By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA
ARTBA has launched a groundbreaking professional certification program developed by safety leaders from some of the nation’s top transportation infrastructure firms, the insurance industry, organized labor and government.
The “Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™” (SCTPP) program is aimed at the thousands of transportation project supervisors, foremen, inspectors, project planners and designers who could make a huge, industry-wide safety impact by learning core competencies necessary to identify and mitigate potentially life-threatening on-site risks.
The SCTPP program is also intended to create a “safety benchmark” for all future civil engineering and construction management program graduates who are interested in employment with industry-leading firms.
“Ensuring that our project sites are the safest possible environments for all who work in and travel through them can’t just be the safety director’s job,” says ARTBA Chairman David Zachry, president and CEO of the Zachry Corporation in San Antonio, Texas. “There are no safety ‘accidents.’ There are safety incidents. And we need to do our best to prevent them. It is our moral obligation and it is good business practice.”
Zachry, who has been a driving force behind development of the SCTPP program, adds: “Our goal, collectively working through ARTBA and its Foundation, is to cause a demonstrable reduction in the number of deaths and injuries that occur on and around transportation project sites each year. We believe we can do that if all of the key decision makers, from project inception through completion, have safety top of mind. This program will identify and reward those who have demonstrated competency in this critical management area.”
ARTBA recruited a high-level, independent certification commission to establish operational policies to guide the SCTPP program and provide leadership, governance and on-going oversight.
The nine-member commission is co-chaired by Ross Myers, CEO & chairman of Allan Myers, Inc., the largest civil construction and materials supply firm in the Mid-Atlantic region, based in Pennsylvania, and David Walls, president & CEO of Austin Industries in Dallas, Texas, one of the nation’s largest diversified construction firms with an annual volume of $2 billion and over 7,000 employee-owners.
The ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) engaged Professional Testing, Inc., an internationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in helping industries and government agencies develop and manage effective, fair, valid, reliable and legally defensible assessment and evaluation services to work with industry safety leaders in developing the SCTPP program. It has been designed to meet the rigorous protocols required for accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization ISO/IEC 17024.
Identification of the target audience, core competencies to be tested, and development of the exam questions themselves has involved key safety personnel from: Zachry Construction, Lane Construction, Granite Construction, the Kiewit Infrastructure Group, Oldcastle Materials, The Vecellio Group, Barriere Construction, Superior Construction, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Arch Insurance Group, the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America, the Texas Department of Transportation, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, Virginia Tech, The Center for Construction Research & Training, Plastic Safety Systems, InVia Pavement Technologies, and Mobile Barriers.
The two-and-a-half hour SCTPP exam has up to 120 multiple-choice questions. They probe knowledge in assessing project risks, creating project safety plans, implementing and conducting on-going evaluation of a site-specific operational safety plan and conducting incident investigations.
The ARTBA-TDF is now accepting applications for the exam, which will be administered nationwide at Pearson VUE testing centers, via the SCTPP website, www.puttingsafetyfirst.org. The test will be offered during three windows in 2017: (Jan. 16-Feb. 17, March 13-April 14 and Oct. 16.-Nov. 17). The application and exam fee is $500.
To be eligible to sit for the exam, candidates must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Three years’ full-time or equivalent experience* in the transportation construction industry.
- Completion of an OSHA 30 or 510 course.
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering or construction management with two years’ experience* in the transportation construction industry.
- Completion of an OSHA 30 or 510 course.
- Associate or technical degree in safety with two years’ experience* in the transportation construction industry.
*Experience is defined as a job classification including, but not limited to, laborer, operator, foreperson, superintendent, project manager, construction manager, engineer, safety professional, risk manager, inspector, surveyor, or estimator. Internships qualify as experience. Experience must be within five years of applying for certification.
Upon passing the exam, the professional certification will be valid for three years. Recertification will require documented, continuing learning on the topic and retesting.
To learn more about the SCTPP program and to access “FAQs” on it, visit www.puttingsafetyfirst.org, or contact ARTBA Senior Vice President of Safety & Education Brad Sant (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 202.289.4434.