Skanska USA and 3M™ Collaborate to Improve Worker Safety, Reduce Injuries from Jobsite Falls

Press release 9/14/2020 8:00 AM EST

3M, one of the nation’s largest manufacturing companies specializing in industry worker safety, US health care and consumer goods, announced today that with the inspiration and collaboration from construction and development firm Skanska USA, 3M Fall Protection Suspension Trauma Safety Straps will be included and standard on all mainline 3M DBI-SALA® branded harnesses.


According to OSHA, the leading cause of construction site fatalities is falls. Harnesses are therefore one of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) as they hold the wearer upright in the event of a fall. Suspension Trauma Safety Straps further protect the worker by alleviating the additional health risks from orthostatic intolerance or suspension trauma, one of the potential hazards for a worker suspended upright by fall arrest equipment.

“When it comes to safety, we at Skanska believe there should be no extra costs or other barriers associated with protecting anyone's life. While hierarchy of controls are fundamental in our daily planning, we understand that risk is an inherent part of our work in the construction industry, and are therefore committed to going above and beyond to mitigate that risk as much as possible for our workers, clients and partners,” said Paul Haining, Skanska’s Chief Environmental Health & Safety Officer. “Our collaborative work with 3M on this universal reinforcement measure for new harnesses is a prime example of how we are continually developing new technologies and partnering with industry leaders to raise construction safety standards and ensure the safest work environments possible on all of our jobsites.” 

Skanska and 3M share a commitment to advancing safety within the construction industry to help ensure the safest and most productive jobsites. This commitment is woven into the culture of both companies, and further exemplified through Skanska’s value to Care for Life, keeping safety top of mind at all times. Through consistent collaboration with inventor/manufacturers like 3M, leading companies like Skanska can continue to push their industries forward. 

“Incorporating this critical safety component into our harnesses as a standard feature reinforces 3M’s ongoing commitment to enhancing worker safety, and sets a new precedent for how we can help protect workers from the health risks associated with orthostatic intolerance,” said Tim Thompson, Global NPI Marketing Manager at 3M. “As a global leader in fall protection, it is imperative that we collaborate with like-minded clients such as Skanska. Their end-user perspective is invaluable as we continue to innovate and create new products that help keep workers safe.” 

3M Suspension Trauma Safety Straps will be included on all North American (ANSI & CSA) harnesses starting in September 2020, with incorporation completed on all mainline harnesses by the end of March 2021, and on all remaining North American harnesses by the end of 2021.

Skanska and 3M are announcing this news in anticipation of Construction Safety Week, Sept. 14-18, 2020, an annual week-long event that drives awareness around measures that keep workers safe. In 2014, Skanska, along with the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) group, helped establish the initiative that now 70 national and global construction firms participate in with one shared goal: to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety. 

Skanska connected with the CISI group early on in the process to gather their interests to move this PPE improvement along. “Communicating and collaborating across the supply chain and within the Construction Industry Safety (CISI) group is a prime example in how we can move the needle in our industry. The collaboration between 3M, Skanska and the CISI group is a testament of our shared commitment of eliminating incidents onsite and together, we’re making it a safer and more inclusive environment for all workers,” said Jeremy Saum, Chair of the CISI EHS Group and Safety Director with J.F. Shea Construction.

Skanska’s in-house environmental, health and safety team has made significant strides over the years designing and implementing new safety technologies and best practices to better the industry and create safe, inclusive construction jobsites where workers feel they are equipped with the resources they need to do their job in the most responsible manner each day. Last year, the company launched tailor-made PPE for its female workforce nationwide.

3M Fall Protection introduced Suspension Trauma Safety Straps back in 2004 and received a patent on them in 2011. The company has been helping fallen workers overcome the potential negative health impacts of suspension trauma ever since.