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A group of people at an OSHA safety meeting, the benefits of which are supported by construction training manuals

Every building you have ever been in was built by a construction worker. These workers follow a strict set of rules and regulations when building any structure to make sure it is up to code. However, in order to understand these rules and regulations and how to follow them, construction workers need construction training manuals. Having the right construction training manuals and procedures in place when it comes to training construction workers is essential to the workers’ safety and the safety of anyone who enters the buildings.

What Makes Up Good Construction Training Manuals?

When it comes to training your employees in any industry, it all starts with a good training manual. Here are some tips and ideas to consider for making good construction training manuals:

  • What’s the objective of the manual: What’s the purpose of the manual? How does the manual support specific business goals? What type of workplace activities should the manual include?  Figure out the answers to these questions and consider them when writing the manual.
  • Get help if you need it: writing a good manual is not easy; don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Think about what you want to include: create an outline of what you want in the manual, such as the knowledge, processes, and even a checklist.
  • Keep your audience in mind: think about who will be reading your manual; you want its writing style and contents to be tailored to the type of audience you are writing for.
  • Add a table of contents: this help will help those who will be reading the manual for the first time to know what it’s about. It will also help if any employee needs to go back to a certain section without searching for it.
  • Summarize each section: at the end of each section, there should be a 1-3 paragraph summary of the section that the reader just read to recap it.

OSHA Standards for Construction Training Manuals

There is a specific governing body that establishes and enforces the safety rules and regulations for businesses in the United States. That would be the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The administration was founded in 1970 when congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health act. The official reason OSHA exists is “To ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by training, outreach, education and assistance.” Some matters that the standards of OSHA cover are:

  • Provide fall protection
  • Prevent trenching cave-ins
  • Prevent infectious disease
  • Ensure that workers safely enter a confined space
  • Guards on machines
  • Provide safety equipment such as respirators

When writing any construction training manual, a business that works in the United States should make sure that the information in the manual complies with the regulations of the OSHA.

OSHA Inspections for Construction Sites

OSHA oversees around 7 million worksites all around the United States. While that is a lot, there is no way that they can guarantee annual inspections of each site. However, Regulation 29 CFR 1960.25(c) says “OSHA charges each agency with the responsibility to conduct an annual workplace safety and health inspection.” If you have a good training manual that clearly outlines the dangers and the OSHA regulations that help mitigate those risks, you will be able to train employees to take safety very seriously. When OSHA does their inspection of your construction site, this means you will be well prepared and should not encounter any violations that might cause the site to be shut down.

Enforcing Regulations

When running construction sites and putting up buildings, a business must consider the codes that state how such activities must be done.  These codes are supervised and enforced by local, state, and federal agencies. Well-constructed construction training manuals will outline the local, state, and federal regulations that need to be followed. However, you should not always expect those working on the site to follow the rules and regulations without prompting. It is necessary to make sure the foreman and other leading workers on the site are well versed in the construction training manuals and what it takes to enforce the regulations.

A person with an injured knee is receiving treatment as a part of worker's compensation, which should be outlined in construction training manuals

Workers’ Compensation

Good construction training manuals will also provide those on the worksite instructions on what to do if they get hurt. Indeed, your state’s Workers’ Compensation Board requires you to file a claim if you are hurt on a job site. Training manuals should include the appropriate contact information procedure for this purpose. In addition, construction training manuals should include safety training information, as well as train workers on what to do if an accident happens.

Safety Meetings

Another thing construction training manuals should outline is how often you will have to have safety training and meetings. Keeping to a strict schedule for safety training is of the utmost importance in any industry, but especially so in a high-stakes operation such as construction. It is critical to follow OSHA regulations covering safety meetings. No matter how large or small the business, you need to have regularly scheduled safety meetings or committees.

A business with 10 or less employees may have a committee while a larger business must have a safety meeting. These meetings should happen monthly or quarterly and while employees are on company time and paid their regular salary. The training manual should state a safety meeting’s main objectives. These often include objectives such as:

  • Inform employees about workplace risks and when safety training should be happening
  • Give employees the chance to evaluate their behavior prior to safety-related incidents
  • Keep everyone alert and make them aware of potential hazards

Traffic Control

If you are doing work in or around any roadways, one of the most important things that construction training manuals should outline is a plan for traffic control management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported between 2003 and 2019 that 2,103 workers lost their lives at road construction sites, which is an average of 124 per year.  Therefore, it is necessary to provide workers with information on how to avoid such incidents.

Learning how to properly set up the signs needed to do road construction is critical when on a work site. Giving training on this is essential for any profession that involves work near roads, but in a sector such as construction it is everything. OSHA standards can mean the difference between life and death at a road construction site.

How EDC can Help

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or to get started.

By Dylan Friebel