20,000 Ironworkers Can’t be Wrong

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Ironworkers requested an impressive 20,000 copies of the Iron Worker Foreman Pocket Guide—a jobsite reference manual—within two years of the manual’s publication. Ironworkers: Building America for 115 years.

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Ironworkers and contractors alike often tell me that this is the best publication the Union has ever released.

With more than 20,000 copies currently in circulation, the Ironworker Foreman Pocket Guide occupies the coveted slot of “most ordered” manual in ironworker history—and this is no small honor. Produced by the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) and the Iron Workers National Training Fund, the 4 x 6, 450-page “pocket guide” contains a wealth of reference material, including information on safety issues, hand signals, weight measurements and more.

To put the pocket guide’s meteoric success in perspective: The Iron Workers Union counts 125,000 active members, and roughly one in six ironworkers owns a copy. A book released at the national level would have to sell more than 51 million copies within two years to gain an equivalent ratio of sales. That’s more than the first Harry Potter book has sold in 15 years.

According to IMPACT CEO Eric Waterman, comments are always positive. “Ironworkers and contractors alike often tell me that this is the best publication the Union has ever released,” he said.

The pocket guide is also a valuable safety reference for all ironworkers, not just foremen. “Ironworking involves a great deal of precision and knowledge,” explained Lee Worley, Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Training at the Iron Workers Union. Worley added that ironworker apprentices are all thoroughly trained, tested and safe, but that constant reminders to “be safe and knowledgeable” are never a bad thing.

Steve Rank, Executive Director of Safety and Health for the Iron Workers Union, also added that these guides invite additional inquiry from ironworkers. “This guide is for quick reference on a jobsite and based on many technical manuals that have been developed for apprentice and journeyman training. Our members can always obtain more detailed information and training through the National Training Fund office and local training facilities,” he said.

Ironworkers and their signatory contractors are committed to safety and training. IMPACT, the National Training Fund and ironworker training facilities throughout the United States and Canada pour more than $50 million annually into training and upgrading, ensuring that ironworkers are the best-trained, safest construction workers in the industry.

“Only union labor and contractors understand this kind of investment,” Worley said. “Non-union and open-shop contractors have never made this tremendous commitment to training and safety, and it doesn’t look like they have plans to anytime soon.”

An updated edition of the Foreman Pocket Guide reflecting changes to the new OSHA Crane Standard and other information will be available soon. For more information, contact the IMPACT national office at 1 (800) 545-4921.

About IMPACT: The Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (http://www.impact-net.org) was formed in 2003 under Section 302(c) 9 of the Labor-Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act. IMPACT is a non-profit, tax-exempt labor-management trust under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The primary mission of IMPACT is to expand job opportunities for union ironworkers and their signatory contractors through progressive and innovative labor-management programs, training and safety. IMPACT is governed by a 26-member Board of Trustees. Each of IMPACT’s 10 regions is represented by one labor trustee and one management trustee.


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Brennan Gamwell
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