Red Tape Apprentice Identification Program Helps Develop Skills, Improve Safety

  • November 15, 2018

Detroit, MI – Among the stickers and information many construction workers don their hard hats across the world, workers on Walbridge sites have a special identifier – a stripe of red tape.

The red tape surrounds the middle of their construction hard hats in an effort to identify new workers on jobsites but also an opportunity to promote learning on the job.

Walbridge apprentice identification program red tape
Walbridge’s Apprentice Identification Program identifies workers on projects with less experience by using a red piece of tape on their hard hat.

Walbridge’s Apprentice Identification Program was instituted on job sites during the summer of 2018 to better identify workers new to the construction profession.

“This is a chance for those who are experienced to coach, mentor and assist those that have less in-the-field experience,” said Mark LaClair, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Health, Safety, & Environmental. “Construction workers are dealing with many responsibilities, so it makes sense to ensure they are getting proper coaching.”

A Walbridge investigation found nearly 1/3 of non-fatal occupational injuries or illnesses within the construction industry that involve time away from work are suffered by workers with less than one year of service.

Walbridge’s safety team found a lack of training, pressure to stand out, lack of supervision or a combination thereof could contribute to apprentice injuries – all which could be avoided.

Proactively, the safety department worked with project teams to develop the unique approach of adding the red tape – a simple but effective visual tool to help identify team members and apprentices.

mike haller
Mike Haller, P.E. President, Walbridge

“Safety for everyone is our No. 1 Core Value – that’s not something we take lightly,” Walbridge President Michael Haller, P.E., said. “Developing safe and smart practices for apprentices is something we are honing from their first day on the job.”

Project management specifically works with apprentices to develop tasks and safety procedures as well, helping them learn Walbridge’s industry-best practices and procedures.

“It’s all about continuing to construct a culture of safety,” LaClair said. “We aren’t doing our job if we aren’t always motivated to improve safety.”

The culture of safety is started from Walbridge’s No. 1 Core Value: “Think, demand and deliver safety in all aspects of our business.”

To learn more about Walbridge’s commitment to safety, please visit: