Online Program

Safety communication and fall safety training for construction foremen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:46 p.m.

Brad Evanoff, MD, MPH, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Ann Marie Dale, PhD, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
John Mormann, Southern Illinois Carpenterss Joint Apprenticeship Program, Belleville, IL
Lynda Mueller-Drendell, Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity, St. Louis, MO
Denny Patterson, Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity, St. Louis, MO
Hester J. Lipscomb, MPH, Ph.D., Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Vicki Kaskutas, MHS, OTD, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Background: Falls from height account for the majority of fatalities in residential construction workers. Methods: A team of researchers and carpenter instructors from a joint union / contractor apprenticeship program identified gaps in fall safety practices via focus groups and surveys of foremen and apprentices. We then developed and evaluated an 8 hour training intervention among construction foremen which addressed both fall safety practices and safety communication. Pre-intervention data included surveys of foremen and their construction crews, as well as worksite audits performed by experienced carpenters trained in research methods; these measures were repeated at 6, 12, and 24 weeks after training. Results: To date, 35 foremen and 6 superintendents from 4 participating residential contractors have completed training in this ongoing trial. Preliminary analyses show large and statistically significant improvements in both safety communication and fall prevention behaviors. Crew members report increased frequency and quality of worksite safety instruction, which became more positive, interactive, and problem-focused. Statistically significant improvements in participating foremen's knowledge are also apparent in their crewmembers. Both foremen and crewmembers report increased prevalence of safe behaviors when performing activities at heights that were emphasized in the training; with audit confirmation of improvements in several of these fall prevention behaviors. Discussion: After training construction foremen in both safety and safety communication, we observed improvements in safety knowledge and observed safety behaviors among their worker crews. Training supervisors in both fall safety and safety communication can be an effective intervention.on.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effects of training in safety communication as well as technical aspects of fall prevention safety Explain how joint union/contractor collaborations can improve safety in complex construction environments

Keyword(s): Injury Prevention, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI for this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.