Builders, Contractors Use OSHA Training Grant to Prevent Accidents

Associated Builders and Contractors will use grant money it received from OSHA to develop safety awareness training in Spanish for construction workers in North Texas.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) North Texas is one of 15 non-profits in the United States to receive a strategic plan grant from OSHA.

The funds will be used to develop and deliver safety awareness training in Spanish to the construction workers in the North Texas area.

The program will focus on OSHA standards addressing falls, struck-by, caught-between and electrocution construction hazards.

"These four major construction hazards have contributed to the increase in construction fatalities in North Texas this past year," said Frank Dale, president of ABC North Texas and Frank Dale Construction.

Increased construction activity and the growing Hispanic workforce prompted ABC to conduct focus groups with Hispanic workers earlier this year to determine the challenges encountered for skilled training.

"It became apparent very quickly that we had to develop bilingual training and find a way to deliver it outside of the traditional classroom setting," said Dale. "When OSHA requested training proposals in the area of safety, we saw a prime opportunity to serve the industry."

The grant will fund ABC''s efforts to develop training modules in Spanish to address the four major construction hazards, and deliver the training in two phases, said Paula Clements, ABC executive director.

The full course will be delivered to construction supervisory personnel in a classroom setting through ABC''s training arm, the Construction Education Foundation.

"Our objective here is to create awareness of the bilingual training for supervisory field personnel," said Clements.

The second phase is to select several large construction sites in North Texas and partner with the general contractor to deliver the bilingual safety training to work crews on the job site.

"We discovered that scheduling and transportation are two other impediments to training for the growing Hispanic construction workforce," said Clements. "We believe that if we take the training to the job site in increments, specifically two-hour modules targeted to a particular task and hazard, we will reach a larger portion of the Hispanic workforce with core safety training."

All program participants will receive documentation of their training.

Once the training dates are established, notices will be published on ABC''s Web site at www.abcnt.org.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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