3M Company’s personal safety business has partnered with two ironworker groups to give fabricators and construction workers better access to safety equipment and training needed on job sites and in factories.
Under the agreement announced Friday, 3M’s personal safety division will join with the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Ironworkers (Iron Workers International) as well as the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT).
The effort is aimed at giving 150,000 union members and contractors access to 3M’s personal safety products, training and services.
3M safety experts will create and teach ironworkers safety courses and provide the technical support for fall-protection training-structures that the Ironworkers International plans to build at nearly 156 facilities in North America. The structures will be outfitted with 3M personal safety products, officials said.
“One of the key goals of this partnership is to help standardize safety practices using 3M personal protective equipment and fall protection training,” said 3M business development manager Paul Maturen.
While Maplewood-based 3M has long sold employers hearing, eye and breathing protection and safety vests for workers, its safety offerings expanded dramatically in recent years.
3M bought Bloomington-based harness-maker Capital Safety in 2015 for $2.5 billion, which greatly increased its fall-protection product line.
In March, 3M announced that it would soon buy Scott Safety for $2 billion to add firefighter breathing-protection and gas detection systems to 3M’s product arsenal. That deal should close later this year, officials said.
In addition to acquisitions, 3M recently broadened its safety services and training for customers, and state and federal safety regulators. Its safety experts now bring large trailers to busy building sites so they can train and fit construction workers with safety equipment that prevent falls, hearing loss and welding injuries. Now the model extends to ironworkers.
3M will work with the Ironworkers’ Safety and Health and National Training Fund departments and others to establish and teach fall protection training courses in the United States and Canada. Ironworkers are excited.
“We see this partnership with 3M as a valuable relationship to provide our members and signatory contractors with access to a full line of fall protection and personal safety equipment — including welding safety, respiratory protection and hearing protection — and apprentice and journeyman training,” said Steve Rank, Ironworkers International executive director of safety and health. “The combination of top-of-the-line equipment and training is invaluable.”