National Safety Week – What To Do When We Are Not “Fine”


Bill Welch and Jim Boucher present on holistic health during National Safety Week to the project team and group of subcontractors on the Kendall East construction site in Cambridge

Moving a wall that’s in the wrong place is one thing. Helping someone who’s lost hope…that’s far more significant.

The 1st week of May is National Safety Week, where the construction industry emphasizes topics that allow our teams and jobsites to remain safe and healthy. This year we are spotlighting holistic health, and driving some challenging, yet important conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

According to the CDC, the construction industry has the second highest rate of male suicides at 53.2 per 100,000 U.S. workers. This, in conjunction with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, makes it more important than ever to encourage frank discussions about managing stress.

General Superintendent, Bill Welch, and Director of Operations, Jim Boucher, led a conversation onsite with current trade partners about dealing with pressures from both home and work. Tocci jobsites and office staff tuned in online to learn about the connection between mind and body, addressing warning signs, and available resources for those in need.

The presentation was powerful, including not only shocking statistics, but also personal anecdotes that normalized some of the struggles workers experience daily. Bill Welch explained the importance of checking in with family members or peers if they seem off:

After meetings onsite, I’ll come see you to check if you are okay if I think something is bothering you. I really care about you guys. We will have disagreements, but if you’re caring, it’s going to change the way you look at everybody.

Bill Welch, General Superintendent

Jim Boucher added, “Mental health is a challenge. The construction industry has a ‘tough guy/gal’ mentality, that we can figure things out on our own. Now it’s much worse since we are living in unmapped territory with added stress from the pandemic.” and noted that resources are available to those who need it, whether it be corporate EAPs, hotlines, or reaching out to a trusted friend or colleague.

John and Lila Tocci attended this discussion, since addressing these challenging topics and promoting awareness is a priority:

It takes courage to admit you need help; it is not a sign of weakness. And I think we need to be reinforcing each other and encouraging each other to do so.

John Tocci, CEO

It is our goal to continue this awareness year-round, ensuring that our staff, our trade partners, and our friends and family are supported and cared for in times of need.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or is having thoughts of suicide, please use the resources below.

  • Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1.800.273.TALK (8255); En español – 1.888.628.9454; Deaf/Hard of Hearing via TTY – 1.800.799.4889
  • The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.