The Growing Importance of Safety Training
Training requirements for new applicants are important for all members
In February of 2019, two safety training classes, provided online through the IATSE Training Trust, were added as mandatory requirements of the application process for new members of Local 479. These classes have only recently been made available to IATSE members working under the Area Standards Agreement (ASA). Now that our members have the ability to take them, we decided that the best way to ensure that newest members got off on the right foot and had a basic understanding of set safety was to require their completion.
Standardized Industry Training
The safety training classes “A” and “A2” were originally offered only through a company in California called Contract Services and were available exclusively to members of west coast locals. Contract Services provides a large number of training classes that are required for IA members who work in California. However, these same classes were not made available to IA members working under the Area Standards Agreement until September 30, 2016, when the IATSE Training Trust solidified a deal with Contract Services to offer the “A” and “A2” classes to crew covered under contracts that serve other parts of the country. The majority of our contracts now stipulate that employers are obligated to contribute funds to the IA Training Trust Fund for education on your behalf.
In addition to “A” and “A2”, just a few weeks ago Contract Services agreed to allow the IA Training Trust to offer additional training to members working under the ASA: “Harassment Prevention”, classes 1 & 2. As with the “A” and “A2” classes, these new training classes are currently optional for existing Local 479 members, but highly encouraged.
As soon as these training classes became available to Local 479’s membership, our Education Department began facilitating the enrollment of these classes with the understanding that in the future these trainings will cease to be optional, becoming a mandatory requirement of employers. When this change goes into effect, your employment will be reliant on whether or not you have already completed these courses.
If you have not noticed, the referral list has recently been updated to indicate which members have completed the “A” and “A2” classes, as well as harassment prevention “HP1” or “HP2”.
We encourage you to take advantage of these classes sooner rather than later. Take the time to accomplish them now to ensure that you continue to meet all of the expectations of employers.
A Responsibility to Train Crews
While the local highly encourages our existing members to take these classes as soon as they are able, we made the decision to require potential new members to complete these classes before joining our local.
This new prerequisite will:
- Ensure that we are voting in new members that know how to be safe in the workplace. Most aspects of our industry can be learned while on the job, but basic safety is of paramount importance and every crew member, regardless of experience, should have an understanding of what constitutes a safe workplace.
- Demonstrate to the IA and to employers that Local 479’s members are taking advantage of the trainings the IA has worked hard to put in place. We want to show employers that training is important to our members and that we are willing to do our part to take the training that they are contractually obligated to pay for.
As of this posting, a total of three safety courses are currently available to our members through the IA Training Trust.
- A – General Safety
- A2 – Environmental Safety
- Harassment Training
- H1 – Harassment Training for crew
- H2 – Harassment Training for department heads, keys, and those with supervisory responsibilities
Local 479 has elected to require all three of these classes for new applicants and highly encourage current members to take them as well. These classes are only offered online and can be completed at your leisure. Follow the directions on the sign-up sheet to register for these classes (click here for link to sign-up sheet). If you encounter problems during sign-up or have questions about this process or these classes please contact Local 479’s Education Department. Once you are enrolled the classes are available to you wherever you are, whenever you have time – you can start and stop as your schedule demands.
Please Don’t Wait!
If you have not already made the time, put it on your to-do list and make it a priority this spring. Our newest members are now already one step ahead, so join them and let’s make sure all of our brothers and sisters are trained to work safely with each other in the workplace. A well-trained workforce is just one more way to keep Georgia at the top of the list of preferred filming destinations!