A New Year
Here we are, another year behind us, and a hope for a better year ahead. Many will ask me, as President of the MCAA, what is ahead for the organization in 2010? I think you will see that 2010 will be a very busy and productive New Year for the MCAA and mason contractors.
Early in 2010, the MCAA should have formal written notice from OSHA regarding our request to have the glove rule reviewed and amended. Preliminary reports from OSHA are that the rule will be amended to allow for contractors to make the decision as to when masons should wear gloves and when it is not necessary. This will be a reversal from the old rule and a win for the contractor. MCAA also has been involved in a serious issue of great concern to the membership. That is the ASTM struggle to keep the definition of a solid brick the same today as it has for many years.
The end of the year has seen the progression of a change to the definition of ASTM C-216. We are hopeful that we can defeat this new change, as the rule change would present many challenges for the contractor, if implemented. Of greatest concern would be that the end user would not understand that the traditional 216 solid brick they have received for many, many years may be different than what they are used to. The new change would allow the brick manufacturers to create a brick with void sizes up to 30 percent (a 5 percent increase). While the brick industry has a study that shows there is little to no difference in mortar consumption, breakage and water penetration, contractors who have used the brick (as an ASTM C-652 brick) have found different. Contractors are quite concerned that by introducing a new definition of a solid brick, which many fear is an inferior product, the brick market will begin to see a fade in market share. This is a huge issue for contactors, and the MCAA will continue to fight and monitor this issue.
One great way for you to see exactly what is coming in 2010 is by attending the World of Concrete/World of Masonry Show in Las Vegas during the first week of February. The MCAA will have committee meetings and our annual meeting to help provide insight to what’s ahead. In addition, the show floor and educational opportunities present are unequalled in value. Start the New Year right with some great insight into what your year holds, and attend World of Masonry. I hope to see you in Las Vegas.