Press Room

Iron Workers Union and Mine Safety and Health Administration Sign Alliance Agreement to Promote Worker Safety and Health

Jan 12, 2012

The Iron Workers Union and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) sign an important alliance calling for collaboration on safety and health initiatives and procedures.  Iron Worker and MSHA officials have called the alliance agreement a “huge industry step toward comprehensive safety programs across all agencies.”

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IABSO&RIW) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today are proud to announce the establishment of a collaborative relationship aimed to foster safer and more healthful working conditions at mining operations throughout the nation.

“The raw materials for a successful alliance guaranteeing workers a safe work environment are right here in this room,” said Walter Wise, General President of the Iron Workers Union.  “We’ve always agreed on our common goal to reduce injuries and accidents in the field.  Working together, we can accomplish that.”

Addressing Joe Main, MSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor, General President Wise added, “There’s no better partner to have in a fight for safety on the jobsite.”

MSHA and the Iron Workers Union will work together to achieve a number of alliance agreement initiatives.  Among these initiatives is the creation of injury and industry case studies to identify hazardous safety and health conditions and practices.  The two will also develop training programs for individuals working on or near mine construction projects.

The alliance agreement between the Iron Workers Union and MSHA also calls for a comprehensive outreach and communication strategy, which incorporates awareness and outreach initiatives aimed to educate workers and industry officials about safety and health operations around mine construction sites.

Joe Main and other MSHA officials lauded the alliance agreement and are confident the program will have a positive ripple effect throughout all trades. “These are the kinds of alliances and partnerships that really make a difference in bringing about that basic goal of seeing that workers—whether they are ironworkers or miners—have the chance to fulfill that opportunity to pick an occupation in this country and be able to live their life in that occupation and return home safely like everyone else,” Assistant Secretary Main said.  “I hope  that others pay attention to this program and incorporate these values into other workplace initiatives.”

The Iron Workres-MSHA alliance agreement arrives this week along with the Iron Workers’ “Countdown to Zero Fatalities” awareness campaign, which was launched on Jan. 1. The Iron Workers Union consistently works to maintain the highest level of safety standards in the construction industry by providing more than $50 million each year to apprenticeship training and upgrading, including safety and health courses offered at training facilities and at the union’s annual Ironworker Instruction Training Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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.

Press Contact:

Sara Schuttloffel
(202) 383-4885