Amerimix
BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
SPEC MIX LLC
Stabila
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
December 2003

If You're Not Part of the Team, Now's the Time to Get off the Bench

President’s Message


By

It's October (when I'm writing this message), so baseball is on my mind (maybe next year, Boston and Chicago), and I decided perhaps it was time to use scare tactics (in honor of Halloween) to tell mason contractors across the country why it's now more important than ever to be a member of the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA).

Yes, I know, I've told you this before. Some of you are still scratching your head wondering why you should spend the money. "What can MCAA do for me and my company?"

Let me sum it up for you in one word: silica.

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite and many other materials, and it is classified as carcinogenic when inhaled. In the case of the masonry industry, silica poses as a health threat when it becomes airborne through blasting, drilling or cutting of brick, block, stone or mortar. Overexposure to airborne crystalline silica can cause a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease called silicosis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) web site, more than one million U.S. workers ? including many of our crewmembers ? are exposed to crystalline silica and each year more than 250 die from silicosis.

As I'm sure you are all aware, OSHA has a standard on permissible exposure limits (PELs) for silica, and workers are required to wear respirators or take other precautionary methods to limit exposure to the dust particles. As contractors, we must do what we can to limit workers' exposure to silica.

As if silicosis weren't scary enough, OSHA has decided the existing PELs do not offer enough protection. As of the end of October, OSHA issued a draft proposed standard on silica that just may be stringent and costly enough to wipe out some of our businesses. This proposed silica standard is worse than the asbestos standard. "Just how bad can that be," you ask? Worker exposure to asbestos has resulted in lawsuits, lost jobs and bankrupt companies.

By OSHA's own preliminary estimates, should it be promulgated, the annual impact of the silica standard on construction industries is $700 million. And that is just a "rough" estimate of direct impacts. Undoubtedly, there are numerous indirect impacts that OSHA has not even begun to contemplate.

If you are as concerned as I am about this possible standard becoming a reality, then you should take the time to read the article in this month's magazine by MCAA's Director of Government Affairs, Marian Marshall (page 8). While she can't elaborate on OSHA's draft proposed exposure standard on silica ? because it is just that, a draft ? I can tell you that she's directly involved in trying to either scale it back dramatically or kill it altogether.

In early November, OSHA and the Small Business Administration held roundtable teleconference discussions to take comments on the potential impacts of the proposed silica standard on small businesses. There were two panels of 11 members each ? one for construction and one for general industry. Thanks to Marshall, the construction panel had three participants who are MCAA members. Does anyone think that would have ever happened if we didn't have a lobbyist in Washington?

That's just one reason why it pays to be a member of a trade association with representation in our nation's capital. And silica is just one of the many issues Marshall and the rest of the MCAA staff are diligently pursuing on our behalf. The MCAA organization is also involved in the development of codes and standards, workforce development and promotion of masonry at the local, state and national levels. I, for one, am extremely grateful, and I am more than happy to support an organization that supports me, my business, and my industry. It's time for more mason contractors to do the same.


Chairman’s Message Archive

A New Beginning

February 2018
A New Beginning

Givers Gain

January 2018
Givers Gain

Things to Remember

March 2017
Things to Remember

Looking Forward

February 2017
Looking Forward

A Fresh Start

January 2017
A Fresh Start

Who Moved My Cheese?

September 2016
Who Moved My Cheese?

Giving back

December 2015
Giving back

An exciting year ahead

February 2015
An exciting year ahead

Defining success

December 2014
Defining success

Staying busy for you

August 2014
Staying busy for you

Ready for action

February 2014
Ready for action

Thanks

January 2014
Thanks

Happy holidays

December 2013
Happy holidays

MCAA Midyear update

November 2013
MCAA Midyear update

The MCAA in D.C.

August 2013
The MCAA in D.C.

A Lot Happening

July 2013
A Lot Happening

Eye opening

June 2013
Eye opening

Positive movement

March 2013
Positive movement

Headed to Vegas

February 2013
Headed to Vegas

New beginning

January 2013
New beginning

It’s finally over

December 2012
It’s finally over

My trip to the Rockies

November 2012
My trip to the Rockies

The 2012 election

October 2012
The 2012 election

Stay involved

September 2012
Stay involved

Networking

August 2012
Networking

Summer time

July 2012
Summer time

Exciting time

June 2012
Exciting time

Working for you

May 2012
Working for you

New beginnings

March 2012
New beginnings

Farewell!

February 2012
Farewell!

One more to go!

January 2012
One more to go!

Join us in Vegas

November 2011
Join us in Vegas

As the world turns

August 2011
As the world turns

A Bright Future

May 2011
A Bright Future

Tidbits From MCAA

March 2011
Tidbits From MCAA

Time Flies By

February 2011
Time Flies By

The End of the Year

December 2010
The End of the Year

Busy Times!

November 2010
Busy Times!

South of 40

October 2010
South of 40

What Are We Doing?

August 2010
What Are We Doing?

Moving Forward

March 2010
Moving Forward

A Fond Farewell

February 2010
A Fond Farewell

A New Year

January 2010
A New Year

Start the Year Strong

December 2009
Start the Year Strong

MCAA in D.C.

September 2009
MCAA in D.C.

Brick Voids

August 2009
Brick Voids

Vision 2020

February 2009
Vision 2020

State of the Association

February 2009
State of the Association

The Silver Lining

January 2009
The Silver Lining

Impact on the Hill

June 2008
Impact on the Hill

New Horizons

February 2008
New Horizons

Wrapping up Another Year

December 2007
Wrapping up Another Year

Greetings From Italy!

November 2007
Greetings From Italy!

We Need Your Help!

January 2005
We Need Your Help!

The Strength of Unity

November 2003
The Strength of Unity

Changing of the Guard

February 2002
Changing of the Guard

“Through the MCAA’s webinars we’re able to keep current in our industry.”

Josh Cronholm
Ammex Masonry, Inc.
MCAA member since 2006

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