FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Dale Clark, a Canal Winchester, Ohio, resident, was hired as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specialist for the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal industry. The position, which he began officially on January 1, was created to oversee health and safety classes for members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers.
Clark comes to the ITI from Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 in Columbus, Ohio, where he taught OSHA classes and also helped to run the second-chance outreach program, which introduced the trades to people seeking a new start. He also served as safety manager for Limbach Mechanical.
As OSHA specialist, he is responsible for all aspects of the different OSHA classes available through the ITI, from setup, paperwork, and approval to teaching.
“You still have to bring the same energy that you would in person,” Clark said, describing how he keeps students engaged remotely without the one-on-one experience. “It’s still a brotherhood and a sisterhood whether you’re there in person or not.”
Clark said he trains on two different levels now — teaching members about OSHA guidelines while also helping instructors navigate online platforms. His main goal is to send these trainers back to their local training centers with a better understanding of health and safety as well as how to teach. Training in health and safety means everything from mental health to safeguarding your future quality of life, he said.
More than 14,000 apprentices are registered at 148 training facilities across the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA).