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Smart mark hazard awareness training: reaching a new generation.

CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training
Silver Spring, MD: CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, 2012 Jan; :1-2
The Challenge: The construction industry employs about 7 percent of the U.S. workforce but accounts for nearly 20 percent of deaths among major industries and has one of the highest injury rates. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created training guidelines for construction workers, the decentralized nature of the industry made getting uniform training to workers a challenge. By the mid-1990s, training programs designed to meet the OSHA guidelines were in use; however, concerns about program inconsistencies, cost effectiveness, quality, and how to address common multi-craft hazards remained. The Response: CPWR researchers worked with industry partners to identify the common elements to be incorporated into a basic hazard awareness training program for construction workers. They conducted the initial needs assessment research with funding awarded through CPWR's cooperative agreement with NIOSH. Utilizing the research findings, the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFLCIO, (BCTD) joined in a partnership with national contractor associations to guide the development of a new standardized hazard awareness training program. In 1997, this labor-management partnership received a grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to support its safety and health training efforts. The partners brought a wealth of experience to the process, including expertise in apprenticeship programs, OSHA requirements, curriculum development, and training delivery. Using a hazard ranking method, they prioritized topics by craft on a one-to-five scale - a process that kept the focus on industry-wide hazards and helped to standardize the curriculum. The partners identified a national delivery system, and developed a single cost-effective program that would meet OSHA's 10-hour safety awareness training requirements for workers and its 30-hour training requirements for supervisors and others with safety responsibilities. The Results: In 1998, the partners completed the standardized curriculum and the BCTD launched the Smart Mark training program. Initially, Smart Mark included ten, 1-hour modules. Since then, it has grown to include interchangeable modules that instructors can select from to address craft-specific topics. In response to industry demand, a Spanish version of the program is now available. The Smart Mark program satisfies the requirements of OSHA's Construction Outreach Program, which specifies mandatory topics and procedures for delivering 10- and 30-hour training programs. Through CPWR's Master Trainer system, more than 5,000 instructors have completed the OSHA 500 instructor-training course and are authorized to teach the Smart Mark program. Smart Mark's interactive curriculum combines a questioning method with highly structured course scripts, detailed graphics, and programmed quizzes. Trainees take home course booklets that summarize the material. Those who finish the program receive a Smart Mark completion card and, depending on the training program, an OSHA 10- or 30-card. Reliance on Smart Mark as a consistent, cost-effective training resource continues to grow. Many states and localities now require OSHA 10-hour training on publicly funded projects. For example, trainers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island use Smart Mark to satisfy the OSHA 10- and 30-hour training requirements. The addition of new modules and the migration of the site to a secure Internet-based distribution system reflect an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of the program and meeting industry needs. Smart Mark is considered the industry standard for safety and health training and is among the largest training initiatives of its kind in the U.S. construction industry.
Construction; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Training; Health-programs; Education; Safety-education; Safety-programs; Hazards; Health-hazards; Health-standards; Standards
CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, 8484 Georgia Avenue, Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Source Name
Smart Mark Hazard Awareness Training: Reaching a New Generation
Performing Organization
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland