OSHA Delays Compliance Dates for Silica and Beryllium Exposure Regulations

In response to industry pressure, OSHA has delayed the compliance date for its new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard by 90 days until Sept. 23. The final rule lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) from the current standard of 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. It was originally planned to take effect on June 23, with limited exceptions. 

Arkansas Repeals State Prevailing Wage Law

  On April 7, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a bill repealing the state’s prevailing wage law. The Arkansas House of Representatives approved the legislation (SB 601/Act 1068) by a vote of 70-24 after it passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 28-5. 

Back in Session

After years of stagnation, construction of K-12 schools is finally ramping back up in many districts across the country. In fact, institutional construction is expected to increase 10 percent this year to $118.5 billion, according to Dodge Data and Analytics’ 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook. This number largely is driven by the education sector, which comprises more than 40 percent of the institutional market. 

The Power of the Congressional Review Act

  For more than a decade, it was common for elected officials on Capitol Hill to say, “the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has only ever been successful once.” However, under the Trump administration, the rarely used CRA has successfully overturned eight overreaching Obama-era regulations. Passed in 1996, the CRA allows new regulations to be overturned by Congress through a joint resolution of disapproval.

What Merit Shop Contractors Should Expect From the Trump Administration

While controversies over the first nominee for Secretary of Labor slowed implementation of the Trump administration’s labor agenda during the first 100 days of the president’s term, construction industry leaders are already seeing a sharp contrast with the anti-business agenda of the Obama administration, as federal labor agencies have begun to review and in some cases retract burdensome regulations imposed by previous officials. 

Avoiding the Big Spend: Tracking and Caring for Rental Equipment

Sometimes, renting equipment makes perfect sense. In this still-tight credit environment, some lenders aren't willing to finance a large piece of equipment, or an outright purchase might not add up financially if the equipment is only needed for a short duration. For contractors on a budget, rental companies usually have the latest models in their inventories, a luxury that is out of reach for many smaller firms. Plus, renting equipment is convenient, with the duty of maintenance, set up and transportation being someone else's problem. 

Nevertheless, there are still ways contractors can end up paying more than they planned for that rented backhoe or core driller. The good news is that there are strategies to prevent that extra spend. 

ABC Craft Instructor of the Year Brings Field Experience to the Classroom

  By all accounts, Roger Thompson is one of the industry’s best at funneling his 32 years of experience in the electrical field into the minds of first-year apprentices. They’re listening, they’re learning and they appreciate the care he shows for their careers.

ICE Is Coming for Undocumented Workers: How to Prevent Corporate Frostbite

  Undocumented workers and the businesses that knowingly or unknowingly employ them are coming under the microscope. Just looking at recent headlines, the president has implemented two immigration bans, is challenging so-called “Sanctuary Cities” that do not help federal immigration enforcement, has instructed government agencies to become more aggressive in enforcing immigration laws and is already reviewing proposals to strengthen the border wall. Plus, the E-Verify program for verifying worker status is likely to become mandatory.

Taking the Risks out of Project Profitability With BIM

High risk, low margin. This all too familiar description of the construction industry is at the heart of contractors’ laser focus on bottom line profitability and overcoming the variables that can (and often do) go awry.

The proof of that challenge is in the numbers. According to KPMG’s “Climbing the Curve, 2015 Global Construction Project Owner’s Survey,” just a quarter of construction projects in the last three years came within 10 percent of their original deadlines. And Turner and Townsend’s 2016 International Construction Market Survey found that the average global construction project margin fell from an already low 6.3 percent in 2015 to 6.1 percent.

No matter the size of the project or the timeline, there has always been a harsh reality: Expect the unexpected. But what if you could remove more of the surprises and reduce risk—all with increased profits? 

State-Level GOP Dominance Yields Advancements in Pro-Merit Shop Policies

  Throughout the remarkable 2016 election cycle, the political media generated impressive ratings by bombarding voters with sensational and hyper-focused coverage of the contentious and divisive race for the White House and a handful of competitive U.S. Senate races. After the dust settled and voters elected a GOP-controlled Congress and White House, it became clear the media failed to give enough attention to one of the most important storylines in American politics: the GOP’s domination of Democrats in state government. 

State government policy is likely to impact America’s voters, businesses and the economy as much—or more than—anything coming out of Washington in 2017.  

The GOP now controls the most legislative seats since the founding of the party—helping to advance free enterprise-focused policies supported by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the merit shop contracting community. 

 

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