Dodge and CPWR Report on the Impact of COVID on Construction Safety Training


This week, as part of an on-going series, Dodge Data and Analytics and CPWR hosted a webinar to show how the COVID-19 pandemic is driving contractors to focus on safety management practices while maintaining commitment to training. The discussion, moderated by Donna Laquidara-Carr, Insights Research Director at Dodge Data & Analytics, reviewed the results of the joint report Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2021. It also looked at trends in safety management programs and practices as well as the Implementing wellness initiatives and new technologies in an industry that is adapting to the effects of COVID-19. The report’s findings are based on a survey of general and specialty retailers, but also include case studies, marginal articles on critical safety-related issues, and interviews, says Laquidara-Carr.

Report information was collected through an online survey from May 11 to June 25, 2021 that was attended by 282 contractors, most from Dodge Data and Analytics’ contractor panel. These included 141 general contractors, site managers and design builders as well as 141 skilled craftsmen.

The Laquidara-Carr presentation highlighted the application of project / site security practices in large (100 or more employees), medium (20 to 99 employees) and small (fewer than 20 employees) companies.

“There is a clear pattern that large companies do most of the time [the project and site related safety practices] really quite often and smaller companies do it less often, ”she explained.

One way to consider this is not to say “smaller contractors should do more” but rather to ask “what could the industry do to help small contractors do more” because they may not have as many resources as larger companies. Laquidara-Carr suggested.

When Laquidara-Carr reviewed the results of the safety training courses offered by respondents, Laquidara-Carr saw positive numbers in general areas of the construction industry – including those related to glass and glazing.

“The things that are offered the most, fall protection and PPE equipment, are also widely recognized as ‘most needed’. So this is great – there is good industry alignment between what is offered and what is needed. That was very satisfying, ”she said.

Another result was the implementation of online training in the industry.

“We asked: How often do you use online training courses? Almost two-thirds, 63%, say they currently use online training. About a third said they weren’t. ”Of the 63% who said they did, Laquidara-Carr said they’d been asked if they’d increased their use of online training in the past 12 months, and 35 % said they did so. Of those 35%, 77% said COVID-19 affected the increase in exercise. “Some of them said that [COVID] was the reason why they stepped up or even introduced online training, ”emphasizes Laquidara-Carr.

She concluded her presentation by saying that data-driven security is still an emerging trend, but contractors expect to look at many technologies that will improve security.

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