Sep 25, 2023
We’re Training a Public Relations Force
BY Sandy Lender
I watched a video on LinkedIn the other day where a construction crew dropped what they were doing to rush to the aid of an over-the-road truck driver. The driver’s truck was upside down a few feet off the highway near their construction site. Traffic was backed up and packed tight so emergency vehicles were most likely going to have some difficulty getting through the gridlock to reach the scene. The workers? They ran over to help. And it reminded me, the members of our industry are trained to handle all manner of emergencies.
In our Safety Spotlight department’s January 2023 issue, we lauded Peckham Industries’ Palmer Paving Corp.’s Sand & Gravel operation for its National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) Safety Excellence Awards gold award win. With that article, we were able to highlight the PARCO Terminal in Athens, New York, within the Peckham family of companies. Three members of the PARCO team had noticed a driver who was transporting PARCO material begin experiencing a cardiac event and they sprang into action. Peckham workers are offered First Aid/CPR/AED training every year, and the owner operator is alive today because these three men knew how to respond to the emergency. Read the whole story here.
More recently, we’ve shared the workforce development culture taking place at Kingsway Services, Millersburg, Ohio, both in their recruitment and retention of workers for our industry. They’re building a culture of caring through the concept of emotional intelligence, which I encourage managers and owners to take a look at. It’s not as foo-foo as it sounds. Incorporating EI takes a serious look at treating each employee as a whole person who brings human emotions that can affect the safety and efficacy of the job site, to the job site. Check that out here.
Keep in mind, the workers reacting to and assisting one another on the job site aren’t working just under the watchful gaze of the supervisor. The traveling public is watching, too, as evidenced by the LinkedIn video mentioned above. A random member of the traveling public caught the heroic actions of the construction crew and uploaded that to the Internet.
But the traveling public is taking down your company’s phone number, too.
A contractor in Missouri shared with me that he received phone calls from random citizens applauding his crews working on a highway project. Members of the traveling public noticed that all the workers were busy at their stations and equipment. It was noteworthy enough to see so many paving professionals busy at their tasks that members of the public called to commend the company for it. That? That’s good public relations in action.
This issue of AsphaltPro includes our annual training guide, wherein you’ll find some back-to-basics tips and a list of our partners who are offering training for their customers, dealers and others. But look also to the “intangibles” you could be teaching your crewmembers. Safety and emergency training are valuable every minute of the day. The positive outcome of having crewmembers equipped for emergencies, focused on working together intelligently, and working in productive harmony turns into good PR for an entire industry—in addition to the incredible lift of helping others.