What Construction Workers Wish You Knew

RBV Contracting: Adam Shinabarger and Arnie Ridner on the Brush Park construction site Oct. 26, 2017.


Like with every profession, there are stigmas and cliches associated with being a construction worker. And, like most stigmas, many of them are not true.

The next time you pass a job site, these are a few of the things the team at RBV would like you to know about those in the construction industry.

We have Families

Construction is a pain, we know. We also know it’s tempting, when driving by a job site during rush hour, or on your way home after a long day, to speed through or sneak around cones and ignore speed limit signs. But, remember, the workers on that site don’t disappear when the workday is over. They go home to families, and in order for them to get home, drivers can’t ignore the safety precautions that have been put in place. The people behind those cones aren’t watching for vehicles because they trust drivers will respect the signs. When drivers ignore signs, they put workers in danger.

From a machine operator standpoint, site visibility while in a machine is limited. If a car pulls behind you, you can’t always see them. So, when you’re approaching a machine on the road, give them about fifty feet of space to avoid any accidents. You want to get home, but so do we!

We Are Not High School Dropouts

Many people seem to think that if someone is a construction worker, it’s a last resort. But, Adam Shinabarger, Field Supervisor here at RBV, has wanted to be in the field since he was a kid. “We used to drive by sites when I kid and I was drawn to the machines…they were like big Tonka toys,” said Shinabarger.

Our team often learns with a hands-on approach from the generation above them, which is a large part of our culture, but they also go through extensive training. From 30 hours of OSHA training to safety classes, first aid and CPR training, and more, our operators and laborers are highly trained and skilled. As a part of our Union, everyone starts in the field with an apprenticeship and three years of programming. Since technology is becoming more and more a part of what we do, everyone needs to know how to work the equipment and best utilize it to help us do our jobs safely, efficiently, and without putting unnecessary wear and tear on our bodies. From running the GPS to understanding grades and sea-level elevations, the job is often complicated and the team at RBV needs to (and does!) understand every part of it.

We Take Pride In Our Work

When we finish a project, we don’t just step away from it. Detroit is where we live, work and play, so we see our projects on a daily basis. Watching Detroit grow around us is exciting, and knowing we had a part in that gives us extreme pride. Stepping inside Little Caesars Arena and being able to turn to the person next to him and say, “I helped grade this,” gave Shinabarger a thrill. It’s not often you get to see the inside of a project you helped with, so the arena was a unique experience.

Our entire team loves what they do and it’s fulfilling when you first pull up to a job site and see a dilapidated building or field, and then leave a finished building behind. Being there from the beginning is a really cool feeling.

We are a Tight-Knit Group

Maybe this is only specific to the RBV team, but we are a tight-knit group of people. We care about the people working next to us and we do what we can to help each other.

Whether it’s a funeral, birthday parties, or helping someone move, we are always there (since we all own trucks!). This sense of camaraderie is what makes RBV Contracting a great place to work and makes being at work more than just a 9-5 job.

So, the next time you drive by one of our sites, slow down, wave, and reach out when you have a construction vision that needs to be realized.

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