Construction News Tracker Video: OSHA Expects Serious-Accident Reports within 8 Hours

OSHA tightens accident-reporting requirements; construction salaries have stalled, even as AGC redoubles efforts to recruit and train skilled labor; that and more industry news on the October 2, 2014 edition of Construction News Tracker

OSHA Rules on worksite injury reporting...

Contractors work to find employees...

And an inside look at Seattle's Big Bertha maching...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by

OSHA, the agency of the U.S. Labor Department charged with employee safety, has released its final rules on injury reporting. As a result, employers will be required to notify the government in the event of a worksite death, hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within a prescribed time frame - 8 hours in the event of a fatality. Only those who employ less than 10 are exempt. OSHA reported 4,400 workers were killed on the job in 2013. The agency will establish a web portal for reporting such events in addition to its phone system.

We've been talking for months about the problems contractors have in finding qualified employees. Now comes word from human resources provider Trinet that construction salaries remained stalled in the first quarter of 2014. The Association of General Contractors (AGC) is at the forefront of this issue, and we reached out to Brian Turmail, senior executive director of public affairs, for an update on what advice contractors are given.

Dow Jones first introduced its Sustainability Index (DJSI) in 1999 to guage corporate economic, environmental and social performance factors. For the 13th year in a row Cat is the sustainability leader in industrial engineering. The DJSI assessment covers innovation, supply chain management, safety and health, climate strategy, and product stewardship.

Cat has also announced it will open a new data analytics lab at the University of Illinois. Utilizing faculty and students, the idea is to focus on fleet and equipment management data.

Updating earlier reports, it now just sits idly by as it has for months awaiting significant repairs. That's the fate of Big Bertha, the massive underground tunneling machine employed in Seattle to dig an underground viaduct. Since striking a buried pipe last spring the massive cutting head was clogged with debris and bearing seals were broken. Work is underway 80 feet underground to pull and replace the cutter head this winter with actual movement to begin in March. It has pushed back the entire project completion to November 2016.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the nation the Vermont Transportation Department has employed new technology that cuts time and money in bridge replacement. Called Bridge in a Backpack, using a design by the University of Vermont Advanced Structures and Composits Center, the concept uses tubes made of material impervious to the elements and filled with concrete to form a bridge that is completed in a fraction of time compared to regular procedures.

The idea was spawned from Tropical Storm Irene when so many structures were damaged and had to be replaced in an accelerated program.

In closing, bad habits are like a comfortable bed - easy to get into but hard to get out of...