Associated Builders and Contractors has named Matthew Abeles to the newly created role of vice president of Construction Technology and Innovation, spearheading integration of both concepts into all aspects of the group’s strategic initiatives, particularly total human health, world-class safety and workforce development. Abeles has advised and raised capital for construction technology companies, and positioned himself as a leader in the field. He co-founded BuiltWorlds in 2014, a Chicago-based media company, event producer and digital network for construction, real estate, finance and development leaders. He was responsible for outreach to established and emerging players in the construction and real estate sectors, promoting next-generation technologies and addressing influential audiences about the future of the industry.

“In the last decade, construction technologies have revolutionized how we connect through the design, build and delivery processes, but our industry remains ripe for disruption,” observes ABC CEO Michael Bellaman. “Matt’s contributions to our chapters, members and industry will be essential as we assess how to best integrate, advance and leverage the digital age in the years to come.”

The American Society of Concrete Contractors’ Safety & Risk Management Council has launched a safety consulting service for contractor members. It spans Written Program/Policy Review, Site Safety and Risk Assessment, Mock OSHA Inspection, and Assessment of Silica Dust Generating Conditions offerings. ASCC Director of Safety Services Joe Whiteman is overseeing the audit-styled program at varying hourly rates for offsite or onsite activities.

Audits are the newest piece of the Society’s comprehensive safety program, joining such products or services as safety/insurance hotline; 288-page customizable Safety Manual written specifically for concrete contractors; 52 Tool Box Training Talks (English and Spanish versions) specifically for concrete construction work; a Legacy Safety Leadership Program for owners or chief executives aiming to establish and maintain a behavior-based safety culture; and, 28 Safety Bulletins of current topics of interest.

The American Concrete Institute has partnered with the Institute of Concrete Technology to develop the first British Standards/European Norms-based ACI certification program, ACI-ICT EN Standards Concrete Field Testing Technician. The initiative began with an International Partnership agreement in 2016. Fueled by ACI’s pursuit of programs based on non-U.S.-centric standards, the organizations moved to address the need for U.K. ACI technician certification.

The American Concrete Pumping Association has updated its Operator Training and Certification Program. Scheduled for mid-year launch, “Certification 2020” includes expanded emphasis on major hazards and accidents associated with concrete pumps, topped by driving accidents involving vehicles operating in reverse or making right-hand turns. The new certification program addresses both hazards and “focuses on elevating the quality and effectiveness of operator training,” notes ACPA Executive Director Christi Collins. “[It] will raise the bar for safety in our industry.”