The Season of Silica

The Bigger Picture

Dan Kamys, Editor –

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or a natural stone), you’ll know that next month is the implementation of OSHA’s final rule on crystalline silica exposure. That means a lot of things will change the way mason contractors do business. That’s why we’ve dedicated a rather large portion of this issue to the topic.

You’ll see several articles on the topic in this month’s magazine. Whether it be a breakdown of what the rule specifically is, the tools and gear that will help you stay in compliance, or the industry’s thoughts on the ruling, you’ll find it all here. We intend for this issue to serve as somewhat of a resource guide for contractors to use in the coming months.

Also in this issue, you’ll see some articles on BIM-M and why it’s important for masonry. If you haven’t read up on the topic, this is a great opportunity to understand what it is and why it’s important for contractors. This initiative has the potential to revolutionize the industry in the sense that it will allow masonry to effectively compete with other wall types. By allowing architects, builders, and clients to get on the same page regarding a specific project, I’m very excited at the opportunity this presents.

In case you can’t tell, August’s Masonry is jam-packed. In the spirit of “Wait, there’s more,” I did want to highlight two other features in the magazine. In June, I spent some time in Louisville for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. While I always wish there were more young people in the masonry area, I was amazed at the passion, skill and determination that I saw from the contestants.

While in Louisville, I also had the opportunity to tour and learn about another American Treasure. Whiskey Row, formerly a strip of whiskey distilleries, is being transformed into a new multi-use complex. Taking a look at that structure and understanding the history of that masonry was truly amazing. Even when the building experienced a fire early on during the construction process and the wood joists were obliterated, the masonry was still there. Even though walls collapsed, over 140,000 bricks could be saved.

This issue is a big one. We sincerely hope you hang on to it and use it to refer to going forward. As always, we have many more interesting pieces coming up and you’re more than welcome to make suggestions to us.