Would Dramatically Higher OSHA Penalties Make Workers Safer?

January 17, 2022
Richard Korman & Jonathan Barnes - ENR

When the U.S. Labor Dept. sought to enforce a penalty for violations it believed were connected to the death of welder Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia in North Carolina earlier this year, the largest part of the penalty was $13,653, the maximum fine for a serious violation. It brought the total proposed fines against employer PCL Civil Constructors to $23,000.

Reprinted courtesy of Richard Korman, ENR and Jonathan Barnes, ENR
Mr. Korman may be contacted at kormanr@enr.com

Infrastructure Act Focus Shifts to Rolling Out the Funds

January 10, 2022
Tom Ichniowski, Aileen Cho, Pam McFarland, James Leggate & Debra K. Rubin - ENR

With President Joe Biden’s Nov. 15 signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA, federal agencies are stepping up plans to implement the landmark package, estimated at $1 trillion over five years.

Reprinted courtesy of Tom Ichniowski, ENR, Aileen Cho, ENR, Pam McFarland, ENR, James Leggate, ENR and Debra K. Rubin, ENR

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at ichniowskit@enr.com
Ms. Cho may be contacted at choa@enr.com
Ms. McFarland may be contacted at mcfarlandp@enr.com
Mr. Leggate may be contacted at leggatej@enr.com
Ms. Rubin may be contacted at rubind@enr.com

Four Ways Veterans’ Skills Benefit the Construction Industry

January 3, 2022
Josh White - Construction Executive

The construction industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, employing more than 7 million people and creating nearly $1.3 trillion worth of structures annually. An impressive portion of these employees have a military background—in fact, roughly 15.5% of all U.S. veterans will enter the construction industry at some point in their careers, according to PlanGrid’s Construction Productivity blog.

Veterans acquire valuable skills throughout their service that are easily transferable to post-military jobs, and employers in various industries can play prominent roles in helping bridge the gap between concluding military life and entering the workforce by providing job opportunities. One industry that continues to stand out among the rest in terms of hiring and supporting veterans is the contracting and construction industry, which currently employs more than half a million veterans.

Reprinted courtesy of Josh White, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Welcome Back, Construction Crew. Here Are Your New Safety Monitoring Devices.

December 27, 2021
Richard Korman, Bruce Buckley & Jonathan Barnes - ENR

Raymond A. Volpatt Jr. recalls with some distress the painful months starting in April 2020. Although some of his family-owned contracting company’s work was deemed essential and continued in the early pandemic, a third of its annual revenue, $10 million worth, was cancelled or postponed.

Reprinted courtesy of Richard Korman, ENR, Bruce Buckley, ENR and Jonathan Barnes, ENR
Mr. Korman may be contacted at kormanr@enr.com

Construction 2020 Workplace Injuries Down but Illnesses Rise

December 20, 2021
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Total nonfatal construction workplace injuries and illnesses declined 13% in 2020 from the year-earlier level, and the industry’s injury-illness rate also continued downward, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at ichniowskit@enr.com

Big October Employment Gain Drops Construction's Jobless Rate to Lowest Mark Since 2019

December 13, 2021
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction posted strong employment results In October, adding 44,000 jobs—with gains in all sectors—and the industry’s unemployment rate was the lowest in more than two years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

Reprinted courtesy of Tom Ichniowski, Engineering News-Record

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at ichniowskit@enr.com

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How to Address the Four Biggest Staffing Issues In Construction Industry

December 6, 2021
Bryan Christiansen - Construction Executive

The construction sector in the United States is a booming industry that is facing a surge in demand following the global pandemic. In the United States, the construction industry contributed to $684.40 billion in the first quarter of 2021. Yet, business leaders in this sector have been facing recurring human resource management challenges.

Here are four of the most common struggles industry-wide, and tips to help business leaders get back on track.

Reprinted courtesy of Bryan Christiansen, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Input Prices Decline in September but Remain Higher on a Yearly Basis

November 29, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

Construction input prices declined 0.5% in September, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4% for the month.

Despite the monthly decline, construction input prices are 18.9% higher than in September 2020. Nonresidential construction input prices increased 20.2% over that span. Steel mill products experienced the largest year-over-year increase, rising 134.2%, while iron and steel prices nearly doubled, rising 96.3%. All three energy subcategories experienced significant price increases. Natural gas prices were up 120.9% compared to last year, while crude petroleum and unprocessed energy materials prices increased 89.1% and 84.8%, respectively.

Reprinted courtesy of ABC, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Bolster Diversity and Inclusion by Dispelling Myths About Construction Jobs

November 19, 2021
Bruce Orr - Construction Executive

Misperceptions about what it’s like to work in construction could be hampering efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry—not to mention full employment.

Consider the results of a survey conducted last year by VIATechnik, a digital-transformation company focused on the architecture, engineering and construction sector.

“We put the question ‘What is your impression of the construction industry?’ to 150 Chicago-area high school students,” says Anton Dy Buncio, VIATechnik’s COO. “Most of these students identified as Asian or Hispanic/Latinx. They tended to see construction jobs as important and beneficial, but also noisy, tough, dirty and dangerous.”

Reprinted courtesy of Bruce Orr, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Mr. Orr may be contacted at bruce.orr@pronovos.com

Supply Delays and Staffing: Top Concerns in the Construction Industry

November 15, 2021
Joey Maxwell - Construction Executive

The pandemic economy is affecting the construction industry in both positive and negative ways. The 2021 edition of the “Sterling Seacrest Pritchard Risk Sentiment Index of the Construction Industry,” asked nearly 90 construction industry leaders to name the top challenges currently facing their businesses.

On the positive side, construction leaders are seeing consistent profit margins and more business in their pipelines. But they negatively report material costs and delays, as well as staffing challenges, presenting huge hurdles for the industry.

Reprinted courtesy of Joey Maxwell, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Mr. Maxwell may be contacted at jmaxwell@sspins.com

Protection Against Escalating Material Costs in the Construction Industry

November 8, 2021
Brent Meyer - Construction Executive

As the global economy tries to get a foothold for its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the construction industry, especially contractors, are increasingly exposed to financial risk through material costs escalation. Material costs over the past year have skyrocketed, while demand for new builds has remained steady or even increased in some instances. The increase in material costs is mainly driven by shortages, and as the Wall Street Journal reported in June, these supply-chain imbalances could persist well into 2022.

There are a number of reasons for the current material shortages:

  • workforce stoppages where materials are processed;
  • delays and bottlenecks in shipping; and in some instances; and
  • tariffs.

Reprinted courtesy of Brent Meyer, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Mr. Meyer may be contacted at brent.meyer@huschblackwell.com

ABC NorCal Actively Hiring Virtual Craft Instructors

November 1, 2021
Beverley BevenFlorez – CDJ Staff

ABC Northern California (ABC NorCal) is looking for experienced and knowledgeable construction workers to be employed as at-home instructors. It includes opportunities for part-time and full-time work.

"We are actively looking to hire those who are proud of their trade skills and are ready to train the next generation of construction workers building communities' infrastructure. ABC NorCal is committed to continue cementing the future of the construction industry with well-trained workers educated by people who would like to keep working in the industry and can do so from home," said ABC NorCal Facilities Director Daniel Albano. "This is a wonderful and practical way to earn complementary income for people who may be retired or have need to be home to care for familial responsibilities."

For a full list of requirements, benefits, and the application, please visit http://www.abcnorcal.org/about/careers/. Any questions can be emailed to trainingfacility@abcnorcal.org.

New York City Issues 1,500 Stop Work Orders at Construction Sites

October 24, 2021
James Leggate - Engineering News-Record

New York City’s “zero tolerance” safety sweeps resulted in thousands of violations and nearly 1,500 stop work orders issued at construction sites across the five boroughs to prevent worker falls and other injuries.

Mr. Leggate may be contacted at leggatej@enr.com

COVID-19 Pandemic: Is it Over Yet? Not so Fast!

October 18, 2021
John P. Ahlers - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight

The COVID-19 Pandemic created a global disruption across trade, finance, health, education, businesses, and society in general like few others in the past 100 years. The pandemic’s fallout is being felt in the supply chain interruption experienced across all construction projects. This vulnerability, especially to an industry that has high dependence on China to fulfill its need for raw materials or finished products, has been exposed. China’s dominant role as the “world factory” means that any disruption to China puts global supply chains at risk. The impact to construction has manifested itself in rising prices of steel, other metals, PVC products, lumber, and a variety of other essential construction materials. The impact to the supply chain has shocked the construction industry and likely future measures will address the overdependence on foreign markets for construction supplies. News accounts are filled with COVID-19 mutations and virus strains that threaten further disruptions to the construction industry. Simply put, the pandemic is not over yet.

Mr. Ahlers may be contacted at john.ahlers@acslawyers.com

Preparing for Another Wave of Construction Project Demand

October 11, 2021
Brian Cooper & Jackie Robinson - Construction Executive

First, the pandemic changed the way people live and work. Then, it caused massive disruption in the supply chain, leading to a shortage of most materials like lumber, steel, pipe, etc. Now the country is facing a lack of skilled labor across many industries. This trifecta of cultural shifts has put a heavy burden on the construction industry in the midst of increasing demand for its products and services.

What’s driving this wave of construction demand? Simply put, Americans embraced the new normal, including flexible work and school options. Business executives are reimagining the physical workplace and homeowners are moving or renovating to meet a new hybrid lifestyle.

Reprinted courtesy of Brian Cooper and Jackie Robinson, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Tips to Identify and Mitigate Risks on Construction Sites

October 4, 2021
Zachary Perecman - Construction Executive

Construction sites are full of dangers—tall heights, sudden drops, distracting noises, heavy equipment and machinery. On a worksite, the safety of the workers is of utmost importance, and accidents can only be avoided if employers, general contractors, site owners and laborers remain vigilant to potential hazards, learn and follow protocols, conduct and reinforce training, and proactively maintain equipment.

Reprinted courtesy of Zachary Perecman, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Emergency Standard to Exclude Construction

September 29, 2021
Construction Executive

In a decision supported by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, and the industry at large, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration applied its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard only to the health care industry. CISC, of which ABC is a member, released a statement saying it was “pleased that the Biden administration and OSHA listened to the concerns and recommendations of the construction industry in formulating a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard. OSHA made the right decision to issue an ETS to cover tasks associated with high-exposure risk levels and not construction operations, which are generally low risk.”

Reprinted courtesy of Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Build Group to Use Buildots’ AI Technology for Three Construction Projects

September 20, 2021
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Build Group Inc. will use Buildots’ technology on three projects in the US, including a 19-story M2 tower which is part of the wider 5M development in San Francisco. Buildots’ AI computer vision will collect, analyze, and leverage data to ensure these projects are delivered on time and under budget.

“The complex nature of managing thousands of details and dozens of trades on a construction site is the biggest challenge to finishing a project on time and within the budget,” said Chad Krause, Vice President of Operations, Build Group Inc.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi

Analysis: State Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 45 States From a Year Ago

September 13, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

The not-seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate was down 2.6% in June 2021 from a year ago. and 45 states had lower unemployment rates over the same period, according to state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by Associated Builders and Contractors. Although not back to pre-pandemic levels, both overall employment and construction employment have demonstrated significant improvement during the past year.

National NSA construction employment was up 233,000 from June 2020. Nevertheless, seasonally adjusted construction employment remained 238,000 (or 3.1%) below its February 2020 peak, before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect employment numbers. This was better than national SA nonfarm payroll employment, which was 4.4% below its February 2020 peak as of June.

Reprinted courtesy of ABC, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Create a Culture of Safety Within a Construction Company

September 6, 2021
Kevin Cargill - Construction Executive

Construction work is inherently dangerous, so creating a culture of safety throughout a construction organization is critical. Safety should not be something that is addressed only when accidents happen or leading up to OSHA inspections. It is a crucial component of a successful workplace and everyone involved in a construction job should treat it that way.

When construction company owners, leadership and partners treat safety as an essential part of each day’s work, risk decreases and productivity increases. Creating a culture of safety, then, means that every team member is responsible for a safe jobsite. Whether an employee has boots on the ground or is managing from an office, safety must be top-of-mind.

Reprinted courtesy of Kevin Cargill, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator and Contractor Confidence Index Rise in June

August 30, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

Associated Builders and Contractors has reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 8.5 months in June, according to an ABC member survey conducted June 20-July 6, 0.5 months higher than in May 2021 and 0.4 months higher than in June 2020.

Reprinted courtesy of ABC, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Tips for Planning Construction Projects Around Severe Weather

August 23, 2021
Courtland Keith - Construction Executive

In the construction industry, maintaining a project’s schedule and safety of operations are some of the main concerns for project leaders. During severe weather season, typically spring and summer for the United States, heavy winds and rain, lightning, high temperatures, and flooding can be disastrous for scheduling and safety. There can be especially harsh impacts during the Atlantic hurricane season. Here are some tips and best practices from leaders in the industry for maintaining safe, timely operations regardless of the weather.

Reprinted courtesy of Courtland Keith, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Ms. Keith may be contacted at courtland.keith@stormgeo.com

Construction Safety Concerns: The Fatal Four and Heat Safety

August 16, 2021
Zachary Perecman - Construction Executive

The construction industry presents a number of safety concerns and everyday hazards on the worksite. Additionally, in the warm summer months, many hazards can be exacerbated by excessive heat and moisture.

By nature, the industry necessitates handling and maneuvering heavy materials and machinery, heights and tight spaces, as well as electricity and heat concerns. The employer must provide and require proper training, personal protective equipment, health and safety plans and protocols, as well as job safety reviews both before any job tasks begin and throughout the active workday. On the worker’s end, it’s important to understand the risks, qualifications, safety policies and tools involved in any job.

Reprinted courtesy of Zachary Perecman, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Hard Hit by COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy? Call in Occupational Health Reinforcement

August 10, 2021
Jeffrey Wainstein - Construction Executive

Concern about being infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is seen as one factor in the struggle to hire new employees that many industries are experiencing, including construction.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce report on the Commercial Construction Index, released in June 2021, states, “In industries as diverse as agriculture and construction, healthcare and hospitality, manufacturing and computer software, 76% of the respondents reported that businesses in their industries find it difficult’ (52%) or ‘very difficult’ (24%) to hire workers right now.”1

Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey Wainstein, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


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