Graffiti and vandalism on construction job sites can be an issue in general, but in 2020, reports of racist messages and threatening vandalism have become cause for concern for not only construction companies, but owners and developers as well. Turner Construction Company, a New York based company with offices and projects across the US and Canada, is adopting a zero-tolerance stance against racist harassment and acts.

Turner has gone as far as shutting down projects to have staff and workers participated in anti-bias training, and to send a strong message that these activities will not be tolerated. Turner also has put language in their contracts with subcontractors making their anti-discrimination stance policy on all job sites.

From Construction Dive:

During the last few months, reports of racist graffiti and nooses being placed around several U.S. and Canadian jobsites have made their way to the press, with owners and contractors vowing to punish those responsible.

Turner shut down two large Ohio projects for antibias training this summer — a $1.7 billion Facebook data center project in New Albany and the FC Cincinnati soccer stadium in Cincinnati — after the company discovered graffiti containing discriminatory slurs around those jobsites. …

Whether an incident requires a shutdown or not, [said Peter Davoren, CEO and President of Turner Construction Co.], all are addressed using the company’s zero-tolerance policy and a strategy focused on “active caring,” both of which were born about five years ago when Turner executives decided they wanted to promote an environment “filled with respect and dignity,” Davoren said.

“When you have a community on the jobsite that’s actively caring for each other, you’re safer,” he said. …

On a project in Seattle, Davoren said, Turner fired a subcontractor that refused to participate in trying to find the root cause of a racist incident, despite one of its employee’s involvement.

Turner maintains a hotline that anyone can call to report an incident, and once that call is made, he said, the company starts an investigation, just as if it were a safety issue or accident.

“The response common denominator is always zero tolerance,” he said.


Photo Credit: Turner Construction Company