Construction Workers Need Better Health & Safety Training

By Jennifer Dawson

hard hats

Giving construction workers health and safety training reduces the chance of them filing for workers’ compensation by as much as 12%. Every year, there are around 150,000 accidents on construction sites, many of which are preventable. Health and safety training is something all employers in the construction industry must do and, thankfully, most do. But is there more they could be doing to protect their workers?

Introduce augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) allows employees to receive health and safety training digitally. It’s an effective tool for training construction-based employees as 82% of employers who use AR say that the technology is just as good as they expected it to be or better. AR allows employees to practice new skills and tasks over and over again with less risk of injury. Currently, up to 90% of construction site accidents are caused by human error. AR could drastically lower this number, simply by allowing workers to learn virtually on the job. Statistics show that worker recall is up to 300% higher when health and safety training is done via VR compared to other methods, so it’s a powerful training technique.

More frequent training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) states that construction employees should be given annual health and safety training as a minimum. 55% of construction workers say they feel like they need more safety training. One-quarter even worry about getting injured at work on a daily basis. This shows the need for businesses in the construction industry to increase the amount of health and safety training they provide. They must also evaluate how effective this training is and whether it is safeguarding all employees in their jobs. Training evaluation questionnaires should be produced to assess how long construction workers are retaining crucial information and to find out the things they need further support with. You may also want to carry out regular performance reviews and ask for feedback on the training provided so that it can be tweaked if needed.

Offer personalized training

Too many construction businesses are in the habit of providing health and safety training to their employees in groups. This is often ineffective and leads to disengaged employees. Think about a new recruit, fresh out of school, compared to a construction worker with 10 years’ experience. The inexperienced employee will need a lot more health and safety knowledge than the experienced one. Personalized health and safety training is growing in popularity, and it’s what workers want. 91% say they want the training they receive to be personalized and relevant to them. Personalized training involves finding out exactly what gaps of knowledge your construction workers have. Questionnaires, assessments, and simply talking to each one will provide you with this information. From there, provide them with the health and safety training they need to successfully and safely do their jobs.

Far too many accidents happen on construction sites each year. It’s crucial that health and safety training is taken seriously in this industry and that new and improved ways of learning are introduced.

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