What Do You Need to Become a Construction Worker
The primary requirement needed to be a construction laborer is having the technical know-how as well as the relevant education and training. But these days, it is not just enough to have the required skills and knowledge; construction workers must also know how to stay safe on the job sites. There is no denying the several risks and hazards that are prevalent in the construction industry, especially as it is a job that mostly involves working at heights. And research has shown this (working at heights) to be one of the most common causes of hazards on construction worksites.
From the risk of falls from great heights to tripping on sharp objects, fires, noise, drug abuse, and exposure to toxic substances like silica dust, construction workers are constantly exposed to factors that threaten their safety on the worksite.
Thus to curb the prevalent danger resulting from construction sites, it has become paramount for construction workers to acquire the suitable education and training required to perform their work safely with minimal accidents. It is therefore because of the need to ensure the safety of construction workers operating on worksites in the State of New York, that the NYC Department of Buildings deemed it fit to enact a local law in 2017.
Commonly regarded as the Local Law 196, this law introduces a Site Safety Training (SST online training) for construction workers specifically those who work on job sites that require a Construction Superintendent, Site Safety Coordinator, or Site Safety Manager. This training aims to ensure that construction workers are adequately equipped to accost the many dangers inherent in the construction industry. Under this system, designated construction laborers are mandated to undergo a 40 hour approved site safety training that would be important to work on construction worksites. More often than not, this training is divided into three structures:
- a 30-hour OSHA training program;
- an 8-hour Fall Prevention Course; and
- a 2-hour Drug and Alcohol Awareness Course
10 Hour SST Bundle
The 8 Hour Fall Prevention Course and 2 Hour Drug and Alcohol Awareness Course are both done online and together, they form the 10 hour SST training online. Any construction laborer that undergoes this training, as well as the 30 hour OSHA program as required by the NYC Department of Building, will be eligible for a Full/Worker SST card. This card serves as proof that the construction laborer has gone through the required training and hence making them eligible to take on projects in New York.
Through its intrinsic courses, the 10 hour SST training online seeks to equip construction workers against the two most common causes of accidents on construction worksites. And as a matter of ease and convenience, the 10 hour SST bundle has been made available as an interactive online course that can be taken at the convenience of construction workers.
This course should meanwhile not be seen as encouraging laxity, as construction workers that go through this program will be required to:
- have a complete attendance for the online training
- actively participate in all class exercises which will be determined by the respective course instructor
- have a minimum score of 70 on the end-of-course examination.
The Fall Prevention Course
A considerable amount of construction jobs involves working at heights so it is not so surprising that statistics show that fatal falls, trips, and slips are the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. It is the effort to check these unfortunate accidents that brought about the Fall Prevention Course.
Designed specifically for the education and training of construction workers, this course seeks to train them on how to recognize, avoid, minimize, and correct fall hazards on job sites. Generally, the scope of this course borders on highlighting the responsibilities of construction workers, suitable fall hazard controls to use, installation of safety gears and fall protection systems, regulatory requirements of fall control, the integrity of anchorage points, among other things.
The importance of the 8 hour Fall Prevention Course is thus emphasized by the need to ensure the safety of construction workers even while they are working at great heights.
The Drug and Alcohol Awareness Course
Another known cause of accidents and deaths among construction workers is the abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that substance abuse is a factor in 35% of workplace injuries and fatalities, with the construction industry at the forefront of these statistics.
In and of itself, drug and substance abuse has a devastating effect on a person’s health and wellbeing – especially on a person battling addiction, and it is particularly dangerous when this abuse of drugs and substances is done by construction workers. This is because construction work is hazard-prone and working under the influence of drugs only increases this risk. This singular fact underlines the importance of the compulsory Drug and Alcohol Awareness Course mandated to be taken by construction workers in furtherance of ensuring their safety on worksites.
The goal of this course is to educate workers on the safety and productivity hazards created by the abuse of alcohol and other drugs on the job sites. Among other things, this course will help the average construction laborer to understand the adverse effects of abusing drugs and alcohol on the worksite, as well as recognizing, avoiding, and preventing these consequences from befalling them.
Therefore to become a designated construction laborer in the state of New York, one must, in addition to other requirements, undergo the required training program by the NYC Department of Buildings. Divided into a 30 hour OSHA training program and a 10 hour SST bundle, this package equips construction workers with delicate information and training required to have a successful career.
And though coming in the form of a law or mandate, this SST training 2021 is beneficial to construction workers as it educates them on having safe and accident-free career journeys, a skill that is particularly needed due to the nature of their job.