Should You Be Committed?

By David H. Glabe, P.E. / December 1, 2004

If I was to tell you that I was going to be committed, would you consider joining me or would you look at me with some suspicion?  And why would you look at me with some suspicion?  How about if I was to suggest that you should be committed?  Would you take offense to that?  Well, don’t be offended but I think you should be committed.

In January, the Scaffold Industry Association, (SIA) is going to hold its’ annual Committee Week where the members are asked to commit themselves.  If you are a SIA member, you should plan on being committed!  That’s right, volunteer to be committed; as in join a committee.  Volunteer to join a committee and be committed to improving the state of the scaffold industry.  I, and the rest of the membership, expect nothing less.  Why is that?  Without your input, the SIA cannot represent your interests.  Without your input, the SIA cannot properly respond to the regulatory agencies and other industry associations.

The scaffold industry is regulated by both mandatory and consensus standards.  Mandatory standards include the prolific federal, state, and provincial occupational safety and health standards.  Consensus standards include, among others, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and the SIA Codes of Safe Practices.  You, individually and through the SIA, can provide input to these agencies through various methods.  For example, whenever new regulations are written, you have the opportunity to provide your opinion as to the language of the proposed regulation.  In fact the SIA has historically provided valuable input into OSHA standards that protect your interests as a member.   The SIA has representation on various ANSI committees concerning scaffolding and the SIA is asked to provide input on standards that indirectly apply to the scaffold industry and its members.  State and provincial agencies frequently request association input on regulations and interpretations of regulations.

Association members represent the SIA at ANSI meetings.  I am the SIA representative for the scaffold sub-committee, ANSI A10.8.  I cannot do my job without your input.  While I am fortunate to have contacts across North America, I cannot possibly know the problems and opportunities that exist everywhere and may be unaware of your specific concerns.  This is true of the other ANSI representatives and the council and committee chairmen as well.  They need your concerns and ideas if the regulations and standards that determine how you must conduct your work are indeed beneficial to you and the industry.

Since regulations and standards affect regional and national commerce, it is important the SIA efforts reflect the interests of all its members, including you.  By participating in the committees and councils of the SIA, your contribution will improve the validity of the association’s efforts and continue to confirm the status of the Scaffold Industry Association as the voice of the industry. And there are plenty of committees and councils where you opinion is needed and requested.  While no one individual has all the answers each individual can, in participation with the group, determine the answer.  There can be no group without the individuals and of course no one individual can be the group.

Can’t get away from business or don’t have the funds to attend the Committee Week meetings?  No problem; send us you opinion, send us your suggestions, send us your ideas.  Participate locally.  The work of the SIA continues year around and the request for information continues year around.  Remember, the scaffold industry is not static but rather is dynamic and fluid.  New ideas, concepts, equipment and methods continue to evolve, requiring continued updating and dissemination of information.  That is precisely why you participation is needed, at the local, regional, provincial and national level.  Don’t let anybody tell you differently.

One definition of committee is “a group of persons elected or appointed to perform some service or function.” (Webster’s Dictionary) That group of persons has to include you if your association is to be meaningful.  The service you perform will improve the association, the industry, and ultimately, your livelihood.  If you don’t think so, don’t participate and watch what happens.

Tags: Scaffolding ANSI Resources SIA Committee Week

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David H. Glabe, P.E.

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