In April of 2016, I was able to offer a lunch and learn presentation to my colleagues. The basis of the presentation was Intro to General Safety. The presentation consisted of the following:
- Occupational Health & Safety Act
- Responsibilities of the employer
- Responsibilities of the employee
- A general overview of a workplace assessment
- Protection & limitations of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Limitations of Fall Protection
- Hazards of confined spaces
- Overview of performing a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Many safety programs can hold training on the above topics for days. I was limited to an hour over a lunch period. By focusing on the limitations of PPE and the numerous potential hazards that may exist on a construction site, I feel that the training was very effective in bringing the topic to the forefront of peoples minds as this is something we need to invest additional resources. In all fairness to the employers, the construction environment is constantly changing. As an employee, you really need to continue to ask questions and discuss workplace safety with your supervisor on a recurring basis.
Following up on the safety training momentum, my department had sought out different training options. Since some of our team consists of professional that are young in their careers, it was decided to pursue additional training via OSHA 10-hour general construction outreach program. To assist with pushing the course approval through the upper management within the company, I included statistics from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Per the Bureau’s website, there are 3.6 recordable cases for every 100 workers in 2014. Based on the size of the department, we’re statistically likely to have a recordable injury every 2 years. Although an argument can be made that our department isn’t on a construction site on a daily basis, a counter-argument can be made that due to our lack of training, we’re at a higher risk of being injured.
In conclusion, my department is proceeding with 100% participation in the OSHA 10-hour construction outreach training program. By arming individuals with the additional knowledge of recognizing hazards and limitations of PPE, I’m hoping that all of my colleagues continue to remain safe by making safety their priority.