Celebrating Women in Construction Safety: Local 433’s Celeste Campbell
by Patricia Johnson, VP, Marketing
“Keeping everyone safe every day with our safety team and making sure they go home to their families is how I measure success. It’s humbling to be part of a group of men and women who help everyone go home safe every day.”
Celeste Campbell, member of Local 433 (Los Angeles), comes from a rich history of medical field careers. Campbell is employed by Southwest Steel on the LA Stadium and Entertainment District project as a safety representative. Both of her parents work in the industry and likely expected her to choose the same. She started out with exactly this anticipation, but quickly knew it was not the right career path for her. After one semester of welding in college, she heard about the IPP Bootcamp through a fellow student. Campbell jumped in with both feet: “I feel like there is more I can contribute in a trade career versus pursuing a degree.” Campbell was driven to reassess what she wanted to do with her career in construction after the unexpected death of her friend and coworker due to a fall on a construction site. Safety moved to the front of anything else she was contemplating, with fall protection as the most important focus.
When the opportunity came for a position in construction safety with Southwest Steel on the new LA Stadium and Entertainment District project, Campbell knew it was the perfect place for her. “Keeping everyone safe every day with our safety team and making sure they go home to their families is how I measure success. It’s humbling to be part of a group of men and women who help everyone go home safe every day.” Campbell’s motivation is to help people know the right equipment makes the difference. What’s it like to be a woman in steel? With only five women in her training class, Campbell is certainly a minority. However, when she began, there were 15 women in Local 433, where she apprenticed, and this number has now grown to more than 200. “You can’t expect everyone else to overcome challenges; men and women are equally responsible to get the work done,” says Campbell. “The Iron Workers have done an excellent job in their diversity program through increased awareness and their outreach to entice more women to join.” Southwest Steel looks forward to harnessing and increasing Campbell’s skill set through watching and monitoring her growth and understanding and responsibilities. “I know there is a little girl out there who wishes she could do this—help build America. I want her to know, she can do it,” shares Campbell.
Celeste Campbell takes safety role on LA Stadium project with Southwest Steel
What advice does Campbell have for women who may consider a role in construction safety? “If you have a goal, work hard. Look for opportunity. Get as many qualifications as possible — doesn’t matter if you are male or female. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.” Celeste Campbell was one of the many women members who completed the Ironworker Safety Director Training Course at the Henderson, Nevada, training facility in May, 2019.
The Ironworker, August 2019