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Effective Training

Training sessionAs trainers of your students and young workers, you are responsible for educating them on workplace health and safety including (but not limited to): safe work practices, worker's rights, the importance of learning in safety meetings and other trainings, and complying with rules and regulations. To reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity, see the information below:

When training your students and young workers make sure and review with them their information on Effective Training.

What Is Required by Cal/OSHA

Cal/OSHA has a number of regulations related to the safety in construction - found in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (T8CCR). The specific Cal/OSHA safety requirements that apply to your trainees depends on the types of construction activities they will actually be performing. The complete set of Title 8 regulations can be found at:

The following is a brief overview and summary of the regulations in Title 8 related to safety and training in construction. Not all of the applicable Title 8 regulations are given below.

  • T8 CCR Section 1509 states, in part that:
    • "Every employer shall establish, put into place, and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program" (in accordance with T8 CCR 3203). T8 CCR Section 3203(a)(7)(A) - (F) states, in part, that "Training and Instruction must be provided":
      • "To all new employees"
      • "To employees given new job assignments who have not previously been trained"
      • "Whenever new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced into the workplace and represent a new hazard"
      • "Whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard"
      • "To familiarize supervisor with hazards to which employees under their immediate direction and control may be exposed"
    • Every employer shall adopt a written Code of Safe Practices with language equivalent to the relevant parts of T8CCR 1938 , Plate A-3, Code of Safe Practices)
      • The Code of Safety Practices is only a suggested code. It is general in nature and intended as a basis for preparation by the contractor of a code that fits his/her operations more exactly.
      • Your written Code of Safe Practices must be specific to the work tasks and operations at your worksite, and must asses and eliminate the associated hazards.
      • A copy of your Code of Safe Practices must be posted at a conspicuous location at the worksite and copies must be retained by supervisors (who must keep the copies readily available), or provide them to Cal/OSHA upon request.
    • Supervisory employees shall conduct "toolbox" or "tailgate" safety meetings, or equivalent, with their crews at least every 10 working days to emphasize safety.
  • T8 CCR Section 1510 states, in part that:
    • "When workers are first employed they must given instructions regarding the hazards and safety precautions applicable to their work and directed to read their employers Code of Safe Practices".
  • T8CCR 1938 PLATE A-2 Suggested Safety Program For Contractors General, requires, in part:
    • Foreman to give individual safety instructions and orders, as needed, to new workers and those found to be working unsafely.

Best Practice Ideas

Effective training provides practical and specific information about the hazards trainees may encounter and how to perform their work safely. Effective training leads to increased involvement by students and young workers and improved workplace safety. In general, effective training:

  • Is participatory and involves trainees by drawing on their own real life experiences
  • Gets trainees involved with questions, ideas, observations, stories, demonstrations, and solutions
  • Helps establish a relationship with trainees to improve trust and communication
  • Allows group hazard identification and problem solving
  • Provides concrete safety changes in how work is set-up and performed

How to Conduct Effective Training

Following the steps below will help you train students and young workers effectively:

  1. Identify Topics
  2. Identify Training Goals
  3. Plan the Training and Organize Your Materials
  4. Conduct the Training and Get Feedback

1. Identify Topics

The topics must be specific to the hazards and safe work practices for the tasks trainees are actually performing. Examples include:

  • Handling Materials Safely
  • Safe Use of Power Tools
  • Fall Protection
  • Heat Illness Prevention
  • Laws to Know

2. Identify Training Goals

The training should encourage students and young workers to work together as a team and watch out for hazards and each other. For each job or task the trainees are performing, the training should clearly identify specific hazards and ways to perform work task safely. Based on the topics you need to cover, decide what you want trainees to learn and be able to do when the training is done. For example, trainees will know and be able to demonstrate:

  • Safe use of power tools
  • How to lift and handle materials to reduce the risk of injury
  • How to prevent heat illness and what to do if someone gets sick
  • Safe use of fall protection equipment

3. Plan the Training and Organize Your Materials

Develop the training and organize the materials to make them specific to the actual work trainees will be doing. Trainees must always be closely supervised during training sessions. Make sure and involve trainees by drawing on their own real life experiences including those at home and at school. Examples of types of training activities include:

  • Small group discussions and exercises (e.g., finding hazards from pictures or short videos)
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Short oral presentations
  • Practical demonstrations by the trainer of:
    • Safe work practices
    • Ways of using tools and equipment safely
  • Exercises and activities with the trainees demonstrating their understanding of safe work practices and the proper use of tools and equipment. As an example, for training on the safe use of a tool, the trainer could:
    • Read and review a flyer specific to the safe use of power tools including the parts of tool, what the tool does, how to run the tool safely, the hazards of improper use of the tool
    • Demonstrate the proper operations and safe use of the tool
    • Hold a question and answer session
    • Test the trainees on the content of the flyer. They must pass the test with score of 100% or the trainee can not use the tool
    • Select individual trainees to demonstrate the safe use of the tool to the class
    • Hold another question and answer session
  • Asking open ended questions which encourages trainee participation and gets them to think through and discuss the material. Examples include:
    • What types of hazards do you think this tool/ job/activity has?
    • What could you do to make working with this tool safer?
    • What kind of personal protective equipment would you use to protect yourself for this job?
  • Tailgate/Toolbox Safety Meetings
    • Tailgate or Toolbox safety meetings (as required by T8 CCR 1509) are 10-15 minute on-the job meetings held to keep trainees alert to work-related hazards and prevent injuries. Tailgate or toolbox meetings must address the specific hazards and safe work practices for the work tasks that trainees are actually performing. These meetings allow supervisors to draw on the experience of trainees and use that experience to remind them, especially newer ones, of the dangers of particular construction processes, tools, equipment, and materials.
    • How to Run Effective Tailgate/Toolbox Safety Meetings
      • Hold meetings at the start of shifts or after breaks
      • Find a comfortable location for trainees
      • Keep meetings brief (i.e., no longer than 15 minutes)
      • Encourage trainee participation by asking questions and having group discussions
      • Use resources as a reference for subjects to train on including:

4. Conduct the Training and Get Feedback

Trainee feedback is the best method to determine the effectiveness of your training. Some ways to get feedback include:

  • Asking open ended questions and inviting comments from trainees
  • Having trainees demonstrate safe work practices and proper use of tools and equipment
  • Holding group discussions
  • Observing trainee behavior when working

For more information on effective training of students and young workers, see Youth @ Work, Talking Safety, Teaching Young Workers About Job Safety and Health, California Edition, 2007. Available at: