Contributions of the Masonry r2p Partnership Recognized at CPWR’s Annual r2p Seminar and Workshop
The Masonry r2p Partnership’s work to improve construction safety and health was recognized in many sessions at CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training’s third annual research to practice (r2p) seminar and workshop. The event focused on research’s positive impact on construction safety and health and highlighted the important contributions of the Partnership, giving a voice to the masonry trades.
BAC Executive Vice President Gerard Scarano moderated a session, Silica – Research Shapes Industry Practice & Policy, an important topic that the Partnership is actively engaged in. “It’s my pleasure to moderate this session on how research on silica has helped to shape safer industry practices, policies and save lives,” he told the audience. The session included a project that the Partnership has been working on with active support from the BAC Ohio-Kentucky Administrative District Council (OH-KY ADC), and with Dr. Alan Echt of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The project studies how to use air monitoring and productivity tracking to identify the best tools, engineering controls, and work practices to control exposure to silica dust during tuckpointing. Dr. Echt reported on the status of the research, noting that the Partnership and members of the OH-KY ADC have been extremely instrumental in helping him carrying out the study by sharing their expertise and providing him with access to training centers. (Learn more from BAC Journal Issue 1: http://www.bacweb.org/journal/2017_01/safety1.php.)
Others on the panel included Alan Barr, a Principal Development Engineer at the University of California, who reported on a series of recent experiments on drill bit performance when used for concrete drilling. These tests found that as drill bits wear down, workers’ productivity declines because holes took longer to drill, and the workers’ exposure to hazardous silica dust, noise, force and vibration increased accordingly. (Learn more at: https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxx041)
“This session was particularly timely given that September 23rd is the effective date of the new Silica Standard,” said Executive Vice President Scarano. “There are already many effective controls available, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop working with researchers and our employers to find even better options.”