Chairman’s Message: Safety Doesn’t Happen on Accident

Paul Odom, MCAA Chairman

As I write this message, it is National Safety Week, and our company is gearing up to have a Safety Stand-Down. A “stand-down” is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. There are several ways a stand down can be done, maybe take a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity. The point is to share the importance of safety in the workplace.  

Safety first and always, we want every single team member to go home the way they came. Y’all know the drill. It should be much more than a slogan though. It needs to be more than something we have printed on our hard hats or vests. It starts at the top. Owners, managers, and supervisors- you are the leaders and can make safety the priority on your jobs by living it through example. Gone should be the days of “do as I say, not as I do.”  

To all of you in the field, working hard to get units in the wall- remember that safety comes first. You can be productive and safe at the same time. Don’t take chances. You have your family, friends, and your work team depending on you. 

Here I am on my soapbox again- but safety is so important that I wanted to take the time to put it in its place at the top. So much so that MCAA has provided a ton of great tools to its members including: 

–    A Safety Library- This is full of tons of resources, many of which you can use for Toolbox Talks for free. 

–    Silica Resources, including: 

  • Silica Train-the-Trainer program 
  • Silica Exposure Control Plan- This is a “create your own policy” program that you can customize for your own company and project. 

–    Safety Data Sheets (SDS)- You can find a lot of major masonry suppliers’ SDS sheets that are available for download. 

–    Beeline Purchasing Program- this program provides 10-30% savings over traditional methods of purchasing because of the buying power of the association. You can take advantage of this for PPE and other safety items.  

–    Safety Forums- These safety-related webinars are a great way to increase your knowledge- plus they’re free for members and are a great way to receive 1.00 credit in Safety Discipline for certification.  

–    Employee Onboarding- MCAA compiled a list of topics for your new employee orientations, along with three videos in both English and Spanish, available for free to members: 

  • Crystalline Silica Onboarding Video 
  • Hazard Communications Onboarding Video 
  • Personal Protective Equipment Onboarding Video 

–    MCAA Safety Advantage Awards- the goal of these awards is to help draw attention to the needs and benefits of performing safely. It is based on a mason contractor’s incident rate and awarded at the Midyear. For more information and to submit your entries go to by June 30, 3019. 10

It might even be shocking to some of you that there are these many great resources out there that are mostly FREE with your MCAA membership. Take advantage of these resources to help keep your teams safe and healthy. 

If that’s not enough, the other big thing that’s been a hit with our industry is the MCAA Online Community. You can ask questions to other contractors and get great advice, including safety – our topic of the week. If you have not checked this out, be sure to do so. It’s another great free membership perk that can make you a better contractor. 

I’m gearing up right now to make the trip to Washington DC, where we will have our Legislative Conference. You’ll hear about how that trip goes in my next article.  

In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming Midyear Meeting, which will be held September 8-11 at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire. I can’t wait to see you there. It’s going to beautiful there in the fall! 

Until next time- Stay Safe!