WASHINGTON - The Iron Workers and the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) launched the Countdown to Zero Fatalities campaign Jan. 1 of this year to fanfare throughout the Ironworking community. The motto? See something, say something. We all go home safe. The promise? Not one Ironworker will die on the job this year—or ever again.
Now, contractors are also spreading the safety awareness message throughout their organizations, promoting responsibility and education to save lives and reduce onsite injuries.
“The cooperation of our contractor partners is paramount to the success of Countdown to Zero Fatalities,” said Walter Wise, General President of the Iron Workers Union. “Our training delivers the ability to recognize and avoid hazards while our Countdown to Zero Fatalities awareness campaign makes every member responsible for looking out for each other.”
Alissa Schneider, President of Danny’s Construction Company, Shakopee, Minn., first heard about the Countdown to Zero Fatalities campaign through Wise’s December 2011 video blog. “Show this to your crews. Send it to your Brothers and Sisters in Ironworking. Repeat the message, repeat the message, repeat the message and LEAD the way every day,” she wrote in a recent broadcast email to her company.
Schneider added, “The countdown clock on the Iron Workers’s website is a great way to stress the urgency of the challenge. Each working minute in the day presents numerous risks, and the decisions made each minute matter.”
Darlaine Taylor, Vice President of Century Steel Erectors, Dravosburg, Pa., said that under her leadership, a “culture of safety” is paramount. In addition to the daily and weekly safety activities, the management of Century Steel feels it is important to bring their employees together at least once a year to encourage team work, to promote safe job sites and strive for zero accidents. “We’ve held an annual safety meeting for the past 26 years. This year, we’ve invited Steve Rank from the Iron Workers to talk about the ‘deadly dozen’ common jobsite hazards,” Taylor said. “In the past, we’ve had Eric Waterman, CEO of IMPACT, Joe Hunt, General President Emeritus from the Iron Workers, professional athletes and other union tradesmen.”
“We wanted to bring the campaign here, hardhat stickers, posters and all,” she added. Taylor said that Century Steel’s annual meeting also serves as a venue for the company’s annual safety awards. “It lends the recipients a lot of recognition, and that’s what’s important. It’s important to be recognized for being safe and setting a good example.”
Century Steel’s annual meeting consistently draws more than 200 Ironworkers and company employees, as well as the business managers and agents from the local union hall. This year’s meeting will be held on Saturday, March 31.
“These contractors are just a few of many who have begun to broadcast the Countdown to Zero Fatalities message to their organizations,” said IMPACT CEO Waterman.
“A safe jobsite is in everyone’s best interest, from the owner to contractor to Ironworker and their family. A safe jobsite is a productive jobsite and delivers a quality project that everyone can look back on with pride and accomplishment,” General President Wise added.
Steve Rank, with the help of Iron Workers and IMPACT, is hosting a Webinar on Feb. 29, focusing on the “deadly dozen” common—and avoidable—construction site hazards. All Ironworkers and their signatory contractors are invited to attend.
About the Iron Workers International: The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IABSO&RIW) was founded in 1896 in Pittsburgh, Penn. They now represent more than 125,000 Ironworkers throughout the United States and Canada. The IABSO&RIW’s mission is to improve the working conditions of its members while promoting constructive relationships with their employers to increase work opportunities.
About IMPACT: The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (www.impact-net.org) was formed in 2003 under Section 302(c) 9 of the Labor-Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act. IMPACT is a non-profit, tax-exempt labor-management trust under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The primary mission of IMPACT is to expand job opportunities for union ironworkers and their signatory contractors through progressive and innovative labor-management programs, training and safety. IMPACT is governed by a 26-member Board of Trustees. Each of IMPACT’s 13 regions is represented by one labor trustee and one management trustee.