April 2013

IMPACT Showcases Ironworker Safety, Quality & Productivity

Being The Best

This year at the 2013 Conference, the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust showcased how the tripartite alliance of ironworkers, contractors and owners has worked hard over the past year—and are continuing to work—to “Be the Best” by improving safety, quality and productivity industry-wide. Last year, attendees at the 2012 North American Iron Workers/IMPACT Labor-Management Conference indicated that safety, quality and productivity are the biggest factors that contribute to growing market share.


Throughout 2012:
Iron Workers saw a marked decline in fatalities in 2012, compared to years 2007 to 2011, with the average yearly fatality rate plummeting 59 percent. This improvement is thanks to, in part, the “Countdown to Zero” safety and awareness campaign launched in January 2012.

Officials have discussed new shop improvement initiatives and superintendent training courses to highlight the Iron Worker efforts to provide quality to contractors and owners.

Studies continue to recognize ironworkers as the most productive trade in the construction industry.

“What is consistently impressive about this meeting is the level of collaboration we see. It has the potential to create new jobs for ironworkers and contractors, with the goal of doubling market share by 2021.”
—Bill Brown, management co-chair, IMPACT; president, Ben Hur Construction


“Safety for our members and employers is our number one priority.”
—Walter Wise, labor co-chair, IMPACT; general president, Iron Workers

Owners and general contractors value safety. In fact, according to owner panelists at the conference, many of them won’t even consider hiring a subcontractor unless they have a flawless safety record. Not only does this save members’ lives, but it increases productivity and ensures stability and value for our customers.

“We spend more time covering safety because we believe that a safe project begins with the planning for that project, and it permeates every aspect of that project,” said Jerry Payton of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as he drove home the importance of safe practices on TVA jobsites.

To illustrate dedication to safety, Iron Workers and IMPACT formally renewed a commitment to pursue zero fatalities, a program originally launched in January 2012. As part of the campaign, Executive Director of Safety & Health Steve Rank releases monthly safety reports and holds frequent webinars.


“As an ironworker and an ironworker contractor, I am proud of the commitments the Iron Workers make to train a skilled workforce that is capable of delivering a quality product to customers across North America.”
—Bill Brown, management co-chair, IMPACT; president, Ben Hur Construction

Ironworkers are highly skilled, highly trained professionals. So are ironworker contractors.

Superior training for ironworkers and contractors is the industry’s hallmark of quality. Superintendent Training for Ironworkers—featured at this year’s meeting in a special presentation by Lee Worley—is a popular course that ensures ironworkers are ready to lead. Project management and leadership courses for contractors give our employers the skills they need to succeed in a highly competitive industry.

“For ironworkers, additional training ensures we deliver value,” said Kevin Hilton, IMPACT CEO. “Quality, productivity, excellent training and our drive to deliver right the first time, on time, exemplifies our commitment to value.”


“Our focus on training and innovation means we stay productive.”
—Walter Wise, labor co-chair, IMPACT; general president, Iron Workers

Ironworkers and ironworker contractors are recognized as among the most productive in the construction industry.

Breakout sessions at the 2013 Conference highlighted the drive to innovate that keeps us going. Harvey Swift, a field operations manager for Bennett Steel, Inc., presented “The Paperless Ironworker” a case study on Bennett’s seamless transition to an all-digital jobsite, delivering increased productivity and reduced travel time needed to move updated blueprints and company documents. Swift is a member of Local 584 (Tulsa, Okla.).

Other breakout sessions focused on productivity-boosting innovations in reinforcing, steel bridge construction and total station technology. AISC also answered questions about how steel erector and fabrication certification can streamline a contractor’s day-to-day operations, saving time and money in the process.

Collaboration at an all-time high: This year, IMPACT welcomed more than 880 attendees. That’s an increase of over 150 ironworkers, contractors and owners from 2012.

“In order to take advantage of those new project opportunities, we must be the best…we have to get the message out there that we are the best. We provide a highly trained, highly skilled workforce. That is our advantage over the competition.”
—Walter Wise, labor co-chair, IMPACT; general president, Iron Workers

• Conference attendees believe that ironworker/contractor training, drug testing and marketing are IMPACT’s three most important programs.

• A vast majority of conference attendees believe that broadening apprentice recruitment, providing digital training and expanding into vocational schools and state educational programs are vital to growing the union.

• Eighty percent of attendees believe that IMPACT should support contractors in bidding projects directly with owners.

The 2013 Conference featured the following owners and developers:


Michelle Boyd, executive director, Top Notch
David Clark, Nalcor Energy
Tim Dickson, executive director, Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA)
Kim Flowers, vice president, Technical Services, Southern Company
Philip Hannifin, construction safety director, Los Angeles Unified School District
Hollis Harris, vice president of service and delivery, Kaiser Permanente
Rich Kasper, construction & testing manager, Consumers Energy
Ken Leake, deputy chief, Phoenix Fire Department
Samuel Mayman, executive officer— engineering, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Preston McDaniel, CSCE manager of projects, Intel Corporation
Michael O’Connor, director of state government affairs, Eli Lilly
Jerry Payton, senior program manager, Industrial Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Kevin Reimer, director of construction projects, PSEG Power


Gary Granger, president & CEO, The Granger Group
Peter Palandjian, chairman & CEO, Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation
Scott Travis, senior development executive, Buckingham Companies