New courses in SATERN provide accessible training in Construction Safety for NASA employees and contractors. The offerings are video captures of courses that traditionally are taught only in-person, and as a result expand the availability and accessibility of important training for NASA’s construction community.
The courses include “Safer by Design” and custom vignettes of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour construction course broken down into specific topics.
“A lot of people are involved, and need to be, for a safe construction site,” said Gerald Schumann, institutional safety program manager at NASA Headquarters’ Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. “Construction Safety includes SMA [safety and mission assurance], facilities, engineering, contractors, and now [training is] available to them.”
“Safer by Design” Course
“Safer by Design” provides a fresh approach to Construction Safety by focusing on engineering out construction hazards during the design of a building, rather than trying to protect against hazards during its construction.
“Traditionally, planning construction, PPE [personal protective equipment], barricades, fall protection — that’s what you think of for Construction Safety,” explained Jerry Piasecki, NASA Safety Center (NSC) operational safety team lead. “These are things to help us with hazards onsite, but they don’t do anything to prevent or reduce exposure to the hazard. Let’s try to focus on smarter planning and engineering out the hazard if we can.”
The 4-hour course aims to do just that — eliminate or reduce construction hazards by accounting for them during the design of buildings. To achieve this, the course targets architects and design engineers who traditionally are focused on the end product (the building), not the construction of the building.
“It’s a culture change or a different perspective for looking at Construction Safety, but it can be very effective,” said Schumann.
Incorporating engineering controls into building designs not only provides a safer worksite for construction crews, but also has the potential to save a significant amount of time and money by simplifying construction processes.
OSHA-30 Construction Course
The OSHA-30 construction course addresses a variety of construction site hazards and OSHA requirements.
“There are a lot of OSHA courses out there,” said Piasecki. “We’ve worked hard, Vanessa [Pellegrino, Alphaport, Inc.] has worked hard, to add a NASA flavor.”
Pellegrino is a certified OSHA outreach trainer, allowing her to teach this course to NASA employees and contractors. Although NASA hopes to teach this course in-person once a year (at minimum), limited travel budgets result in limited access to the course. To make the course more accessible, the NSC’s Technical Excellence Office filmed Pellegrino teaching each of the topics in the course and made them available online.
Rather than offering one long video, the NSC broke the course into modules based on topics including mobile cranes, welding and cutting, and the four top areas of injury in construction (known as the focus four): struck-by, caught in between, electrical and fall protection.
Although participants won’t receive OSHA certification for completing any or all of the modules as they would for the in-person course, these smaller modules allow employees to take only the areas of training they need to do their job.
Taking the Courses
“Safer by Design” and the OSHA vignettes can be found in SATERN. For “Safer by Design,” you can search by the course title or use the SATERN ID SMA-OS-WBT-301. To take the vignettes, simply search for the topic you’re interested in taking, for example, “welding and cutting.”
Questions? Contact the SATERN Help Desk.