Being new to anything is difficult. You are surrounded by tools and systems that you do not yet know how to operate. Additionally, especially in the construction industry, you are at a significantly increased risk of injury. The lessons you learn and the practices you use in the first couple of weeks of employment will eventually set the tone for your entire work history. As you begin to learn the ins and outs of your new contractor career, keep the following training and safety tips in mind.
Don?t rush, learn everything that you can
Most new employees are required to take numerous courses before working on a project. Many employees rush to get to the hands on part because taking classes can be boring. It is important, however, to learn everything that you can from these classes. If you are later faced with an emergency situation, you will want to pull from your emergency training. If you are trying to remember how to use an item safely, such as crane service, you will also want to remember your safety training. You might need your training knowledge within the first week on the job, or many years after you start. Either way, get as much as you can out of the training classes.
Many people fail to ask questions because they don?t want to look incompetent. When it comes to safety, however, no question is a dumb question. If you have a pressing question regarding the fall protection courses information or proper crane service operation, it is likely that someone else has the same question and also does not want to speak up. OSHA training uses a three step process to prevent dangerous falls and to save lives. The steps are to plan, provide, and train. Asking questions can help you to better understand each step and to better grasp the safety training information.
Get hands on training
People learn in different ways. One student might best grasp material by reading about it, while another has to physically complete the safety tips. In the construction industry, it is important to get both types of training. If you are confused about proper crane service operation or are unsure about your fall arrest training, request a hands on experience. You will feel more comfortable when it comes time to actually use these fall protection systems. Worker injuries and illnesses are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.4 per 100 in 2011. Much of this decrease is due to longer and more in depth safety training classes.
Never complete a task you are not comfortable with
When you actually get onto a project, you might be assigned to a task that you are not familiar or comfortable with. Your project manager might not be aware of your lack of training or that you are not yet experienced in crane service, for example. Always be honest with your project manager. If you are not comfortable safely operating a machine, let them know. They can walk you through the process or ensure that you are following all OSHA safety regulations.
While basic training is usually a part of new contractor training, most contractors do not ever sign up for any additional training. Additional training, like rigging certifications, not only improves safety but can also increase your job position. Contractors that have certifications and advanced safety training are often in demand and can apply for higher project positions.
The construction industry poses many safety risks, especially for a new contractor. Without fall arrest or safety training, a person can fall up to seven feet in two thirds of a second. New training is extremely valuable for new contractors when it comes to OSHA safety standards and proper on site safety habits. These trainings have already shown a decrease in work injuries and are likely to contribute to an even greater decline.