have not only planned poorly- -pushing the construction schedule, resulting in death–but they can also see the poor financial management, resulting in benefit loss for the people.   This scenario is sometimes not much different with construction companies.  Getting a new project is exciting, but at the end of the day if the schedule and budget are not realistic, safety will be compromised and everyone contractually involved will suffer due to this poor management decision—and the ultimate losers will be your company, your employees and your credibility.

Daniele, our newsletter editor, suggested the topic this month. She and Barbara, who work at Construction Connection, are both from Brazil and still have immediate family there.  Although I have never been there, my computer screen saver is a picture of Rio and the beauty is amazing.  Daniele and Barbara remind me about how blessed we are to be living in America, but reality is that many of the same issues facing Brazil are also right here in our backyard.

According to OSHA, we have an average of 12 deaths a day in the USA related to construction.  Although that number is down from when the census started 20 years ago, it seems to be down as far as it will go with government oversight. That average has been the same for close to a decade now.  So, how do we get it down further?  It starts with each of us doing our part with training–not just safety training, but training those whom you as leaders are responsible for to value themselves and human life.

The partners at Construction Connection offer help in various ways, including how to save on benefit costs to partnering with Construction Angels who are there to be first responders if your company has a fatality. In addition, our new partner, Marketplace Chaplains, offers programs to help your employees through whatever challenges they are facing so their issues don’t affect the safety of others around them.  Let’s face it.  Accidents happen when people are not 100 percent focused and many of the deaths, although not intentional, could be prevented.

So, join with me to pray for the leaders of Brazil and other countries in the world, in addition to each of our industry associates right here in America, to make right choices and to do their part to prevent these tragedies in the future, especially those caused by unrealistic schedules which require cutting corners.

If you want to improve on the programs you have in place and need help getting there, e-mail me at and I will schedule a time to speak with you on getting started.

Enjoy the start of summer!

Thanks, Suzanne Breistol and the Construction Connection Team!

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Suggest Read from our industry

There is a new book out called Against the Grain by Bill Courtney.  Bill is the founder and president of Classic American Hardwoods, a lumber company, averaging 40 million dollars annually in Memphis, TN.   Bill not only built this company and employs 120 people, but also took a smaller inner city high school football team in Memphis that had won only seven games in ten years and had most of their players in trouble with the law to a  a winning team of more than seventy on and off the field.  Character, discipline, teamwork and overcoming adversity are a few of the things Bill covers in his book that apply to a winning team at work, out of work, on the field and off the field. [/box]

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