The Ceramic Alliance

Clay Technology magazine
7 Jun 2019

The Tile Council of North America has introduced a network to share environmental health and safety resources for the national ceramics industry. Shardell Joseph reports.

In April 2019, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) launched the Ceramics Alliance, giving members a platform to share concerns, ideas, questions, solutions and expertise on related topics where individual resources may be scarce.

Aiming to increase membership influence on rulemaking and other government actions, the Ceramic Alliance will begin working with other associations in the ceramic industry on topics related to all relevant sectors, including brick, refractories, roof tile, and ceramic tile.

The alliance also claims to ensure rulemakings impacting the industry are based on sound science and real-world understanding, minimise unnecessary burden from government rule, build a strong network of ceramic partners to strengthen the level of influence, and quickly inform the industry of the latest news on environment, health and safety (EHS) issues.

‘Together, we provide a strong voice to ensure that the ceramic industries’ perspectives are loudly heard by regulators and legislators, said TCNA Director of EHS Engineering Services, Susan J Miller.

Participating in Washington, DC-based coalitions, such as the Clean Air Forum, the Ceramics Alliance will compile information as documents regarding EHS.

According to the TCNA, this catalogue of information Ceramic Alliance will be regularly distributed to all members. It will identify regulation, legislation and other programmes, which the members will then have the opportunity to influence in the early stages of development. TCNA claims members can get involved on these key issues either directly or through coalitions.

EHS areas of interest include Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiatives, such as National Ambient Air Quality Standards, New Source Review, MACT/Residual Risk, Waters of the US, greenhouse gas-related programmes, OSHA’s silica standards for construction and general industry, and reporting procedures required by EPA, OSHA, and other agencies.

The Ceramic Alliance says it has already made progress with OSHA in a recent meeting, in which they agreed to add tile splitter, score and snap cutters, to the list of activities that should not require monitoring for silica exposure.

‘Our staff will continue to work with OSHA on other clarifications and safety programmes,’ said TCNA Executive Director Eric Astrachan. ‘This is a key example of how the collective voice of The Ceramic Alliance can have a major impact.’