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OSHA is Set to Start Enforcing Construction Silica Standard Next Week

September 19, 2017 For clients and friends of Jackson Kelly PLLC Volume 13, Number 17 ©2017 Jackson Kelly PLLC On September 23, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") will begin enforcing its silica standard in the construction industry. The standard requires employers to limit worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica and take other steps to protect workers.                The standard provides flexible alternatives for employers to comply. Employers can either use a control method set forth in Table 1 of the construction standard found at 29 C.F.R. § 1926.1153, or employers can measure workers' exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures to the Permissible Exposure Limits ("PEL") in their workplaces (referred to as alternative exposure control methods).               Employers who fully implement the control measures in Table ... Read the rest of entry »

West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Right to Work Legislation

September 19, 2017 by: Courtney O'Brien Right to work legislation is safe and sound in West Virginia despite a circuit court's attempt to upend it. In a vote of 3-1, the state Supreme Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's preliminary injunction. With their decision, the law stands and employers do not have to force employees to pay union fees.  The right-to-work victory was only half the fun. The cherry on top was the opinion written by Chief Justice Allen H. Loughry II. Not only was the circuit court ruling "imprudent," he said, it was "profoundly legally incorrect." The respondents have demonstrated no likelihood of success and their failure was abetted by the circuit court's use of an overruled, effectively meaningless standard for issuance of a preliminary injunction. This monumental failure of legal reasoning was compounded by extraordinary and baseless delay occasioned by the circuit court. Accordingly, I respectfully concur in the majority's reversal of the preliminary ... Read the rest of entry »

National Construction Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.5 Percent, the Lowest June Rate on Record

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—In June, the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down 0.1 percent from a year ago and the lowest June rate on record, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to an analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), NSA construction unemployment rates were down in 31 states on a year-over-year basis, and the construction industry employed 204,000 more workers than in June 2016.  Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis.   “Not only was this the lowest national not seasonally adjusted June construction unemployment rate on record, but all the states had estimated construction unemployment rates below 10 percent,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “T ... Read the rest of entry »

W. Va. Receives High Marks for Construction Business Climate from Associated Builders and Contractors Scorecard

[Charleston, WV], Nov. 21- West Virginia has a strong business environment for construction contractors, according to state rankings released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). "Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard" reviews and ranks
state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial construction industry.

The scorecard website, meritshopscorecard.org, identifies states, such as West Virginia that have created an environment where merit-shop contractors are well positioned to succeed and states where strategic improvements need to be made in order to achieve that.  Read the rest of entry »

Take The Survey, Tell Your Story...

The growth and vitality of ABCWV is a critical component of its mission to better West Virginian’s Construction Industry. The efforts of our chapter members, stemming directly from their volunteer involvement, have led to sweeping statewide labor reforms, increased safety and training opportunities available to our membership, expanded business partnerships within our communities and most importantly and overall added value to the membership in which the association serves.  As a direct result of these efforts by you as an ABCWV member, our association is growing. Every time a new member joins ABCWV, whether it be another quality construction company, an equipment or material supplier or an industry professional seeking to provide vital services to our membership, the strength of ABCWV grows with it.  What we know with regards to attracting new quality members to ABCWV is that the personal stories of our membership are the most effective means we have to recruit. The ABCWV board of direc ... Read the rest of entry »

West Virginia Construction Unemployment Rate Improving at Fastest Rate in U.S.

Charleston, WV, August 1 - June not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates improved in 47 states and the nation on a year-over-year basis according to analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Leading the list in year-over-year reduction to state construction unemployment rates is West Virginia seeing a decrease in its industry unemployment of 3.3 percent from June 2015. West Virginia's construction unemployment rate has been falling at a considerable pace since earlier this year. In March of 2016, West Virginia was ranked 46th among states in the year-over-year-analysis. By April, West Virginia climbed to 16th, followed by another jump to 3rd in May and is now leading the nation in this category. After two years of abysmal construction unemployment rates marking the steepest declines in the country, we're excited to see the industry move in a positive direction in West V ... Read the rest of entry »

ABCWV Establishes Flood Relief Program

Parts of West Virginia are facing a prolonged cleanup effort after widespread flooding killed 23 people, left an estimated 230,000 people homeless or temporarily displaced and prompted Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to declare a federal disaster. To support the victims of this natural disaster, ABC’s West Virginia Chapter (ABCWV) has established a flood relief program and is arranging for donations of labor, supplies and equipment to help the affected communities. 
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How to Keep Cool on the Jobsite

According to the 2016 Dodge Data & Analytics Outlook report, the U.S. construction industry is predicted to grow 6 percent this year, with the value of construction reaching an estimated $712 billion. With the growth trend expected to continue on an upward trajectory into 2017 and beyond, construction companies are sure to look for ways to increase operational efficiencies and improve worker safety—especially when the heat is on.
Temporary cooling solutions such as cooling towers, chillers and air conditioners allow construction companies to prevent project delays, increase worker safety and improve their balance sheet by avoiding high-cost capital expenditure commitments on short- to mid-term duration needs.
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When opportunity knocked, WV's Kanawha Stone answered

By Linda Harris, Legal Reporter, The State Journal

Kanawha Stone president Tom Kittredge figures Geraldo Rivera deserves at least some of the credit for changing his life.

Kittredge was working his way up the ladder at the family owned and operated company 35 years ago when Rivera, then an aspiring journalist, did a story for ABC’s “20/20” news magazine on Mingo County’s Tank Rock and the threat it posed to a mobile home community in a ravine far below. 

People took notice, Kittredge recalls.

“After his story ran we got a call from the Office of Surface Mining; they said they’d (heard) we did specialty blasting,” Kittredge said. OSM needed to get rid of the rock without fragments showering down on residents and had asked DuPont, the chemical giant, to suggest contractors capable of getting the job done. Neighboring Kanawha Stone made the company’s short list based on its handling of calcium sulfate extraction from holding ponds on its property.
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Construction Material Prices Fall Further in October

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 13- The Producer Price Index for inputs to construction industries declined for a fourth consecutive month in October, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The index stands at its lowest level since the first quarter of 2011 as prices for construction inputs declined 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and 4.6 percent on a year-ago basis. Nonresidential construction input prices exhibit a similar pattern, falling 0.3 percent since last month and 5.1 percent over the past twelve months. Nine of 11 key input prices are down on a year-over-year basis.
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