From the category archives: News & Opinion

News & Opinion

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  BuiltWorlds, a media partner of Construction Executive, is a community and network that believes in innovation through collaboration to push the built industry forward. Through its events, ecosystem, and supporting video and written content, BuiltWorlds provides tools, knowledge, inspiration and connections to grow careers, companies and the industry.

Silica Update: OSHA Issues Interim Enforcement Guidance

  On Oct. 19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Galassi issued a memorandum on Interim Enforcement Guidance for the Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard. The memo provides interim enforcement guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) for enforcing the standard, stating: “Effective Oct. 23, 2017, OSHA will fully enforce all appropriate provisions of the Silica in Construction Standard. This memorandum will serve as interim enforcement guidance while the standard's companion compliance directive is proceeding through the review process. It will expire when the compliance directive becomes effective and available to the field.”

Massachusetts and California Nab Top Spots on Energy Efficiency Scorecard

  Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Vermont and Oregon landed in the top five spots on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2017 scorecard, which assesses states’ utility programs, transportation policies, building energy code compliance, government-led efficiency initiatives, appliance and equipment standards, and heat and power policies. Idaho, Florida and Virginia were the three most improved states. For more information, visit aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.

A Capitol Hill and State Legislative Update

  During his campaign for the presidency, one of Donald Trump’s key initiatives was a $1 trillion 10-year infrastructure spending package with funding from private investors and the federal government. Specifically, financing from private investments would secure public-private partnership (P3s) agreements to help address the nation’s infrastructure problems.

President Trump recently has moved away from P3s by questioning their effectiveness, and the administration’s focus for the remainder of 2017 will be on tax reform. As such, all signs seem to point to the unveiling of an infrastructure plan in early 2018. 

Executive Insights

  Get expert answers to questions on construction bonding, surety, risk management, dispute resolution and more.

Gauging the Swing of the Republican Pendulum

As suddenly as the window of opportunity blew open for Republicans by the winds of change last November with the election of President Trump, some fear that a string of GOP congressional special elections are evidence—although limited in nature—that the party’s opportunity to enact its agenda may be winnowing already, if not positioning itself to slam shut. 

Republicans not only have control over both Houses of Congress in Washington, but also have control of 34 governor’s mansions—up from 31 in 2016 and the high-water mark since President Warren G. Harding used a radio for the first time in the White House (and only four shy of the threshold to amend the Constitution on a party-line vote). 

Q: What does it mean for your company to be employee-owned?

Employee ownership allows Choate to share long-term success with our employees while also remaining an independent, internally operated company—keeping the business “in the family” and complementing our core values and mission. And while employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are not for every company, Choate was a good candidate for this type of ownership because it has zero long-term debt. 

Construction Fleets Poised to Expand

  Teletrac Navman’s new Telematics Benchmark Report found more than half of global construction firms will be expanding their fleet size during the next year as a result of increased demand for services and the need to replace older machines. More than 80 percent of organizations already are using telematics or plan to do so in the next year, citing equipment tracking as the most common use, followed by tracking speed and hours driven. More than half of respondents using telematics have seen reduced fuel costs up to 40 percent, and almost one-third have had fewer accidents. 

Crane Operator Requirement Delayed Another Year

OSHA’s mandatory crane operator certification requirement, which was supposed to take effect this month after an initial implementation date of 2014, has been delayed again until November 2018. The latest extension stems from President Trump’s directive that federal agencies review pending regulations.

Survey Gives Insight on Architecture and Engineering Firms’ HR Practices

Forty-two percent of all responding firms did not have a full-time HR department, and 81 percent of respondents said that the person in charge of HR functions participates in the firm’s annual business planning process. 
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When it comes to recruitment, the AEC industry is grappling with an already...

Gauging the Swing of the Republican Pendulum
As suddenly as the window of opportunity blew open for Republicans by the winds...

Q: What does it mean for your company to be employee-owned?
Employee ownership allows Choate to share long-term success with our employees...

Service Above Self
Two years ago, Gary Neal—an engineer and project manager with MEC Contractors...

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