Safety

Ironworkers, IMPACT Move Forward with Development of Safety Supervisor Course

To prevent jobsite accidents, the Iron Workers and the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) are developing an Ironworker Safety Supervisor Course to educate supervisors about their safety and legal responsibilities in case of a jobsite accident.

A supervisor is considered to be someone working as a foreman, general foreman or superintendent.

“Supervisors have a much higher level of responsibility than an iron-worker in the field. Supervisors are not considered union ironworkers by law; they are considered company management representatives,” says Steve Rank, executive director of safety and health for the Iron Workers. “First thing the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) representative will ask after an incident is who the supervisor is. The majority of supervisors don’t understand the higher level of responsibility they have in that moment. It’s basic, fundamental stuff that’s not covered as it should be.”

The primary reasons the Iron Workers and IMPACT have been working on this course for the past year is to keep ironworkers safe by preventing accidents and to educate super-visors about their responsibilities in the field.

An online study guide of 300 to 400 questions will be available for those participating in the certification. Testing will be available year-round at all 157 training facilities around North America. The test will be required for all apprentices during their fourth year of training (approximately 20,000 ironworkers a year), and optional to all journeyman.

According to Rank, the need for this program exists because online super-visor safety programs are not specific to the ironworker industry.

“These other programs are so broad that they don’t talk about things iron-workers encounter on the jobsite every day,” he says. “Our course is ironworker supervisor safety specific. It’s what you would want to know if you’re erecting a building. You already have the skill to build it, but you need the safety skill set to protect the ironworkers and under-stand your responsibilities.”

The Iron Workers and IMPACT plan to complete the course by the end of 2018. They will run a pilot program to get the feedback of 50-100 apprentices before going forward with the certification program, which is being overseen by the International Accreditation Service. 

Report: Most Workplaces Haven’t Electronically Filed OSHA Data

In May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a controversial new rule that requires employers in high-hazard industries, including manufacturing and construction, to send injury and illness data to OSHA electronically every year. Enforcement began in late 2017, but a new report says most companies haven’t bothered to file the forms.

Bloomberg Environment reported that nearly 200,000 workplaces didn’t submit Form 300A electronically by the December 31, 2017, deadline. OSHA had expected more than 350,000 reports. However, just 153,653 were submitted. Additionally, about 60,000 businesses that weren’t required to submit a form turned one in.

The December 31, 2017 deadline was for 2016 injury and illness data. 2017 data must be posted by July 1, 2018. OSHA has until June 15 to inspect workplaces for violations of the electronic reporting rule.

Form 300A is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred at a workplace in the previous year. It includes individual reports that are recorded on Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Under the new rule, that information will be posted on a public website accessible to all.

According to Bloomberg’s report, the information might not have been submitted because many companies don’t know if they’re exempt or not. The rule affects all establishments with more than 250 employees and establishments in high-risk industries with 20-249 employees. An establishment is defined as either an entire business or a unit of a business. Each establishment can submit data, or a corporation can submit all data from its units.

In November 2017, OSHA said it would review the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule and publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise or remove portions of it in 2018. Specifically, the agency is considering removing the requirement for workplaces to submit Form 300A electronically.

To address the lack of compliance with the new rule, OSHA issued a memorandum in February 2018 to all regional administrators reminding them that failure to submit reports could lead to “Other Than Serious” violations for workplaces and potential fines of $12,934.

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