The Construction Industry and Training - Stats and Facts You Need to Know

Designing Digitally

12/29/2020

The symbiosis between the construction industry and training dates as far back as the creation of guilds in the Middle Ages. This industry relied heavily on word of mouth, apprenticeships, and learning from experience to gain traction and grow to become one of the largest in the modern world. Now that the construction sector has reached over 1.6 million employers, a different method of streamlining skills and knowledge is needed to ensure its continued progression. Employee online learning is proving to be an efficient and fast approach for teaching construction workers about health and safety regulations, onboarding processes, how to use machinery, and much more.

This article aims to depict the real dangers construction workers are faced with on a daily basis. It will also give you solid reasons why eLearning can be the best solution for construction businesses to increase safety and cut costs.

The Construction Industry and Training Today

Training as a construction worker used to mean showing up on-site and multitasking between trying to avoid injuries and memorizing as many processes as possible. Today, many construction companies are looking to eLearning to eliminate many of the concerns that come with learning on the job. With eLearning, rules and regulations can easily be accessed and memorized online beforehand. Onboarding and employee initiation can be done from the safety of the worker's home, so a minute on-site is a minute not wasted. And gamification can help employees stay engaged, learn faster, and enjoy the process at the same time.

Virtual employee training teaches construction employees the basics of how to successfully work in this industry, as well as the proper regulations, all risk-free. Workers don't have to worry about wearing a hard hat and can retake learning modules as many times as they need without fearing failure or causing accidents in the workplace.

Stats and Facts You Need to Know

  • Number of construction workers dying on the job in 2018: 5,250
  • Percentage of engaged construction employees: 39%
  • Percentage of construction firms that struggle to find employees: 70%
  • Percentage of construction companies that invest in Learning and Development: 55%
  • Cost increase due to worker shortages last year: 6.2%

The Four Biggest Hazards for Construction Workers

1. Falls

Construction workers are constantly at risk of injury and even death due to falling, tripping, and slipping on uneven or wet surfaces. In 2015-2016, about 25% of construction-related injuries happened due to working from heights, in uneven terrain, or in unsecured work areas. Online learning can prepare workers to prevent, recognize, and secure danger zones, not only to protect themselves but those around them as well.

2. Falling objects

In 1919 Edward Bullard invented the construction hard hat, which greatly improved the probability of survival for workers struck by loose or falling objects. Unfortunately, not everyone on a construction site knows the importance of properly following safety regulations, and blindly believe they are safe as long as they are wearing their hard hat. However, depending on the weight and the height they fall from, construction site objects can still badly injure or kill a worker regardless of their protective gear. It is vital to ensure employees experience the dangers of the job before they ever step foot on site. Online training, specifically simulations, can teach them to be aware of their surroundings at all times and allow them to experience the consequences of their actions in a risk-free environment.

3. Electrocution

Electrocution causes a lot more injuries and loss of lives on a worksite than one might think. Getting an electric shock can also lead to other accidents like falling off ladders and scaffolding. Online learning modules can run these types of risk scenarios to help workers possess higher awareness and fast problem-solving when a situation like this arises.

4. Collapsing Structures

Whether they are in a trench or on a demolition site, workers can get crushed by collapsing structures. Knowing the dangers a construction site might pose beforehand will help workers remain vigilant and take fewer risks on the job.

Benefits of Online Training for Your Workforce

Online learning platforms can be used for a variety of training purposes, including but not limited to: 

1. Self-Paced Learning

We all know that planning is one thing and implementation in another. Construction projects, for example, often have downtime due to unforeseen delays and weather issues. An eLearning platform that construction employees can access in their downtime will increase knowledge and efficiency once work starts back up.

2. Onboarding and Pipeline Learning

Construction firms can use virtual training platforms to train new employees. Seamless onboarding can be done for inexperienced workers without them ever stepping on a construction site. Also, having prior knowledge of the construction pipeline will make work easier for employees once on site.

3. Health and Safety Training

Since working in construction can be a reasonably dangerous job, there are lots of rules and regulations a worker needs to know before commencing work. Through eLearning and gamification, construction companies can make it easy and fun for employees to learn.

4. On-Demand, Simultaneous Training

Providing online training for your workforce will enable them to learn from anywhere and on any device. This removes the need for in-class training which normally means gathering different departments and company locations in one setting.

5. Cost Cutting

Switching to virtual classroom environments translates into cost-cutting all across the board. Learning online eliminates overhead costs, travel, food and beverage expenses, as well as most trainer retainers.

Conclusion

Falling objects, slips and trips, as well as collapsing structures, can badly injure employees. Online training for construction employees can significantly lower dangerous risks and help employees be well-prepared before stepping onto a construction site. Read more about how virtual employee training can benefit your business on our blog.