By Beth MacNeil Stinson, vice president for education operations, ARTBA
The ARTBA Online Learning Center (OLC) offers engaging self-directed courses on a range of transportation construction topics. Our courses are developed by industry experts to help you train for career advancement, prepare for certification exams, and to keep on top of new technologies and regulations. Fourteen courses are currently available, and nine more are in development.
In course evaluations, our users say the OLC is “easy to navigate,” and our courses offer “content that reflects actual site conditions,” and “activities and case studies are applicable to real-life situations.” Six out of seven users say they would recommend it to a friend or colleague.
Where We Started
ARTBA launched the OLC in October 2016 with six safety courses aimed at increasing worker awareness of the hazards of transportation construction. Two more courses were added in 2017 to solidify the foundation of a safety curriculum that provides training for professional development and certification exam preparation. The current eight offerings and available Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are:
- Building Safety Plans; 1 PDH
- Communication; 1 PDH
- Environmental Conditions; 2 PDHs
- Hazard Control; 2 PDHs
- Personal Protective Equipment; 1 PDH
- Risk Assessment; 1 PDH
- Traffic Control; 2 PDHs
- Work Sites; 2 PDHs
ARTBA courses are pre-approved to meet continuing education requirements for professional licensing renewal for engineers in Florida, North Carolina, and New York. The courses are also accepted in the 38 other states that follow the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Model Rules for continual professional competency.
In 2018, ARTBA and National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) partnered to develop five more online training modules to improve work zone safety specific to asphalt road construction activities. These courses each offer 1 PDH:
- Truck Drivers
- Equipment Operators
In June, ARTBA began hosting a course developed by the Texas Department of Transportation on Reducing Risks to Motorcycles in Work Zones.
Nearly three years after launching the OLC, we have doubled our course offerings. Enrollment has increased by over 500 percent, with more than 150 people currently registered. And there’s more to come.
Where We Are Going
Later this year, we will launch safety courses developed in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Our new titles include:
- Work Zone Access and Egress: Planing access and egress points within a work zone to mitigate the risks from construction vehicles entering and exiting the work space to workers and the motoring public.
- Work Zone Safety for Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety: Designing and operating work zones to reduce the risk of motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
- Work Zone Strategies for Improving Large Truck Safety: Provides detailed and technical information to help design and operate work zones to reduce the risk of large truck crashes.
- Fall Training Programs: Examines common fall hazards that occur in roadway construction projects and how to use this information to build fall prevention plans, fall protection plans, and fall a rescue plan – all the elements of a comprehensive fall training program.
- Working Outdoors: Focuses on the hazards of working outside in different weather conditions, and how to avoid poisonous plants, dangerous insects, and stray animals.
- Working at Night: Examines the reasons to schedule transportation construction projects at night, reviews the hazards that accompany night work, and provides information on how to minimize the risks of working at night to motorists and workers.
Three additional courses are in development for 2020 release:
- Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS):How to use PCMS to improve motorist safety and reduce traffic congestion and delay in work zones.
- Speed Management:Provides information on different speed management techniques that can be applied to work zones in order to help ensure the safety of workers, motorists, and pedestrians.
- Work Zone Temporary Traffic Control Devices:Provides information for road construction contractors, supervisors, and workers on different types of temporary traffic control devices and how they are used in work zones based on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
Based on user feedback, we are also working on updating our core curriculum to provide narration, more interactivity, and new assessment questions. ARTBA’s continuing mission to is provide the latest and most accessible content to promote safety in transportation construction projects.
If you are interested in partnering to develop content or have ideas for new topics, please contact me.