Construction is a high-risk industry, with potential hazards and dangers on every job site. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips and trips are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the construction industry. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to invest in proper construction safety training and education, especially for workers that have been at a company less than a year and are at a higher risk of injury.
The Benefits of Investing in Training and Education
Not only does investing in training and education keep your people safe, but it also has a plethora of other advantages such as, increased productivity and efficiency, reduced turnover, and enhanced reputation and competitive advantage in the industry. When workers are properly trained, they are better equipped to identify and avoid potential hazards, leading to a safer working environment for everyone. Additionally, well-trained workers are more productive and efficient, as they can work more confidently and with less supervision.
Investing in training and education can also lead to improved retention of talented workers. When workers feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with a company long-term. This helps reduce turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new workers. Furthermore, investing in training and education can enhance a company’s reputation and competitive advantage in the industry, making it more attractive to potential customers and prospective employees.
The Consequences of Neglecting Training and Education
Neglecting training and education for new construction workers can have serious consequences. Without proper training, workers are more likely to experience accidents and injuries on the job site. This can result in higher workers’ compensation costs and legal liabilities for the company. Neglecting training and education can also lead to decreased morale and increased turnover among workers, as they may feel unsupported and undervalued. Ultimately, neglecting training and education can have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the total costs of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the construction industry were estimated at $11.5 billion, which is $27,000 per injury. For a lot of businesses, a single injury could make or break success on a job.
Best Practices for Training and Educating New Construction Workers
Implementing best practices that focus on construction safety can help ensure that new workers are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe on the job site.
One effective approach to training and educating new construction workers is to provide comprehensive safety training that covers a range of topics such as hazard identification, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and emergency procedures. This training should be conducted through classroom sessions, on-the-job training, and online modules, and should be tailored to the specific needs of the workers and the job site. On-the-job training allows new workers to learn from experienced workers in a practical setting, while classroom instruction provides a more structured learning environment. Mentorship programs can also be valuable, as they provide new workers with a supportive and experienced guide.Equipment operators should have training tailored to them, and welders should have training tailored to them – there isn’t a one size fits all training program for everyone on a jobsite. Specialized training is necessary in order to fully protect workers.
Another important aspect of training and educating new construction workers is to emphasize the importance of ongoing safety education and communication. Workers should be encouraged to stay up-to-date on new safety regulations and best practices and should be provided with regular opportunities to ask questions and share concerns related to construction safety.
Ultimately, by prioritizing construction safety as a core component of training and educating new construction workers, employers can help create a safer and more productive work environment for all workers involved in construction projects.
Going Beyond The Standard Construction Safety Education With Targeted Health Programs
In addition to tracking progress, companies can provide effective training and support through on-the-job training, classroom instruction, and mentorship programs.
New research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) highlights the prevalence of health risk behaviors among construction workers. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, several behaviors that contribute to higher health risks are more common among construction workers than workers in other industries. This includes smoking, smokeless tobacco use, binge drinking, no leisure-time physical activity, and not always using a seatbelt. The study found that carpenters, construction laborers, and roofers all had significantly elevated prevalences for five of the six behaviors.
These findings are concerning, especially considering that construction workers are in physically demanding jobs and exposed to many chemical and physical workplace hazards. Previous studies have shown that construction workers who exhibit certain health risk behaviors may be more likely to experience work-related injuries.
Therefore, targeted interventions and health programs specific to the construction industry may be necessary to reduce these behaviors and improve worker safety. The study also found that behavior changes among construction managers could have a positive impact on the safety and health culture at individual companies.
Construction companies and industry leaders should consider implementing targeted interventions and health programs to promote healthier behaviors and improve the overall safety and health culture in the construction industry. Sometimes your standard safety programs, just don’t cut it.
The True Costs of Construction Safety
At the end of the day you should prioritize safety because it’s the best thing you can do for the people working at your company, but there are also significant cost implications.
Ensuring the safety of workers on a construction site is crucial for keeping insurance costs down. The higher the risk of accidents and injuries, the higher the insurance premiums will be for the construction business, which is another reason why construction safety training is so important for businesses.
One of the main factors that affect the insurance costs of a construction business is their EMR rating. EMR, or Experience Modification Rate, is a numerical value used by insurance companies to determine a business’s workers’ compensation insurance premium. The EMR rating takes into account the past claims history of the business, and a higher EMR rating indicates a higher risk of accidents and injuries, which leads to higher insurance premiums. Therefore, it is essential for construction businesses to maintain a low EMR rating by prioritizing safety measures and minimizing the number of claims filed. Some project owners and GCs also require all contractors working on a project to have a certain EMR rating, so a poor EMR rating can also affect your ability to win work.
Keeping Track Of Your Workers On The Jobsite
Companies like SmartBarrel can provide valuable tools for contractors to track their workers’ health and safety. With easy-to-use safety tracking features that include construction site PPE verification, on-site incident tracking, easy employee onboarding, and message broadcasting capabilities, contractors can rest assured that their workers will be safer. These features allow for real-time monitoring of workers’ safety and well-being, making it easier for contractors to identify and address potential risks before they become major issues. By investing in tools like SmartBarrel, contractors can create a safer work environment for their employees and prevent costly accidents and injuries.
What a Great Construction Safety Program Will Do For Your Business
Neglecting training and education can have serious consequences, including higher workers’ compensation costs and legal liabilities for the company, decreased morale, and increased turnover among workers. Implementing best practices that focus on construction safety, such as comprehensive safety training and ongoing safety education and communication, can help create a safer and more productive work environment for all workers involved in construction projects. Targeted interventions and health programs specific to the construction industry may also be necessary to reduce health risk behaviors and improve worker safety.
The most important thing to remember is that your people are your company’s greatest assets, and without them, your business wouldn’t be able to function. Taking care of them with the right safety programs should be one of your #1 priorities.