Construction Safety Training – The Role of Videos in the Training Session

Good construction safety practices benefit everyone involved. By reducing the numbers of injuries and deaths, they also lower property damage, legal liability, workers’ compensation claims, and time missed from work. A good safety training program helps the employer keep up with safety training requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the workplace embraces a safety environment in which every employee helps promote proper safety procedures on the job, then employees both new and experienced will be invested in having a safe work environment. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded after a 1998 study that training in creating and maintaining a comprehensive safety culture at work is proven to help prevent workplace injuries and deaths. Construction related training videos are a great medium for this education.

One of the best ways to emphasize the importance of a safe work culture while satisfying OSHA regulations for safety education is to hold regular safety training in which employees watch safety related videos that specifically spell out the required safety rules and practices. One workplace environment in which safety training is absolutely essential is the construction site. Because of the many hazards of this workplace regular safety training and an on-the-job mindset of the importance of safety are vitally important.

Some of the top violations that OSHA finds in construction sites include the following:

* Inadequate fall protection

* General safe workplace practices

* Aerial lift safety

* Improper use of ladders

* Hazard communication

Safety videos addressing these workplace issues can keep safety violations to an absolute minimum. When an employer gathers workers to watch construction safety videos on a regular basis, the employer can be certain that the workers have been adequately exposed to the training materials, whereas written safety handouts may not be read thoroughly.

In the United States, in just the three-year period between 2003 and 2006 the number of foreign-born Hispanic workers in the construction industry increased by almost one million. The ability of these workers to speak English varies widely, and for that reason, it is important for employers with large numbers of Spanish speaking workers to provide safety training in Spanish as well as English. Training videos in both English and Spanish allow employers to ensure that safety training is understood by and benefits all employees.

Following are some examples of specific video training topics that are essential for a workplace safety environment that adheres to OSHA standards in practices and in training.

1. Slips and Falls. Slips and falls can be very dangerous in the construction workplace, where workers may be working on raised platforms or near earth-moving machinery. The construction worksite is constantly changing, too, on a daily or even more frequent basis. Identification of slip and fall hazards, reporting and correcting hazards, and a constant awareness of slip and fall hazards are extremely important in the construction industry. Training videos that emphasize how costly slips and falls can be are a major step toward eliminating slip or fall accidents.

2. General Safe Work Practices. Safety videos that emphasize the basics such as good housekeeping, proper lifting, and the use of personal protective equipment will remind construction workers of the many and varied hazards that a construction jobsite has. This type of video also reinforces the importance of a general safety culture at work.

3. Aerial Lift Safety. The use of videos on safety when using aerial lifts can help reduce the accidents caused by poor aerial lift safety, one of OSHA’s top construction violations. Videos that cover the proper donning techniques for body harnesses and regular equipment inspection can reinforce the importance of aerial safety lift practices.

4. Ladder Safety. Ladder safety training cannot be overemphasized. Ladders are used by so many workers in so many different applications, that ladder safety training must be a high priority. Workers should be trained in safety requirements, the 4:1 ratio of straight ladders, incorrect ladder procedures and unsafe behavior.

5. Hazard Communication. Chemical hazards on the job must be marked and labeled. Workers must be trained in chemical labeling, safety, and material safety data sheets (MSDS). Video training in hazard communication helps workers avoid some of the most common OSHA standards violations.

Training videos that focus on safety have a prominent place in workplace safety education. Not only do videos present the material in a way that can be easily comprehended, the pictures of proper safety procedures reinforce the lessons of the audio track. For many U.S. construction worksites, training is necessary in Spanish as well as English to ensure that lessons are understood by all workers. Safety education training in both languages are easy and effective training tools in the bilingual workplace.