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How to Reduce Accidents and Injuries for Construction Fleets

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When your construction workers have accidents, it costs you money. You lose out on workers’ compensation, rising insurance costs, lost time, vehicle repairs, and fines. Worse yet, these accidents lead to pain and suffering for your employees.

Therefore, when you put resources into accident prevention, you’re actually saving yourself money.

It’s necessary to invest in safety training if you want to succeed as a construction company. Not only that, but you can actually achieve a massive positive return on your investment in safety training.

Download Now: 8 Light-Duty Training Courses You Can Use for Your Safety Meetings

Why Is Construction Dangerous?

OSHA consistently ranks construction as one of the top ten most dangerous jobs. This is for a variety of reasons.

Construction workers face the risk of serious personal injuries from hazards such as:

However, these are not the only accidents and injuries construction workers face. They also have a high risk of vehicular accidents.

Construction workers, inspectors, and managers drive to and from job sites. Additionally, employees might need to operate vehicles for a particular project. These activities present risk of vehicular accidents, injuries to employees, and injuries to the general public.

When one of your employees causes an accident, you’re on the hook for fines, court dates, injury compensation, repairs, and more. In fact, the average crash costs construction employers $16,500 and jumps to more than $74,000 for a crash with injuries. It could cost $500,000 or more if there is a fatality.

The good news is – whether it’s personal injury or a vehicular accident – accidents can be prevented. That’s because they are always caused by human behavior.

Your workers have slips, trips, or fall accidents when they aren’t looking where they’re going. They have rear-end collisions in their vehicles when they follow someone too closely.

You can reduce the risk of an accident by implementing effective safety training for your construction workers.

How to Implement Safety Training For Construction Workers

Effective safety training is all about changing behavior. We call it “starting with the end in mind”, or simply being “outcome-based.”

Outcome-based safety training focuses on the most pressing safe behaviors for your construction workers. We recommend companies follow this proven process for reducing accidents and injuries:

  • Determine your top 5 most common and costly accidents
  • Determine the unsafe behavior at the root cause of those accidents
  • Focusing your safety training on those behaviors that prevent the most common or costly unsafe behaviors

We’ve written about this topic many times before, but specifically for construction companies, that list likely includes rear-end collisions, distracted driving, improper lifting techniques, falling debris, and slips, trips, & falls.

Then, as we said, your safety training needs to focus on the safe behaviors that prevent those accidents. That would include leaving a safe following distance, always being an attentive driver, looking ahead and looking around when you’re walking, etc.

However, training employees on these behaviors at the time of hire isn’t enough. The training will leave an impression, but it will quickly fade as they get into their work and develop their own bad habits.

That’s why we always recommend our clients follow this safety training cycle:

  • Online safety training before their first day
  • Behind-the-wheel/in-person training
  • Recurring monthly safety meetings

Online Safety Training

When you hire a new employee, you could be hiring your next accident. You can’t trust someone’s prior experience, clean motor vehicle report, or references. You need to educate and train them on safe behaviors. Self-directed online safety training is a great way to accomplish this.

When you first hire someone, you should enroll them in online safety training conducted through a learning management system. This allows everyone to use a unique login, take training on their own time, and save their progress as they go.

Even if you pay your new hires for their time (which we recommend), you’re still cutting your training costs down drastically.

If you’re wondering how you would go about getting online safety training, there are many options already available to you.

Our clients use The Fleet Safety Course, which offers:

  • A guaranteed 20% reduction of accidents and injuries
  • Training on defensive driving and injury/illness prevention
  • A custom-branded learning management system

Investing in a product like The Fleet Safety Course is a great way to reduce accidents and injuries with both new and current employees.

Behind the Wheel/In-Person Training

Online safety training is essential to educating your employees about essential safe behaviors. However, you also need to teach these behaviors in person. They can’t learn everything they need to know while in a classroom or on a computer.

For defensive driving, you should conduct behind-the-wheel training and evaluation for new employees. It’s a best practice to do annual re-training for all employees.

For job site injuries, you must train your employees on work-hazard awareness, HazCom, personal protective equipment, and more. Some of this should take place online, but you must train them in person to make sure they can perform their job safely.

Recurring Monthly Safety Training

New hire or even annual training isn’t enough. You need to train your employees monthly.

We recommend a monthly hour or even half-hour meeting focused on a specific topic. This topic should relate back to your list of most important safe behaviors.

In the meeting, remind your employees of the basics of the topic that they learned in new hire training. Take a deeper dive into how they can put the topic to use on the job to prevent injuries.

You can supplement your meeting with videos, activities, exercises, and quizzes. In fact, we offer a “safety meeting in a box” service where we send each of your locations everything they need for an effective safety meeting.

Monthly, your employees will learn about pressing issues such as:

Save Money With Safety Training

Accidents cost you time, money, and resources. A fatal one could put your company out of business. Without safety training, you’re running with scissors.

When you implement our proven process of safety training, you not only save money, but you protect your construction workers in the process. Everyone gets home safe and you enjoy a massive return on your investment.

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