Ironworkers develop a first of its kind foreman safety certification

After 2019 saw an increase in fatal construction injuries, one union is working to develop a training program that addresses the cause of many fatal construction injuries.

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (Ironworkers) Executive Director of Safety and Health Steve Rank previewed a new training program being developed by the Ironworkers on AWF Union Podcast.

Promoting apprenticeship

Rank began by talking about his path to becoming an Ironworker. He said college just wasn’t for him and he wanted to work more with his hands, finding iron work to be the perfect fit.

He credited the registered apprenticeship program for where he is today. The quality of the training was unmatched and the earn while you learn model allows apprentices to provide for themselves and their family.

Foreman safety certification

Rank dove into construction safety by highlighting the rise in fatal construction injuries in 2019. He said more work needs to be done in order to protect workers from potential hazards.

He discussed a training program being developed by the Ironworkers that is meant to train foremen, the first of its kind in the union building trades. The program is a part of recent efforts by the Ironworkers to focus on safety, and Rank believes training foremen will reduce the number of accidents.

Set to begin in October, the virtual program will feature examples of workplace hazards and prompt participants to identify the hazard and then explain the course of action to be taken. The program will also feature a written exam, although it is still being decided how to administer the exam.

He said the general certifications that cover every trade are no longer sufficient. The one of a kind program seeks to educate Ironworker foremen and better prepare them for hazards they may be able to eliminate on jobsites.


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