One of the key components to building a proper safety culture is first building awareness. That awareness is built through training, tool box talks, and jobsite experience. The good news is that construction companies don’t need to come up with safety topics and information by themselves, there are actually a lot of fantastic resources available online and many of them are free.
Below are some of my favorite free safety resources for construction. I use these personally on a regular basis for my own safety training that I perform and for additional research when writing articles. Check them out and let me know if you have any other resources that I should be aware of!
If you’re going to start anywhere, there’s no better place than the source. OSHA is responsible for creating and enforcing safety regulations in the U.S., but they also provide a lot of other information to help train your employees.
In addition to the actual regulations, OSHA has a large library of QuickCards (1-page printable documents for handouts), E-tools for interactive learning, videos, and standard interpretations to give you insight into how OSHA intends for certain standards to be enforced.
Another one of my favorite resources is CPWR, which is dedicated to providing safety resources in order to reduce jobsite injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. CPWR also commonly partners with other organizations to perform research and create other tools.
This is obviously a little self-serving, but I spend a lot of time talking about safety on Construction Junkie and there’s a ton of valuable information to be found. Not only can you find out about recent regulation changes, and information about other great resources like this post, I also cover real-life safety incidents on jobsites throughout the country. For me, using examples of things that have actually happened recently gives any safety training or toolbox talk a heightened sense of urgency and makes people want to listen to you.
In addition, you can find new tools and technology to help enforce your company’s standards or provide your workers an alternative to traditional methods. A couple recent examples are the rise of exoskeletons that provide lift assist to reduce fatigue and long term ailments, and AI software to help monitor your jobsite for social distancing compliance during the pandemic.
You may only know Procore as the popular project management software company, but they actually spend a lot of energy providing some pretty great (and free) services for contractors to use, even if you’re not on their platform. One of those resources is a catalogue of “Procore Safety Qualified” courses, which can be found on their education page. Those who complete the course can also earn a coveted “Safety Qualified” hard hat sticker.
The most current courses are a bit more non-tangible than you may be used to, as they cover wellbeing, mindset, and cultural changes, but they also have a backlog of more traditional topics as well. The 8 other topics include Lockout/Tagout, Respiratory Protection, Scaffolding, Hazard Communication, Fall Protection, Confined Spaces, Silica Exposure, and Heat Hazards.
Each course can be used to earn continuing education credits and it also approved by several industry organizations.
Safesite makes their living with their safety management system and safety app of the same name, but they also have a really great blog packed with extremely helpful information. The company covers all of the most important topics, including fall protection, excavation, safety culture, documentation, ladder safety, COVID-19, and so much more.
In addition to just the helpful blog posts, you can also find checklists for things like PPE inspections, fall protection, electrical inspections, hot work, and others. As knowledgeable as they are about safety, they also reach out to industry experts (*ahem” – like this one) to get additional perspectives. It’s definitely a site worth bookmarking.