Falls are the number one cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for a third of all deaths caused by on-the-job injuries. More than 200 construction workers lose their lives to falls every year; another 10,000+ are seriously injured. Falls are a significant concern for any workplace, but when workers are using aerial lifts, it is an especially important issue. Aerial lift training is the first course of action to prevent injuries.
As a quality and compliance manager, you understand the value of training, particularly when it comes to employee safety. However, a 2017 survey of small business employees showed that 17% of workers reported they never received workplace safety training. Whether this statistic is a result of training that did not resonate with workers, insufficient training, or some combination of causes, it is a troublesome indicator.
To be in compliance with OSHA standards and regulations, only those staff members who are trained and authorized to use an aerial lift are allowed to operate it. Learn tips that could help you create a comprehensive aerial lift training program.
Clarify Your Objectives
Before planning and creating a training program, become clear on the who, what, and why at the heart of your curriculum. This will help you focus on what is most important and block out unnecessary noise, allowing your staff to absorb and retain the crucial details of the safety training program.
Understand who needs the information. Consider every role in your workplace and determine which positions will benefit from the aerial lift training agenda. For instance, managers should be well trained to ensure the employees they supervise are in compliance. Of course, anyone who currently or could potentially work on an aerial lift should also take part in the training. Those who work around the aerial work platforms might also benefit from being aware of precautions and hazards.
Understand what employees must know. Determining and refining the pertinent information required will help you streamline the training program. Finally, design an aerial lift training program that meets the objectives you have laid out.
Follow OSHA Guidelines
Because aerial lifts are mounted on vehicles, boom-supported, and used to access job sites in high places such as utility lines, the risk for accidents and injury is great. Collapsed machinery, falls, and electrocutions are a very real hazard for employees. Ensuring that workers are in compliance with OSHA guidelines through adequate aerial lift training is essential.
Both management and workers must know and understand all standards and regulations. Aerial lift training curriculum should begin with an overview of all potential hazards with emphasis on the most common and most dangerous. Safe work practices, such as following manufacturers’ instructions, maintaining a proper minimum clearance, and never overriding safety devices are an excellent foundation for a safety training program.
Explaining fall protection, overhead protection, operation, and stability practices such as treating all wires and power lines as energized and wearing body harnesses or restraining belts every time an aerial lift is in use as well as stressing the importance of pre-start and work zone inspections could ultimately save lives.
Although OSHA does not require that employers certify or designate an operator to another party, they do state that “only trained persons shall operate an aerial lift.” The government agency charges employers with the responsibility of developing a training program to instruct aerial lift operators on safely operating and maintaining the machines.
They recommend that a designated trainer provides aerial lift safety instruction not only before operating a new (to them) type of aerial lift, but also if the job site conditions change, an accident or close call occurs, or a worker exhibits an insufficient knowledge or skill level.
Upon their successful completion of your company’s aerial lift training, you can certify employees. Make sure they have met the goals you established by your predetermined deadlines. Establish a timeline for recertification and follow up by tracking certification dates so that you can ensure all workers successfully re-certify before those deadlines. Consider offering early recertification when onboarding new hires or making changes to the worksite.
Include Multiple Types of Training
When developing your aerial lift training program, keep different learning styles top of mind. The three primary learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
- Visual learners think in images. They retain information best when they see them written, printed, or in another visual format, such as slide presentations.
- Auditory learners absorb what they hear. They learn best from lectures, discussions, or other spoken formats, such as narrated videos.
- Kinesthetic learners prefer a tactile learning experience. They recall information best with hands-on experience.
While most adults prefer one predominant way to learn, incorporating a combination of all three approaches is an effective way to introduce the required information. Provide classroom-style training as well as hands-on instruction. Not only will this foster engagement for all types of learners, but it is also practical, as you can gauge how well trainees are comprehending and remembering the skills and knowledge they have learned.
Be sure to evaluate training for effectiveness and make testing easily accessible for all the workers involved.
Deliver Ongoing Information
Employees should have access to relevant documentation at all times. Provide information in case of questions, accidents, or changes to the type of aerial lift as well as the worksite. Providing multiple forms of documentation, such as posters and placards as well as printed and digital materials, ensures that workers at every level can find and comprehend the details that they need.
With a comprehensive LMS platform, you will be able to provide aerial lift training that ensures employees can perform their duties safely and productively. WestNet Learning is an all-in-one LMS that provides the ability to customize eCourses to create the ideal training program.
WestNet Learning enables you to certify employees, track timelines, and re-certify promptly and with ease. The easy-to-use dashboard provides the analytics you need to determine safety compliance across the board.
Learn more about how to train your employees effectively to meet every necessary standard by reaching out to schedule a 1-on-1 strategy session.