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Branch & Associates Exec George R. Nash, Jr. Begins Term as ABC National Chair

George R. Nash Jr., director of preconstruction for Branch & Associates in Herndon, Va., began his one-year term as chair of ABC on Jan. 1, 2018. He leads the 21,000-plus member association’s executive committee and board of directors, guides its national initiatives and serves as its spokesperson.

F.L. Crane & Sons Inc. Earns AQC Credential

F.L. Crane & Sons Inc. of Fulton, Miss., a member of ABC’s Mississippi Chapter, has been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC. The AQC program recognizes and honors construction firms that document their commitment to excellence in five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety, employee benefits, training and community relations.

OSHA Issues New and Revised Fact Sheets on Silica

On Dec. 19, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several fact sheets that provide guidance on the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. The fact sheets include an overview of the silica standard as well as provide information to help employers comply. 

Recent Important NLRB Decisions and Actions

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued decisions that are favorable to the employer community. On Dec. 14, the Board overruled both the 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries as well as the Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia case. On Dec. 15, the Board overruled the decision in Specialty Healthcare, which allowed for the formation of so-called 'micro’ bargaining units.

Trump Administration Continues to Roll Back Burdensome Regulations

On Dec. 14, the Trump administration released its Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to release through the end of the year and in 2018. 

Update to OSHA Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Deadline

On Dec. 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in a press release that they will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on Dec. 31, 2017. OSHA will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the Dec. 15, 2017 deadline but before Dec. 31, 2017 final entry date. Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.

ABC Roundup of Regulations Impacting Merit Shop Contractors

Over the last year, the Trump administration has taken major steps to roll back burdensome rules and regulations issued by the Obama administration. In his first two months in office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” and Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which create regulatory reform task forces to remove burdensome regulations and prevent agencies from issuing unnecessary regulations with a so-called “one in, two out” policy. 

Dec. 15 Deadline: OSHA Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting

Under the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule (also known as Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses) certain employers are required to electronically submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A by Dec. 15. Information on electronic reporting is available on the DOL's website.

Construction Jobs Numbers Rebound in November

The nation’s construction sector added 24,000 net new jobs in November, representing a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase, according to ABC’s analysis regarding the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data. Nonresidential construction employment added 8,600 net new jobs in November, a figure that would have been substantially higher were it not for heavy and civil engineering, which lost 7,800 for the month.

Construction Spending Rises in October; Flat Year-Over-Year

Nonresidential construction spending rose 2.1 percent in October, totaling $717.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to ABC’s analysis of data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The level of spending, however, remains virtually unchanged from a year ago.