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.

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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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Updated Electrical Soldering Online Training Course Released

Soldering Image

We’re excited to let you know that we’ve recently updated our Online Electrical Soldering Training Course and it’s available in its new, updated version.

The newly updated electrical soldering course is one of several courses in a series on industrial equipment and tools, which is itself just one part of our industrial maintenance skills online training library.

We’ve got a preview video of the newly updated soldering course for you below, but in addition know that we have other courses on related topics such as Welding and Welding Safety.

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Evidence-Based Training: Is eLearning More or Less Effective than Classroom Training? (An Interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)

Question for you: what’s more effective in aiding employee learning–elearning courses or classroom training?

We asked the noted learning expert Dr. Will Thalheimer to answer that question. And presenting information from his Does eLearning Work? white paper and metastudy, the simple answer he gave was: classroom training < elearning < blended learning solutions.

(If it’s been a while since you last attended math class, that means classroom training is less effective than elearning, which is in turn less effective than blended learning solutions that use both classroom training and elearning.)

But….there’s much more to the answer than that. And in fact, that simple presentation of the answer isn’t just incomplete, it’s misleading.

So we encourage you to read this interview with Dr. Thalheimer to learn more about the effectiveness of elearning and classroom training, and to learn more about how to make both more effective.

If you’ve been reading along lately, you know we’ve also published interviews with Dr. Thalheimer on the topics of smile sheets and spaced learning.

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Updated Current, Voltage, and Resistance Online Training Course Released

Electrical Current Image

We just updated and re-released our existing Current, Voltage, and Resistance online electrical training course.

The course is one of a collection of courses in our Online Industrial Electrical Training series of courses, which is itself part of our Industrial Maintenance and Skills course library.

We’ve got some additional information, including a course preview video, below for you.

Know that in addition to the course, series, and library mentioned above, we also offer online electrical safety training courses as part of our online health and safety training library.

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Preventing Workplace Fatalities (Based on Dr. Todd Conklin’s Book “Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict”)

preventing workplace fatalities image

We’ve been studying up on Safety Differently, Safety 2, New Safety, and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) lately, and in particular have recently been looking at books by Dr. Todd Conklin about Human and Organizational Performance (HOP).

In two earlier articles, we took a look at some key lessons from Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations and his book about learning teams. And in this article, we’re going to look at some key lessons from his book Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict (buy a copy at the link you just passed).

We hope you enjoy this look at an important, influential, and somewhat controversial thinker in safety, and we tip our hat to the good work Dr. Conklin is doing. And by the way, we’ve included a video recording of Dr. Conklin’s appearance in the plenary session of the ASSE Safety 2017 conference near the bottom of this article for you.

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3 Required Parts of an Energy Control Program

Energy Control Program Image

OSHA’s standard for the control of hazardous energy, also known as lockout-tagout or LOTO, is 1910.147. As the regulation explains in 1910.147(a)(1)(i), “This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy.”

In 1910.147(c)(1), the regulation explains that “the employer shall establish a [energy control] program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.”

So the energy control program required by OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy/Lockout-Tagout regulation requires the employer’s program to have three parts: (1) energy control procedures; (2) employee training; and (3) periodic inspections.

We’ll look at each of those three required parts of an energy control program more closely in this article.

As we do, we’ll draw some materials from two of our online safety training courses related to lockout-tagout:

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Evidence-Based Training Methods and Spaced Learning (An Interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)

In this article, we’re going to continue our ongoing series of interviews with Dr. Will Thalheimer, and we’ll be getting some tips for using spaced learning to better support learner memory in workforce learning & development efforts. For those of you keeping track at home, you may know that in an earlier article, Dr. Thalheimer gave us some best practices for writing level 1 “smile sheets,” and we’ll continue the focus on evidence-based training methods in this interview with the good doctor.

For those who aren’t familiar with spaced learning, which is also known as spaced practice, the idea is to have the learner re-engage with the learner material at different moments over time. There’s a lot of evidence that shows this really reduces the human tendency to forget job training very quickly, meaning workers will be more likely to remember the training and later apply it on the job to create the desired behavior the training was intended to create.

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Will Thalheimer, he’s a well-known and very credible research- and evidence-based learning professional who runs the Will at Work blog and generally shares useful information for learning professionals. Many, many thanks to Dr. Thalheimer for participating in this interview, the earlier interview, on smile sheets, and two more to be published soon.

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OSHA 511, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, Offered by University of Washington

I recently completed a four-day, instructor-led class on OSHA 511, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, offered by the University of Washington and their Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (and their continuing education program).

Although I’ve worked in safety and safety training for more than 10 years, there’s still plenty I don’t know, and there’s always a value to spaced practice and refresher training, so I was quite excited to get this opportunity.

And I’m happy to say I’m equally excited about the opportunity now that I’ve completed and passed the course. This is one of six courses I’ll be taking from UW this year as part of the General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate program they offer. Next up for me is OSHA 501, their Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards in General Industry.

Before that next course, however, I thought I’d share with you a quick overview of the OSHA 511 course I just completed. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank instructor Harvey McGill, all the other learners who attended the class along with me (10-15, I’d say), and everyone at University of Washington who worked behind the scenes to put the course together and help get me there (I benefited a lot from some emails batted back-and-forth as I was registering for the certificate program).

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What Happens During an OSHA Inspection?

In recent articles, we’ve listed 6 Common Triggers of an OSHA Inspection and 10 Hazards OSHA Inspectors Commonly Look For, and both articles drew a lot of reader attention.

As a result, in this article we’re going to explain what typically happens during an OSHA inspection. And in the future, look for another article on how to prepare for an OSHA inspection.

With that intro down, let’s learn more about exactly what you can expect to happen when an OSHA inspector shows up at your worksite.

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ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 Update: A Key Definition

A little-known poet once asked “what’s in a name?”

It’s not often that you get to refer to William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet when writing about safety training, but events at the most recent meeting of the committee to create ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 as a complement to the existing Z490.1 standard, gave me an opportunity to do just that. (Those events plus the tireless efforts my junior high English teacher, that is.)

But why, you might ask? Because we spent a good deal of time talking about the definition of “online safety training,” which is especially relevant since that’s what the standard is about.

Defining Online Safety Training

Over time, in discussions about the standard and in various drafts of the standard, we’ve been using terms like virtual training, distance training, elearning, online training, and more. And we’ve discussed the amazing variety of types of training this includes–streaming online videos; HTML web pages; elearning courses in SCORM, AICC, and/or xAPI formats; augmented reality viewed through smart glasses; virtual reality; simulations; and more.

So this notion of “what is online safety training” really isn’t as simple as it first appears. Although, perhaps it smells just as sweet by any name.

What are your opinions?

Stay tuned for more about Z490.2 in our next update.

Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide Checklist

Online Safety Training Buyer’s Guide Checklist

Learn how to evaluate the different online safety training solutions that exist to find one that best fits your company’s needs with our FREE informative guide and checklist.

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Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide Checklist

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