Labor agencies seek shorter union petition–election window, employer counsel disclosures

Sources: Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board; Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Washington, D.C.

By Don Marsh

A NLRB-proposed rulemaking would take steps likely cutting the period for union representation election from an average of 45–60 days to 10–21 days, a move ABC believes would severely limit an employer’s ability to effectively communicate to workers the impact of unionization.

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White cement, slag mix doubles High Concrete panels’ solar reflectance

Source: High Concrete Group LLC, Denver, Pa.

High Concrete has introduced a mix design that is said to significantly improve the heat reflectance of precast concrete surfaces, causing them to stay cooler by reversing the urban heat island effect. The mix imparts a solar reflective index (SRI) of 82 in finished products, nearly double that of the company’s conventional gray concrete mixes.

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Quebec producer Unibeton deploys first Simard twin rear axle steering system

Source: Simard Suspensions, Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec

Ciment Quebec’s Unibeton ready mixed business has marked the North American debut of an adjustable hydraulic and digital system installed on both rear axles of a trailer-mounted concrete mixer. Engineered to maximize steering angle with a minimum number of components, the SVSE (Simard Vehicle Systems Engineering) system uses microprocessor-driven Electronic Steering Trailer technology from Europe.

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OSHA proposes $160K in fines for formwork failure-rooted fatality

Sources: Occupational Safety & Health Administration Region 5, Chicago; CP staff

OSHA has cited Schofield, Wis., concrete contractor Lewis Consruction Inc. and Menomonie, Wis., general contractor Cedar Falls Building Systems for failing to adequately brace formwork while pouring a 10-in.-thick, 10- x 28-ft. concrete wall. The structure was part of a proposed Chippewa Falls, Wis., sand plant for Houston-based natural gas producer EOG Resources; its collapse resulted in the death of one Lewis Construction employee and injuries to three others.

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Verifi adds temperature gauge, admixture dosing to mixer-mounted process control

Sources: Verifi LLC, West Chester, Ohio; CP staff

In its first major technology upgrade following the December 2010 acquisition by W.R. Grace & Co., Verifi has unveiled a next generation Process Control Platform for mixer trucks. Succeeding an RS Solutions on-board, flagship device for slump measurement en route, the new hardware acts as a robust control and management hub during ready mixed concrete delivery, product engineers note. It will integrate with forthcoming devices aimed at measuring concrete temperature, adding mix dispersants, determining high speed slump mixing, plus other tools performing related quality control functions.

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Cal Poly takes top Concrete Canoe Competition prize for second straight year

Source: American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, Va.

After a grueling three-day battle of academic and athletic skills, students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, beat out teams from 22 other top engineering schools to win their second consecutive National Concrete Canoe Competition with a 208-lb. vessel named Cetacea. For the year leading up to the event, teams of civil engineering students from the United States and Canada logged thousands of hours researching, designing and constructing their canoes. After winning in regional competitions throughout the spring, 23 top engineering schools matched their skill and wit in the national finals.

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