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Showing posts from November, 2013

OSHA Issues Proposed Rule to Improve Workplace Safety and Health

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that 3 million workers were injured on the job in 2012. 
The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. 

The proposed rule was developed following a series of stakeholder meetings in 2010 to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers already are required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. The …

NRCA Releases Hazard Communication Program

In preparation for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) recently revised Hazard Communication System (HCS), NRCA has released NRCA's Hazard Communication Program: Know the Signs, a comprehensive program designed to help roofing contractors train their employees regarding the new HCS and comply with OSHA's requirements for managing and communicating to workers all aspects of hazardous chemicals they may use and encounter on the job. 
The new HCS makes OSHA regulations consistent with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), a way to globally convey hazard information by requiring the use of simplified warning labels and graphics and provide a consistent safety data sheet (SDS) format for all products containing chemicals that pose a physical or health hazard. 
OSHA requires that all workers in all industries be trained regarding revised aspects of GHS by Dec. 1. 
NRCA's Hazard Communication Program: Know the Signs offers a complete compliance progr…

OSHA Extends Silica Rule Comment Period by 47 Days

On Oct. 25, OSHA announced a 47-day extension of the public comment deadline for OSHA’s proposed crystalline silica rulemaking, extending the deadline from Dec. 11 to Jan. 27. More than 25 business organizations, including ABC, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and others in the industry, requested additional time for stakeholders to appropriately analyze OSHA’s proposal, develop useful data and provide meaningful feedback. Also requesting extensions were the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee and Small Business Committee and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Most requests, including ABC’s, asked for 90 days.
In addition, OSHA extended the deadline to submit notices of intention to appear at public hearings, from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12. The agency also postponed the public hearings by 14 days, to March 18, 2014.

“OSHA received numerous extension requests from a diverse range of industries, and nearly all the requests asked…

See the First Section of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub

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The first section of the nearly $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub is now open to the public. Designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the World Trade Center West Concourse is a study in white, and gives New Yorkers the chance to experience Calatrava's famous articulated ribs on a daily basis. The new 600-foot-long passageway replaces a temporary pedestrian bridge over West Street and allows commuters to get from the WTC PATH Station to offices on the far West Side without having to walk up to street level.

(From NRCA)
Trenton H. Cotney Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer Trent Cotney, P.A. 1211 N Franklin St Tampa, FL 33602 www.trentcotney.com

NRCA Has Posted Four Position Papers

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"Reform Must End Illegal Immigration, Address Roofing Industry Needs""NRCA Supports Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax""NRCA Supports Comprehensive Tax Reform""NRCA Supports Regulatory Reform Legislation"To view the position papers on NRCA's website, click here

(From NRCA)


Trenton H. Cotney Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer Trent Cotney, P.A. 1211 N Franklin St Tampa, FL 33602 www.trentcotney.com

Progressive Group Issues Preemptive Strike on Silica Rule's Cost

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The Center for Progressive Reform fired an opening salvo Thursday in the upcoming debate over the cost of long sought worker safety regulations now under construction at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA released the proposed rule on harmful silica dust in August, after it had sat under review for more than two years at the White House. The regulations would set new worker exposure limits for silica, which has been linked to health problems and is present at shipyards and construction sites.
The agency estimates the regulations would save nearly 700 lives per year and prevent many more illnesses. But the regulations carry a price tag for the construction and maritime industries, and the costs are likely to figure prominently in debate over the rule’s final contours. Already OSHA has issued preliminary economic and employment analyses, some of which are available here and here.
Early estimates of the costs — and, in particular, how they would impact small businesse…

ABC Members Experience Skilled Worker Shortage

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According to a survey of ABC members, 75 percent of respondents’ companies are experiencing a shortage of willing and qualified craft professionals. These results support the findings of the Construction Labor Market Analyzers’ 20/20 Foresight Report, which shows there will be a nationwide shortage of nearly 2 million skilled craft workers by 2017.
The worker shortage is likely the result of the nearly 30 percent of the construction workforce lost at the peak of the recession combined with an aging workforce, an insufficient pipeline of new workers and lost workers that moved on to other industries. ABC and its 70 chapters have been working hard to close that gap through a combined effort of training, promoting construction as a viable career path and working with federal legislators to increase access to temporary workers. ABC also supports U.S. immigration policy reform that facilitates a sustainable workforce. ABC and its members are encouraging members of the U.S. House of Represent…

3 Economists Give Construction Outlook for Rest of 2013 and Ahead

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The construction sector was booming in the mid-to late-2000s, and then the Great Recession grabbed hold and the industry changed overnight.  Layoffs were rampant; dozens of mega-construction projects stalled; half-built buildings dotted the country. But, after a few years, a slow, but increasingly steady — or at least somewhat optimistic — outlook started to take hold. Reed Construction DataHousing starts were increasing rapidly, and passage of the transportation bill, or MAP-21, put roadwork back on the map.  The continuing shale boom  brought a need for new rail facilities, accommodations, drillers, and more. American ports were pouring money into upgrades at their sites to accommodate the expected larger ships once the Panama Canal expansion finished.  So, things had started to offer a bit of hope. Then came uncertainty over the debt ceiling, and the looming debt default.  For the past three months, the government data — when it was available — has shown a slight downward trend in ma…

Construction Groups Want More Time to Comment on OSHA's Proposed Silica Rule

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"OSHA simply has not provided sufficient time for stakeholders to generate data that may be useful for the agency in analyzing the need for and the effects of the proposed rulemaking," Associated Builders and Contractors asserted.
A number of construction-industry trade organizations recently sent letters to OSHA Administrator David Michaels asking for a 90-day extension for submitting written comments on OSHA's proposed Silica standard. Members of the newly formed Construction Industry Safety Coalition also asked OSHA to push back all other dates in the rule making process – including the public hearing – to correspond with the requested deadline extension.


"The current time frame for submitting written comments is insufficient, and a denial of our request will substantially impede ABC's ability to receive and process member feedback," Associated Builders and Contractors said in a letter to Michaels and other federal lawmakers. "This is of particular con…

ABC Members Experience Skilled Worker Shortage

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According to a survey of ABC members, 75 percent of respondents’ companies are experiencing a shortage of willing and qualified craft professionals. These results support the findings of the Construction Labor Market Analyzers’ 20/20 Foresight Report, which shows there will be a nationwide shortage of nearly 2 million skilled craft workers by 2017. The worker shortage is likely the result of the nearly 30 percent of the construction workforce lost at the peak of the recession combined with an aging workforce, an insufficient pipeline of new workers and lost workers that moved on to other industries. ABC and its 70 chapters have been working hard to close that gap through a combined effort of training, promoting construction as a viable career path and working with federal legislators to increase access to temporary workers. ABC also supports U.S. immigration policy reform that facilitates a sustainable workforce. ABC and its members are encouraging members of the U.S. House of Represent…

OFCCP Has Published Two Final Rules Affecting Federal Contractors

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On Sept. 24, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published two final rules that will apply to federal contractors. Both rules will take effect March 24, 2014, 180 days after publication in the Federal Register. The rules significantly modify existing federal regulations governing hiring rules for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.
The first regulation contains new requirements for federal contractors with respect to hiring individuals with disabilities, including establishing a new 7 percent utilization goal for hiring disabled individuals within every job group. The rule changes regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities and requires such employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain these individuals. The rule also changes the nondiscri…

Construction Market Expected to Show Modest Growth in 2014

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McGraw Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw Hill Cos., New York, recently released its 2014 Dodge Construction Outlook, which predicts that construction starts in 2014 will rise 9 percent to $555 billion. This follows the 5 percent increase estimated for 2013. 

"We see 2014 as another year of measured expansion for the construction industry," says Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. "Against the backdrop of elevated uncertainty and federal spending cutbacks, the construction industry should still benefit from several positive factors going into 2014. 
"Job growth, while sluggish, is still taking place," he continues. "Interest rates remain very low by historical standards, and in the near term, the Federal Reserve is likely to take the necessary steps to keep them low. The bank lending environment is showing improvement in terms of lending standards and the volume of loans. And the improving fiscal post…

OSHA Silica Rule Needs to Extend Public-comment Period, Says Lawmaker

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The head of the House Small Business Committee asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to delay a workplace safety rule that has been in the works for years. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said in a letter to the agency on Thursday that small companies need more time to weigh in on the draft rule setting an exposure limit for silica dust, which has been linked to fatal lung disease. The 755-page proposed regulation, which was revealed earlier this year, along with a report about how it would affect small businesses, is “a significant amount of information and analysis for small businesses to review,” he wrote. “Extending the deadlines associated with the rule making will help ensure that small businesses and their representatives are able to provide OSHA meaningful comments and data,” he added.
The letter from Graves comes days after the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, which looks out for the small businesses’ interests in the regulatory process, asked …