Can E-Learning Improve Safety Training Compliance?

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By-KIMBERLY HEGEMAN

Could online safety training opportunities be a solution for construction contractors who claim they don’t have time or resources to train?

Here at ForConstructionPros.com we have highlighted and argued for the necessity of training your workers. There’s countless examples of why investing in training — whether it be training in safety, equipment, technology or something else — is the best and cost conscious solution for your business. I doubt this is the first time you’ve heard this.

But, there are many arguments (or possibly excuses) as to why contractors haven’t or aren’t investing in training. I’m sure some contractors would say they don’t have the time or resources to train. But when you have a job, you expect your employees and subcontractor employees to perform their best work up to your standards and requirements while also being safe. However, how can they truly do that if they haven’t been trained on jobsite safety?

I came across an emerging resource that might be the answer for some construction companies who claim they don’t have the time or resources to train. It’s called GoContractor. This Irish software company opened an office in New York four years ago and has since been adopted by many of the major national construction companies in the U.S. including Gilbane, Skanska and LendLease, who are employing the technology for on-site subcontractors. In addition, GoContractor will be used on the $10 billion Foxconn LCD screen factory complex project in Wisconsin, which is being managed by Gilbane Construction Company.

What does GoContractor offer? It has designed an online orientation platform for employees to help ensure safety regulation compliance. So instead of requiring classroom training, employees can learn from the comfort of anywhere with online access. What’s more, crews can do their training online before they even set foot on the physical jobsite.

With GoContractor, orientation is all done in advance, on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

“Subcontractors can be verified and inducted from the comfort of their own homes and offices, and they arrive at the project on day one ready to hit the ground running,” said John Naughton, CEO of GoContractor. “

“GoContractor gives us control over the first steps contractors take to become safe and knowledgeable members of our workforce,” said Pat Conlon, Project Executive, Gilbane. “Now we have a robust induction and registration process that ensures No Induction = No Work Badge.”

I’ve always been intrigued by online learning. The ability to access and learn when you want and even where you want provides significant advantage. In fact, I personally wish there were a lot more online learning opportunities that could help me advance my career or even expand into new areas of learning.

Of course, you have to consider the possible downsides. After being a screen for an extended period of time, it’s possible a person may stop comprehending what they are reading and just read to finish. However, stastics from GoContractor refute that. According to GoContractor research, the retention rate for face-to-face training is 8% to 10%. But the retention rate for e-learning is 25% to 60%.

Do you think online t is a good fit for construction safety training? What do you think are some advantages or disadvantages to using online safety training in your construction company?

Share your thoughts and comments with me at khegeman@acbusinessmedia.com, in the comments for this blog, or start a conversation on social media with ForConstructionPros.com on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.