Promoting Safety Through Virtual Training

Nov. 25, 2020
Today, technology allows virtual training that can benefit all employees and their employers.
By Jonathan Damashek

Injuries on the job are not uncommon in the construction industry; however, with appropriate training, the chances of accidents can be reduced. All training does not have to take place in person. Today, technology allows virtual training that can benefit all employees and their employers.

OSHA-Authorized Online Training Providers

There are a lot of online training providers out there, but only a handful are OSHA-authorized. You should carefully select your training provider to make sure employees are getting high quality instruction that will help them stay safe.

Some of the OSHA-authorized providers include:

·     AdvanceOnline

·      CareerSafe

·      ClickSafety

·      PureSafety

·      Redvector

·      Summit Training Source

·      360 Training

·      University of South Florida

These organizations offer a wide variety of training in an online training environment.

OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Construction Safety Courses

The virtual OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Construction Safety courses offer a dynamic array of information in a digital learning format. They can typically be taken on a computer or tablet.

An OSHA 10-hour program will offer several topics focused on the construction industry, but the 30-hour program is much more robust.

The best 30-hour programs offer the following topics:

·      Introduction to OSHA

·      Managing Safety and Health

·      Struck and Caught Hazards

·      Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

·      Hearing Conservation

·      Respiratory Protection

·      Lead and Crystalline Silica

·      Asbestos

·      Hazard Communication

·      Electrical Safety

·      Hand and Power Tools

·      Fall Protection

·      Ladder Safety

·      Excavations

·      Scaffolds

·      Crane Safety

·      Heavy Equipment

·      Forklift Safety

·      Materials Handling

·      Permit-Required Confined Spaces

·      Fire Safety

·      Welding and Cutting

·      Concrete and Masonry

·      Steel Erection

·      Ergonomics

These courses are best for construction workers and supervisors, or anyone involved in the construction industry.

New York-Specific Courses

The New York City Department of Buildings has specific regulations that address safety on worksites in New York City. Many online safety courses are available for New York workers to promote knowledge of these regulations and improve safety.

Most of these courses are between two and four hours long and cost under $150. They are also offered in English, Spanish, and other languages commonly used in New York City.

ClickSafety offers the following New York construction safety courses:

·      Drugs and Alcohol Awareness for Construction

·      Supported Scaffolding User & Refresher for Construction

·      Fall Prevention for Construction

Most of these courses are Intermediate or Advanced, but would be beneficial for construction workers at any skill level.

California-Specific Safety Courses

California also has significant regulations that must be followed and that help construction workers remain safe on the job.

Some California specific safety courses include:

·      Confined Spaces for Construction

·      Scaffold Erection for Construction

·      Materials Handling for Construction

·      Fall Protection Awareness for Construction

·      Personal Protection Equipment Awareness

·      Electrical Hazards for Construction

·      Valley Fever Awareness for All Industries

Most of these courses are under an hour long and can be taken entirely online with a computer or tablet.

How Much Does Virtual Training Cost?

Online safety training courses are very affordable. For example, the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety course is typically under $100 and the 30-Hour course is under $200. These prices are geared to encourage employers to get training for all employees instead of only supervisors and management-level workers.

States specific safety courses range in price from less than $50 to around $150, depending on the length of the course and level of training. Most employers pay for training for employees; however, they are made affordable so everyone can get the training they need to remain safe in this industry.

University-Level Safety Training Classes

The University of South Florida (USF) offers a higher caliber and deeper learning experience, all from the comfort of your home. Most of their classes are $550 or $750, and they run for two to three days, with some being up to a week long.

The courses as USF offer a live experience with an instructor, but the class size remains small with a maximum of 30 students per course. They use electronic course materials, but they may also be printed. The university can also print them and ship them to you, if necessary.

Virtual courses offered by the USF OSHA Training Institute Education Center include:

·      Principles of Scaffolding

·      Cranes in Construction

·      Electrical Standards

·      Respiratory Protection

·      Fall Protection

·      Permit-Required Confined Space Entry

·      Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics

·      Recordkeeping Rule Seminar

·      Evacuation and Emergency Planning

·      Health Hazard Awareness

·      Hazardous Materials

·      OSHA Guide to Industrial Hygiene

The USF program also tailors courses for management supervisors as well as trainers. For example, they offer Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers and a Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards in the Construction Industry.

Safety Training for the Covid-19 Pandemic

Some online training organizations offer specific training for Covid-19 pandemic safety. The construction industry took a hit initially when the pandemic shut things down; however, building and expanding is a necessary endeavor even now. So, construction continues to grow in many areas.

PureSafety offers a low cost Pandemic Awareness course that can help employees learn about best practices in the field. It is ideal for all learners at any level.

Staying Safe Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Sitting at a desk in an uncomfortable chair for four hours is not appealing to anyone, but training looks a lot different today. Workers can even engage in safety training from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual training is affordable and effective in the construction industry, so all employees should be encouraged to seek out education to improve their safety habits on the job.

Attorney Johnathan Damashek is a partner at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. in New York City. The firm focuses on providing services to victims of construction accidents and workplace injuries. They have an interest in keeping construction workers safe, especially through preventative training that is offered online.

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