Dec 31, 2019
Plan Your 2020 Safe, Quality Training
BY Sandy Lender
At the BOMAG Innovation Days in October, Keynote Speaker Ryan Avery told us to ask ourselves, “Where do I need to be more courageous this year?” As a Type A personality with competitive tendencies, I took that as a challenge. Let me hand the challenge to find courageous opportunities to you as well.
Rather than bore you with some kind of push for resolutions about safety or quality, I’ll assume you already know this is the time of year to put new ideas into motion. I encourage asphalt industry members to use any excuse—even New Year’s Resolutions—to improve safety culture at their operations and lean into training workers for improved health and wellness, improved safety awareness, and improved work environments. Of course, I encourage training for improved quality of our end product as well.
All of this can be achieved by bringing consultants to your facilities or by taking your team members to the speakers at conferences and conventions.
While some safety and health training won’t necessarily require a construction focus, our specialized industry and tasks obviously necessitate experts who understand the nuances of professional asphalt production and paving.
More often than not, finding individuals who are qualified to teach your crew about safe, best practices takes as much time in research as the training itself. Enter the state asphalt pavement association (SAPA) network and similar construction-related groups that offer programs at reasonable—and sometimes free—rates.
For example, the Associated General Contractors of America, South Florida Chapter, based in Doral, Florida, offers a safety program, free to the first 30 people who sign up, each second Wednesday of the month. To make it easy to remember, they call it “2nd Wednesday Safety Session.” Another example that resonates for us this month is the Hawaii Asphalt Pavement Industry (HAPI). The attendees of the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s annual meeting will read this note while standing in the Grand Wailea, on Maui, where they’ll gather management-level information to take home. As a member of the SAPA group, HAPI offers both management- and operator-level information and training all year ’round, and AsphaltPro is proud to partner with HAPI to share some of that training in our pages. Check out the
P-401 spec change article at TheAsphaltPro, most recently.
Let’s pause there.
Learning the nuances of asphalt production and paving in such a manner as to create a safe environment for oneself and one’s co-workers takes more than one session at one tradeshow. Notice that this column has already presented a handful of good options for obtaining training in less than 500 words. Consider this: AsphaltPro magazine has a whole website filled with “how to” articles that can help you train new and veteran employees on basic to complex practices. We also have the Asphalt Paving 101 online course that offers back-to-basics workers need to hear when onboarding or returning from seasonal layoff. While the online training course comes with a price tag, it also comes with lifetime access for your entire crew; it’s one of those no-brainer additions to your training arsenal.
Spending money may be the courageous step for your company. Investing in new workers may “feel” courageous to you. But I want to challenge you to take advantage of 2020; pounce on the opportunities out there to level up your workforce for safety and quality.