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Iron Workers Official Claims Kentucky's Certification Process Needs Improvement

Iron Village Welders

A union official has told Kentucky lawmakers a former construction company that worked on public projects all over the Commonwealth used employees with falsified welding certificates.

Bill Woodward is president of the Iron Workers Southern Ohio and Vicinity District, which represents members in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia.

Woodward claims one of the projects done by Lamar Construction of Michigan had disastrous consequences for McCracken County High School.

“May 22, 2011, on a Sunday, the school collapsed. The contractor claimed it was wind. We got the wind reports of 5 to 10 mile an hour wind, so it wasn’t the wind. Fortunately, this was on a Sunday when nobody was there working and fortunately, school wasn’t in session.” –Bill Woodward

Woodward provided the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Industry and Labor a list of public projects on which the firm worked. It includes renovations to Menifee County High school and construction of the Wolfe County Judicial Center.

Woodward says better oversight of the welding certification process is needed in Kentucky and elsewhere. He says it’s too easy to produce bogus credentials. He is calling on the state legislature to require building contractors to use accredited testing facilities and inspectors.  

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