Tim Brown, Negosentro | It’s been nearly fifty years since the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was founded. In the time since, deaths on the job have been cut by more than half. If you think that this government agency has little to do with your small construction business, you’d be surprised. Here’s why getting an OSHA card matters, and what it can do for you.
What do you learn?
As a construction worker, you’re working in an industry with a worker fatality rate much higher than that of most other industries. By getting an education in OSHA standards and protocols, you can help save lives while you work.
Whether you choose the 10-hour course or the 30-hour, you’ll get vital training in the Focus Four for construction. The Focus Four covers specific safety topics relevant to your industry.
For instance, the Fall Hazards portion addresses what is statistically the most fatal hazard in private construction. If you and your crew work on scaffolding or roofs, this is information that can instruct you on the finer points of keeping the job site safe. From cleaning up to avoid trips and falls, to improper use of access equipment, you’ll be able to better assess and prevent dangers.
Other focus points include Struck-By Hazards, Electrocution Hazards, and Caught-In/In-Between Hazards, which tackles topics like equipment rollover and excavation collapse.
In addition to specialized construction topics, you’ll get helpful information on general standards, which no one on your crew should be without.
What are the benefits of having an OSHA card?
When you have your OSHA card for construction, the biggest benefit is that you can prevent yourself and others from getting hurt, or even dying. It’s difficult to put a price on a human life, but at the very least, avoiding these tragic accidents helps keep a business afloat.
The OSHA card can also improve your job prospects and reputation. For instance, if you’re part of a small company that’s competing with other businesses for a nice contract, you can guarantee that at least one of your competitors will have their OSHA training. Bringing this to the table as well can keep you on the short list of responsible, capable businesses to consider.
In fact, you may find that you can bid a little higher with such qualifications. Many workers get the training to justify higher wages from an employer, and making it a company-wide initiative can boost your value to prospective clients.
If you own your own construction business or manage a crew, OSHA training is a good way to alter the current team culture with a renewed emphasis on safety. This is especially important if you’re a business owner who cannot afford hefty fines or lawsuits.
You may even find that by implementing better safety standards, the finished job is more satisfactory than usual.
Best of all, OSHA training can often be done online and is not very expensive. In most states, the card doesn’t expire, so you’ll be all set for as long as you want to work. Look into getting an OSHA card today, and start preventing accidents which threaten all aspects of your livelihood, from business success to health.