MCAA is Co-Sponsor of NIOSH's Masonry Best Practices Meeting in Cincinnati, OH
On March 29th and 30th, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) held a meeting in Cincinnati, OH. The purpose of this meeting was to "Explore the Use of Best Practices to Prevent Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Masonry Industry". What does that mean you ask? NIOSH was given the task to develop a best practices guide for ergonomics in masonry. Yes, ERGONOMICS. Though it was sponsored by NIOSH, there were a few notable co-sponsors of the meeting. The Center to Protect Workers' Rights, the International Council of Employers / Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, and the Mason Contractors Association of America were all co-sponsors and contributed to the planning of this meeting.
The audience consisted of union and non-union contractors, masons, laborers, foremen, safety directors and other industry personnel. The first morning was full of presentations from industry experts outlining the need for interventions that will prevent ergonomic injuries to masons. There was an overview of the different musculoskeletal injuries, an ergonomic masonry job hazard analysis, a historical perspective on bricklaying systems, an overview of currently available intervention technologies, and European "best practices".
After lunch and continuing over to the following morning, we were all in breakout sessions discussing the various roles of bricklayers and tenders and current intervention techniques that are available. I think that NIOSH was pleasantly surprised that the masonry industry is already using many intervention techniques to prevent our workers from getting hurt. Many of the ideas that were discussed are currently utilized. Overall, there was some great networking and discussions held that should position MCAA at the center of this issue if ever OSHA decides to take it national. If you have any questions, contact Rashod R. Johnson, MCAA's Director of Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Rashod R. Johnson, P.E., is president of The Roderick Group in Chicago. He is the former Director of Engineering for the Mason Contractors Association of America and currently serves as a technical consultant to the association.