As of early March, there were nearly 200 construction companies that marked themselves as “interested” in constructing the US/Mexico border wall. The Daily Mail now reports that over 600 have expressed interest in the design and construction of the wall. The Request for Proposal (RFP) package for the conceptual design of the wall was released on March 17th and the responses are due no later than March 29th.
There are plenty of people that have very strong feelings about the border wall and there are now several politicians that have submitted bills in various states that would punish contractors for being involved with the wall.
Last week, two San Francisco supervisors, Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin, introduced legislation that keep any contractor that bids on the wall from doing any government work for the city of San Francisco in the future, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oakland City Council introduced similar legislation last week, as well.
The Berkeley, CA city council has already approved a resolution that would allow the city to divest from a contractor that is involved with the wall in any capacity.
Hensel Phelps Construction and Tutor Perini Corp. currently hold large contracts with San Francisco. The Chronicle states that Hensel Phelps is under contract to build a new terminal at the San Francisco International Airport for $1.1 billion and Tutor Perini holds an $860 million contract to build the Central Subway for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. Although current contracts would not be affected under the legislation, it would prevent the companies from bidding on any further city work, if they moved forward with the border wall process.
Nily Rozic, an Assemblywoman in New York, introduced a bill that “would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the federal project,” CBS New York reported.
Letita James, a NYC Public Advocate, also plans to submit legislation to ban construction firms, which participate in the border wall, from doing business with New York City, according to Newsday. She also plans to request that the city’s public employee pension fund divest from construction firms that participate.
Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval introduced SB2091 that would label companies that participate in the border wall as a “restricted company,” if they want to do business with the state of Illinois. As of March 16th, Sandoval’s bill has been postponed.
Companies involved with the wall will undoubtedly face public backlash and many expect plenty of lawsuits to be filed in order to delay or kill the wall all together. It will be interesting to see which companies will drop out of the running and which will continue to explore the opportunity.
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Just last November, a massive Five-Alarm fire rocked a multi-story residential building that was almost 80% complete at the time, completely destroying the project. This month, yet another multi-story residential tower that was almost complete caught fire, making it the 5th in 5 year to suffer the same fate. At least 3 of the previous 3 fires have been ruled as arson but, up to this point, no arrests for any of the previous arsons have been made.
In January of 2017, OSHA released a final rule which greatly reduced the allowable exposure to beryllium, a mineral that can cause deadly lung disease. While not as commonly encountered in the construction industry as other substances that cause terrible lung diseases, like crystalline silica and asbestos, beryllium is linked to a disease called chronic beryllium disease, which kills around 100 people each year. It’s commonly found in coal slag, which is used for sandblasting. According to the New York Times, OSHA estimates that 11,500 construction workers would be affected by OSHA’s reduced exposure limit.
Many contractors and repair technicians live out of their truck and Milwaukee Tool knows this. That’s why they’ve just released an M12 and M18 battery charger that plugs into the c12V DC outlet in your truck or van! As added security, the charger will automatically shut down if it senses that your vehicle’s battery is getting too low. Smart and ultra-convenient.
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In a year that OSHA can’t seem to enforce any new rules, it appears to have found a way to remove a rule from its books. As announced last week, OSHA has removed monorail hoists from Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Employers are still required to follow other OSHA regulations regarding the hoists, but this rule should help clear up some inconsistencies.
Since the beginning of the year, OSHA has had a pretty hard time enforcing any of its new rules due to delays. The silica dust exposure rule was delayed 90 to September 23, the crane certification rule is facing yet another possible delay, and now the electronic injury reporting rule is facing another delay.
Just before 11 am on Monday morning, 6/26, firefighters were called to an under-construction residential building in Queens, New York after concrete scaffolding and formwork collapsed during a pour.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.
For over 60 years, nominal lumber dimensions have been used in lieu of actual dimensions for lumber. That fact hasn’t stopped 2 class action suits, one for Menards and one for Home Depot, from being filed by an Illinois law firm over the size discrepancy, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.