It’s not a secret that nominal lumber dimensions aren’t their actual dimensions. A 4x4 hasn’t measured 4 inches by 4 inches since the 1950’s, when standard lumber sizes and moisture contents were established by the US government. Prior to that, it was common for wood to be sourced locally and installed “green,” meaning it was not kiln dried prior to purchase. When lumber began to be shipped to different regions throughout the country by rail, it became clear that a national standard for dimensions would be necessary. According to a very interesting 1964 report from the US Department of Agriculture, the actual dimensions of lumber were derived by a combination of after-kiln shrinkage, saw blade width, and other factors in order to reach a consensus from lumber distributors.
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. The firm claims that customers have been receiving 23% less product than what has been “advertised and represented” for 4x4s and the practices cause “substantial injury to consumers.”
The suit claims that the companies should clearly mark that the sizes stated are nominal and not actual sizes and it’s unreasonable for an “average consumer” to know that. The firm claims that 2 separate plaintiffs felt they were wronged by Menards and 1 other felt he was wronged by Home Depot after measuring the lumber they purchased.
The retailers are obviously not buying the claim, citing government approved industry standards and claiming that the size differences are common knowledge.
Full story: Whacked with a 4x4: Menards, Home Depot face lawsuits over descriptions of lumber size | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Alaska is a very interesting state, because it really doesn’t follow the typical rules when it comes to wages or cost of living. Although the country’s biggest state by area and the least dense in population, it’s cost of living is still 30% higher than the national average. Unlike Hawaii, though, Alaska is more than able to make up for that cost of living with higher average wages.
Nevada, the home to seemingly every construction related conference in existence, lands at #15 on our list. Although it’s a fairly large state by geographical size, nearly 75% of all of its residents reside in Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas and surrounding suburbs. Perhaps because of that, in addition to their large tourism traffic, Nevada’s cost of living is around 5.4% higher than the national average, which dropped its ranking slightly.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on October 23, 2018, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their 10 most frequesntly cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2018.
On March 15, 2018, 6 people were killed and 8 others were injured when an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida. Several months later, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report while conducting an official investigation. The NTSB later issued an “Investigative Update” to their preliminary report in August. In Mid-November, the NTSB released a 2nd investigative update, narrowing their root cause theories.
Despite being located in the Northeast, the state of Delware is a relatively affordable place to live. According to MERIC data, the cost of living in Delaware is only 2.2% higher than the national average and is the lowest in the Northeast.
The long delayed rule for crane operator certification has new life as OSHA has issued yet another final rule, after making alterations and clarifications. OSHA originally planned to require all crane operators to obtain certifications in 2010, but it has been delayed several times since then. A different final rule was proposed in 2017, but it was announced in May of 2018 that the administration intended to alter the rule.
Another year is about ready to wrap up as the holiday season is upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be stressful for those in your life that are hard to buy for, especially those in the construction ideas. Our goal is to make that process easier for you or your loved one with our top picks for gifts every year!
In regards to technology, the construction industry is going through a very exciting time. While maybe on a smaller scale, it’s my belief that we’re in the middle of our very own Microsoft vs Apple battle circa the 80s and 90s. Several leading software companies are vying for that top spot in our industry right now and it’s becoming more and more clear who will come out on top by the day.
Despite having the 8th highest cost of living in the country, New Jersey relatively high construction wages were enough to keep them in the top 20. According to MERIC, it costs 22.5% more to live in the state, as compared to the national average.