Painter's Corner: MCAA Magazine

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

MCAA Magazine

Jerry Painter  

Subject: Tend To Your Business Do you ever wonder how many masons and masonry contractors we have in our industry? I believe it is such a fluid number we will never know. We know that not enough people are entering the trade as masons, but that is a subject for another time. Traditionally, masonry companies start small with one or two masons. They are probably brothers, cousins, fathers and children or at the very least very good friends. Typically when someone starts a new business it is because they have decided that they can make more money working for themselves. They decide that they are good and fast enough to succeed on their own. What some folks forget is the responsibility that comes with being on their own. I am a firm believer that if you are going to be a mason be a good one and if you decide to be a subcontractor be the very best you can be. First of all, learn how to spell M-A-S-O-N-R-Y. There is only ONE letter ‘a’ in masonry. The next thing is to find out about licensing in your area and get one if required. Then get your insurances all in place. I’ve heard people say the can work without insurance. If you do then you are not a reputable contractor and are only one mistake or accident from total disaster. If you’ve made it this far you are at least trying to get it right. If you have insurance and an accountant you may think you are good to go. NOT! There are other things you need to have set up in your business no matter your size. You are never too large or too small to meet all of the required codes. There are several operational plans you should have in place. If you don’t have these most General Contractors and Construction Managers will require you to follow their plans. A few of the Plans or Company Policies are:
  1. Safety Policy-this is a must
  2. Drug-Free Workplace Policy—Drug testing ‘at hire’ or randomly. This is another absolute.
  3. Scaffolding Plan—All masonry above +/- 48” high is installed on scaffolding or some other type of platform.
  4. Personal Protective Equipment Plan (PPE)—this could actually be part of your safety policy.
  5. Fall Protection Plan—This can be separate based on jobsite conditions or be a part of your safety policy and scaffolding plan.
  6. Wall Bracing Plan—MCAA has the industry standard document for your use in developing a plan.
  7. Respirable Silica Plan—MCAA has a seminar to prepare you for this. The changes to the OSHA Standard went into effect in September of 2017 and by April of 2018 OSHA had issued 116 citations.
This list is not all inclusive. You must meet the requirements of the GC or CM you contract with. You should be able to get help from your insurance provider to establish these plans and policies. Your MCAA is a great source of help also. Thru our website, webinars and bookstore you can find the help you need to be a reputable business. Now go out and do great masonry work and make us proud. If you have questions on this subject or codes and standards send them to MCAA and we will do our best to assist. And remember to RAISE THE LINE and COME ON AROUND THE CORNER.   Jerry Painter
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