The number of construction companies required to earn a construction safety qualification in the U.S. has doubled in the last five years, according to a report from a nonprofit that tracks the industry.
The study found that construction companies are increasingly using a program called the National Construction Safety Coordination (NCSC), a voluntary, federally funded training program that provides industry officials with training in safety-related topics.
“Companies that choose to enter the NCSC program are required to submit an initial safety plan that contains the following: the number of workers who have been exposed to construction-related hazards; the total number of worker fatalities; the number and type of workers exposed; and a safety profile for each worker,” the NCSTC website says.
The program is administered by the National Association of Home Builders and is also funded by the Department of Labor.
Construction Safety Association of America president Greg LeVine said that the number that’s required is on the rise, as more construction workers become aware of the need to be trained to work safely in construction.
“It is not uncommon for an average company to have four or five construction-safety-trained workers on its workforce,” LeVines said.
“The number of people on the job in a construction-safe environment is growing rapidly, and they’re not being trained to handle hazardous materials.”
LeVine added that the proliferation of construction safety training in recent years has increased demand for a certification, but the amount of money available for training is limited.
He said that while training is a necessary safety training, it doesn’t provide a guarantee that a worker will be safe.
“They’re not necessarily being trained in the proper dos and don’ts, which can cause a worker to go too far in the wrong direction,” he said.
While the NCSSC is a voluntary program, it can be difficult to find the funding to pay for it, and the NCBS is not required to make public a list of the companies that have taken part in the program.
The NCBS says it has no plans to do so.
“The NCSC is a great training tool for employers who want to improve safety at their facilities,” LeBaron said.