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Construction Safety Training: Want an Effective Program? Take It Straight to the Source

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on June 11, 2018 at 10:09 AM

Every construction company wants its safety training to be effective, but how to achieve that effectiveness may look different to each company.

You may pour hours into creating training modules and require each contractor and employee to complete them. Increasing safety awareness and building a strong safety culture are also top priorities for many organizations.

But one of the biggest opportunities in improving your safety training’s effectiveness isn’t just the material you provide, but where you provide it.

Opting for On-Site Safety Training

Construction safety training is critical to your company’s reputation and profitability. It’s in your best interest to ensure training is seen as a valid part of everyday operations.

Using training tracking software can be a great way to keep track of who has completed training requirements and gauge their understanding of safety practices. 

On-site training can prove beneficial to both the company and its workers in several ways:

It Puts Safety into Perspective

Some people don’t always understand something until they see it in action. Rather than talking about safety hazards and how to mitigate risk, conducting on-site training in real time can show them the potential fallout of neglecting safety practices.

Employees Learn in a Familiar Environment

Taking training to the source can be more effective simply because workers are already familiar with the environment. It’s the place they come to work at every day. They know the ins and outs of the site (or at least their specific work area) and can better apply what they learn to the job they’re already doing.

It Helps Overcome Complacency

Training is often seen as something that must be done, not something that’s interesting or enjoyable. In this mindset, employees may be more prone to simply getting through the material rather than absorbing it and understanding how to apply it.

Taking training straight to the construction site can help to overcome this complacency. Safety trainers can find real examples of potential hazards, non-compliance, or other issues to put safety requirements into perspective. Workers can see in real situations why certain safety practices shouldn’t be ignored.

Not only does this help to bring a certain realness to what they’re learning, it can also help them better remember what they’ve learned and put it to good use.

On-Site Training Can Be More Cost Effective

Conducting training on-site can be a more practical and economical approach. It eliminates the need for workers to travel to an off-site location for training. Of course, saving time also means saving money.

Providing on-site safety training means your training plan can be created around the day’s schedule. You can conduct safety training sessions when work demands are lowest to maximize everyone’s time and productivity.

Changing the Definition of Construction Safety Training

To do this, it starts by changing the concept of what construction safety training can be. Many people think of training as formal sessions conducted by safety managers or leadership. It might consist of taking a quiz to test your understanding or, at the very minimum, signing some sort of acknowledgment that you understand a particular safety policy.

But on-site construction safety training can be much more than classes, courses, and tests.

When you’re actively promoting safety on the job site, you can turn any hazard into a teachable moment. Conduct safety demonstrations and trainings in real time. Call out situations where team members are working safely to provide clear examples of what others should be doing. Give them real examples of the things they’re learning through your formal safety training so they can learn to apply their training, not just memorize it.

Construction safety training doesn’t have to take a traditional classroom-style format. Taking time to train your team while on the job can not only help them work safer at the moment, but also strengthen your overall culture that can lead to a safer work environment.

Featured resource: The Painless Safety Training Management Guide

Topics: Building Materials & Construction, Training Management, Safety Management, Workplace Health and Safety, Industry Insights

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