By Paul Yarossi
ARTBA Foundation Chairman & HNTB Director
Opportunities to engage in something truly meaningful are rare.
My involvement with ARTBA’s Foundation over the past decade as a trustee, vice chairman and now chairman offers me a unique opportunity to give back to the transportation construction industry in ways that protect the people who work in it or pass near our projects. I’ve said it many times because I believe it to be the rock-hard truth: the safety programs are the most valuable services ARTBA provides its members and the industry.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed most safety training, our Foundation has kept developing innovative ways to provide meaningful education that ensures workers and roadway users navigate transportation construction projects safely and efficiently. This includes the “Fundamentals of U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Safety.” This 14-hour course addresses the most common hazards likely to be faced on a job—from temporary traffic control, to internal traffic control, to worksite communications. It not only is comprehensive, but also is easily accessible through an online platform available 24/7 via live virtual classes, and when allowed, through in-person classroom training.
ARTBA typically provides training to 6,000-8,000 people annually. So far, this year we have reached more than 3,000 industry professionals through digital platforms, and our numbers continue to grow steadily with more training scheduled for this fall. Earlier this year, we conceived of the idea and helped organize the first-ever virtual “National Stand Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents.” Nearly 700 industry professionals participated April 20 and another 1,600 viewed it on demand post-event.
Our safety training programs are real contributions to the industry because a large majority are provided at no or little cost as we seek support from federal agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. We also provide industry specific courses such as Preventing Runovers & Backovers, Fall Prevention, Working Safely with Silica, and OSHA 10 Hour classes.
Please join me in our shared commitment to improving project-related safety and health:
- Organize a safety class.
- Request training for your office or agency.
- Make a tax-deductible contribution to support our ability to continue delivering this training.
Contact the Foundation’s Executive Director of Safety & Education Bradley Sant to identify the programs that best meet your needs.
(This column appears in the September/October issue of Transportation Builder.)