Some say the news is all doom and gloom, and, for the most part, they’re right. People respond to controversy and negativity, but there is always room to highlight the positive things in the world. Throughout the year, we’ve compiled a list of positive stories that prove that construction workers aren’t just the cat-calling, hard headed men that we’re so often portrayed as.
If you know of any others, please share with us in the comments!
1. They Stop People from Being Killed
In November, the University of California, Merced Campus was under attack by a man wielding a knife. Four people were stabbed in the attack, and many say that Byron Price, a construction worker remodeling a waiting room at the college at the time, saved one of the victim’s lives. When he heard yelling, CBS news reports, he ran toward the commotion and when he got there, the suspect attacked him and ran away before being able to do anymore damage to the first victim. All four of the victims were treated at local hospitals and survived, but the suspect was later killed by police.
Here’s an interview with Price from NBC News:
2. They Save Kittens from Dumpsters
When construction worker Kelly Goranson heard some meowing coming from a nearby dumpster, he found a roughly six week out kitten that couldn’t move due to hardened paint and concrete. Goranson was then able to get enough concrete off of the kitten’s paws in order for little Kelly, the name given to the kitten, to walk again. She was then taken to a vet to be treated and is now with a foster family until a permanent home can be found.
News story from KVV 11 in Fargo North Dakota
3. They Help Their Neighbors in Need
Ken and Susan Sylianou, longtime restaurateurs in Michigan who fed thousands of needy people over the years. After a tree had fallen on their restaurant the previous spring, their roof had still not been fixed, which caused roof leaks and mold growth in the restroom. When Greg Tittle, owner of Tittle Construction, saw the damage, he couldn’t walk away from it. He completely remodeled the restroom for no charge.
Full story from The News-Herald: Construction company helps out well-known Flat Rock couple in need
4. They Stop People from Committing Suicide
After reportedly having an argument with her husband, a Chinese woman decided that she would end her life by jumping off a roof of a building. Just before she jumps, several construction workers grab her and pull her away from the ledge to safety. It gets a little intense, as she’s just dangling over the edge for a while as the workers try to pull her up. It’s an incredible video.
5. They Support Sick Children
A 2 year-old named Vivian in St. Louis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier this year. Every day, she would look out her hospital window and wave until one of the construction workers that were working on a renovation across the street would wave back. One day, Vivian didn’t have to wait for a wave back, when a couple of iron workers wrote her a note in a steel support beam. Sometimes little messages can make all the difference in the world.
Full story: Construction Workers' Sweet Note To Sick Tot Is The Strongest Support Beam | Huffington Post
6. They Help the Police Subdue a Suspected Larcenist
After a suspected larcenist tried to flee from a police officer, two Boston construction workers helped bring the man into custody. Ned Flood and Robert Doyle were later given an honor by the Boston Police Department for their heroics in the arrest. The arrest was captured on CCTV footage, which you can watch below:
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
Standing 821 feet (250m) in the New York City skyline, the new 57-story residential tower, called 56 Leonard Street, has opened its doors to residents. The 145 condos that inhabit the high rise range in size from 1,418 square feet to 6,400 square feet and in price from $3.5 million to $50 million. Amazingly, even with those staggering prices, the developer told the New York Times that 92% of the units had sold in 2013, even though the tower officially opened last year.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.
Cranes collapse for a variety of different reasons. Some are overloaded, some catch on fire, and others succumb to high wind loads. Regardless of the reason, a falling crane can cause tons of damage and have the potential to kill on-site workers and pedestrians walking near the job site.
A recent crawler crane collapse in Northern Italy could have been much worse as the crane, carrying a large section of viaduct, crashed to the ground.
Traffic in Atlanta sucks, there’s really no other way to say it. So imagine the tough position commuters and city officials were put in when a bridge of a major highway on the north side of the city caught fire on March 20, 2017 and was damaged beyond repair. 243,000 motorists were forced to find alternate routes to work for the estimated 3 months that it was going to take to rebuild it. Now, imagine how thrilled they were when the highway opened back up one month ahead of schedule.
There’s no doubt that construction workers love a good prank and some of them get pretty creative. Our favorites in the past have included the seismic test prank, the fake bear on site prank, and the “staple in the finger” prank. Obviously, as far as messing around on the job site goes, the least dangerous as the prank is, the better.