For the construction industry, nothing is more important than the safety of your workers—and the federal government agrees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts tens of thousands of inspections on companies every year to reduce worker accidents and deaths.
Because the construction industry has a lot of risks, OSHA has designated four areas where fatal injuries most commonly occur:
- Falls (33.5%)
- Being struck by an object (11.1%)
- Electrocutions (8.5%)
- Caught or crushed by equipment or machinery (5.5%)
Risk management begins and ends with training. And according to OSHA, peer-to-peer training, on-the-job training, and worksite demonstrations are effective in conveying safety concepts, ensuring understanding of hazards and their controls and promoting good work practices.
Peer-to-peer training allows you to use the expertise that already exists at your company. Your employees are your best resource for training because they know the ins and outs of the job and your company. Peer-to-peer training allows your employees to gain knowledge, practice by applying that knowledge, get feedback and reflect on what they’ve learned.
Use performance management tools, like reviews, helps you to identify high-performing employees that can be used for peer-to-peer training. Plus, recognizing these employees helps them feel appreciated and pushes them to work harder.
On-the-job training uses the tools, machines, documents, equipment and knowledge that already exist at your company. For the construction industry, on-the-job training just makes sense as it requires hands-on work.
On-the-job training is useful when you’ve implemented new technology or tools, when you’ve added a new policy or when work is slow. It helps your employees build up their skill level and ensures they’re working to your standard. This type of training also allows older employees to get safety refreshers and makes sure subcontractors have done their due diligence and trained their workers.
An easy and effective way to provide that training is by using a learning management system. This type of software provides OSHA approved courses, certifications or allows you to upload custom content that your employees can access 24/7. The more your employees are able to learn, the more you’ll be able to shrink the skills gap at your organization and set yourself up for success.
Worksite demonstrations such as toolbox talks offer extra training for all employees, even the seasoned ones. A toolbox talk is an informal meeting focused on topics related to safety and tailored to the specific job a crew is working on, such as job site hazards and safe work practices. During these meetings, both workers and supervisors get to share their tips, status updates, and insights to help crews safely navigate the project they’re working on.
Offering video demonstrations can give the same effect whenever your employees have the time to view them. Plus, employees who can easily navigate problems with on-demand training content are more likely to retain and implement critical information. This helps with safety but also extends your company culture and values.
Take advantage of a Learning management System (LMS) that is:
- Available on-the-go
Reporting Injuries, Illnesses, Incidents and Concerns
One of the best ways to keep workers safe is to instruct them on how to report injuries, illnesses, incidents, and concerns. If a computerized reporting system is used, ensure that all employees have the basic computer skills and computer access sufficient to submit an effective report.
One easy way to stay report injuries and remain compliant (and keep from being fined) is by investing in our ExakTime mobile app. With our Mobile Forms feature, employees answer a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question about whether or not breaks or injuries happened on the job today as they log out of our app. You can even require a signature so you can have proof no workplace injuries took place on-site.
Workplace training is not only good business but it’s required. ExakTime gives owners, PMs, supervisors and office admins the tools to make sure workplace safety remains a priority. We also have solutions that track project details and improve oversight, from field notes and cost code tracking to reporting on hours by activity, location and employee or crew, ensuring all projects are not only running smoothly but are safe.