We invite and encourage you to share your news of interest with the CIC membership. Please contact Beverly Wittmeier at (605) 343-5252 or email: cic@constructionindustrycenter.com to submit your news.

FMCSA releases proposed changes to HOS rules!

 

Five revisions aimed at increasing flexibility for CMV drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its much-anticipated proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rules Wednesday, announcing five revisions for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

Responding to industry stakeholders’ requests for more flexible HOS conditions, FMCSA in August 2018 started seeking public feedback on portions of the HOS rules and forwarded its proposal to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in March.

Based on the 5,200 comments received from public feedback in 2018, FMCSA on Wednesday announced five proposed revisions to the existing rules. Read on for a description of the changes.

1. Changes to the 30-minute break rule

Explanation: The proposed rule would increase flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring the break to prevent eight consecutive hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes and allowing the break to be satisfied with on-duty, not driving time.

Implications: Taking a break from several consecutive hours of driving is critical to avoid fatigue, highway hypnosis, and potential health issues, such as deep vein thrombosis. Carriers should already be managing driver fatigue by encouraging breaks from driving above the minimum requirements. Several industry and company-specific exceptions may no longer be needed if the change, as proposed, is in the final rule.

2. Modifying the split sleeper-berth exception

Explanation: Modifying the sleeper-berth exception would allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty into two periods, with neither period counting against the driver’s 14-hour driving window. The two periods would need to include:

 • One of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth; and

 • Another period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.

Implications: This change allows drivers to adjust their breaks to offset delays and expected rushhour traffic due to both off-duty periods pausing the 14-hour clock and extending the window in which up to 11 hours of driving can be completed. Previously, only a minimum eight-hour sleeperberth period would pause the 14-hour clock.

While the split-sleeper change can allow additional flexibility, drivers and carriers need to be careful if this proposed change becomes final. The frequent use of a split-sleeper exception causes a driver to eventually sleep outside of his or her usual time for sleep. Maintaining a sleep cycle in concert with a driver’s circadian rhythm is essential to driving safety and obtaining restorative rest..

3. Off duty break

Explanation: The rule would allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window. For this to work, the driver would have to take 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

Implications: This exception extends the 14-hour driving window to up to 17 hours and provides additional flexibility to offset delays. The benefit of the off-duty period may cause drivers to avoid speeding or rushing to get to their next customer or break location. The downside is the driver could be driving in a much longer driving window (up to 17 hours) without restorative rest. Carriers must be cautioned to avoid pressuring or harassing drivers to operate the vehicle when the driver is ill or fatigued. A 17-hour workday is a long day within which to maintain sharp driving skills and attention.

4. Adverse driving conditions exception

Explanation: To modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

Implications: The current addition of two hours of driving in a 14-hour window does not add much flexibility since the driver must complete 13 hours of driving in the 14-hour window. This adjustment would better reflect the impact of adverse condition delays by adding two hours of driving and two hours to the driving window.

5. Short-haul exception

Explanation: To change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

Implications: The proposed modification to the 100 air-mile exception allows drivers of commercial driver’s licensed (CDL) vehicles two additional hours to complete their workday and a much wider area within which to operate. This change would:

 • Reduce differences between the CDL and non-CDL short-haul exceptions,

 • Reduce the need for several industry and company-specific exceptions, and

 • Decrease the complexity of managing an exception to using electronic logging devices (ELDs).

The so-called 8-in-30 exception allows drivers to log on paper eight days in any 30-day period and still remain exempt from using an ELD. If a current 100 air-mile CDL vehicle exceeds 100 air miles or exceeds a 12-consecutive hour workday, the driver must create a log for the day. If a driver has to log more than eight times in the prior 30 days, the driver must log on an ELD. This proposed change could greatly reduce the logging days in any 30-day period.

Industry stakeholders may comment on the proposed rules for 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted to the federal eRulemaking portal regulations.gov at Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0248.

Following the commentary period, FMCSA will again consider those comments before issuing a final rule. It previously said it hopes to finalize the rule before the December 16, 2019, electronic logging device (ELD) deadline, but the process is likely to take much longer.

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Tessier's Inc Celebrating 100 Years of Quality Service!

 

Tessier’s Inc., a Premier Mechanical Contractor serving the Midwest Region, is celebrating their 100th anniversary as a South Dakota business.

“We are celebrating our proud South Dakota heritage, our dedicated great employees and their families without whom we would not exist, our customers who have trusted us with their building projects, their needs of specialty metal fabrication and installation, the servicing and maintenance of their mechanical equipment for over a hundred years, and our business partners who have trusted, supported, and encouraged us for all these years,” said Gopal Vyas, chairman of Tessier’s Inc., and a 42-year veteran of the company.

Tessier’s Inc. is a mechanical contractor and sheet metal fabrication company providing heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and environmental control services from their offices in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Brookings, South Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa. The company has worked on many highly visible construction projects in South Dakota and in many other states. Tessier’s highly trained and acclaimed service, maintenance, and environmental control experts proudly serve the region. The specialty fabrication and welding division provide services to many industrial clients.

Tessier Sheet Metal Works was conceived when Roy Tessier decided to start a roofing and sheet metal business in Mitchell, South Dakota in 1919.

Evan Tessier followed in his father’s footsteps after World War II and joined the company in 1946. Soon after, Evan decided that the future of the business lay in heating and air conditioning and changed the course of Tessier’s, becoming a Premier Lennox Dealer with the mission of “Making your comfort our concern.” With growth came the incorporation and Tessier Sheet Metal Works was incorporated in 1958.

In 1983 the corporation’s name was changed to the current name of Tessier’s Inc. which was more in line with the current business. Evan’s desire of succession planning lead to key employee buyout to the new generation of owners that included, Doug Splitt, Duane Miller, Bob Wermers, Mark Buche and Gopal Vyas.

Mark Buche and Gopal Vyas continued to grow the company and built a reputation based on the finest workmanship, attention to the customers needs, dedication to
service, ethics, and relationships. Under the leadership of Buche and Vyas the company opened business offices in Omaha, Nebraska and Rochester, Minnesota.
With the offices in South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, it was able to better serve clients in their trade area.

In 2007, Tessier’s Inc. became a part of APi Group, Inc., a multibillion-dollar parent company of more than 40 independently managed specialty construction and
infrastructure companies with similar ethics, values, and culture. APi Group, Inc. is based in New Brighton, Minnesota.

In 2010, Mark Buche retired after 37 years of service to the company and Rashid Kadir a 25 year veteran was selected President, along with Mike Wagner (32 years)
as V.P. and Darren Brewster (16 years) as CFO to lead the company into the new century.

“For 100 years Tessier’s Inc. has been a big part of the South Dakota construction industry. We are proud of our employees, their dedication and work ethics, and are
excited for the next opportunity and for new challenges with our mission of Building Partners One Relationship at a Time. The future is bright with our young and talented
leadership team of President Rashid Kadir,” said Gopal Vyas, chairman of Tessier’s Inc.

For further information go to www.tessiersinc.com, www.apigroupinc.com.
For comments about Tessier’s 100th, contact Gopal.Vyas@tessiersinc.com.

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All American Roofing Wins National Award

 All American Roofing & Sales

SPFA Award LogoCompany Name: All American Roofing & Sales Inc.

SPFA Nation Wide Award: 3rd place in roof coatings over 24,000 Sq Ft.

Project: Newell School

Location: Newell SD

Scope: The Newell School roof was hailed out and the Newell School district was open to any and all roof options. It was put out for public bid on the CIC website. All American Roofing did a site visit and submitted a bid. The options of roof proposals were, remove and replace metal, build up roof and put new metal over the top, flute fill and overlay with PVC roofing, spray foam and coatings, and lastly flute fill and over lay with fabric and coatings. All bids were presented to the Newell school board and All American Roofing & Sales Inc. won the bid with their EPS flute fill, 1.5” ISO board mechanically fastened and then a Benchmark Ply system with PUMA XL top coat.

Application: The roof was ready to start and there was no prep needed. The process was fairly simple. All American Roofing laid down the custom cut flute fill EPS then overlaid that with 1.5” ISO board. The ISO was mechanically fastened using 3” plates and 5” screws with 11 fasteners per board. Once an area done all the seams of the ISO board were spray applied with Benchmark base coat and 4” wide Spunflex II fabric. This would make everything water tight if there would be dew or rain during the night. This roof was done in 9 sections with each section laid out before the next step was done. Once a section was complete it was spray applied with Benchmark Base coat and then the fabric Spunflex II was rolled into the wet coating. Then it was sprayed with another layer of Benchmark Base coat over the fabric and it was back rolled to get any wrinkles or air bubbles out from the fabric. (All American Roofing basically manufactured a Single Ply roof over the existing roof that ended up virtually seamless.) Once that was cured the last step was to spray apply the PUMA XL top coat to the entire roof.

Benefits: With the combination of EPS and ISO, the insulation value in the roof was increased by an R-Value of 18. Since the roof SYSTEM was manufactured on the roof it is basically seamless. The roof is renewable after the warranty is up by potentially only needing a new top coat to get a new 18 year warranty. If the roof were to get hailed out it just needs a new application of basecoat, spunflex II and top coat to completely restore the roof, unlike a true single ply where it would have to be completely removed and then replaced. The top coat, PUMA XL has an 85% solar reflectivity to it.

Warranty: 18 Years manufactures warranty 5 year Labor warranty

Suppliers: EPS Flute fill, Al at Benchmark foam; 1.5” ISO Justin at SPEC building Materials; Roof Coatings and fabric, Conklin Company; custom bent edge metal, Sam at Division 7 Sheet Metal; Lifts, Alan at Rushmore Equipment;

Click Here for a Short Video of the Project

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West Plains Engineering Announces Leadership Changes

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information
West Plains Engineering, Inc.
Marketing Director
(605) 348-7455

  

West Plains Engineering Announces Leadership Changes

 

Sioux Falls, SD – West Plains Engineering is pleased to announce two leadership changes in our firm. Effective January 1, Marty Christensen, P.E. has assumed the role of Building Services Division Manager for the company; while Mike Fisher, P.E. has been promoted to Office Manager in Sioux Falls.

 

Marty ChristensenChristensen steps into his new role with 24 years of experience at West Plains. He joined our firm as a Mechanical Designer in 1994, and has grown into leadership roles as a Principal, Sioux Falls Office Manager and Board Member. Under his guidance, the Sioux Falls office has thrived, and we look forward to his continued leadership overseeing and developing client relationships and business operations across our five regional offices.

 

Mike FisherFisher joined the Sioux Falls office in 2013 as the Electrical Department Head and has nearly 30 years of experience as a consulting engineer. Over the past five years, he has been a leader in project management and business development in Sioux Falls, and we are excited to support him in this next phase of his career at West Plains Engineering.

 

If you have any questions, please call the West Plains Engineering corporate office in Rapid City at (605) 348-7455.

 

West Plains Engineering is an engineering consulting firm specializing in the design of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and power systems for all types of building environments. Our team spans five regional offices in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, SD; Bismarck, ND; Casper, WY. And Cedar Rapids, IA.; and our professional engineers maintain active registrations in more than 15 states. For more information, visit www.westplainsengineering.com.

 

NEWS MEDIA: For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Kelli Crouse, West Plains Engineering Marketing Director, at (605) 348-7455.

 

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Jared Nicolaus named Salesperson of the Year Associated General Contractors of America Wyoming Contractors Association Chapter  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, December 18, 2018

 

Contact: Holly Lien, General Manager Marketing & Sales, Pete Lien & Sons, Inc.

Jared Nicolaus named Salesperson of the Year Associated General Contractors of America Wyoming Contractors Association Chapter  

 

Jared Salesperson of the YearJared Nicolaus was awarded the WCA’s Sales Person of the Year for 2018.  Jared was recognized at the WCA’s annual banquet held earlier this month. Additionally, Jared will represent Pete Lien & Sons as WCA’s  Associate President for 2019. Holly states, “I couldn’t be more proud of the way Jared represents himself and our company, we are honored to call him a part of our winning team! Congratulations Jared and great job!”

In presenting the award, WCA Board Members cited the following aspects of Jared’s background.

Career –

Pete Lien & Sons hired Jared as a Sales Engineer in May, 2013, he was promoted to a sales  supervisor in June, 2014, and this year was promoted to Commercial/Construction/Agriculture Sales Manager for our company. He has worked his way up in our organization very quickly. Jared treats all of his customers with respect, just the way he would treat a   good friend! He is genuine and loyal. We appreciate the fact that he is always finding unique solutions for our customers who are experience problems. Prior to Pete Lien & Sons he worked as a project manager at RCS Construction and Heavy Constructors in Rapid City. He participates in a number of different regional boards, and he most recently became President for the WCA Associate board for 2019.

 Education –

He graduated in 1998 from South Dakota School of Mines & Tech with a Bachelor’s in Civil  Engineering, where he was a football player, and participated in the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

 Family -               

Jared is a completely dedicated, Christian, family man – and loves spending time with his wife, Michele, and children Jorgia, Tate, Maddie & Kort.

 Hobbies-

Jared’s love for rocks does not end at work. He spends much of his free time hunting for rocks, taking them back to his shop, and making polished spheres out of them. His office is decorated with dozens of these polished spheres that come in many different shapes and colors. Jared also spends his free time helping out friends with DIY construction projects, and helping mentor his children to become responsible, well rounded individuals.

 

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6 reasons why I don’t praise my employees

 

by  on 
in CENTERPIECE,LEADERS & MANAGERS,LEADERSHIP SKILLS

 

 

The research is clear: Praise is good for the bottom line.

So why are so many new and experienced leaders not making praise a priority? Some might think annual performance reviews are the only time for it. Others may worry that it will seem unprofessional or that people will get overconfident and complacent. It isn’t and they won’t.

And then there are those who get caught up in these poor excuses:

“I’m too busy.” 
You’re not.  Praise doesn’t have to be a big production, but it is a big deal to the receiver. And it can and should take place in the regular interactions you have with people. Look for something to praise in every employee each week. Put it on your to-do list if that will help.

“Someone else is taking care of it.” 
Never make that assumption, because “someone else” might be assuming you are doing it. In fact, take it upon yourself to make sure you're regularly informing everyone else, in particular, senior management, about an individual's accomplishments and outstanding performance. (First, check with your manager to find out how she prefers to be informed.)

“They know they’re appreciated.”

They really don’t know unless you tell them. And people need to hear from you when they might be feeling praise isn't warranted. It’s just as important to offer appropriate praise even when someone has delivered mixed or disappointing results on an assignment. Of course, this is also an opportunity to coach the individual for improvement. But chances are the person tried hard. Very hard. Their effort represents an opportunity for you to deliver authentic praise in a difficult situation. 

“If it was important to them, they’d say something.”

Most people won’t directly ask or hint for your kudos. Don’t punish shy employees by ignoring their efforts. Try this: find out how individuals prefer to be recognized. Some don’t like being the center of attention in meetings or large office communications; some people prefer individual conversations to group emails.

“I have more important things to worry about.”

You must make praise important to yourself because it certainly is to your employees. You probably already make it a priority to get to know how people approach their work and why others like working with them. Use these details to deliver sincere, specific compliments for them. But don't praise just the results: you'll be mismentioning the valuable work that was done to achieve them. Keep these three things in the front of your mind when you recognize others: their efforts, their contributions, and their results.

“If I praise too much, they’ll want raises.”

If you fear heaps of praise will cause workers to clamor for a raise, beware, because the opposite may happen. Employees may demand more money to make up for the lack of praise and recognition. Keep in mind too that people who receive regular recognition and praise for their good work increase individual productivity, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, have better safety records, fewer accidents, and are more likely to stay with their company.

“Show You Care”

Some managers equate praise with a quick, encouraging comment (Great job, Thanks for your effort). Yet that’s only one of many options you can use to convey employee appreciation. It’s better to choose from a range of approaches to express admiration or enthusiasm for a team member’s excellent performance. Here are some different ways you can demonstrate your appreciation for your employee:

Targeted compliments. Some people value specific, timely praise. Signaling that you’re aware of their extra effort or sacrifice heightens their allegiance to you.

Taking the time to listen. For employees who place less importance on receiving praise, dishing out compliments isn’t especially motivating. Instead, they may crave more of your time. Setting aside 15 minutes to meet with a top performer can provide a lasting impact. Use that time to spur that person to open up, offer ideas and share concerns.

Spring into action. Because action speaks louder than words for many people, you’ll motivate certain personalities by making supportive moves that resonate with them. Examples include hiring extra help to alleviate their heavy workload, giving them a half-day off or enrolling them in a training program to prime them for a promotion.

Give gifts. Presenting something of tangible value to a deserving star often works wonders.

Try a high-five or fist bump. Appropriate physical touch can serve as its own language of appreciation. High-fives, fist bumps or a congratulatory handshake can help employees feel like star athletes. Avoid anything that’s even remotely sexualized or unwanted.

Send handwritten thank-you notes. On paper. Yes! They work! Now more than ever. Lastly, don’t forget about virtual team members! Even though they’re out of sight, you can foster their engagement with the team when you let them know they are valuable contributors, too.

For more articles like this check out www.businessmanagementdaily.com

 

WPE President, Doug Feterl, P.E., Named to NSBA Leadership Council

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, October 24, 2018

 

Contact: Kelli Crouse, Marketing Director (605) 348-7455 kelli.crouse@westplainsengineering.com

Local Business President, Doug Feterl, P.E., Named to NSBA Leadership Council

 

Doug Feterl, PERapid City, SD – Doug Feterl, P.E., President of West Plains Engineering, was recently named to the National Small Business Association (NSBA) Leadership Council. NSBA is the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization, and operates on a staunchly nonpartisan basis. Feterl, a recognized leader in the small-business community, joins the NSBA Leadership Council alongside other small-business advocates from across the country as they work to promote the interests of small business to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

“As a small-business owner, I see daily the importance of being involved and active when it comes to laws and regulation,” stated Feterl. “Joining NSBA’s Leadership Council will enable me to take our collective small-business message to the people that need to hear it most: Congress.”

Feterl has been with West Plains Engineering since 1991 and previously served as the office manager in Rapid City. A lifelong resident of Wyoming and South Dakota, he is heavily involved in the local business community and has developed strong relationships with leaders in government and the construction industry.

Feterl joined the NSBA Leadership Council as part of his efforts to tackle the many critical issues facing small business, including tax reform, regulatory restraint, health care costs and how the Affordable Care Act will impact small business. The NSBA Leadership Council is focused on providing valuable networking between small-business advocates from across the country while ensuring small business a seat at the table as Congress and regulators take up key small-business proposals.

“I am proud to have Doug as part of our Leadership Council,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “He came to us highly recommended and I look forward to our coordinated efforts for years to come.”

Please click here to learn more about West Plains Engineering.

For more on the NSBA Leadership Council, please visit http://leadership.nsba.biz/about-us/

West Plains Engineering, Inc. (WPE) is a mechanical, electrical, plumbing and power engineering firm that has been designing reliable, resourceful and efficient systems for over 30 years. Our engineers and technical staff are dedicated to creating smart, efficient assets that promote responsible energy use.

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GenPro Energy Solution Launches a Re-Designed Website

 

 

 

Solar Energy    LED Lighting    Solar Water   Blog    Contact   

 

GenPro Energy Solutions is proud to announce the launch of our freshly
re-designed website.


Our new website features a clean and modern design that has been aimed to improve the user experience.  It features a fully responsive design, made to adapt to a wide range of web browsers and mobile devices.

We’ve made great strides in creating a user-friendly website to make navigating our wide range of services simpler.


 

How to Survive an OSHA Audit

 
By Jim Rhoad
Ottawa Kent Insurance

"Hello. I’m from OSHA and I am here to help you." 
  
If you own or operate a business, chances are good you’ve heard these dreaded words before.  Next to, "Hello. I’m from the Internal Revenue Service," there are few greetings more inclined to make your knees weak. But it doesn’t have to be that bad.

Even with the seven million workplaces it covers each year, OSHA will most likely find its way to your location. When they do, here are some tips to help you survive your OSHA audit. 

Plan for an inspection by making sure you have three key items in place prior to the arrival of the OSHA compliance officer (CO): 
1. A determination if you will ask for a warrant; 
2. A form to document what occurs during the inspection; 
3. All pertinent documentation such as written programs, training records, inspection records, etc. 

We recommend you do not require the CO to obtain a warrant before entry unless you need to gain time, such as when a manager or counsel needs to be present. It is your legal right to ask for a warrant but this might trigger a stricter audit (and raise possible red flags).  It’s wiser if you simply work with the inspector. Answer questions honestly and fully, but don't offer additional information unless it will help you avoid citations. Cooperate as long as the inspector remains ethical and reasonable. 

Be prepared. These inspections are without notice so you will want to have all information readily available in anticipation of an impending audit. Here are some items to have prepared:
  • Assignment of responsibilities, to include a "greeting team" to meet the CO
  • Documented training logs
  • Recordkeeping
  • Equipment inspection records
  • Safety and health policies
  • Review of insurance and third-party audits
  • Hazard assessment and abatement
  • Review of previous audits and citations.
     It is also wise to have a form available to record the inspector's actions and comments during the inspection. This information will help you understand what transpired and will assist your attorney should you contest the citation or penalty.  Items you should record on this form include: 
  • The inspector's name and office telephone number 
  • The documents that the inspector reviewed and copied 
  • The attendees at the opening and closing conferences 
  • The areas that were inspected 
  • The employees and union representatives who participated 
  • The dates and times when the inspector was onsite 
Almost all OSHA inspections begin with a review of written documents. These documents include your injury and illness records, safety manual, OSHA-required programs, OSHA-implied programs, safety procedures, and training records. There are many records and written programs that OSHA does not specifically require to be in writing, but you should have them anyway. These documents are referred to as OSHA-implied records. For example, although OSHA requires every employer to conduct frequent ladder inspections, there is no specific requirement to keep a written record of ladder inspections. The written record in this case could be a log of all ladders with initials and dates of inspection or a tag attached to the ladder with spaces for the inspector to initial and date. 

Just to get you used to what you’re in store for, here's a mock OSHA audit walk through:

1. The knock at the door. We recommend escorting the CO to your office or waiting area. This will give you time to gather your documents and "greeting team" to accompany the CO through the inspection.

2. 
The opening conference. The officer will explain why OSHA selected your workplace for inspection and describe the scope of the inspection. Have your "greeting team" here to accompany the CO during the inspection. Make sure you set ground rules for the inspection, get a copy of the complaint if applicable, treat the CO in a professional fashion, coordinate with onsite contractors and vendors, bring up any trade secret issues you may have, but DON’T volunteer any information unless asked.

3. 
The walk-around/inspection.  Make sure you have an employee representative attend the entire inspection and take accurate notes on areas reviewed and all discussions and comments from the CO, as well as any photos, videos, air monitoring, etc. Keep in mind whatever is in the CO’s sight is subject to inspection. But maintain control. Remember, it’s your facility and you have rights. But don’t try to talk your way out of an apparent hazard. It will not help and probably make it worse. And above all, don’t destroy evidence. The CO may also want to interview employees. Make sure to schedule these away from your work area. It’s up to your hourly employees if they want company representation during the interview. Advise the employee of his/her rights, your appreciation of their cooperation, and to tell the truth. Be aware that employees do have whistleblower rights. As for management and supervisor interviews, always have another management/counsel present during the interview. If there is a fatality investigation your attorney should always be present. No tape recording is permitted and you will need a signed statement upon completion. 

4. The closing conference. During the closing conference the CO will review any apparent violations and discuss possible methods for correcting the violations within a reasonable time period. The CO will explain that the violations found may result in a citation and a proposed financial penalty, then describe the employer’s rights and answer all questions. Remember, this is not a time for debate. The law requires OSHA to issue citations for safety and health standards violations. The citations include:
  • A description "with particularity" of the violation
  • The proposed penalty if any
  • The date by which the hazard must be corrected
Citations are usually prepared at the local OSHA office and mailed to the employer via certified mail. OSHA has up to six months to send a Notice of Penalty. Employers have 15 working days upon receipt to file an intention to contest OSHA citations, and/or to request an informal conference with the area director to discuss any citations issued. Common causes to dispute citations include:
  • The citation is false
  • The citation’s dollar penalty is excessive
  • You disagree with the citation’s contention that the danger was real, serious, and that an accident was likely to occur
  • The contention that you are responsible for causing the unsafe conditions
Finally, contesting may not relieve you completely of a penalty, but it may help you negotiate a lesser fine. Contesting is usually a good idea. OSHA typically negotiates with employers to a lesser penalty amount.

There is no way to avoid an OSHA audit, much like there is no way to avoid having a root canal. But similarities aside, you can lessen the pain by being well-prepared. 

Jim Rhoad is an outsource risk manager with Ottawa Kent Insurance, Jenison, Mich. He has experience in dealing with workers' compensation issues across all industries, including construction and manufacturing. He can be reached at Jrhoad@ottawakent.com.

Balancing Lagging and Leading

In past Informers we've presented the difference between lagging and leading indicators, as well as the benefits of managing with leading indicators. There is no doubt about the effectiveness of managing with leading indicators, but is it realistic? What are the top construction companies doing to manage safety.

 The law firm Fisher & Phillips LLC Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group recently conducted a survey of Associated General Contractors' members on this topic. The findings of the survey were published on EHS Today's website this month. The full article can be read here.

 It is not surprising to learn that many of the respondents use leading indicators, but are forced to report lagging indicators to prove safety performance to potential clients. As much as we've stressed the use of leading indicators, it is important to note that lagging indicators may represent the success of a company's safety program. Then again, the numbers may be the result of luck.

 Either way balancing your safety management of lagging and leading indicators is a profitable endeavor. In safety management, success comes from a full-orbed perspective, which comes from an accurate understanding of both lagging and leading factors.

 

Economic Stimulus - Made in America

A recent report by ABC News regarding a home in Bozeman, Montana that is being constructed completely with American made materials notes that if every construction job used just 5% more products that are Made in America over 200,000 jobs would be created. 

 

If you are a local manufacturer or supplier you might be interested in this Made in America movement to promote your business. If you are a Construction Firm you may be interested in using local and American Made manufacturers and suppliers to help stimulate the economy in your area as well as our country.  There are many websites promoting American Made Products that you can contact.  

 

Here’s the link to the ABC News story and a sampling of links to sites with American Made stories and product lists.  If you are a manufacturer, most of these sites allow you to add your company information to their product lists.  Construction Industry Center does not necessarily endorse this movement or any particular site listed below. This compilation of sites we found while surfing the web is simply meant for informational purposes only.

Stories

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/made-america-blueprint-creating-jobs/story?id=14719487#.TzVvFsWJfNU

http://theallamericanhome.com/

http://www.builderonline.com/business/made-in-america-builders-create-their-own-stimulus-plan.aspx

http://americanmadebuildingproducts.org/

 

Product List

 

http://www.b4usa.com/category/building-construction/

  http://americansworking.com/buildingmaterial.html

  http://www.usaonly.us/Category/3/business-industrial-construction/42/building-materials.aspx 

http://www.americansworking.com/sdbuilding.html

  http://www.buyusmadeproductstoday.com/buildingmaterial.html

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