3 Ways to Avoid a Fall from a Ladder

Ladder Safety Image

Because falls in construction are such a major cause of injuries and fatalities at work, we’re dedicating a few articles at this time to providing some fall-related safety tips to make sure you and your coworkers go home safely every night.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some ladder safety tips. Ladders are especially dangerous–every year, about 70 construction workers die when falling from ladders, and in addition about 4,000 construction workers experience an injury as a result of falling from a ladder that’s so severe they miss work.

So, let’s learn three simple safety tips for staying safer while working with ladders. And don’t forget to scroll down to the very bottom of this article, where you can download a free portable ladder self-inspection checklist. 

In addition to this article, we also created the following articles on topics related to falls, fall prevention, fall protection, and fall hazards/risks that might interest you as well:


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Looking Back at the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

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The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction was last week (May 7-11, 2018).

In this article, we’ll review what a safety stand-down is, why we have them, and how we can help prevent falls and especially fatal falls in the construction industry.

I was lucky enough to attend a special Fall Prevention training course offered by the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and their Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center that was timed to coincide with the Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down. In addition to the experts with UW-DEOHS/PNWOEC, there were other experts from industry (AGC), Oregon OSHA, Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE), and more. In short, it was a rock-star-studded event.

And so in the article below, we’ll also give some credit to all those fine presenters and highlight some of what I learned there.

In addition to this blog post, watch for one or more blog posts related to fall prevention to follow shortly.

As always, we hope these articles help improve safety at the workplace, and that’s especially true in fall prevention, where the need is so great.

In addition to this article focusing on the Safety Stand-Down itself, we’ve prepared some additional fall-related articles you may appreciate as well. So check these out too:


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ASSE/ANSI Z490.2 Update: It’s All about the Process

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In our last update on the progress of the upcoming ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 standard for Online EHS Training, we covered some discussions the committee had about the meaning of the phrase “online safety training.”

This time, we’re going to talk about process. The process of getting a bunch of hard-working, busy people to coordinate efforts on the creation of a national standard even though they work in different cities, on different schedules, and with different additional responsibilities beyond just writing national standards.


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Selecting Qualified Safety Trainers: Read Our Tips in ASSE’s “Professional Safety” Magazine’s May 2018 Issue

Energy Control Procedure Inspection Image

A quick head’s up that we’ve got a helpful article in the May, 2018 issue of Professional Safety, the official magazine of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

The article is about selecting qualified safety trainers. It gives you some tips from the ASSE/ANSI z490.1 EHS training standard and, in addition, some tips for “training up” staff to be more qualified safety trainers. It also includes a list of some of the best learning professionals in the world to learn from (more on that below) to continue sharpening your training skills.

As always, we encourage you to check out the ASSE, their Professional Safety magazine, and of course their ANSI Z490.1 standard for environmental, health, and safety training. We’re on the committee to create that standard and you can read more about that here, here,  here and here.

Read on to learn more, to see a list of recommended learning professionals to learn from, and to download a free buyer’s guide to online safety training.


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ASSE Puget Sound Professional Development Conference Online Safety Training Presentation (Bliss/Dalto)

ASSE Puget Sound PDC Image

This blog post is for people who attended the presentation on Online Safety Training facilitated by Morgan Bliss, Associate Professor at Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management program, and Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training/RedVector. Or for those who wish they were there.

What we’ve done here is try to provide some additional materials to help you learn more about, evaluate, and implement online safety training solutions at your workplace.

Click “More” to see what we’ve got for you.


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Safety Training for Superheroes

With the new superhero movie Avengers: Infinity War coming out soon, we thought we’d take a little break from the seriousness of our usual discussions about training, safety, manufacturing, and similar topics and put together workforce training suggestions for some of the superheroes who will appear in the upcoming Avengers movie.

This is one of a series of humor-based articles we do at Convergence Training from time to time. In addition to this one, feel free to check out some of these:

With that said, let’s take a look at our suggestions of Safety Training for Superheroes. We’ve even included the trailer for the Avengers: Infinity War movie near the bottom of this post for you!


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How to Use Learning Teams for Safety Incident Investigations

Learning Teams for Incident Investigations Image

At some workplaces, incidents occur and there’s no thought given to incident investigations. This is a no-no.

At others, probably most, incidents occur and are followed by an incident investigation that attempts to identify a single root cause and then put in a corrective action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This is probably the most common response to incidents at organizations.

But there are criticisms of that second, common method, which might be considered the traditional safety approach to incidents and incident investigations. One criticism is that it’s overly simplistic, with its emphasis on identifying a single root cause instead of noting the interplay of interrelated systemic issues. Another criticism is that the explanation often–too often–claims that a worker made a poor decision, often the result of not following procedures. And a third is that the corrective action often boils down to simply providing training and perhaps enforcing discipline on the worker who’s thought to be the cause of the problem.

In his book Pre-Accident Investigations: Better Questions–An Applied Approach to Operational Learning, Dr. Todd Conklin makes the points above about some of the problems with a traditional safety incident investigation approach at work and makes a recommendation for a different approach: learning teams.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Conklin’s book and recommendations. As always, we recommend that in addition to reading the article, you get the information straight from the expert as well, so please buy Dr. Conklin’s book (all three of them, really) and/or listen to the video of Dr. Conklin speaking at the ASSE Safety 2017 national conference, which we’ve included at the bottom of this article.

For those of you who have been reading along as I’ve been reading Dr. Conklin’s works, you’ll know this is the third such treatment we’ve done here at the Convergence Training blog. The other articles include:

So with all that said, let’s get to learning about learning teams for building the safety capacity of your organization.


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Online Safety Training in Spanish (and Other Languages, Too!)

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The number of workers in the US who speak Spanish as a primary or even a sole language is large and is growing.

As a result, trainers who don’t speak, write, or understand Spanish often struggle to communicate with those workers. And that inability to communicate can have serious negative consequences for organizations, trainers, and employees, including creating serious safety risks.

And don’t forget that it’s an OSHA requirement that safety training be provided in a language the employee can understand.

Although there’s no one simple solution to this issue, one way to address it is to use online safety training at work that’s multi-language, allowing the worker to select the language they’d prefer to complete the training in.

In the article below, we’ll talk you through that a little more.


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Do Contract Construction Workers at Surface Mines Need All 24 Hours of MSHA Part 46 Training?

Consider this hypothetical situation:

You’re a construction worker, you’re preparing to work as a contractor at a surface mine covered by the MSHA Part 46 training regulations, and you’ll be building a structure (not at all what comes to your mind when you think of surface mining). 

Got that? If you’re still reading, we think that’s because this isn’t such a hypothetical situation to you at all, and maybe it directly relates to something you’ll be doing soon.

So the question is this: Do you have to take all 24 hours of the mandatory MSHA Part 46 New Miner training?

We answer that question in this article. So read on.

And don’t forget to download our free Guide to MSHA Training at the bottom of this article.


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Why Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is the Next Frontier in Construction Safety

Mental Health, Suicide, and Construction Image

Did you know that as recently as 2016, the construction industry had the highest number of deaths by suicide amongst all industries, and that it had the second highest rate of suicide?

Sadly, both are true. Mental health issues, including depression and suicide, are a very serious problem in the construction industry.

Here at Convergence Training, we’ve been friends with Cal Beyer for quite some time. Cal’s the Director of Risk Management at Lakeside Industries in Issaquah, WA, but more to the point he’s a tireless advocate on the issue of suicide in the construction industry. If you’ve attended safety conferences in the Pacific Northwest, you may have seen Cal out speaking on the topic.

Cal was nice enough to participate in the interview below in which he explains the scope of the problem and gives us all some tips for trying to deal more productively with it to help save lives and reduce suffering. Thanks to Cal for all of his efforts and for taking the time to share what he knows with us here.

In addition to reading this interview with Cal, you may also want to check out our online health and wellness training courses.


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Evidence-Based Training: Learning Maximizers & Learning Myths (An Interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)

In this article, the continuation of our series of interviews with noted learning researcher Dr. Will Thalheimer, we’re going to discuss evidence-based training methods and learning myths with no supporting evidence.

The focus on evidence-based training methods is central to Dr. Thalheimer’s career and work, and it’s been the central focus of our earlier articles with him, which looked at smile sheets, spaced learning, and elearning effectiveness.

In this article, you’ll read about three three models for applying evidence-based training, about some learning methods that many think are proven and effective despite a lack of evidence supporting that, and about the importance of fighting the good fight to identify and use learning methods that truly support the learner.

And since this is the final article in the four-article series, we’d like to issue a big thank you to Dr. Thalheimer for his time and knowledge, both of which have been greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to check out his new model for learning evaluation, which he finished while we were writing this series. Maybe he’ll be nice enough to come back and discuss that with us in the future.


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