Construction Trends

August 2007

New Safety Campaign Will Save Lives, Says AWPT
A new safety campaign to encourage all users of boom-type platforms to wear a full body harness with a short lanyard attached to a suitable anchor point has been launched by Aerial Work Platform Training in North America. The "Click It!” campaign has received the approval of the Scaffold Industry Association and is similar to successful promotional campaigns encouraging people to wear their seatbelts when riding in a car.

The new program’s initiative came from companies frustrated with the fact that people are dying in boom-type lifts because they are not wearing a harness that would keep them from being thrown or catapulted from the platform. To remind and encourage people to wear a harness, AWPT had that advice printed on stickers that can be placed on the boom lift where they can be seen by all occupants in the platform. In addition, AWPT has made available a document titled "Technical Guidance Note AWPT H1” that provides information on their recommendation for the proper use of harnesses and lanyards on different types of aerial platforms. Information on both can be found online at www.awpt.org.

Called "Clunk Click!” in the United Kingdom where it was first introduced, the campaign is being promoted worldwide by the International Powered Access Federation, AWPT’s parent organization. To date, thousands of stickers have been printed and distributed throughout the U.K., and the program has spread rapidly. At the recent Bauma show, international versions of the program were launched at the IPAF stand including the German "Click Clack!”, Italian "Clic Clac!”, French "Un petit Clic!” and other versions of the program in Dutch and Spanish.

"In countries where the program has already been introduced, major rental companies and others took the initiative to promote the program because unnecessary fatal accidents were happening when occupants were catapulted out of boom platforms because they were not wearing harnesses,” said IPAF managing director Tim Whiteman. "These simple stickers can save lives.”

The "Click It!” program was officially introduced in North America at the Saf-T Conference that followed the Scaffold Industry Association Convention last AUGUST, and the program is already starting to gain momentum. Skyjack, a major aerial work platform manufacturer, has committed to placing the "Click It!” stickers on all boom lifts that leave their factory, and a number of major rental companies have expressed interest in placing this vital message on all boom lifts in their rental fleet.

If your organization is interested in obtaining "Click It!” stickers for your machines or copies of "Technical Guidance Note AWPT H1”, visit www.awpt.org. Small quantities of stickers are available free of charge and larger quantities or custom-printed versions can be ordered for a nominal price. Downloadable artwork is also available online for printing your own stickers.

States Tighten Noose for Employing Illegal Aliens After Federal Impasse Over Immigration
Following Congress’ failure to reach an agreement over comprehensive immigration reform legislation, state legislatures across the United States have begun to take matters into their own hands, reports the American Subcontractors Association.

Starting next year, subcontractors in Tennessee that knowingly employ or recruit illegal aliens could have their business licenses suspended under a new law signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) June 26. Effective Jan. 1, 2008, the measure (H.B.729) will apply to all workers for whom a W-2 is filed and requires any state or local governmental agency, officer, employee or entity that has reason to believe a violation has occurred to file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which investigates such complaints.

First offenses will result in a suspension of the company’s business license until it can prove it is no longer in violation of the law. Subsequent offenses within a three-year period will result in a one-year suspension. The new law provides a safe harbor for businesses that follow federal I-9 procedures and receive false documents from an employee. Employers that use the Federal Basic Pilot program to verify employment eligibility are also protected from license suspension. On July 2, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) signed an even harsher law that will close Arizona businesses with multiple violations of knowingly or intentionally hiring an illegal alien starting Jan. 1.

For more information, contact ASA Manager of Government Relations Freeman Smith at (703) 684.3450, Ext. 1321, or fsmith@asa-hq.com.

OSHA’s Hurricane Response and Recovery Resources Are Available
This summer and fall, hurricane relief employees stand to benefit from Occupational Safety and Health Administration products offering tips on safe and healthful work practices following a storm. Information on safety standards for dealing with hazards such as electrocution, falling tree branches, and contaminated water is available on the OSHA Web site at www.osha.gov.

"In the aftermath of a destructive storm, hazards related to cleanup and recovery efforts can result in injury or death,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "Our publications offer the best advice for employers and employees on protecting themselves from hazards as they work to restore storm-ravaged communities.”

OSHA’s Hurricane Recovery Web page showcases resources OSHA developed on workplace safety and health for hurricane response and recovery to assist employers and employees. Here are some of the items featured: QuickCards are concise, easy-to-read laminated cards offering information on dozens of different employee hazards or hazardous situations. Many of OSHA’s QuickCards are available in Spanish, with some offered in Vietnamese as well.

Fact Sheets offer a comprehensive overview of safety precautions for various hazards and help explain OSHA’s regulations applicable to them. OSHA has several fact sheets dealing with hazards faced by employees involved in hurricane response and recovery.

Safety and Health Information Bulletins inform employers and employees of occupational safety and health issues concerning hazard recognition, evaluation and control in the workplace and at emergency response sites.

OSHA’s new Hurricane eMatrix is a tool that incorporates occupational hazards, information, observations, recommendations and data that OSHA gathered and distributed during its response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The eMatrix offers users access to general recommendations, provides sampling and monitoring data, and outlines employer and employee responsibilities for conducting response and recovery operations after a disaster. It also features 29 operation-specific activity sheets that help employers reduce the risk of hazard exposure during various cleanup tasks.

Topcon, Two Major Dealers Form World’s Largest Positioning Products Provider
Topcon Positioning Systems, Livermore, Calif., and two of its award-winning positioning products dealers—Earl Dudley, Inc. and Hayes Instrument Co.—have signed binding agreements to form a partnership to bring the highest level of service and support to users of precision technology in seven Southeastern states.

The partnership, which will have stores in six cities and will include about 80 employees, forms the largest positioning products provider in the world.

The three companies will form a common holding company under the brand Dudley-Hayes LLC. Eddie Clanton of Hayes and John Dudley of Earl Dudley will remain as presidents of their respective divisions.

TPS announced in May that it had entered into a binding agreement to acquire Hayes; the transfer in ownership was official mid-June. Dudley will add the Topcon survey lineup to its existing construction products when the agreement is finalized, which was expected as this magazine went to press.

The two distributors have almost 100 years of combined history in the sales, service and support of positioning products. They employ more than 80 people with facilities in Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Jackson, Miss., Nashville and Shelbyville, Tenn. The partnership will use the Atlanta facility to strengthen their presence in the Georgia market. In addition to these states, both companies service end users in Kentucky, South Carolina and Arkansas.

BASF Construction Chemicals, LLC Opens New Manufacturing Facility in Texas
BASF Construction Chemicals, LLC opened a 65,000 square foot facility in Lancaster, Texas, on June 1, 2007. The new building is adjacent to the 24,000 square foot building from which the business has manufactured its Senergy, Finestone and SonoWall products for nearly 20 years. This additional building will contain the Wall Systems group’s manufacturing, warehousing, administration, and sample making beneath one roof. The company also owns the acreage between the two buildings, which can accommodate the future growth.

The expanded operation in the Dallas suburb includes the largest mixer in the EIFS manufacturing industry.

The new facility was designed with numerous features to safeguard the health and welfare of BASF employees and the surrounding community. Labor saving manufacturing equipment reduces the amount of lifting and repetitive motion required to produce material. The newly installed material processing equipment reduces nuisance dust levels. Additional waste water treatment equipment ensures minimal impact upon the environment. This, along with a facility design that reduces clean out water usage, will contribute to the preservation of local natural resources.

Although the expanded plant has gone online, additional new equipment will be installed throughout the remainder of 2007. Manufacturing Manager Kevin Sullivan stated that "in the future we look forward to additional enhancements such more automation and robotics wherever possible.”

The offices in the facility have also been refurbished and now include a meeting room that can hold up to 40 people for both customer training and employee functions.

Bonsal American Acquires Pre-Blend Products, Inc.
Bonsal American, Charlotte, N.C., has acquired Pre-Blend Products, Inc., a manufacturer of packaged construction products, based in Fairless Hills, Pa. The products will be added to Bonsal American’s ProSpec brand of professionally specified products.

Pre-Blend will continue to operate as a separate entity within Bonsal American.

Key leaders remaining with Bonsal after the acquisition include Tom Herzer, taking a senior business development role for Construction Products; Paul Henning, handling daily plant operations and assisting with sales; and Pete Trainor, continuing in a senior sales position.

Armstrong HQ Earns Platinum Certification from USGBC
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification to the corporate headquarters building of Armstrong World Industries, Lancaster, Pa. The Armstrong facility is only the sixth building in the country, and the first outside of California, to earn the highest recognition possible under the USGBC’s LEED for Existing Building program.

It is also the first building in the United States to earn credit in the program’s Innovation and Design category for the acoustical quality of its workplace.

To attain its platinum certification, The Armstrong facility had to meet stringent standards in six categories: site sustainability, water efficiency, energy efficiency, use of materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and, if applicable, innovation and design.

In earning the Innovation and Design credit for "superior” quality of the acoustic design, the USBGC Review Committee noted, "The acoustical performance improvements documented here appear to clearly enhance the indoor environment in ways consistent with the preservation of human health and maximization of occupant productivity.”

In the building’s open plan offices, for example, the acoustical ceiling has an Articulation Class of 200. The AC of a typical open plan office usually ranges between 150 and 180.

LEED certification of an existing building is a significant achievement because it is generally easier to design these features in new construction. The Armstrong headquarters building had already earned an Energy Star label from the EPA in 2006, which ranks it among the top 25 percent of energy-efficient buildings in the United States.

Dryvit Facility Earns ISO 14001:2004 Certification
Dryvit Systems, Inc., West Warwick, R.I., announced July 6 that the company’s Columbus, Ga., manufacturing facility has received ISO 14001:2004 certification. This is the second of Dryvit’s five North American locations to achieve the distinction for compliance with strict environmental standards. Earlier this year the company’s Sand Springs, Okla., plant earned the same designation.

National Quality Assurance registered Dryvit’s Columbus, Ga., manufacturing facility after an extensive auditing process. ISO 14001 is the International Organization for Standardization’s environmental management standard, which aims to minimize how operations affect the environment through adherence to a set of strict regulations.

"Our goal is to have all of our North American locations ISO 14001 certified by the end of 2007,” said Tony Stall, vice president of marketing for Dryvit Systems.

At the core of ISO 14001 certification is a full-time commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle in all phases of the Company’s operations. Dryvit employees are now beginning this certification process in the Rhode Island, California and Stouffville, Canada locations.

ACT Announces Intex Winners
Architectural Contractors Trade Association, Farmington Hills, Mich., recognized four area subcontractors for their hard work and outstanding construction projects at the 12th Annual Intex Achievement Awards, which honored the nominees and their projects that were completed in 2006.

Established in 1995 to acknowledge outstanding achievements in interior and exterior construction projects, the Intex Achievement Award is open to all union contractors. The ACT Promotion Committee and a panel of architects judge the projects. Criteria for the award include aesthetics, workmanship and difficulty of installation and scope of work.

In the past 12 years more than 31 Intex Awards have been given to 23 different companies. Here are the most recent winners:

2006 EIFS Intex Winner
Saylor’s Inc. – Monroe Trust and Bank
Project Manager: Jess Saylor
GC: Thompson-Phelan Group
Architect: Barber-McCalpin Associates

2006 Resilient Floor Intex Winner
Master Craft Carpet Service – University of Detroit Mercy Calihan Hall
Project Manager: Garrett Maki
GC: Seelbinder
Architect: Integrated Design Solutions

2006 Carpentry Intex Winner
Nelson Mill Co. – Henry Ford Ambulatory Care Center
Project Manager: David M. Hug
GC: George W. Auch
Architect: Hobbs & Black

2006 Wall & Ceiling Intex Winner
Huron Acoustic Tile Co. – The Palace of Auburn Hills, Bunker Suites & North Entry Addition
Project Manager: Michael Olejar-czyk GC: Frank Rewold & Son
Architect: Rossetti Architects
Suppliers: Allied Interior Products, Oakland Building Materials, Rice Associates and Selleck Architectural Sales

People & Companies in the News
Negwer Materials Inc. has added Shelley Hammann as a marketing assistant in its St. Louis, Mo., office.
In her new position, Hammann coordinates Negwer’s marketing efforts, including designing print advertisements and direct mail, copywriting and performing Website updates. Hammann also is responsible for Negwer’s customer appreciation events, managing architect luncheons and coordinating trade show booths.

Marino\WARE has announced three personnel changes: Jim DesLaurier has been promoted from Frame-Rite Connectors manager to director of marketing; Mike McKee has accepted the position of director of steel purchasing; and Lisa Koops has accepted the position of sales representative in the company’s Houston plant.
DesLaurier joined Marino\WARE in April 2006 and was instrumental in the highly successful launch of the FrameRite Connectors product line. As Marino\WARE adds new products, DesLaurier’s responsibilities will include, among other things, product research and development, new product launches, product training, Website development, literature and advertising. DesLaurier is based in DesLaurier the company’s Griffin, Ga., facility.
McKee has a distinguished career working for companies buying both prime and non-prime steel. He will lead the purchasing department and implement buying strategies to meet our growing needs. McKee is based in the East Chicago facility.
Koops will be responsible for growing the business in its newest market by calling on distributors, contractors and architects. Her territory covers Houston, South Texas and Southern Louisiana.

Managing Automation magazine announced that Fabcon is the recipient of a 2007 Progressive Manufacturing Award in the Innovation Mastery category.
The Progressive Manufacturing Awards program recognizes 50 companies that have achieved distinction in core disciplines defined by Managing Automation as critical to business success.
In addition to Innovation Mastery, these disciplines include Business Model Mastery, Customer Mastery, Supply Network Mastery, Data & Integration Mastery, Training & Education Mastery, Leadership and Operational Excellence.