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ICRA For Builders

Big Decisions

Hospital administrators face tremendous budget decisions that can mean life or death for the patients that enter their facilities. For this reason, more hospital systems are opting to remodel existing facilities instead of building new ones.

The shift created from new construction to facility renovation introduces new challenges and potential risks, including exposing patients to contaminants that can lead to hospital-acquired-infections (HAI). Approximately 5-10% of hospitalized patients contract an HAI each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, HAIs are responsible for the deaths of more than 99,000 people annually in the United States. 

In addition to the devastating impact of health effects, the CDC estimates the medical costs of these infections soar as high as $45 billion a year. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) has developed an innovative training and qualification program that teaches its members how to reduce the risk of contamination while working in occupied healthcare facilities.


Steps Toward Prevention

Research shows that when healthcare facilities, care teams, and individual doctors and nurses, are aware of infection problems and take specific steps to prevent them, rates of some targeted HAIs (e.g., CLABSI, a central line-associated blood stream infection) can decrease by more than 70 percent. Preventing HAIs is possible, but it will take a serious commitment of everyone involved – clinicians, healthcare facilities and systems, public health, quality improvement groups, and the federal government – working together to improve care, protect patients, and save lives.


Where Carpenters Can Help

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has created the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Training Program for both:
  • the construction industry, including our own Carpenters and Floor Layers (24-hour course)
  • the broader workforce who all in some way impact those patients who trust their health with your facility (8-hour course)
The ICRA program is designed to keep everyone safe - patients, staff and workers. The program standardizes healthcare facility renovation by:
  • Outlining protection methods and safe work practices;
  • Promoting awareness of infection control in healthcare facilities;
  • Focusing training on renovations and additions to existing, occupied buildings;
  • Providing an overview of various hazardous materials that may exist in a health care environment and ways to recognize those materials and risks; 
  • Discussing ways to minimize exposure of hazardous materials to the patients, staff, visitors and construction workers; 
  • Detailing types of healthcare facilities and the unique environment they present.
ICRA-Trained Carpenters are the Best in the Industry
Construction ICRA-trained Carpenters and Floor Layers are trained to react quickly when unforeseen conditions arise in healthcare construction. No other carpenters receive this training. ICRA training is exclusive to our union members.

Construction ICRA: Best Practices in Healthcare Construction is a 24-hour carpenter training program designed to make our members in the safest in healthcare renovation and construction. Carpenters learn comprehensive skill-sets for containing pathogens, controlling airflow, protecting patients, and productively performing work without disrupting adjacent operations. Carpenters receive training for particulate counters, HEPA machines, air changes per hour, magnehelic gauges, working in occupied spaces, contained areas, PPE gear, and more. Training also stresses the reading and understanding of the ICRA form, working with the facility on their Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) and ICRA. 

A few program examples of precautions taken to ensure jobsite containment include:
  • Soft-Wall Systems
  • Barrier Removal
  • Mold Containment, based on the strict New York City Guidelines, a widely accepted document concerning mold growth and remediation
The goal is not to rewrite facility protocol, but to work in unison to ensure and ensure the safest environment for patients and staff during construction. This program provides what all healthcare facilities need throughout any renovation, from facility to facility, jobsite to jobsite: standardization.


Your Next Step

Contact us about our 8-hour ICRA Awareness Training class open to all hospital staff, engineers, architects, project managers and all parties involved in the construction completely free of charge. This course focuses on proper procedures and communications necessary when working in an occupied healthcare facility. All training is paid for by the Carpenters International Training Fund.


For more information on workshops in Missouri, Kansas or Southern Illinois, or to schedule a free, no-hassle presentation of the ICRA Program, please contact Scott Byrne, ICRA Team Lead, by email at ICRA@carpdc.org or by phone at 888.925.ICRA (4272).

For more detailed information on the United Brotherhood of Construction ICRA Program please visit their website: http://icraforbuilders.com/