Concrete Products

APR 2014

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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36 • April 2014 CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY JOSEPHINE SMITH Founded in 1954, The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) is the technical institute for the precast concrete structures industry. PCI develops, maintains, and dis- seminates the Body of Knowledge for design- ing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures and systems. It is from this Body of Knowledge that building codes, design guides, education and certification programs are derived. PCI publishes a broad array of techni- cal manuals, reports, periodicals, and oth- er informational documents. The institute provides technical resources, certification for companies and individuals, continuing education, as well as conducts research and development projects, conventions, confer- ences, awards programs and much more. PCI also has 11 regional affiliates across the United States, and maintains relation- ships with other industry organizations, both national and worldwide, having interest in precast concrete. Members include precast concrete man- ufacturers, companies that provide products and services to the industry, precast concrete erectors, and individual members such as architects, consultants, contractors, devel- opers, educators, engineers, materials sup- pliers, service providers, and students. To learn more – visit or email PRECAST/ PRESTRESSED CONCRETE INSTITUTE AT-A-GLANCE CHAIRMAN (2014) DEAN GWIN President & Chief Operating Officer Gate Construction Materials Group Jacksonville, Florida IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN (2013) TOM KELLEY, P.E. President Gage Brothers Concrete Products Sioux Falls, South Dakota "PCI strongly disagrees with OSHA's pro- posal to make fundamental changes to an apparently successful effort by signifcantly reducing the PEL for crystalline silica," Tos- cas contends. "OSHA reinforces its argument to lower the crystalline silica PEL through an exhaustive analysis purporting to show that exposure levels can be reliably mea- sured at the proposed lower level. Besides stating, but then ignoring, the signifcant uncertainties in this analysis, making such an argument clearly indicates that the reg- ulatory philosophy behind the proposed PEL reduction is to reduce exposure to the low- est level that can feasibly be attained by in- dustry. These two branches of the rationale demonstrated in OSHA's justifcation (i.e., that there is no known safe exposure level and that the PEL should be reduced to the lowest level that can feasibly be attained by industry) are precisely what the Supreme Court [has] found to be "a misinterpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act … In short, it is OSHA's mandate to elim- inate signifcant workplace hazards; it is not OSHA's job to reduce workplace risk to near-zero levels." Citing high noncompliance rates for ex- isting crystalline silica PEL thresholds in General Industry and Construction work- places, Toscas notes, "It would appear that inspection and enforcement of the current regulation have been sporadic … Implemen- tation of more stringent PELs will not affect already-noncompliant workplaces, where workers will continue to be overexposed to silica. They will only affect compliant frms. If 30–50 percent of industry cannot comply with the current PEL, how is it feasible to comply with reductions of 50–75 percent in the new PELs? "How many lives could be saved and how many cases of silicosis prevented by more widespread compliance with the current PEL? Logic dictates that in a market-driven economy, to reduce the frequency of non- compliance you need to reduce the cost of compliance (or, alternatively, increase the cost of noncompliance). OSHA's approach, with PELs set to the lower limits of reliable measurement, would increase both the fre- quency of noncompliance and the cost of compliance." "OSHA should enhance its enforcement efforts, concentrating on industries that have posed the greatest risks to workers, and increase the cost of noncompliance," To- scas concludes. "The Precast Concrete Struc- tures Industry is committed to the health of its workers, and willing to work with OSHA to achieve real reductions in worker expo- sure. We see the proposed Rule as refecting an impractical regulatory philosophy, fawed science, and a generally contemptuous atti- tude toward industry." PHOTOS: Gate Precast Concrete Products April 2014.indd 36 4/1/2014 11:39:27 AM

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