According to recent data, two to three construction workers die each day on job sites in the United States, with young workers and workers new to the job being at a greater risk for injury.
In an effort to combat these startling facts, public health researchers from West Virginia University and the University of California, Berkley have created an innovative, evidence-based guide for instructors and administrators in post-secondary Career Technical Education (CTE) construction programs.
The new guide, “Your Construction Safety Program: Safe Students, Safe Workers,” outlines key elements of safety and health education in construction programs. It provides actionable steps for administrators and instructors to take to improve the quality of safety and health education in their programs. The recommendations in the guide are based on focus groups with construction industry and safety experts, a telephone survey conducted with over 200 post-secondary CTE construction programs across the country, and site visits to several participating schools.
The guide is available to the public and is free to download, as are additional instructor and administrator self-assessment tools that accompany the guide.
Dr. Kimberly Rauscher, associate professor in the department of occupational and environmental health sciences at the West Virginia University School of Public Health, and Ms. Diane Bush, who holds an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, were the co-principal investigators of the study. Dr. Douglas Myers, associate professor in the department of occupational and environmental health sciences, also served as a co-investigator on the project.
“Putting our findings into the hands of people who can effectively use them was always the main goal of this project,” Dr. Rauscher said. “We succeeded with the creation of a comprehensive toolkit for improving safety and health education in post-secondary CTE construction programs that is now being shared with instructors and administrators across the country.”
This project was supported by The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).