OSHA rethinks coronavirus mitigation and prevention guidance

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff As employers approach one year of pandemic response measures, OSHA’s just-issued “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of Covid-19 in the Workplace” provides updated recommendations plus reminders of existing safety and health standards. Among essential prevention program elements, the guidance recommends that employers: 

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Contractors qualify pandemic-rooted disruptions, present and future

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff Supply chain disruptions, prolonged municipal permitting processes, and delayed inspections due to office closures are among factors contributing to an increased rate of construction project postponement and/or cancellation, according to a new survey on Covid-19 impacts by Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Executive.  

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Major general contractors crowdsource best safety practices

Sources: Swinerton, San Francisco; CP staff

Swinerton is the latest general contractor to join the NEXT Coalition, through which leading critical infrastructure and construction stakeholders promote and share industry safety best practices. Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell, McCarthy Building and Swinerton are leveraging deep expertise in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office team members facing complex challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

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ICPI postpones Hardscape North America

Source: Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, Chantilly, Va.

Due to concerns and uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute will delay this year’s Hardscape North America show, scheduled October 21-23 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, until October 2021. Continuing an arrangement of recent years, 2021 Hardscape NA will co-locate with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute-led GIE+EXPO, organizers of which recently affirmed commitment to staging a 2020 show.

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Oldcastle APG packaging business unit goes from sand to sanitizer

Sources: Oldcastle APG, Atlanta; CP staff

The Oldcastle APG division specializing in paver jointing sand and concrete hardscape unit surface treatments has added a medical-grade sanitizer aimed at supporting the industry and trade professionals during the current pandemic and beyond. Techniseal Hand Sanitizer abides World Health Organization-recommended guidelines for handrub formulas and is manufactured according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. With 75 percent alcohol content, it quickly rids hands of germs, bacteria and viruses in the workplace, public spaces or at home. The product is shipped in 5-gal. boxes, their built-in lockable dispensers allowing for easy use at sanitary checkpoints or mess-free filling and refilling of smaller-scale containers. 

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Court rejects Big Labor suit to force OSHA’s hand on Covid-19 standard

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed an AFL-CIO petition seeking an order compelling the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for infectious disease and Covid-19 workplace exposure. “The agency is authorized to issue an ETS if it determines that ’employees are exposed to grave danger’ from a new hazard in the workplace, and an ETS is ‘necessary’ to protect them from that danger,” a three-judge panel concludes. “The OSHA’s decision not to issue an ETS is entitled to considerable deference.”

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Design-build contractors prepare for a ‘new normal’

Sources: Design-Build Institute of America, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Results of a new Design-Build Institute of America poll on pandemic response measures and market impacts indicate that uncertainty reigns among architectural/engineering/construction interests, with respondents citing postponement or cancellation of more projects and remote work shifting from a unique experiment to what could be a “new normal.” Findings back those of an DBIA initial poll conducted in March as national lockdown and state shelter orders took hold. 

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Hard hat-mounted device promotes social distancing, contact tracing

CC042320 New hat

Sources: Triax Technologies, Norwalk, Conn.; CP staff

A new Internet of Things-styled wearable device provides distancing alerts and contact tracing capability for construction, heavy industrial and manufacturing workers. Triax Technologies’ Proximity Trace offers added workplace protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, developers note, and helps companies get crews back to work safely while addressing recommended social distancing practices.

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