Sustained workforce imbalances evident in commercial project index

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Surveys behind the Q1 2019 USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index find that the labor shortage continues to pose major challenges to the industry, causing contractors to ask skilled workers to do more work (81 percent of respondents), struggle to meet deadlines (70 percent), increase costs for new work (63 percent), and reject new projects (40 percent).

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Construction, business groups firmly opposed to revised silica exposure rule

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Alexandria, Va.; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

After brief review of a 1,772-page document, NRMCA Compliance and Operations staff reports that concerns the industry voiced in 2013-14 with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposed Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica rule had carried to a final version. Ahead of compliance assistance materials to be prepared through the NRMCA Operations, Environmental and Safety Committee, staff will update members as the rule’s concrete plant-specific requirements are analyzed.

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PCA, Chamber sue EPA, Corps of Engineers over Waters of U.S. rule

Sources: CP staff; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

Portland Cement Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and three other plaintiffs are mounting perhaps the most decisive challenge yet to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) final rule, imploring a federal judge to vacate the measure in its entirety.

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Contractor coalition, Chamber: OSHA silica rule unworkable, economically infeasible

Sources: Construction Industry Safety Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

Two weeks after closing the public comment period for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing to process documents from individuals, companies and organizations challenging the agency’s math and embrace of air-monitoring technology for workplaces and job sites.

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Cement and aggregate interests read OSHA rule writing on MSHA wall

Sources: Occupational Safety & Health Administration; CP staff

One of the most thorough cases challenging OSHA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica is from a group representing producers not immediately affected by a change in the permissible exposure limit (PEL) threshold: National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.

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Economist contrasts concrete pipe profitability with OSHA’s silica rule claims

Sources: American Chemistry Council, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The American Concrete Pipe Association joined peers in the public comment period for OSHA’s proposed permissible exposure limit of respirable crystalline silica in General Industry and Construction, concluding it “is unnecessary (without sufficient verifiable data to support that an exposure problem exists), cost prohibitive, especially for small businesses (OSHA cost data is understated and outdated), and contrary to the intended purpose of protecting our workers.”

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Producers, associations implore OSHA to reconsider proposed silica rule

Sources: CP staff; Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Concrete, aggregate and cement interests are well represented in parties challenging the rationale, compliance costs and burdens—along with a timeline from announcement (August 28) to close of a four-month public comment period (February 11)—tied to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica.

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Industry panel: Silica rule compliance carries $8.6 billion price tag

Source: American Chemistry Council, Washington, D.C.

The American Chemistry Council Crystalline Silica Panel, whose 16 members include Lafarge North America, Vulcan Materials Co., James Hardie Building Products and the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, resolutely questions the basis for the OSHA-proposed halving of the permissible exposure limit (PEL) to respirable crystalline silica.

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