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The Show Must Go On

It is with great optimism that we at AWCI are putting the final touches on our 2022 annual convention. Having not met since 2019, we are long overdue. Now we are getting itchy (in a good way) to join our members and friends in Grapevine, Texas, for AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo, April 4–7. Let's not forget our exhibitors. To help you, our readers, get even more excited about this event, this magazine contains listings for all the companies currently planning to attend the INTEX Expo (page 35).


Of course you know we haven't been able to meet because of COVID-19, which still rampages across the globe. But with more and more people getting vaccinated, we are very slowly seeing events like AWCI’s Convention being able to safely resume. But some construction markets aren't as fortunate. The huge retail market is among those struggling to stay above water. That is why we have the article on page 26. In it AWCI member contractors from around the country talk about lost jobs, new opportunities and challenges like figuring out what to do when the bread-winning market tanks.


It's very much in line with what AWCI President Shawn Burnum said in his message this month (page 5). The need to embrace change is a requirement for sucess today—in almost any business.


And now I must address something that has made me very disappointed in myself. I have been an advocate for safety on the job site since forever, but a picture we published in our December issue got by me. It shows a stack of wallboard stored improperly, and Susan Hines of the Gypsum Association called me out on it–and rightly so. Frankly, I'm embarrassed. I know the rules, and I sould have flagged it before we went to press. But that didn't happen, so I encourage you all to be safe and adhere to Susan's advice from GA-801: “Storing gypsum panel products on edge leaning against wall framing can pose a serious hazard. Panels stacked on edge can easily become unstable, and the entire stack can topple or slip, causing serious injury or even death.”


She added: “Per GA-801, gypsum panels should always be stacked flat directly on a firm, dry, level and structurally sound floor. The use of carefully placed risers of uniform height to minimize sagging is also acceptable if the directions and cautions in GA-801 are carefully followed. Stacking of gypsum panel shall be limited to a maximum height of 17 feet (5m) assuming all recommendations in Handling and Storage of Gypsum Panel Products are observed.”


So there you have it. I know I was wrong, but I looked at this as a teachable moment for all of us. Thanks to Susan and the Gypsum Association!


Stay safe, y’all.

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