Iron Workers focus on safety as they bring in apprentices

The construction industry is filled with hazards, which makes it imperative for men and women entering the trade to complete a registered apprenticeship program. The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers takes safety seriously, especially for their apprentices.

Iron Workers Director of Safety and Health Wayne Creasap understands firsthand why quality apprenticeship training is crucial for Ironworkers. Creasap discussed workplace injuries, how they happen, how they can be prevented and more on the AWF Union Podcast.

Ironworker injuries

Oftentimes, Ironworkers labor in difficult conditions due to working from heights and the material with which they work. By making fine tune adjustments to their apprenticeship program, the Iron Workers are attempting to further minimize the risk of injury.

Creasap said Ironworkers get injured in many ways. Hazards exist everywhere, including fall risks, dropped material and tools, electric hazards, etc. For those not properly trained, the trade can prove dangerous.

Risks can be eliminated, however. The best way to mitigate risks is by providing tradesmen and tradeswomen with a certified training program that educates workers about possible hazards.

Creasap said hazard warnings are typically posted on jobsites, but are sometimes overlooked. Safety standards are put in place to protect workers and awareness programs have been developed to promote these standards. He believes the focus needs to be on enforcement, which includes reporting violations to OSHA, who can investigate complaints.

Iron Workers apprenticeship

Creasap explained the best way to ensure a job is done right is to use union construction workers. The registered apprenticeship model is proven to minimize risks by educating workers on how to avoid them.

The in-depth training taught to union apprentices focuses on the safety of all workers, not just the individual. Creasap said limiting safety incidents instills confidence in project owners because work stoppages will be minimized or eliminated.


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