In July of 2016, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order was signed into effect and has been a hotbed of controversy, especially within the construction industry, ever since. The act would have given the federal government the ability to disqualify contractors if they violated any of the 14 labor laws, which can be found here, over the past 3 years on any project totaling $500,000 or more.
In October, The Associated Builders and Contractors, INC. (ABC) filed a legal challenge to the rule and also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. On October 24th, a day before the new rule was set to go into effect, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the rule, delaying it from going into effect.
“Associated Builders and Contractors is pleased the court ruled that the Obama administration cannot order private businesses to publicly disclose mere accusations of labor law violations that have not been fully adjudicated,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor & State Affairs Ben Brubeck in a press release. “By issuing this decision, the court has maintained the First Amendment rights of government contractors and protected them and taxpayers from the poorly crafted blacklisting rule.”
Last week, the House of Representatives voted 236-187 on a resolution to block the ‘blacklisting rule,’ according to The Hill, moving it one step closer to being fully repealed. The Senate is next to vote on the resolution and it is expected to pass. If it does pass the Senate, it also stops another similar rule from being issued in the future.
“As the district court ruled in its preliminary injunction, treating non-adjudicated claims the same as actual wrongdoing denies federal contractors their due process rights,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “ABC supports policies that increase fairness and competition in government contracting and looks forward to working with the Trump administration and Congress to pursue commonsense policies that hold bad actors accountable while attracting the best companies and trained workforce to rebuild America.”
Full Story: House votes to repeal Obama 'blacklisting' rule | The Hill
Construction Safety is talked about constantly. There are many construction companies that take it very seriously. There are also many that don’t. All will say it’s their top priority.
So what can a city do that’s facing regular worker deaths and increases in workplace injuries? New York City has decided to require extensive safety training for all of the 185,000 construction workers in the city.
Modular building makes a lot of sense: build repetitive structures in a controlled, factory-like setting and transport to the project site and assemble. It should be a more efficient and less expensive way to construct a building, but the truth is, it’s a lot harder than it looks. There’s also no written standard for doing it.
Masonry workers, specifically brick and block masons, have been around for centuries and are one of the construction industries oldest professions. Before blocks were prefabricated and purchased, masons had to cut the material by hand before placing. Recently, robotic brick and block placing robots have threatened to take some jobs away from human masons, but that technology is still a long way away from making a huge impact on the profession
The immense technological growth the construction industry has seen in the past decade has been a refreshing change, to say the least. Fax machines, large filing cabinets, and redundant work are slowly becoming a thing of the past. More importantly, software developers are actually paying attention to the construction industry, making our lives collectively easier, while giving us more data to make better decisions. Bluebeam, maker of one of the industry’s favorite construction document software, has recently announced a wireless digital sensor specifically for under construction buildings.
Portable toilets are the setting for many pranks around a construction site, but I never thought there could be something worse than just getting stuck in one. Turns out I was extremely wrong, because a worker in New Orleans was run over by a dump truck while using the port-a-john.
Electricians are very essential to every single construction project, but it's also one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry, According to OSHA, electrocutions cause almost 9% of all construction related deaths, making it one of the group's Fatal Four. Generally, an electrician in the United States falls under 1 of 3 categories: apprentice, journeyman, and master, but this data compiles all of those levels into one category. It's also important to note that utility line installers are not included in this category.
At last week’s National Safety Council Congress & Expo, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorare of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their 10 most frequesntly cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2017, reports the National Safety Council.
Smaller heavy construction equipment is the most likely to be stolen on a jobsite, but most of the time the thieves try to sell the equipment for money. On rare occasions, the thief just takes the machine out on the town for a joy ride and leading the police on some pretty frustrating pursuits. Early last year, a man in Florida stole a backhoe and lead police on a wild 3 hour chase as the hammer attachment drug along the asphalt throwing sparks the whole way. Just last week, police dash cam footage showed an 18 year old backing over a police cruiser, with an officer still inside, and then leading several other officers on a slow chase.
The Seattle Space Needle is not a normal building, which makes it a unique project to try to renovate. The iconic building is set to receive a $100 million renovation dubbed the Century Project that promises much better views thanks to new floor to ceiling exterior glazing. To prepare for the project, construction crews recently hoisted a 28.000 pound ring of scaffold to the tower’s Tophouse, around 400 feet in the air.
In our weekly quest to analyze each individual construction profession by state, we’ll examine carpentry. The two previous professions we examined were general construction laborers, followed by heavy equipment operators. You can also see the full list of all past and future professions by clicking here.