First Time Laying Omni Block

The videos linked below depict a mason that was literally just “hired on” with no previous Omni Block experience, climbed the scaffolding and started laying Omni Block. A classic “on-the-job-training” exercise. The videos show that Omni Block is a “one-handed” block, which was manufactured in Tucson, Arizona by Central Arizona Block. It is a medium-weight block weighing an average of 33 pounds. This puts the block mix design at about 105 lb. density.

The second video shows the mason installing the short insulation insert into the interior block cavities. There is only one way that foam can be put into the cavity, so it is “completely foolproof”. As shown in this video, which is 22 seconds long, the mason installs 7 short foam inserts and has not even gotten the hang of doing it yet.

If you pay a mason $30 per hour and charge $0.25 additional per insert to the total masonry bid, how many inserts must he install on average during the project? This mason is not at all racing or working at an unsustainable pace, so it is possible to average 1200 inserts in an hour or $300 in revenue at $0.25 per insert.

The third video shows the mason installing the long insulation insert into the exterior block cavities. There is only one way to install the long insert into the exterior cavity, again making it intuitive, thus requiring zero training. This video is 20 seconds in length and the mason installs only 5 inserts. This would equate to $225 of revenue per hour.

Many masonry companies initially think that a hod carrier can install the inserts. This is economical during the first lift, but it has been determined many times over that once the mason is on the scaffolding, the hod carrier gets in the way and thus is counterproductive. Once a mason lays a course, he then installs the inserts and what most masonry contractors realize is that the mason can lay as much block in the afternoon as he did in the morning because he in effect has “paced” himself.