National Conference to Prevent Hearing Loss in Construction:
P R O C E E D I N G S
Address: Preventing Hearing Loss in the Construction Trades: A Best Practices Conference
Construction Industry Manufacturers Association
MR. FOWLER: Our next two presenters are somebody you have heard about through these two days, Scott Schneider and Nick Yaksich. I asked Scott for some introductory remarks, and he put some together for this presentation as well as some of the others. Nick got two lines, and Scott has at least six lines, as I can see here, but we have heard about Scott for the last two days. His head is big. He has been praised. So I am not going to worry about his introduction. We will get you up here.
But Nick is the Government Affairs Liaison for the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA), formerly with the Associated General Contractors. CIMA has expressed a real interest in working with us to promote noise control from construction equipment.
So, Nick, we appreciate you being here. Scott, are you coming up, too?
MR. YAKSICH: Thank you, Joe, Scott, and I want to say good afternoon, as the time goes by.
I am going to skip my overheads and just kind of summarize the two quick points that I would like to make this afternoon. I had the opportunity to go out to the van and do the hearing loss exam, and my wife will be pleased with my results and I will use those results sparingly. The last time, it was about 5 years ago, I went for a hearing test. They sat me in a booth facing out the window, and the person who was administering the test was below. So every time that he would push down, I could see him push down and then I would hear the little beep. Then he would push down, and I would hear the little beep. So I am just looking down, push, push, push. So I figured at the end of the test, I do not know about my hearing, but my eyesight was pretty good.
As Joe had said, I represent the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association. We are about 500 manufacturing firms here in the United States, and we sell worldwide a number of the machines shown in the slides from Germany. The Bauma Show is probably the largest construction equipment show in the world. We hold a show in Las Vegas every 3 years. We have from small handheld construction equipment to large earth-moving, large trucks and cranes as part of our members.
I am not an expert by any means as far as hearing loss or construction safety, but I would say my expertise is relevant here, and being with the conference in the last day and a half, my expertise is kind of knowing how Washington works and how it does not work. I think in listening to some of the speakers over the last couple of days, we can get together as a stakeholder in this effort to make something good happen.
I would say, listening to Dr. Rosenstock earlier today, she mentions partnerships and leveraging resources. I think the classic example that I had the privilege of being involved in when I was with the National Asphalt Pavement Association was the engineering controls for asphalt pavers. It was a case where labor, Government, and the industry came together for the common good of improving the work environment.
I think that is the same kind of thing that we in the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association would like to take towards this effort. As a stakeholder, we believe that we can work together with our partners to improve the work environment for the workers, the men and women on the job sites.
I think the second aspect, too, in working together on this is the public and the reaction to the public. We fight here in Washington and a number of State capitals. There is a real growing anti-construction sentiment out there. We participate on a number of coalitions with the laborers to expand the markets, whether it is highway and airports, and we are running up against a lot of environmental litigation. We may have the money to build the projects, but we are not being allowed to build those projects because of the regulations.
I think the thing that I would like to bring to this effort, too, is to take a look at that and the public and what we can do, so we limit those restrictions that we have on construction so we can build those projects and build a better America for everyone.
So, again, the two quick points, improving the workplace for the environment, also looking general public aspects so we can continue to build projects, and we look forward from the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association to be a stakeholder in the project and the partnership, which I believe Scott is going to outline for you now.