For you who are to young to remember, this ad slogan for auto tires indicates where the true test of successful achievement would be determined. If we had been texting back then it might have simply been WRMR. We do like our abbreviations and acronyms.

The Public Comment Hearing (PCH) is the place where proposed codes meet the true test of successful acceptance. I reported on the Committee Action Hearing (CAH) in the last newsletter article “Live From New York”. Since then, the building safety community has been busy submitting public comments on the proceedings of the CAH. The deadline was June 20th. The International Code Council (ICC) is now compiling them for publication on August 4th. Those proposals that did receive public comments will go to what is called the consensus ballot for approval of the action taken at the CAH. If a public comment was submitted the issue will be on the agenda of the PCH for further debate and consideration to be approved as submitted, approved as modified by public comment, or disapproved.

One of the comments supported by the SMA offers a modification requested by the ICC committee that approved the original proposal by a vote of 5-4. The original proposal was developed by the Post Connection Task Group as organized by the SMA from all sectors of the industry with a stake in a prescriptive code for “hardening” the edge of floor systems where guards are installed. Although the SMA was the “sole proponent” listed on the original proposal the public comment will be submitted with the inclusion of many of the key participants from the Task Group as proponents in addition to the SMA. The modification for the most part addresses improvements suggested at the CAH.

The second proposal is a modification of the definition proposed for “Landing” by the SMA but disapproved. The committee agreed there is a difference between a landing and a floor and such a definition would improve interpretation of the code especially where the code uses the term “floor or landing” leaving too much to interpretation.

Following the ICC’s publication of all the Public Comments received the SMA Code Committee
will meet to review them and establish positions and talking points for testimony at the Public Comment Hearing to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, September 14-21. As with all ICC code development processes anyone can participate, attend a code hearing, anyone can testify and be heard.

If you are looking for a better understanding how and why regulations affect your business, job, community, family, wallet, and how you might have an impact, you will find this to be an eye-opening learning experience. This hearing decides the national model code and attracts experts from across the country, but a similar public process occurs in every local jurisdiction having authority when the model is adopted and modified. In that forum you will be listened to as the local expert authority, a stakeholder in the safety and economy of the community. Will you let it happen around you or consider attending the hearing as on the job training from experts in every field in how to impact the codes that regulate your products and services. How will your tires do on the bumps ahead?