Category: Columns

Painter’s Corner: MCAA Magazine

MCAA Magazine Jerry Painter   Question: How Close is Too Close? Have you ever had someone or something encroach on your personal space so badly that you wanted to scream “Back Off!”? So how close is too close? When my daughters were in high school, they went to a school that had a “Six Inch Rule”. Boys and girls had a 6” rule of separation. Now, as most of you fathers of daughters know, six inches is simply not enough! A distance that can be critical for a masonry contractor is the distance from which masonry should be viewed to determine its acceptability. If we have reached the point of trying to view the masonry from a certain distance, we already have a problem. ASTM C90 Section 7 is titled “Finish & Appearance of Concrete Masonry Units”. Paragraph 7.2 says and I quote, “Where units are to be used in exposed wall construction, the face or faces that are to be exposed shall not show chips or cracks, not otherwise permitted in 7.1.2 and 7.1.3, or other imperfections when viewed from a distance of not less than 20 ft. (6.1m)under diffused lighting”. So, there it is folks, the magic 20’-0” rule. We have been using it for years to get everyone to back away from the wall. But let me tell you a little secret, ASTM C90 is a...

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Tech Talk: How To Look At A Brick Wall

On some projects it just seems that nobody can agree on wall appearance, and what looks right to one person can be unacceptable to another. There may be complaints about mortar color, joint width, or cracks and chips in the brick. Some architects like to get up close with a straightedge or a magnifying glass when evaluating a wall – but both of these approaches are wrong! Luckily there is guidance within the building code and ASTM on how to judge masonry wall appearance. Construction tolerances. Masonry design and construction is covered in the TMS 402 Building Code and...

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MCAA Gateway: June 2017

Last chance to enter Safety Advantage Awards Submissions due June 30 Words: Zach Everett   Submissions to the MCAA Safety Advantage Awards, sponsored by Federated Insurance, are due by June 30, 2017. This is your last chance to enter the awards. Safety is overlooked by some contractors for several reasons: cost, time, resources, compounded focus on production, simple ignorance, or possibly many other things. Our goal is for the MCAA safety awards to help draw attention to the need and benefits of performing safely. The awards will be presented based on a company’s Incident Rate. This seemed to be the most equitable and best way to judge between contractors. The Incident Rate will be the only criteria at the present. There could be many other guidelines thrown into the mix; OSHA citations, comprehensiveness of safety policy, superseding of OSHA compliance by company policy, peer review of policies, job site inspections, volunteer safety work, using biodegradable earplugs, non-concrete block, utilizing anti-alien abduction hardhats or a gamut of other qualifiers and disqualifiers, but we thought that starting simple would be best for the moment. The Incident Rate, by which the safety awards will be judged, is calculated off of the OSHA logs. ALL OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses are logged for that year. The number of illnesses and injuries are multiplied by 200,000 then divided into the total number of hours...

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Calculating Your Return on Investment

Calculating Your Return on Investment Michael Sutter, MCAA Chairman Well with the month of June beginning, I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and good production weather for all your crews. For us in Phoenix, we are not so eagerly looking ahead to what is coming the next few months. We will be anticipating 115 degrees plus in July and August, and production dropping off significantly. While we don’t have any humidity to speak of, it will be like sticking your head in an oven and then being asked to make production levels on your jobs. I guess it is a lot like those of you in the north asking your men to hit production levels in January and February. But no use in complaining, it’s just a fact of life and we will get through it. I know I mentioned it in my last article, but I want to remind everyone to sign up for the Mid-year meeting in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It begins on August 28th and will prove to be one of our most memorable Mid-years. Steamboat is a cowboy town that happens to be one of the premier skiing locations in North America. I don’t expect any snow while we are there but my father-in-law who spent nearly his entire life there has told me that he has seen it snow in every month...

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Government Affairs: The Regulatory Accountability Act

The Regulatory Accountability Act Stephen A. Borg   Whether you know it or not, we have all been impacted by the secret world of the federal rulemaking process. It may be one massive rule issued by a federal agency or “death by a thousand cuts” of numerous rules over the course of numerous years, but it is no wonder that many have recently called the federal agencies the 4th branch of government. I think many of us would agree that the regulatory process is needed in some capacity, but the recent number of rules and in particular “high-impact rules” that have not allowed the public adequate input is staggering. According to a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Taming the Administrative State: Identifying Regulations That Impact Jobs and the Economy, of the federal agency rules finalized from 2008-2016, only 140 regulations out of more than 32,000 had costs exceeding $100 million and an even smaller number of 28 “high-impact rules” or regulations that each cost more than $1 billion annually. The Chamber used this analysis, which can be found here: https://www.uschamber.com/report/taming-the-administrative-state-identifying-regulations-impact-jobs-and-the-economy, to work with industry partners in Washington, D.C. including the Mason Contractors Association to introduce the Regulatory Accountability Act in the U.S. Congress. H.R. 5, the House version introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) was introduced on January 3, 2017, the first day of...

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