Material handling can be a dangerous occupation, with operators of heavy equipment and supervisors in the construction trades counted among those exposed to the highest levels of risk. As headlines about labor shortages become more prevalent in a global economy set for post-pandemic boom, and employers in construction-oriented industries report moderate to high levels of difficulty finding skilled workers to meet demand, accessibility to training is more important than ever before.
According to a CNN Business article sourcing Labor Department statistics, as of June the construction industry was still facing a 238,000-worker shortfall when compared with pre-pandemic employment levels. At the same time, a new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said 68 percent of commercial construction contractors were asking skilled workers to do more work, while over half were finding it difficult to meet project schedule requirements.
Training has always been a crucial element in the construction trades where the chance of injury or death is all too real. To that end, access to orientation tools and continuing education materials plays a critical role in producing safer and more productive work environments, as well as protecting the well being of laborers and equipment operators involved in material handling who are commonly exposed to pinch points, crush zones and elevated positions.
Offering to teach new skills and train workers on the job has long been used to incentivize potential hires. Now, with an American workforce ready to emerge from the virus economy, combining online training programs with exposure to new or innovative technologies could be the tipping point for organizations in terms of their ability to attract fresh, new talent.
Vacuworx understands this need and is committed to providing training resources for its customers when and where they need it. In addition to our in-person training programs, we have introduced an industry-leading online training program, available to anyone who operates or services Vacuworx RC and MC Series vacuum lifting systems.
The Vacuworx Training Center is a self-guided portal offering courses in key areas such as installation, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting—all intended to streamline the sharing of critical training concepts for users of Vacuworx lifters. Built on a Rapid LMS platform, the mobile-friendly program provides companies visibility regarding which team members have taken appropriate modules and can be accessed in the field. The modules are available to quickly educate new hires, standardize instruction for entire teams and serve as continuing education resources.
Companies who provide convenient access to training are in a much better position to recruit, close the skills gap and increase retention—all while producing safer and more productive work environments. It can also be argued that an investment in safety and training results in greater overall business success and profitability.
Vacuworx vacuum lifting systems are designed to be as intuitive as possible, allowing equipment operators to get a quick, distinct feel for their capabilities. Having immediate access to support materials can further boost operator confidence and efficiency. For our customers who rent or sell Vacuworx lifters, the online courses increase customer satisfaction by allowing them to offer training as an additional resource to end-users.
The Associated General Contractors of America estimates that the construction industry has nearly 700,000 employers and more than 7 million employees. From a leadership and accountability perspective, offering more and better training options goes hand-in-hand with mitigating risk, staying in compliance, limiting liability and helping make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of the day.
At Vacuworx, it is all part of our ongoing mission to help promote best practices, reduce downtime and deter complacency on worksites by providing convenient access to helpful information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
“Our guys like the fact that Vacuworx has a virtual mountain of training and educational materials set up,” said Kurt Degueyter, founder and owner Louisiana-based Bottom Line Equipment LLC. “If customers have questions, they have a video library of Vacuworx products in the field. It makes it very easy to show customers how to operate them, makes it easy for them to do business. It can prevent any premature failures or downtime in the field.”
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