Concrete Products

JUN 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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28 • June 2017 NCMA Government Affairs Committee members will track S374 and HR1046 progress among 2017 Capitol Hill developments. On the federal regulatory front, producers and association staff are monitoring Occupational Safety and Health Administration action on a rule revising exposure levels for crystalline silica exposure in Construction and Gen- eral Industry workplaces. Along with many stakeholders in concrete production and construction, NCMA took note of the U.S. Department of Labor's decision to delay, from June to September 2017, enforcement of new silica exposure thresholds for Construction workplaces, greatly impacting masonry and hardscape contractors. OSHA's decision on the 2017 compliance deadline might in turn affect the June 2018 target for silica rule enforcement in General Industry workplaces, including block, paver and manufactured stone veneer operations. NCMA maintains a position that elements of the new rule are still unwarranted in both workplaces, and continues as a signatory in a legal petition against implementation of the rule as cur- rently written. The association is also working with industry partners to support federal policies recognizing the value of resilient construc- tion to better protect communities and speed their recovery from disasters. NCMA was like- wise active in promoting increased, long-term infrastructure investment, and sought to include in related funding legislation lan- guage to encourage increased consideration of concrete products in retaining walls, sound barrier walls, and other structures typical of federal surface transportation projects. DIGITAL DOMAINS NCMA teamed with Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute on two successful block and hardscape unit sales courses in late 2015 and 2016, and is planning to apply part of the course content to a late-2017 conference on how to sell concrete masonry as a system. Along with the courses, NCMA has continued to build out formal and informal digital offerings, led by the Concrete Products University, which in its first 18 months has 350 industry users, 75 new this year; and, Concrete Products Community, especially aimed at design and construction professionals keen to social media. The latter has been rolled out as a) a forum where unit masonry method prac- titioners can openly engage in discussion on how to use and install NCMA members' products; and, b) an effort to reach out to engineers, architects, contractors, home owner, and concrete masonry/hardscape/ masonry stone veneer enthusiasts. The Con- crete Products Community allows design and engineering professionals to post questions for peer or NCMA staff response. Each forum allows them to follow the entire discussion, sub forum or individual question. Concrete Products University and Con- crete Products Community are key internal digital offerings at NCMA. Externally, the association is a lead sponsor of the Building Information Modeling for Masonry initiative. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY DON MARSH ECHELON MASONRY PHOTO: Oldcastle Architectural

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