IMPACT Initiatives

Addressing a Need: Iron Workers Taking the Lead in Safety Supervision

By Sara Schuttloffel

The Iron Workers (IW) and iron-worker-employer partnership IMPACT are working in concert to launch an ironworker-specific supervisory safety course. It’s part of the IW’s “2018 Zero Incident Campaign” and the first craft-specific supervisory training in the industry. The Ironworker Safety Supervisor Course (ISSC) was developed after analyzing incident trends that demonstrated the need for ironworker-specific supervisory safety training.

“There are many organizations and safety consulting firms throughout the country offering supervisor safety training courses and certifications, but they are not developed to focus on any given construction trade, particularly the iron-working industry,” says Steve Rank, IW executive director of safety and health. “It takes craft-specific, specialized supervisory training to ensure that the foremen or superintendents are qualified to identify and address hazards.”

From the Top Down

Foremen and superintendents play a key role in executing company safety programs and are considered management representatives by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Supervisory safety training is paramount on the jobsite,” said Kevin Turner, vice president of risk management for White Construction, during a panel on safety management at the 2018 Iron Workers/IMPACT Conference. “It helps us partner with our owners much better.”

The ISSC is an elective, competency-based certification course for all apprentices and journeymen. An online study guide of 300 to 400 questions will be available to prepare participants for the test. The IW Safety and Health Department will work closely with the National Training Fund (NTF) to make the course available through the Iron-worker Apprenticeship Certification Program at all 157 IW training facilities across North America.

Learning from the Field

A pilot program will be launched to gather feedback from apprentices, journeymen and employer representatives before implementation.

“We are pleased to be working with the International Accreditation Services (IAS), which will be overseeing the program accreditation and certifications issued,” Rank says. “The IAS is considered one of the leading accreditation organizations that provides services to a variety of industries in more than 34 countries around the world.”

The NTF is known for the best apprenticeship and journeymen upgrade program in the construction industry. It’s well equipped to provide cut-ting-edge safety training.

The IW is taking the lead in jobsite safety with innovative programs such as the ISSC and Ironworker Safety Director Training Course to meet end-user and contractor demands for competent safety supervisors.

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