Two active Department of Labor matters beg: Is it right for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to demand timely reporting of major worksite injuries, but wrong for an employer to mirror such policy on minor bumps and lacerations?
The Environmental Protection Agency’s national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) rule covering portland cement is driving significant capital investment toward a September 2016 compliance target for U.S. mills. A tandem measure awaits another sector aligned with ready mixed concrete and concrete masonry.
A case rooted in one of the National Labor Relations Board’s most contentious decisions during the Obama administration could disrupt efficient work flows that help define one of the best known names in concrete structures and slabs, and alter longstanding recognition of craft units unique to construction.
Employers have been advised of the prospects for ambitious, federal regulatory measures in this administration’s sunset year. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-proposed rulemaking and Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision support the projection. Both spell demonstrable government efficiency with no pretense of actual taxpayer savings.
Three developments tracked since January stand out at year’s end: 1) overall concrete shipments did not pace projected level; 2) among global operators, the annual revenue bar for cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments is moving from the $10 billion–$15 billion to $15 billion–$20 billion range, with the top players deriving about 20–25 percent of sales in North America; and, 3) U.S. and Canadian wood interests’ multi-story building market pursuits are reverberating among ready mixed and manufactured-concrete producers.