Our international “The Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association, (OP&CMIA), was founded in 1864. The OP&CMIA then chartered local unions throughout the country. Our Local was chartered in 1916. We were a union of cement masons only. Our original territorial jurisdiction was 5 counties, Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery. In the early 1990′s Local 592 merged with Locals 94 Harrisburg, 107 York, 233 Allentown, 105 Reading and 100 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to form the Cement Masons & Plasterers Local 592 of Eastern Pennsylvania. In July of 1999 Local 699 of South Jersey, Delaware and Northern Maryland became part of the 592 family. Except for the plasterers of the 5 county Philadelphia area, which is Local 8, Our Local represents Cement Masons, Plasterers and Shophand in Eastern Pennsylvania. Since 1916 all the major concrete in this area was done by members of our local. Power plants and high rises, bridges and highways, sidewalks and curbs are all our legacy.
Safety on the jobsite has become a forerunner in the construction industry. During the years of the industrial revolution, injury and death on the jobsite occurred at an alarming rate. Jobsites today, with government agencies like sham, safety inspectors on the job, and toolbox safety meetings harbor a safer jobsite. Like the jobsites of yesterday, injury and death can still abound. Safety on the jobsite is everyone’s responsibility.
The oil refineries, pharmaceutical companies, and chemical plants in conjunction with the Philadelphia Building Trades have laid a foundation of quality pre-job safety education that is second to none. With certification classes such as Process Safety Management (PSM), Hazardous material training (HAZMAT) and other programs, job safety has become the most important issue. “Safety First.” Everyone’s safety begins with themselves. Hardhats, safety glasses, proper clothing, gloves and work boots are required on nearly every jobsite. Uncomfortable and cumbersome as some of these may be, they do protect us.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG POLICY
Another safety implementation at these various types of jobsites is drug and alcohol testing. A new drug testing policy has been adopted at places like Sun Oil, PECO and TASCO, called the “Coalition for a Uniform Drug and Alcohol Policy” (C.U.D.A.P.) The C.U.D.A.P. assures workers at these job sites that they will be tested by a quality, certified, third party administration company. In the event a person tests positive, their level of addiction will be evaluated and they will be referred to a treatment program. Once treatments is completed they may return to work at a C.U.D.A.P. location. If you test positive a second time you will be barred from all C.U.D.A.P. locations.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG REHAB
Drugs and alcohol can be a serious problem at work and at home. The Philadelphia Building and Trades sponsors a program called Allied Trades Assistance Program (ATAP). Through A.T.A.P. members with dependencies on drugs, alcohol or both can get treatment that is unsurpassed. If you have a problem, quality help is available. Members of Local 592, eligible for benefits, can receive treatment through A.T.A.P.
With greater safety regulations, fairer drug testing policies, and quality treatment programs cement masons today can afford protective options earlier tradesmen didn’t have, but they all begin with you.