Did you know the construction industry has a higher risk of fatal injuries than any other industry, accounting for 21% of all work-related fatalities?
Construction involves a lot of hazardous activities unique to the industry that often result in injuries and deaths. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most death victims succumb to dangerous falls and injuries from falling objects.
Others die out of electrocutions, while a few get trapped in or between objects, resulting in untimely deaths. Thus, going through a safety training program is vital to stay out of danger.
But what construction safety training program should you pursue?
Well, there are hundreds of training courses for construction workers. We'll outline seven of the best safety training programs workers can take to improve safety on the job.
What Is Safety Training for Construction Workers?
Safety training describes activities that provide construction workers with the knowledge and skills to perform their duties safely and effectively.
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A construction safety training program is a mandatory training program designed to ensure the safety and well-being of construction workers when performing their duties. Such programs train workers in the following safety areas:
- Fire safety
- Electrical safety
- Proper use of construction equipment
- First aid administration
- Precautions while working at heights
Examples of safety training programs include OSHA construction training, fall prevention and protection, power tools handling training programs, and more.
6 Essential Safety Training Programs
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Without further ado, here are six essential safety training programs with courses that will help you meet the training requirements that every construction worker should have.
1. OSHA Construction Training Program
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers various construction safety courses to keep workers safe.
Their programs can benefit workers of all levels as they cover various topics, including electrical safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), excavation hazards, fall protection, scaffolding safety, and fire protection plans. So, whether you're an entry-level or professional worker, OSHA has a training program for you.
OSHA training helps construction workers familiarize themselves with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, introduces them to inspection requirements, and ensures they comply with the governing construction laws.
Addressing concerns ranging from confined spaces to industrial hygiene, the courses delve into various hazards and equip employees with the basic skills to navigate specific cases. Whether through online training or hands-on instruction, OSHA's programs provide a comprehensive overview of health and safety practices, enabling workers to complete their tasks while minimizing risk.
2. Forklift Safety Training
A forklift in motion is a safety risk in motion. Employers should ensure their workers and operators have received proper forklift training to improve job safety and effectiveness.
OSHA defines a powered industrial truck (PIT), commonly known as a forklift, as "any mobile, power-propelled vehicle used to carry, push, pull, stack, lift, or tier materials." The construction industry uses forklifts to move materials across sites and distances.
Can forklifts cause accidents?
Absolutely Yes. Industry sources show that nearly 100,000 forklift workers are injured yearly, with about 80 annual deaths. With 1 in 10 forklifts involved in accidents, it's easy to see why forklift training is essential for construction workers.
Not sure where to get your forklift training? These OSHA-compliant forklift safety training videos will show you how to properly load and utilize forklifts and remain accident-free and safe on the job. They'll also help you understand the hazards of working with forklifts.
Whether through online courses or hands-on instruction, mastering forklift safety is essential. By fostering a basic understanding of forklift operation, construction workers can significantly mitigate common hazards and enhance overall safety on the job. In a construction industry where safety is paramount, proper forklift training reduces accidents, prevents injuries, and maintains a secure work environment.
3. Fall Prevention & Protection Course
Falls are a leading cause of death in construction sites. As such, fall prevention training is essential for all construction workers.
A fall prevention and protection program will equip workers with the knowledge to identify and assess potential fall hazards at construction sites. It also imparts knowledge on correctly utilizing and maintaining fall protection equipment, fostering competence in its application.
Moreover, a robust fall prevention and protection program should also detail the different safety measures workers should take to protect themselves from unsafe falling objects. The curriculum outlines a diverse range of safety measures essential to shielding workers from these risks.
4. Crane Hazards Management
Cranes are vital equipment used in construction projects and pose serious safety risks if improperly operated. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), cranes are responsible for approximately 44 deaths yearly in the US, emphasizing the need for effective crane hazard management.
Crane-related deaths and injuries can occur for various reasons. For example, improper load placement, structural failures, and overhead power line contact can lead to fatal accidents.
To address these concerns, a comprehensive crane hazard management program becomes pivotal. It should arm workers with the knowledge of proper material loading and unloading techniques. Furthermore, the program should encompass comprehensive guidance on pre-operation assessments and the correct maintenance of machinery and inspection devices.
5. Excavation and Trenching Safety
Excavation and trenching pose serious safety risks, with cave-ins being one of the leading causes of death in the mining and construction industries.
The excavation and trenching safety program is designed to empower participants with knowledge of identifying and assessing potential hazards in construction sites and confined spaces. Unstable trenches can collapse anytime, so learning to identify such hazards is paramount.
A robust excavation and trenching training program should cover many safety aspects, including proper ladder placement and how to use excavation gear.
By the end of the program, workers should be able to tell the difference between trenches and excavations and safely navigate around them. This knowledge enhances their capability to mitigate risks associated with excavation and trenching operations, contributing to a safer work environment.
6. Power Tools Handling Training
Construction workers use more than five power tools in any construction project. Without proper training, workers can encounter minor and major injuries when working.
The consequences of inadequately trained power tool usage range from abrasions and fractures to more serious outcomes like blindness and amputations. To counteract these risks, power tools handling training programs prove indispensable.
Comprehensive power tools handling training delves into various aspects. Participants thoroughly understand tool operation and maintenance, fostering safe and efficient tool usage proficiency. Topics covered include selecting the right tool, proper safety gear, and adherence to OSHA standards.
Successful completion of the training ensures that workers are well-versed in power tool handling, contributing to their overall safety on construction sites. By embracing these practices, employees and employers actively champion a safety culture, mitigating injuries and promoting well-being within the construction or general industry.
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Construction employees must work in a safe and hazard-free work environment. Employers can achieve this through proper safety training programs for their workers. The right training programs can help reduce work-related injuries and improve workers' productivity.