Stone Industry Perspective: Education is key for shop safety
Too often, after an accident occurs we receive inquiries from stone companies asking what safety training resources are available. Others may know we have developed a vast array of resources over the past 10 years, but just simply haven’t taken the time to utilize what is available. There are many free safety training tools available from the Natural Stone Institute, and accessing them has never been easier.
Two years ago, we made the decision to create an online portal to house all of our safety training resources. The end result is the Natural Stone University, which is now a one-stop shop for safety education. All of our safety classes are available at no cost. Safety is that important!
Some highlights you should know:
- The University can be accessed at www.uofstone.com or www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/university.
- Most classes can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes.
- Each person who passes a competency exam at the end of a class receives a certificate of completion.
- Each employee has a transcript detailing all classes taken. Many employers have found this feature valuable to generate training reports when requested by government agencies and/or insurance companies, which may result in lower insurance premiums.
- Although this is an online training portal, designated company training managers can also download class resources and administer courses in a group setting. When the class is over, attendance can be logged, which then generates certificates of completion and uploads the records to the employee’s transcript.
- Many stone companies are now using the University for new employee orientation, as well as ongoing training for current employees.
- There are courses to benefit stone distributors, fabricators, installers and now quarriers (13 new quarry specific courses were added thanks to a collaboration with the National Building Granite Quarriers Association in July 2018).
The financial support of our safety committee members has made this possible. Please join me in thanking them for their leadership!