With National Safety Stand-Down Week taking place May 3 through 7, there is an increased focus on preventing safety hazards in the construction and other physical labor industries.
Working from great heights everyday causes ironworkers to face deadly hazards on the job. Iron Workers District Representative and Safety and Health Department Wayne Creasap highlighted ways to eliminate safety hazards for ironworkers and others on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Working as a safety professional
Creasap said his job can be difficult, as some workers view him as someone who is out to get them and tell them how to do their job. However, he said this is an unreasonable assessment because he helps workers return home at the end of each shift.
Over the past few decades, jobsite safety become a bigger focus. His goal is to help workers do their jobs more efficiently by training others how to eliminate hazards.
While developing safety programs for the Iron Workers Union, Creasap is proud of a recent initiative that trains safety directors to tackle workplace safety issues. Since beginning the class a few years ago and training some 500 people, many of them have been placed on job sites as safety professionals.
He also touched on the See Something, Say Something campaign, which works towards a commitment to have zero ironworkers suffer fatal workplace injuries in a year.
The plan encompasses all levels of the trade and takes effort from project managers, foremen and tradespeople together. The premise is to encourage people to speak up if they see a safety issue and not be afraid to report an issue that could result in a workers’ death.
National Safety Stand-Down Week
With National Safety Stand-Down Week quickly approaching, Creasap highlighted that falls remain the leading hazard for ironworkers and other tradesmen and tradeswomen.
He said the Iron Workers are working to educate members on the lifesaving equipment they use. While working with a fall arrest system can be uncomfortable, it can also help a worker return home at the end of the day. While these systems help protect workers who have fallen, the Iron Workers are attempting to educate workers on how to eliminate falls in the workplace.