AWCI held its Industry Executives’ Conference & Committee Meetings in Tucson, Ariz., last month, and there were a number of seminars, committee meetings and discussions that significantly impact AWCI members and the entire industry. One of those is the recent launch of the rule regarding respirable crystalline silica from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
This standard is an enforcement policy for our industry, but it comes with a proviso that all of us should know about. For the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who, in good faith, attempt to comply with the standard but are unable to reduce exposures or meet the requirements in Table 1 of the standard. Instead, OSHA will focus on providing compliance assistance and outreach to ensure employers implement the controls in Table 1 of the standard. Since many of the tasks carried out by wall and ceiling contractors are not covered in Table 1, employers must establish procedures to protect workers from respirable silica.
It is worth noting that AWCI had an impact on the new standard because it was a contributor in the outreach efforts to members of Congress and OSHA on behalf of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition.
The AWCI board of directors approved expenditures and direction to create a guiding industry plan by the staff of AWCI working in concert with safety directors from member companies.
Another issue at the conference, which I’ve written about before, was employee recruitment. The education session, “Retaining the Right People and Building Your Talent Pool for Future Growth,” were presented by Edward K. Rowell of FMI. The session was timely and engaging, and it raised many points for discussion.
As you all know, AWCI has a very large membership, and while many of our members partake in association matters, even more members remain bystanders. I hope many of you will come to see the value of being involved in future events like the annual conventions and the fall conferences. The next annual convention will be in Orlando, Fla., March 24–28, 2018. This is a very special convention because it marks AWCI’s 100th anniversary and will have added celebratory events. The next fall conference will be in San Antonio, Sept. 25–28, 2018. AWCI works very hard to address our industry issues and provide management training that directly relates to the needs of our businesses.