January 2016

2016 Kicks-Of Zero Fatality-Incident Campaign With Ironworker Safety Director Training Course

The 2016 ZERO Fatality-Incident campaign com­missioned by General President Eric Dean features the Ironworker Safety Director Training Course as one of the programs designed to raise the standard of safety performance. We have members with great knowledge and skill, and we want to reach out and provide this specialized course to members wanting to pursue a safety career with our signatory contractors. The Safety and Health Department has received numerous requests from signatory contractors and safety consulting firms expressing an interest in employing union ironworkers who are qualified to perform the safety duties and responsibilities as a company safety director. Assuming the role of a corporate safety director and managing safety programs for several projects requires some additional basic training and new skill sets. There are several fundamental safety and health tasks that must be routinely implemented to help recognize and avoid workplace hazards. Many safety responsibilities in the workplace are set forth by federal, state, local and contractual standards and requirements. The Ironworker Safety Director Training Course is offered at no charge to members or contractors who elect to sponsor an ironworker or employee to complete this course. 

Dave Otey, Ironworker, Local 229, Journey to Successful Safety Director 
There is no doubt that union ironworkers can make the best safety directors and Dave Otey, member of Local 229 (San Diego) is living proof. Dave is the regional safety manager for Rebar International, Inc. and brings a recent success story of achieving over 2 million man-hours without a lost-time incident. This is only one of many successes Dave has achieved with the cooperative efforts of union ironworkers and the support of his employer, Rebar International, Inc. Dave’s motto as a union ironworker and regional safety manager is simple but effective, “I stay alongside my ironworkers.”

However, Dave’s journey to becoming one of the best ironworker safety directors in the country began in 1994 when he sustained a serious and potentially deadly injury. Dave was working inside a large horizontal rebar column that was being fabricated in his employer’s fabrication yard. When making some final adjustments to the column, it suddenly racked and collapsed, trapping him inside. He was hospitalized in critical care for several weeks. Dave was determined to return to work and stay in the industry as a union ironworker.

The Ironworker Safety Director Training Course is designed to assist members like Dave Otey and other members with new skill sets to manage a comprehensive company safety program for a signatory contractor, project owner or general contractor. The training course is also open to current or future safety directors for signatory contractors needing additional training. The first training course is scheduled for July 14–15, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and will be limited to 80 persons. The two-day (16 hours) training will consist of several breakout sessions focusing on specific areas of instruction. 

How to register for the Ironworker Safety Director Training course
To register for this course, visit ironworkers.org and impact-net.org, and look for the link Ironworker Safety Director Training Course – Registration Form, a one-page form that can be completed online and submitted to the safety and health department in Washington, D.C. and to Jeff Norris, safety coordinator for Canada. Notices and information for the course will also be posted at district council offices, local union meeting places, local union training facilities and IMPACT regional advisory board meetings. The registration form includes hotel information and a telephone number to reserve a room at a discounted rate for this course for participants. The cut-off date for this block of hotel rooms is June 17, 2016. Meals will be provided to all participants at no charge during the two-day training course. On the evening of July 14, a special “meet and greet” dinner will be provided for all participants for networking and feedback on safety and health issues. All registered participants will receive a USB drive containing sample safety programs, templates for workplace inspections, templates for developing a job hazard analysis, sample spreadsheets, regulatory clarifications and additional information provided in all the breakout sessions. The following are some of the fundamental safety topics that will be provided by subject matter experts. 

• Fall Protection Systems (Active and Passive) and Calculations of Basic Lifeline Systems – Instruction on the use and installation of passive and active fall protection systems. A special segment will focus on basic load calculations for common horizontal lifeline systems and examples of typical designs for proper anchorage and terminus points. 

• Regulatory Compliance, Project Contracts and Safety Program Development – How to identify mandatory compliance standards of federal and state regulatory agencies and project contract safety specifications. How to articulate, negotiate and manage safety issues with project owners and controlling contractors. Techniques for working with steel fabricators to incorporate anchorage points for fall arrest systems and cable guardrail systems. Instruction on development, implementation and maintenance of written safety and health programs for field and shop workplaces. 

• Safety Training and Determining Competent and Qualified Persons – Instruction will focus on employee training for workplace activities and designating competent and qualified personnel persons to perform common safety functions. Formats to provide company training and instruction, and how to verify safety training through the Ironworker Apprentice Tracking System (ATS).

• Evaluating Workplace Health Issues and Exposures – How to determine workplace action levels and exposures to welding fumes, lead, asbestos, paints and solvents. Understanding the Threshold Value Limit (TLV) for airborne metal and compounds, and methods to prevent skin absorption of chemicals. How to understand and use air sampling tests as a representative exposure to determine methods of employee protection.

• Development of Job Hazard Analysis, Site Safety Plans, Workplace Inspections – How to develop and use a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and a site-specific safety plan. Sample JHA forms will be provided as a template for use and editing. How to develop and document a system for conducting workplace inspections to identify unsafe acts and conditions in the workplace. 

• Techniques For Managing Recordable/Reportable Incidents and Incident Management and Investigations – Understanding requirements for reporting workplace incidents and posting OSHA 300 Log Form in the workplace. Considerations for submitting incident information to project authorities during bidding process. How to manage workplace investigations following an alleged complaint, OSHA (OH&S) investigation or serious incident. 

• Crane, Rigging and Equipment Operations – How to ensure the crane assembly-disassembly director understands the specific responsibilities for his/her crew and recognizing requirements for qualified riggers and signal persons. Additional instruction will be provided on responsibilities for the use of common aerial lift equipment. 

• Construction Safety Apps – Instruction on the use of innovative safety apps to help implement and document workplace safety programs, programmed inspections, employee instruction and photograph workplace hazards.

• Understanding Employer Insurance Costs – Instruction on how the frequency and severity of workplace incidents determines an employer’s Experience Modification Rating (EMR), insurance costs and ability to qualify for project bidding. 

The International Association’s 2016 Zero Incident-Fatality campaign commissioned by General President Dean provides the Ironworker Safety Director Training Course as one of the many programs designed to raise the standard of safety performance. It is our belief that equipping current or future ironworker safety directors with new skill sets to manage comprehensive safety programs for signatory contractors, project owners or general contractors will produce measurable results. We continue to challenge all members to See Something! Say Something! to recognize and avoid workplace hazards. 

Please contact me in the Safety and Health Department at (800) 368-0108, or Jeff Norris, Canadian safety coordinator at (780) 459-4498 if you have any questions pertaining to the Ironworker Safety Director Training Course.