Petition Calls For Mandatory Drug Testing of NYC Construction Workers

The Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter has petitioned the New York City Council to implement mandatory drug and alcohol testing for all city construction workers—noting in a letter to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Council Member Jumaane Williams that drug testing is commonly required in industries that are less dangerous than construction. While ABC insists the drug testing measure would increase safety, building trade unions have long opposed mandatory testing and said there’s no reason to believe that drugs and alcohol have played a role in the increased incidences of injuries and deaths during the last few years.

Report Examines Construction Industry Wage Gap

  A recent report from Abodo found construction and extraction was one of only two of the nation’s five fastest-growing occupations in which women earn as much as or more than men—and even then, it’s only in a specific set of cities. In terms of wage parity, women in the construction and extraction industry earn 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. For first-line supervisors, women earn 89.6 percent of what men earn, and about 85.1 percent as inspectors. For the more hands-on jobs, female laborers earn 96.7 percent of what men earn, and nearly 113 percent as helpers for construction trades.

Study: PLA Mandates Inflate Ohio School Construction Costs 13 Percent

  A new study released by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Ohio schools built under government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) cost 13 percent more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition, free from PLA requirements. The study looked at 88 schools built in Ohio since 2000 and found that those built under a PLA mandate cost $23.12 more per square foot than projects built without PLA mandates. 

DOL to Reward Employers for Hiring Veterans

  As directed by the HIRE Vets Act President Trump recently signed, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is establishing a program to reward employers who hire veterans and who support the veteran community. Gold and Platinum HIRE Vets Medallion awards will be available for large employers, and similar awards will be created for small and mid-sized employers. Criteria for receiving these awards include the percentage of employees who are veterans; percentage of veteran employees who are retained; establishment of veterans’ assistance and training programs; employment of dedicated human resources professionals for veterans; and income and tuition support for veterans.

Apprenticeship and CTE Policies Begin to Take Shape

  President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will allow industries to build innovative workforce development systems that address glaring skills gaps. With the construction industry currently facing a workforce shortage of as many as 500,000 jobs, Associated Builders and Contractors says this action is an important first step to allow more entryways into becoming a construction professional. Full implementation of Executive Order 13801 will require further rulemaking. 

Open Competition Bills Enacted in Florida And Missouri

Missouri and Florida became the 23rd and 24th states to take action to ensure fair and open competition in government procurement of construction services. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) signed SB 182 into law to ensure controversial project labor agreements cannot be mandated by the government on state, state-assisted and local construction projects.

How Not to Sweat Summertime Heat Stress

  As those who’ve worked in the construction industry for years can attest, the often excessive exposure to heat during the summer months in many parts of the United States can cause a wide variety of illnesses associated with heat stress, ranging from heat rashes and heat exhaustion to heat cramps and heat stroke. Thousands of workers report suffering occupational heat-related illnesses each year, dozens of which result in fatalities. Of those fatalities, 40 percent occur in the construction industry. 

Job Planning and Risk Assessment Under NFPA 70E 2018

  While there are guidelines and requirements in place to help prevent electrical accidents, there is still a lot of room for error and oversight during the course of a busy workday. According to OSHA data, there are 30,000 arcs and 7,000 burn injuries per year, and more than 2,000 people are admitted to the hospital with severe arc flash burns annually.

Open Data Makes Sustainable Structures More Achievable

  The demand for sustainability and efficiency associated with new construction and renovation projects is higher than ever, as monthly energy costs constitute an ever-increasing percentage of total building life cycle expenses due to rising utility rates. As a result, sustainable construction practices promoting net-zero building designs have become a prevalent industry objective. However, peak sustainability is rarely accomplished due to the high costs and a lack of resources available in the early stages of design and planning.  

Conflict in Court Over Income Recognition for Construction Contractors

  The 9th Circuit Court’s review of how construction contractors should recognize income had a somewhat surprising outcome. The key question being considered was: When should developers recognize income under the completed contract method? Is it when the entire project is complete, is it on percentage of completion, or is it upon the sale of each individual home sold?  

Shea Homes, which used the completed contract method to account for its planned development communities, claimed that final completion and acceptance under Reg. 1.460-1(c)(3) did not occur until the last road was paved and the final bond
was released. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contended that final completion took place upon the sale of each home.

 

Three Contract Options for Differing Site Conditions
The only limit the parties have in drafting a site conditions provision contract...

Stay Ahead of the Contractual Curve
Construction is a risky business and so is predicting the future. Looking forward...

Construction’s Cybersecurity Challenge
In today’s evolving information technology world, addressing security risks...

A Small Team With a Big Heart for Service
“While it may not be large amounts of monetary donations, we are often called...

View this month's Digital Edition
Construction Executive
Print magazine published 10 times per year covering news, market developments and business issues impacting the construction industry 

eNewsletters:
Managing Your Business
Biweekly eNewsletter covering management and financial best practices

Tech Trends
Biweekly eNewsletter covering the latest construction technology trends and products

Risk Management
Biweekly eNewsletter covering surety bonding, insurance, safety and compliance.