Justice, Labor Departments expand environmental, worker safety oversight

Under a new plan aimed at preventing and deterring crimes that jeopardize the health and lives of workers, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will work with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and Wage and Hour Division to investigate and prosecute endangerment violations.

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Regulators scale enforcement efficiencies

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.

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Summit nails Mid-Atlantic platform in Boxley, American Materials deals

Sources: Summit Materials Inc., Denver; CP staff

Summit Materials anticipates a mid-March closing on key aggregate, concrete and asphalt production assets of Roanoke, Va.-based Boxley Materials Co., a 124-year-old operator serving Virginia and West Virginia. A definitive agreement on the deal was announced less than two weeks after Summit closed on Wilmington, N.C.-based American Materials Co., with five sand & gravel operations in the Carolinas.

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MIT researchers: New microstructure models spell better concrete

Sources: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; CP staff

To further understand concrete’s microscopic structure and behavior, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, France’s CNRS and peer institutions on both sides of the Atlantic have focused on whether the principal binder, calcium silicate hydrate, is a continuous solid, like metal or stone, or an aggregate of small particles. Their finding that solidified CSH is a “bit of both” could inform new approaches to lowering mix designs’ water volume and finished structures’ permeability.

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OSHA sets fall-prevention campaign’s National Safety Stand-Down

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

OSHA and companion federal agencies have designated May 2-6 as the third annual National Safety Stand-Down, reminding or educating construction employers and workers of the serious dangers of falls—the leading cause of fatalities stemming from site accidents.

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Columbia Machine acquires European peer Techmatik

Sources: Columbia Machine Inc., Vancouver, Wash.; CP staff

The acquisition of Radom, Poland-based Techmatik S.A., a leader in paving stone mold, big board machinery, handling and cubing solutions, plus batching and mixing equipment strengthens Columbia Machine’s global customer support and manufacturing capabilities.

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Council website highlights chemistry in building and construction materials

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

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has launched www.BuildingWithChemistry.org to inform architects, specifiers, interior designers and other building and construction professionals about green building codes and standards; materials selection; and, the role of chemistry in developing innovative, sustainable solutions.

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Dodge report confirms compounded growth in global green building activity

Sources: U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Dodge Data & Analytics’ World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, compiled from surveys tracking nearly 70 countries, finds global green building volume is doubling every three years. Authors see expansion continuing in the United States, Germany and United Kingdom, but emerging economies like Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa representing growth engines—their development activity trending two- to six-fold over current green building levels.

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Vulcan Western chief Bass to spearhead business development, strategic growth

Sources: Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.; CP staff

Vulcan Materials has elevated two senior vice presidents to new posts: Stan Bass, SVP West, overseeing Western and Mountain West Divisions, to chief growth officer, responsible for leading business development, commercial excellence, and strategic growth initiatives; and, Michael Mills, SVP & general counsel, to chief administrative officer, charged with executive oversight of non-financial, administrative functions.

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