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In a Feb. 21 letter, ABC asked President Trump to eliminate an Obama administration executive order encouraging the use of government-mandated project labor agreements on large-scale federal construction projects because it “stands in the way of creating career paths into the construction industry for many merit shop craft professionals.”

The Michigan Court of Claims has upheld a 2018 decision by the Michigan Legislature to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, dismissing claims by Protecting Michigan Workers, the union-led group spearheading opposition to repeal in a decision announced on Monday, Feb. 25. Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan led the 2018 coalition, Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, in the successful effort to peel back the 50-year old law that had been responsible for inflated construction costs across the state and a bevy of associated regulations and red tape. 

From Feb. 24 to March 31, ABC members are encouraged to participate in the third annual National Ladder Safety Month to raise awareness of ladder safety and decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

OSHA’s Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule requires certain establishments to electronically submit information from their OSHA Form 300A for calendar year 2018 by March 2.

ABC is offering the webinar “Preventing and Correcting Workplace Harassment” on March 4 at 2 p.m. EST. ABC’s general counsel, Littler Mendelson P.C., will lead the webinar and help management understand and identify unlawful harassment as well as discuss the steps management should take both before and after a complaint.  

On Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to allow the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, at night and over people under certain conditions without obtaining a waiver.

On Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a new policy directive to establish a voluntary compliance program for high-performing federal contractors. The Voluntary Enterprise-wide Review Program provides contractors with an alternative to OFCCP's establishment-based compliance evaluations and instead focuses on recognizing contractors that demonstrate comprehensive corporate-wide compliance and model diversity and inclusion programs.

On Feb. 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a temporary enforcement policy for the crane operator evaluation requirements in the 2018 Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification final rule. The evaluation and documentation requirements became effective on Feb. 7, 2019.

In Memoriam: Sheldon Shapiro

Sheldon Shapiro, chief executive officer of Shapiro & Duncan, passed away on Feb. 7. Shapiro served on the ABC Metro Washington Chapter's board of directors from 1999 to 2003 and on the board of trustees for ABC's CraftMasters Training Trust from 2007 to 2009. 

The ABC Southern California chapter hosted their 25th annual craft championships on Saturday Jan. 26, 2019. Along with the craft competition, there were over 500 visitors, 22 vendors, a nine-team chili cook-off, a high school visit with hands-on activities presented by chapter instructors and demonstrations from Job Corps and ABC Southern California.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Army announced plans to host a public hearing on the new “Waters of the United States" proposed rule in Kansas City, Kansas, Feb. 27-28. The hearing was previously scheduled for Jan. 23 but was postponed due to the lapse in appropriations at the EPA. 

On Jan. 31, President Trump signed an executive order, “Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects,” which expands the administration’s preferences for American products in federal procurements and federal financial assistance awards on critical infrastructure projects.

ABC members are encouraged to review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s compliance assistance products, which were updated in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019, and OSHA’s winter weather safety page, which features information on preventing workplace injury from various weather hazards.

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