October 2013: Chairman's Message

Words: John Smith Jr. Chairman's Message

Ushering in a Busy Fall Season

As we say goodbye to the summer of 2013, we look forward to a beautiful fall. This time of year gives everyone new energy and motivation to get back out and do some of those projects that have been put off. It also brings us around to our Midyear Meeting.

As you read this, we will be engaged in our short-term planning session for 2014 and a long-term planning session for 2015 and beyond. The Executive Board will be sitting down with all of the Committee Chairpersons and reviewing last year’s progress, discussing the positive direction that each committee has taken and looking into the future. These brainstorming sessions are open to all, and we look for any input and direction that we need to take to the MCAA.

Please join me in congratulating the men and women who have stepped up and chaired their committee for the last couple of years. We all have worked very hard with our companies in these trying times, but these people also have performed numerous tasks along with their normal responsibilities.

I commend each one of you. I can assure all members and the industry, as we move forward, that this organization has a vision that will make us a stronger industry and foster better masonry companies.

I also want to bring you all up to date on our OSHA issue with the new Silica Standard. The new silica rule is out and posted to the Federal Register as of Sept. 12, 2013. This is the official site for public comment. We encourage everyone to read the rule and put your comments on this site: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=OSHA-2010-0034.

Please note that your comment will be an official government record. Please make sure you comment with facts on how this rule will restrict how your company does business. Especially read the part on how we are to monitor silica in the uncontrolled environment of the jobsite.

Do not be discouraged by the length of the document; it is 757 pages long. As you are aware, we are part of a coalition in the construction industry that is coordinating a response, as an industry, on the technological and economic feasibility of the OSHA proposed rule.

If everyone in the industry works together, we can challenge this rule and question the need to make such a radical change to a rule that, by all statistics, has worked for the last 30 years. The statistics by the CDC have shown the incidence rate of silicosis to have dropped by 93 percent since the original rule was implemented.?? You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you have of acquiring silicosis.

Finally, you will be receiving some plans on our Annual Convention in Las Vegas the week of Jan. 20.?? We would encourage all contractors to put this week on your calendars, and a plan to be a part of the largest masonry event of the year.

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