ASA’s Strategic Governance Continues to Drive the Association Upward Sixty-fi ve Board members and volunteer leaders of the American Supply Association met in February to review and revise the association’s Long Range Strategic Plan, fi rst developed in 2008 at the Winter Board meeting. “The original plan provided ASA the ability to broaden participation, increase focus on desired outcomes, and integrate strategic thinking into ongoing responsibilities of all Levels of ASA’s governance structure,” said Mike Adelizzi, ASA’s executive vice president. “So much of what has been pursued and achieved by the association over the past two years was driven by the ASA Strategic Plan.” The 2010 planning session focused on developing better metrics for evaluating success of the association’s goals and objectives, and a more clear focus on desired outcomes. “Over the past two years, ASA’s services were enhanced, new programs were developed – even in the light of diffi cult economic conditions – and support increased in key areas such as government affairs,” continues Adelizzi. “These decisions were driven by the strategic thinking of the ASA Board.” Led by Jean Frankel of Tecker Consultants, an organizational planning consulting fi rm, the Board was challenged to think long term about what issues the industry may face, as well as how to position the association to better serve its members into the future. Breakout groups were charged with the task of analyzing The current 3-5 year goals by asking fi ve questions about each goal: 1) Have we achieved this goal yet? 2) Are we satisfi ed with progress? 3) Should we make any changes to the goal statement? 4) Have underlying assumptions related to this goal changed at all? 5) What’s been our experience in executing work toward this goal – positive and negative? Once the analysis was complete, the groups established objectives for measuring progress toward the goal and identifi ed which should be prioritized for 2010. In some cases, goals did change and others were updated to better refl ect today’s economic and political environment. “A more clearly defi ned plan has emerged that will enable ASA to work nimbly and better navigate the rapid change in today’s business and political climates,” concluded Adelizzi. Members of the Board who participated feel the same. “The association’s past presidents showed up in numbers for this meeting, supporting that we are committed to the success and survival of ASA as an association,” stated Dottie Ramsey, president and COO of Modern Supply Company in Knoxville, TN and ASA’s fi rst female president. “The groups came up with some pretty exciting and doable items that can be implemented now to help the membership. The Education Foundation has some great tools for training our employees. We all need to do a better job in using them.” Ramsey continued, “In this economic climate the membership needs each other more than ever for the exchange of ideas to create a better environment for all of our companies and the success of our industry.” In the coming weeks and months, the association will be establishing new committees, networking councils and task groups charged with implementing the goals and strategies developed during this session. For a copy of ASA’s Year in Review, call 312. 464.0090. Meeting the California Low-Lead Laws In September 2006, California was the fi rst state to pass a lead-free plumbing law. In 2008, the State of Vermont passed a similar no-lead law intended to specifi cally control the amount of lead in plumbing fi xtures and other devices that deliver potable water for drinking or cooking. Several other states are currently considering similar legislation. The California Health and Safety Code #116875, better known as Assembly Bill 1953 (AB1953) defi nes “lead free” to mean the maximum allowable lead content as: • 0.2% lead in solder and fl ux • 0.25% lead in wetted surfaces of pipe, fi ttings and fi xtures as determined by weighted average In meeting AB1953, manufacturers must develop products made of material containing less than .25% of lead, without a sealant or coating, and obtain independent third party certifi cation. If manufacturers choose to continue to make higher lead content products and also make products that meet California and Vermont requirements, they will need to maintain two SKUs for the same product. Taking the lead out impacts the manufacturer - the cost of raw goods increases and machinery has to run at slower speeds, thus creating a lower yield rate. There is also some impact on scrap value because low-lead and leaded alloys cannot be mixed during the scrap process. What is in and what is out? There has been and continues to be signifi cant confusion over the specifi c requirements of AB1953. Here is an overview of the requirements: Devices intended to deliver potable water for human consumption either through drinking or cooking must be certifi ed by an independent ANSI-approved laboratory. Devices include faucets, fi ttings, valves, pumps, pressure regulators, meters, drinking fountains and even hard-plumbed devices such as commercial coffee makers and soft drink dispensers. There is a common assumption that the law applies to only 2” and smaller devices. The only mention of device size in AB1953 is the mention that 2” and larger gate valves are excluded. Service saddles, backfl ow devices and other products specifi cally used in irrigation and fi re protection are excluded. Does this mean you are in violation of AB1953 if you sell a 3” ball valve into a drinking water application? YES. No person shall use any pipe, plumbing fi xture, solder or fl ux that is not lead free during the installation or repair in a facility that is providing water for human consumption. There is no mention of requiring homeowners to install lead-free devices prior to or during the sale of property in California. Any product or device intended to be used in a potable water application in California must meet the requirements of AB1953. This means that products must have independent third party certifi cation. Providing a product that meets the .25% of lead requirement is not enough. The product must be certifi ed by an ANSI-approved laboratory and be so listed with said laboratory. Products sold by wholesalers intended for irrigation-only applications should either be so identifi ed or be specifi c enough to nondrinking water applications that it would be obvious to a state inspector. This means if a wholesaler has copper bearing valves in their inventory intended to be sold into non-drinking water applications, they should be clearly marked in their inventory as not intended for potable water. The identifi cation of products sold that may have crossover for irrigation and drinking water should be clearly marked within the wholesalers inventory. This can be accomplished by providing a sign at the point of inventory stating “do not sell for drinking water applications.” This is not a guarantee of indemnifi cation, but will provide a safe harbor for selling the inventory. It is not clear how the state will manage inspections of inventory or what is the punishment for carrying and selling non- AB1953 compliant products. It is clear that the inspection process will take place at the wholesaler’s inventory location. It is also clear that some local building inspectors, such as those from the city of Los Angeles, will be examining materials being installed to check for certifi cation. At this time, the majority of California wholesalers have Changed out their non-compliant products to the AB1953 certifi ed products. Following is a brief listing of devices that are subject to the requirements of AB1953: a. Water distribution valves of any size excluding 2” and larger gate valves b. Fixtures for sinks other than service sinks c. Fittings, tees and splitters d. Solenoid valves for household use other than irrigation e. Water meters f. Submersible pumps used in the conveyance of potable water g. Drinking water fountains h. Fixtures delivering potable water to cooking applications, ice making and coffee making i. Water heater fi xtures including isolation valves unless the water heater is intended for industrial use j. Mixing and anti-scald valves Future directions There has been speculation that the State of California will rescind or modify the requirements of AB1953. Most people that are close to this issue do not see any way this will happen. If anything, there maybe additional items inserted into the requirements of AB1953. It is apparent that other states are working on low-lead legislation, although this process is expected to move slowly. With the NSF61-G specifi cation now in publication, it allows states to follow the requirements of AB1953 and require that suppliers market products meeting NSF61-G. Spring Forum Theme is “Managing Under Pressure” ASA has announced its 2010 Spring Forum will take place May 24-26, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. Hosted each year by ASA’s Young Executives Division (YE), the Spring Forum has established itself as an indispensable meeting for the future leaders of the PHCP/PVF industry. Industry manufacturer BrassCraft has partnered with ASA to act as the local host for the event. Jim Whiteherse, BrassCraft’s senior vice president of wholesale sales, will spend an evening speaking to attendees, mining his industry experience to share valuable insight into what these future leaders can expect, and what will be expected from them, as they move through their careers. BrassCraft will host the welcome reception and dinner on Monday evening, and follow it up with a tour of its manufacturing and distribution facility in Lancaster, Texas on Tuesday afternoon. The educational portion of the event will focus on “Managing Under Pressure,” as presented by Pete Land, retired Colonel from the United States Air Force. His two-part presentation will fi rst focus on how to motivate yourself and others, followed by managing change. “Given the increased pressures that come with an economic recession and uncertain business conditions, many YE members are facing these challenges for the fi rst time in their careers,” shares Chris Murin, ASA’s executive director. “The YE Offi cers Council looked at what their own experiences have been over the past 12 months and decided that the Spring Forum was an ideal event in which to address these issues with a broader audience.” “There are two primary reasons I attend the Spring Forum every year: fi rst, the educational piece is always unique and timely,” states Christopher Fasano, director of sales for Torrington Supply in Waterbury, CT and current chairman of the Young Executives Division. “Second is the opportunity to speak with others from around the country that face the same issues I do and learning how they manage them. There’s a camaraderie that comes from interacting with these individuals year after year that makes us comfortable sharing best practices with each other. Creating that rapport and having access to that kind of knowledge base is something I can’t put a value to, and that’s why participation in this event is an absolute for us.” For more information on the ASA Spring Forum or the Young Executives Division, please visit www.asa.net or contact Chris Murin at 312. 464.0090 ext. 204 or email@example.com. Path to Safety – Step Nine A critical step on the path to safety is the development and implementation of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to deal with sudden emergencies such as fi re, severe weather, or earthquake. It is a written document required by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38(a). It is intended to organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies with the aim to prevent employee injury and minimize damage to the facility. An OSHA e-tool at www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/ need.html has a wealth of information to assist in putting together a plan that deals with issues specifi c to your worksite. It involves taking what was learned from a workplace evaluation and describing how employees will respond to different types of emergencies, taking into account your specifi c worksite layout, structural features, and emergency systems. The EAP must include: (1) Means of reporting emergencies; (2) Evacuation procedures and emergency escape routes; (3) Procedures to account for employees after evacuation; (4) Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations; (5) Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them; (6) Names or job titles of persons who can provide information or explanation of duties under the plan. This ninth step on the path to an effective safety program can positively impact your productivity, the health and well-being of your employees, and a better bottom line.
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