From left to right: NCCER president Dan Bennet, ABC safety director (and current NCCER president) Don Whyte and ABC national president/NCCER chairman Joe Ivey display the Business Roundtable's Industry Association Safety Award in 1993.[/caption] By Daniele Dixon, Director of Product Development at NCCER The importance of safety in the construction industry cannot be overstated, which is why it has been so deeply embedded in NCCER’s mission from the beginning. NCCER’s construction site safety programs were created to offer safety training and certification programs for the construction industry. Originally offered in the early-1990s as part of Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Education Foundation, the construction site safety programs earned ABC the Business Roundtable’s Industry Association Safety Award in 1993. In recognition of support from the owner community, these programs continued to evolve after they were rolled over to NCCER in 1996. Safety Orientation The first safety-related publication NCCER and its publishing partner, Pearson, released was Safety Orientation in 1998. Originally an 8-hour program, the Safety Orientation Pocket Guide was developed to provide employees with best practices for specific hazards on new and existing job assignments. The Safety Orientation program was revised into a 10-hour program in 2004 to meet OSHA’s requirements for a 10-hour construction industry training program. This meant that instructors who were OSHA-500 certified could issue trainees a 10-hour OSHA card upon successful completion of the program. As of 2014, 45,000 individuals were issued this card along with Construction Site Safety Orientation certificates. The program has been NCCER’s most utilized safety program, so to make access to it even more widespread, NCCER merged its content into the Basic Safety module of Core Curriculum. Although Basic Safety always included OSHA 10 training, the module now has incorporated content from Safety Orientation Field Safety The purpose of the Field Safety program is to provide necessary safety task training to all field personnel. Originally known as Safety Technician, the program was revised in 2003 and retitled Field Safety. Field Safety was later revised from a three-volume to a one-volume program in 2013 and covers topics such as hazard communication, fall protection, materials handling and safety for electrical, steel, concrete, masonry and heavy equipment. Construction Site Safety Supervisor certificates are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the Field Safety program. Safety Technology construction_site_safety_lgOriginally the 40-hour Safety Supervisor program, Safety Technology was revised and renamed in 2003 to provide instruction on how to implement and administer a company safety program. It is designed not just for safety directors, but for field managers, safety committees, owner safety representatives and insurance or loss control representatives. Safety Technology is in the process of undergoing another revision for release in 2017. The program will be condensed from 18 modules to 10, updated to the latest standards and industry practices and will include information on how to develop a quality safety culture. Currently, successful completion of Field Safety and 11 specific modules of Safety Technology can result in a Construction Site Safety Technician certificate. The Construction Site Safety Technician certificate is becoming more in demand, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. In Texas, for example, a major petrochemical owner has contractually written into its bid specifications that contractors must have an NCCER Construction Site Safety Technician on their job site. As a result, increased demand in the area has led Safety Advantage, an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor, to conduct eight Construction Site Safety Technician classes a year with over 200 attendees in each class. The Safety Council of Texas City takes the training a step further by combining additional curriculum to issue a 30-hour OSHA card. Upon completion, trainees are introduced to the community college system where they can obtain an occupational health and safety certificate, which puts them on the path to become a safety and health professional. Not only has NCCER’s Construction Site Safety Technician been in high demand along the Gulf Coast with petrochemical firms, but there has also been increasing demand and interest from non-industrial organizations. Federal contractors, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, have included the Construction Site Safety Technician in their bid packages as well. Having a safe and productive workforce is critical in the construction industry, which is why safety is so deeply embedded throughout all NCCER curricula, regardless of the craft. Craft professionals who successfully complete an entire NCCER craft program will receive, on average, at least 30 hours of safety training. As safety practices advance over time, NCCER’s construction site safety programs will continue to adapt to these changes while meeting the needs of our industry. Cover1605For the rest of the story, read the full article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

1 comment

Leave a comment
  1. Mi L. Falgoust | May 19, 2017
    Such a nice article, we liked it very much.

    Leave a comment

    About NCCER

    NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.