The Construction Users Roundtable will be holding their Fall Skilled Workforce Summit Sept. 11 in Naples, Fla. Learn more and register on CURT’s website.
CURT is hosting the Skilled Workforce Summit to address the direct and indirect impact of the workforce shortage on the construction industry and talk about how the industry can prepare.
The workshop is formatted to permit all attendees to actively participate and to engage in interactive discussions with others facing the challenges of doing more with fewer resources.
- The emerging workforce shortage and the impact on projects
- Contractor Workforce Development Assessment Tool
- Solutions for attracting new craft workers and growing the workforce pipeline
- Owner and contractor approaches to reducing labor risk
- The cost of workforce development inaction
- What associations are doing to address workforce concerns
In addition, ABC Vice President of Chapter Services Doug Curtis will be participating on one of the panels.
OSHA and NIOSH issued a hazard alert to encourage employers that use 1-bromopropane to take OSHA and NIOSH have issued a hazard alert to urge employers that use 1-bromopropane to take appropriate steps to protect workers from exposure. Exposure to 1-BP has been associated with damage to the nervous system among workers, and it has been shown to cause reproductive harm in animal studies. The chemical is used in degreasing operations, furniture manufacturing, and dry cleaning. The hazard alert is issued in response to information on the increased use of 1-BP as a substitute for other solvents as well as recent reports of overexposure in furniture manufacturing.
Today, the President signed an Executive Order to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to workers and communities. Incidents such as the devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas in April are tragic reminders that the handling and storage of chemicals present serious risks that must be addressed. The Executive Order directs Federal agencies to work with stakeholders to improve chemical safety and security through agency programs, private sector initiatives, Federal guidance, standards, and regulations. Read the executive order.
Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law presented a seminar entitled “Collecting Payment on Construction Projects” to the Tri-County Roofer’s Association on August 27, 2013 in Lakeland, Florida. Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Construction Law, Trent focuses his practice on every aspect of construction law, including litigation and arbitration, OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, licensing defense and construction document review and drafting.
President Obama recently reaffirmed his support for tax reform that reduces tax rates for corporations only. To achieve these lower corporate rates, the president’s plan would broaden the tax base, eliminating many tax credits and deductions that large and small businesses use to reduce their tax liability.
The proposal would create a larger disparity between corporate and individual tax rates that will stifle economic growth, which is desperately needed in this sluggish economy. Moreover, a study by Ernst & Young, New York, found that enacting “corporate-only” tax reform would result in a 9 percent, or $2.3 billion, tax increase on construction companies.
A new OSHA Fall Prevention Training Guide with “tool box talks” is now available at www.osha.gov/stopfalls/trainingresources.html to educate workers on how to stay safe while working on roofs, scaffolding and ladders. A fall prevention safety stand-down is set for August 6 at workplaces all across the Southeastern states, where OSHA will partner with trade, business and civic groups from Kentucky to Florida to provide workers focused training on how to plan ahead and use the right safety equipment. OSHA’s latest blog describes how the Agency has adapted fall prevention and other safety and health information to new digital technology and to meet the needs of America’s multilingual workforce. To register for the Southeast fall prevention safety stand-down, read the news release, or contact Tom Bosley at 678-237-0400. To more information on the Florida stand-down, read the news release.
Members of the House of Representatives currently are working on several targeted immigration reform bills that will be considered this fall. House committees already have approved bills to beef up border security, improve workplace verification programs and update temporary visa programs for high-tech and agricultural workers.
NRCA supports establishing a temporary visa program that protects U.S. workers, is governed by market forces and enables employers to legally obtain the workers needed to grow their businesses. NRCA members prefer to hire U.S. workers, but experience demonstrates this is not always possible. The difficulty of finding sufficient workers to fill job openings continues to be a serious problem for the roofing industry despite vigorous efforts to recruit U.S. workers.
NRCA supports legislation to create a new temporary visa program for lesser-skilled sectors of the economy, which will be introduced soon by Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).
NRCA has posted an Action Alert urging members to contact their representatives during August in support of legislation that ends illegal immigration and meets the roofing industry’s work force needs. To view the Action Alert, click here.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that will require all federal agencies to submit their OSHA-required injury and illness data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics every year. This data will allow OSHA to analyze the injuries and illnesses that occur among the more than 2 million federal agency workers, as well as develop training and inspection programs to respond to the hazards identified.
Other changes to the recordkeeping rule include amending the date when agencies must submit their annual reports to the secretary of labor and the date when the secretary must submit a report to the president. The rule will also restate that volunteers are considered employees of federal agencies and explain how volunteers’ injuries should be recorded in agency injury and illness logs. The rule will clarify the definition of federal establishment and explain when contract employees should be included in an agency’s log.
Collection of establishment-level information will allow OSHA to develop programs to help agencies meet their injury and illness targets under the Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment (POWER) Initiative. The POWER Initiative, which covers fiscal years 2011-14, was established by President Obama to extend previous federal government workplace safety and health efforts by setting aggressive performance targets; encouraging the collection and analysis of data regarding the causes and consequences of frequent or severe injury and illness; and prioritizing safety and health management programs that have proved to be effective in the past.
U.S. manufacturing increased in July and the manufacturing sector expanded for the second consecutive month, according to a report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
ISM’s manufacturing index rose from 50.9 in June to 55.4 in July. A reading above 50 indicates growth, and a reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
Thirteen of the 18 major manufacturing industries reported growth in July, including furniture and related products; textile mills; printing and related support activities; paper products; wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; electrical equipment, appliances and components; computer and electronic products; food, beverage and tobacco products; primary metals; transportation equipment; chemical products; and fabricated metal products.
Additionally, the employment index increased from 48.7 in June to 54.4 in July, and production increased from 53.4 to 65. New orders increased from 51.9 to 58.3.
“The purchasing managers’ index (PMI™) registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 4.5 percentage points from June’s reading of 50.9 percent,” says Bradley Holcomb, chair of ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee. “July’s PMI reading, the highest of the year, indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month.
“The new orders index increased in July by 6.4 percentage points to 58.3 percent, and the production index increased by 11.6 percentage points to 65 percent,” he continues. “The employment index registered 54.4 percent, an increase of 5.7 percentage points compared with June’s reading of 48.7 percent. The prices index registered 49 percent, decreasing 3.5 percentage points from June, indicating that overall raw materials prices decreased from last month. Comments from the panel generally indicate stable demand and slowly improving business conditions.”
The Department of Labor (DOL) announced in its July 3 regulatory agenda that it will be indefinitely suspending previous wage calculation methods for H-2B temporary worker visas – which have been blocked both in federal courts and on Capitol Hill – and moving forward with its “emergency” interim final rule issued in April in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The interim final rule became effective April 24, when it was issued.
The interim final rule uses the average wage from all four tiers of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. It also permits employers to use wages calculated under the Davis-Bacon Act but does not require such wage rates unless the H-2B workers are working on a federal construction project. In addition, the rule requires union signatories to pay the wage rates stipulated in their respective collective bargaining agreements—a provision that remains unchanged from previous rules.
ABC opposed the interim final rule because it will be detrimental to the long-standing success of the H-2B program and its participants—particularly small businesses—and because of ABC’s longstanding position on the inaccuracy and flawed methodology of the Davis-Bacon wage determinations process for federal contractors.
In addition, DHS’ agenda lists a notice of proposed rulemaking to be published in October that is intended to define substantive versus procedural or technical violations of the requirements for completing the I-9 employment eligibility verification form. The proposed rule also would revise the current DHS regulations and clarify the circumstances in which an employer may be subject to penalties for substantive violations, or may not be subject to penalties for technical or procedural failures, due to the good faith compliance provision when completing the Form I-9.