Posted on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 10:43 AM By Francis Lowe
The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention recently announced April summits in Southern California and Western Michigan to help provide resources and disseminate information on suicide prevention and mental health awareness in the construction industry. In addition, the CFMA-led alliance held a webinar Feb. 28 titled “Uniting the Construction Industry behind Suicide Prevention,” which is available on-demand for free for ABC members.
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:48 PM By Francis Lowe
ABC commended President Trump for signing a resolution into law eliminating the Obama administration’s controversial “Volks rule” (formally known as Clarification of an Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness final rule). The rule imposed a massive paperwork burden on contractors without improving jobsite safety. Congress passed the resolution through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:30 PM By Francis Lowe
On Jan. 9, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on beryllium exposure. In the final rule, OSHA includes the construction industry; this was expanded from the proposed stage which focused on general industry. Beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in a number of industries.
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:07 PM By Francis Lowe
On March 31, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) updated its Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act Benchmark Database to reflect a new hiring benchmark of 6.7 percent. The new benchmark is slightly lower than the previous year’s benchmark of 6.9 percent.
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 12:07 PM By Francis Lowe
Adam Ruff of Ely, Iowa, field supervisor at Price Electric, received a brand-new 2017 Ram Tradesman Crew Cab truck from Pat McGrath Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in March. The truck is one of the prizes awarded to the 2017 ABC Craft Professional of the Year, which is presented annually to a construction craft professional who excels in his or her field while also demonstrating a commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy each year. Ruff received the honor at ABC’s Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 3 during ABC’s Workforce Week ’17. The truck is paid for by the award’s exclusive sponsor, Tradesmen International, with custom upgrades donated by ABC business partner Ram Commercial.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:30 PM By Francis Lowe
On March 24, the U.S. Department of State signed a permit approving the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship crude from Canada's western oil-sands region to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The memorandum invited TransCanada to re-submit its application for a presidential permit for the construction of the 1,600-mile pipeline and requested that the State Department reach a final permitting decision within 60 days.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 12:16 PM By Francis Lowe
ABC applauded the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s favorable reporting of the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552) out of committee. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and passed by voice vote, will boost competition on government construction projects and reduce building costs to taxpayers by preventing federal agencies from forcing contractors to sign controversial project labor agreements in order to compete to build federal and federally assisted construction contracts.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:31 AM By Francis Lowe
During the week of March 20, Republican Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled a vote on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ABC joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations on March 22, in sending a letter to the House in support of AHCA. However, by late Friday afternoon on March 24, House Republican leadership pulled the bill due to a lack of votes needed for passage. Based on recent statements made by President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, focus will now turn to tax reform and infrastructure spending.
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:09 AM By Francis Lowe
On March 10, 2017, the ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) sent a letter to the acting secretary of Labor requesting that the department delay enforcement of OSHA’s final silica rule by one year, saying that “Construction employers across all trades are finding compliance extremely difficult if not impossible for many job tasks.”
Posted on Monday, March 27, 2017 3:23 PM By Francis Lowe
On March 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), which would allow small businesses access to quality, affordable health care coverage through Association Health Plans (AHPs). The bill passed by a vote of 236-175.