The Iron Workers and the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) are working in concert to roll out a national safety supervisor training program that the organization believes will be the first of its kind developed for a particular trade.

“We need a qualifications course that is directly developed for ironworker foremen” and the hazards they face, says Steve Rank, executive director of safety and health for the Iron Workers and IMPACT. Rank detailed the organization’s plans at the 2018 North American Iron Workers/IMPACT Labor-Management Conference, held recently in Orlando.

The effort is part of Iron Workers’ Zero Fatality-Incident initiative. “We’re always striving to do better and improve that safety matrix and number,” says Eric Dean, general president of Iron Workers International.

The ironworker supervisor safety course (ISSC) will cover steel erection, reinforcing steel and post-tensioning, precast concrete erection, crane assembly and disassembly, hoisting and rigging, and miscellaneous iron, Bill Brown, IMPACT chairman, told conference attendees.

“There are many certifications in today’s construction industry,” Rank told ENR. “But we need a qualifications course that is directly developed for ironworker hazards.” The organization believes the supervisor course will fill an existing gap, says Rank.

“What we’ve seen in the past is that when you don’t have supervisors that understand their safety roles and responsibilities, then there are serious repercussions,” Rank says. “Workers get hurt.”

The organization expects to have the course—which is still being developed—available through all of its more than 150 North American training facilities by late 2018.