The unpredictability of COVID variants and surges, which now occur sporadically across all seasons, has been a perplexing problem for many educational and training programs. As the prime scheduling time for construction safety training sessions is during the less-busy winter season, the past two years have presented a particular challenge for the CIRI Safety Committee.
“We had five winter courses ready to go this year, and plenty of people signing up,” says Peter Robbins, director of safety for D’Ambra Construction and chairman of the CIRI Safety/EEO/Training Committee. “But when it came time for the courses to start, many understandably opted out. So we relied more than usual on the CIRI companies to help fill the void with toolbox talks and other activities, at their respective headquarters and/or jobsites.”
Expanding the options to get programs back on track.
The CIRI Safety Committee is already looking ahead to a busy planning season in the fall. A key initiative is to find ways to integrate more virtual learning options into the mix where possible — even though a great deal of the needed training is more geared to hands-on type learning in person.
“It’s about being as prepared as we can to roll with the challenges that will likely come our way,” Robbins concludes. “It’s crucial for employees at member companies to earn and maintain a variety of certifications. It’s even more important to ensure they’re able to stay safe and avoid injury on the job — so they can go home as healthy as when they arrived that day.”
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