Florida construction employment surging; new workers will need safety training

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS of all kinds are booming in Florida, and a key result of that is a sharp upswing in construction hiring all over the Sunshine State. According to a recent analysis of Labor Department data by The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Florida added 34,900 construction jobs from March 2017 to March 2018 —a 7 percent increase in just a year.

In addition, the Orlando Business Journal reported the other day that Central Florida’s construction workforce has ballooned to a size that hasn’t been seen in more a decade — more than 79,000 people as of May in the Orlando-Sanford-Kissimmee area alone.

AGC officials said the construction-related employment growth in Florida and throughout the nation likely would have been higher if firms could find more qualified workers to hire.

“Firms in many parts of the country are working to keep pace with growing demand for construction services,” said AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. “Many of those firms are having a hard time finding and hiring enough qualified workers as the pool of available workers remains very tight.”

Association officials said strong demand, particularly from the private sector, was prompting construction firms in most states to add staff.

Here at Safety Solutions & Supply, the increase in Central Florida construction activity has brought about a noted jump in the inquiries we’re receiving about our construction-related safety training and services and the number of workers attending our safety classes.

With titles running from Aerial Work Platform/Bucket Truck Operations Training to Trenching and Excavation — Competent Person, 31 of the safety courses we offer fall under the heading OSHA Construction Training Classes. (See all the course titles here.) The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends or mandates all of these classes in one way or another for workers employed by companies that operate in the construction industry.

One of our course titles actually includes both the words “OSHA” and “Construction.” That would be the OSHA 30-Construction Industry training program. This is a 30-hour program presented in four days. This provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in construction-related workplaces and on job sites. The curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to OSHA

  • OSHA Inspection Procedures and Safety Programs

  • Fall Protection

  • Hazard Communication

  • Exit Route, Emergency Action Plans

  • Fire Prevention and Protection

  • Electrical

  • Flammable and Combustible Liquids

  • Material Handling

  • Confined Space

For details about OSHA 30-Construction Industry training, visit our course page. For more information about all Safety Solutions & Supply occupational health and safety training programs and services, visit our website at https://solutionsinsafety.com/, or call us toll free at 1-866-537-2262.