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Training Pays

Does recurring training help employees stay safe, or are companies training because they must? In the past it was difficult to assess the effectiveness of training. Now with cloud-based safety management systems (SMS), it is possible to see actual results from training. Electric Conduit Construction (ECC) implemented an SMS 10 years ago. The system collects, among other things, near misses and good catches.

At a recent confined space manhole entry training session, the ECC Safety Department discussed inspecting the manhole ladder prior to entry. These ladders are fastened into the concrete walls of a manhole and are used to descend into the manhole. Without proper maintenance the fasteners can corrode, and the ladder can give way. An ECC crew went out the following day to work in a manhole. They performed the pre-entry inspection and found the ladder fasteners were corroded and not suitable for use. The crew then used a taller, fiber glass ladder for access. Had the pre-entry inspection not been done, an injury may have occurred. 

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Another good catch originated on the morning of an ECC safety call. On that call excavation safety was discussed. This included a discussion of proper shoring. The same day a foreman called the ECC safety supervisor and asked for additional guidance on proper installation of hydraulic shoring on an excavation end wall that could not be sloped. His call resulted in the installation of a special end wall jack that could hold an end-wall support. He said later that the safety call prompted him to analyze his shoring situation and get a second opinion.

The greatest challenge in safety is the eternal vigilance required to prevent accidents and injury. Training is only a part of what it takes for employees to work safely. ECC believes in a wholistic approach to safety because it helps our employees return home safe and healthy. Training pays big dividends in employee situational awareness and wellbeing.

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