High on Safety: Our Voice is Getting Louder!
August 1, 2006
Listen closely and you will hear the voice of the scaffold and access industry getting louder. It is a voice that is not only being heard in the United States but throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia, as well. The Scaffold Industry Association has spent the last two years rebuilding to solidify its foundation from which to grow and expand in the United States and abroad.
Currently, the scaffold and access industry in the United States is reaching record proportions prompting foreign equipment manufacturers to gain entry into the U.S. marketplace. They are joining the SIA to do so. Why the SIA? Because the SIA is the only association that caters specifically to the scaffold and access industry.
Founded in 1972 by a small group of California plasterers and lathers, the SIA was formed to protect users of scaffolding from burdensome federal regulations from which they had no voice in developing. Under the leadership of D. Victor Saleeby, who died in 1997, the SIA grew nationally, while developing a relationship with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at both the federal and state levels. This effort gave the SIA the voice it needed.
Today, the SIA has created alliances throughout North America with governing authorities, such as OSHA, Cal-OSHA, American National Standards Institute, Canadian Standards Authority, along with other state, federal and provincial agencies. The goal is to further develop and promote scaffold and access safety. To expand its reach, in 2005 the SIA formed an alliance with the International Powered Access Federation, based in the United Kingdom. This allowed the SIA to introduce new training programs and gain entry to the European scaffold and access market.
Mission statementThe mission of the SIA is to represent, promote and enhance the scaffold and access industry with a special emphasis on safety. Safety training and educational programs related to scaffold and access products are the core components to the SIA's vision of reducing accidents, lowering insurance costs and professionalizing an industry long taken for granted within the construction process. The association offers highly successful training programs that cover both supported and suspended scaffolding. In many cases, these programs not only meet but also exceed current standards.
These high-quality programs have trained thousands throughout North America and have made the SIA training card the industry standard. With our newly formed alliance with IPAF, the association is prepared to offer specialized training programs for both aerial work platforms and mast climbers, as well. These programs have been utilized in Europe for years but are just now being offered in the United States. The SIA delivers its training programs through a network of 45 accredited training institutes spread across North America.
Membership in the SIA means value to anyone who utilizes scaffold and access equipment. From the drywall contractor hanging board, the brick mason laying brick or block, to the painting contractor restoring the walls of a historic church, the safe use of scaffold and access equipment is a critical aspect of the job. Training and educating these workers is what the SIA is all about. Association councils are currently working on new initiatives to upgrade and customize its training products to reach industry segments in need. Codes of safe practices written in Spanish have been developed. Customized scaffold training for the industrial scaffold user and erector has been offered. Interactive online training available at your own pace, on your own time and at your own computer is also currently in development.
Promoting the image of the scaffold and access industry is one of our most important initiatives. Before we can develop, train and educate the workforce of tomorrow, we must first identify where we will find these workers. Trained, competent and qualified manpower represents the future of the scaffold and access industry. Today, immigrant labor represents a large segment of the scaffold and access industry. The SIA will reach out to ensure that these workers have the required training and educational resources to work safely while continuing to promote the industry as a rewarding career path.
In 2005, we took a great step forward in strengthening the association. We built on our formidable assets: Our members, industry knowledge and training and educational programs all have led to sustainable growth. We have sharpened our focus on what the industry wants as we continue our efforts to improve. The SIA has a lot of good news to share and we're just getting started.
We are the Scaffold Industry Association. The recognized voice of the scaffold and access industry.
Visit us at www.scaffold.org.
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