Every building you have ever been in was built by a construction worker. They follow a strict set of rules and regulations when building any structure to make it up to code. However, having the right training manuals and procedures in place when it comes to training construction workers is essential to their safety and the safety of anyone who enters the buildings.
What makes a good training manual?
When it comes to training your employees in any industry, it all starts with a good training manual. There are some tips and tricks to making a good training manual:
- 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?
- Get help if you need it: writing a good manual is not easy and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Think about what you want to include: create an outline of what you want in there, such as the knowledge, processes, and even a checklist.
- Keep your audience in mind: think about who will be reading your manual; you want it tailored to the type of audience you will have.
- Add a table of contents: this help will help those who will be reading it for the first time 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 they just read to recap it.
OSHA Standards for training manuals
When it comes to construction sites there is a governing body who provides the rules of safety and regulations. 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 things 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
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 employ employees who take safety very seriously. When OSHA does their inspection of your construction site, you will be well prepared and should not encounter any violations that might cause the site to be shut down.
When it comes to construction sites and putting up buildings there are codes that say how a building should be put up safely, they are controlled by local, state and/or federal agencies. A well-constructed construction training manual will have outlined the local, state, and federal regulations that need to be followed. However, you should not always rely on those working on the site to follow the rules and regulations. It is most likely the foreman on the site will be well versed in the training manuals and what it takes to enforce the regulations if they were to be broken.
A good training manual will also provide those on the worksite instructions on what to do if they get hurt. 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. The manual should include safety training information, as well as train them on what to do if an accident happens.
Another thing training manuals should outline is how often you will have to have safety training and meetings. Keeping to a strict schedule for safety trainings 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. 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:
- Informs employees about workplace risks and when safety training should be happening
- Gives employees the chance to evaluate their behavior prior to safety-related incidents
- Keeps everyone alert and makes them aware of potential hazards
If you are doing work in or around any roadways, one of the most important things that your construction training manual should outline is a plan for traffic control management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported between 2003-2019 that 2,103 workers lost their lives at road construction sites which is an average of 124 per year. Learning how to properly set up the signs needed to do road construction is critical when on a work site. Having the right training manuals for any profession is essential, 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. Knowing how to put one together properly is essential to the business’ success and safety. Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. We guarantee the quality of our work at Essential Data Corporation. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org By Dylan Friebel