Acquiring a construction safety certificate could be an essential part of progressing in your career as a construction professional. Keep reading to learn more about the various construction safety certificates out there, how you can obtain them, and the benefits of doing so.
What is a construction safety certificate?
At a high level, possessing a construction safety certificate demonstrates your knowledge of construction safety best practices. The term doesn’t describe just one certificate, though. Rather, there are many construction safety certificates you can obtain. Some are regional whereas others are location-agnostic but geared towards particular specializations.
Some of the most well-known construction safety certificates in the United States are issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Certifications you can receive from this government body include:
- basic construction safety orientation
- concrete and masonry construction safety
- crane and rigging construction safety
- electrical safety
- welding and cutting safety
Many certifications offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration involve just one hour of coursework and cost just $20.
Other entities (including some private companies) also offer construction safety training and certificates.
Benefits of construction safety certificates
Construction safety training and certifications offer tremendous benefits, both for individual workers and organizations. Here are a few noteworthy benefits.
Improved company financials
Construction safety training is a proven valuable investment for construction companies. According to National Safety Council data, work-related injuries cost companies $1,100 on average in 2019. The average cost jumped to $42,000 in cases where the injury required medical attention. There are also time costs associated with workplace injuries; the National Safety Council estimates the time lost due to workplace injuries in 2019 at over 70,000,000 days.
The OSHA, meanwhile, estimates that every $1 construction companies spend on safety training translates into $4 saved elsewhere down the line.
It’s hard to beat returns like that – especially when you consider how cheap construction safety training and certifications often are.
Increased employee satisfaction and retention
Data from O.C. Tanner reveals employee satisfaction increases by 154% in environments where workers feel safe. This is crucial in construction, which tops the list of most dangerous industries based on National Security Council data regarding workplace-related deaths by industry.
Employee retention is also a key consideration in construction given the industry’s ongoing skilled labor shortage.
Increased likelihood of being awarded certain projects
Many project owners and general contractors prefer firms with workers trained in construction safety since this expertise typically leads to improved project outcomes and reduced risk.
Improved career prospects
Construction safety certificates are also highly beneficial to the individuals that obtain them. Some jobs list construction safety certificates as a prerequisite, barring those without training from holding those positions. Such jobs include:
- occupational health and safety specialist
- occupational health and safety inspector
- occupational health practitioner
Because many construction safety certificates are standardized by virtue of being offered by regional and federal governments, they’re also highly transferable and convey benefits far beyond the context of one role.
A viable path into the industry without a formal education
For those looking to enter the construction industry without a formal education, construction safety certificates offer a valuable entry point. For starters, as mentioned earlier, construction safety manager certifications are accessible, costing relatively little money and not taking very long to complete.
Improved personal safety
The benefits of receiving construction safety certificates go beyond career and financial perks. Workers who receive safety training are also less likely to be injured on the job site, which is, of course, a desirable personal outcome.
How to become a construction safety manager
Becoming a construction safety manager is one of the many career paths you can take after receiving construction safety training and certificates. Here’s an in-depth look at the steps involved in becoming a construction safety manager.
Step 1: Consider receiving a relevant degree
While you can enter the construction industry without a degree, many companies prefer candidates with post-secondary credentials. According to Indeed, construction safety managers can go one of several routes in this regard. Some earn degrees in construction management, engineering, or a safety-related field. The site also states construction management degrees are particularly helpful since safety is typically part of the curriculum.
Step 2: Receive construction safety training and certificates
While a degree can be helpful on the path towards becoming a construction safety manager, your learning shouldn’t stop there. After all, safety regulations and occupational risks change constantly.
Specialized certifications such as those offered by the OSHA are a great way to demonstrate your expertise and interest in construction safety. If you’re primarily interested in becoming a safety professional within a particular niche of construction, consider finding specialized training and certifications.
Step 3: Build work experience
Building experience on job sites is key if you want to become a construction safety manager; many organizations actually won’t hire you in that role without practical experience in non-safety roles.
Step 4: Receive additional certifications
Construction safety certifications such as those offered by OSHA aren’t the only certifications you’ll need to become a construction safety manager. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals also offers certifications that can help you obtain higher-paying work in the field of construction safety.
To become a Certified Safety Professional, you must have a degree and experience in construction safety roles (hence the value of receiving more accessible certifications that will enable you to land those entry-level jobs).
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Click here to learn more about how Bridgit Bench enables the creation and maintenance of human resource databases.We hope this guide has helped you understand the value and importance of construction safety certificates. For more construction management guides, visit our blog.