An Association: What is it?

By David H. Glabe, P.E. / August 1, 2009

This group awarded me the D. Victor Saleeby Award at this year’s convention; I am very grateful for the recognition this award represents and truly regret that I was not able to accept it in person.  I respectfully submit, however, that there are other members of this association who deserve the award more than I.  There are a core of members who have and are continually contributing their time and energy to promote the purpose of this association:  I thank you for this service to the association and because of your service, I accept the award with humility.

What is the purpose of the Scaffold Industry Association?  Amongst other purposes, the association exists “To represent the industry in the development of reasonable product standards and procedures for the maintenance of those standards.”  The volunteers who offer their expertise and time for this cause do so knowing that it will benefit not only themselves, but also their competitors.  Think about this for a minute:  your competitor is helping you.  Is that amazing or what?  Another purpose is “To safeguard and advance the interest of its members by presenting the industry’s viewpoint to appropriate legislative and regulatory bodies and by developing a working relationship with appropriate government agencies.”  That’s right, while you are silently denigrating the compliance officer, your association is working with them.  The alliance with federal OSHA is one such example.  Over the years the association’s members have had a positive effect on the promulgation of standards and rules, not just federal and state safety and health agencies but also the work of the American National Standards Institute.  And you thought that the only thing going on was the yearly convention.

Committee chairmen, council chairmen, committee members and advisors each contribute countless hours of time to the purpose of the association.  The inter-relationship between the various activities creates a synergy that encourages new ideas and concepts.  This is clearly evident in the Training Program.  From its genesis in the mid 1990’s, the program is now recognized as a premier scaffolder training course.  This would not have been possible without the efforts of the individuals and the other committees of the association, especially the support of the SIA Educational Foundation (SIAEF).  Did you know that the SIAEF has applied for a Susan Harwood Grant (The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program provides funds to train employers and employees to recognize, avoid, and prevent safety and health hazards in their workplaces)?  Thanks Mr. McBrayer for your extra special effort!

How can you show your appreciation?  It’s easy—get involved.  Your expertise and experience is required if the association is “To represent the industry.”  This is what it is about:  “an organization of persons having a common interest”.   And when you’re at the next meeting, whether the winter meeting or the summer convention, say thanks to all the members who are working on your behalf.

Tags: Scaffolding association D. Victor Saleeby OSHA Standards & Regulations Resources Safety Hazards Scaffold Industry Association SIA Educational Foundation

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David H. Glabe, P.E.

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