The SEAA Training Committee is meeting on May 22, 2013 at LPR’s office in Loveland, CO. Look for more information on this committee in our June Enews.
The SEAA Board of Directors will hold its quarterly meeting in Chicago on June 20 from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown on the Magnificent Mile.
Steel Day 2013 will be October 4. Let us know if your company is planning special activities. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event.
Eddie Williams Receives Prestigious NC Long Leaf Pine Award - back to top
Former Senator Bob Atwater (L) with Buckner’s Chairman
of the Board, Eddie Williams
Buckner Companies Chairman, Eddie Williams, has received North Carolina’s prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award for his accomplishments, service and contributions throughout the steel industry. Former Senator Bob Atwater presented the award on behalf of former Gov. Beverly Perdue., stating, “One would be pressed to find any individual that has devoted more time, resources or effort working for the betterment of the steel construction industry.”
The Long Leaf Pine Award, one of the most prestigious that a North Carolina governor can bestow, recognizes a citizen’s contributions to his or her community and dedication to his or her profession. Williams joins a notable rank of more than 7,000 recipients, including Billy Graham, Michael Jordan, Charles Kuralt and political cartoonist Doug Marlette.
Williams started working with C.P. Buckner Steel Erection, Inc. in 1952 where he began his career as a rebar laborer, eventually achieving the position of Chairman of the Board of one of the country’s most respected steel erectors. Williams made his way to the top by working at most every trade and management position within his company as well as holding leadership positions in virtually every major trade organization in the steel construction industry.
Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board at Buckner Companies, a North Carolina-based corporation providing steel erection, precast erection, heavy lift crane rental, miscellaneous iron, and industrial rigging services.
Williams is one of six founding members of Steel Erectors Association of the Carolinas that evolved into the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA). Through his tenacity, Williams secured SEAA a voice on the SENRAC Committee, providing the organization the opportunity to influence the writing of OSHA law that would govern how the entire construction industry would conduct business for the foreseeable future. He has served as SEAA President three separate times, including as founding president in 1972.
For such a humble man, he has served many applaudable positions throughout the community and industry organizations: past member of the Board of Directors for Alamance County’s Chamber of Commerce; President for American Subcontractor Association of the Carolinas (ASAC); member of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Roundtable and Certification Committee; and member of the North American Steel Conference Planning Conference and Awards Committee.
Williams was recognized with the William Davis Service Award by SEAA for his numerous contributions to the association. In 2005, he was awarded AISC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the only non-engineer thus far to receive this award.
At age 79 he still serves on the Board of Directors for American Subcontractors Association of the Carolinas and for the Steel Erectors Association of America.
He has been married for 60 years to Pat Williams. They have one daughter, Teri Atkins; one son, Douglas E. Williams; and 5 grandchildren. Following in his father’s example, Doug provides leadership as the current CEO of Buckner Companies, Inc.
Based in Brick, NJ, H&R Welding, LLC has offered erecting and crane services for more than 41 years to clients throughout New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. Founded by the late Bob Hager, the firm is now co-owned and managed by his sons, Justin and Jason. Focused on structural projects, H&R has worked on all types of office buildings, CVS stores, recreation centers, educational buildings such as this girls’ school in Passaic, NJ, or religious building such as this Hindu Temple in Morganville, NJ.
H&R Welding holds all appropriate certifications in New Jersey for public works projects. The company is looking to expand both in areas served as well as project size, which is currently about $0.5 million.
Spartan Mat, LLC produces and supplies large wood crane mats and also distributes composite interlocking mats. Mats are used as either critical lift platforms for crane erection work or as temporary roads to safely move equipment around on project sites. Mats distribute the weight loads from equipment and disperses it into the ground thus reducing the EPA or weight footprint of the equipment.
Spartan Mat, LLC can produce mats in any thickness, width and length. With production locations in more than 25 states and stocking locations in almost two thirds of the states, the company can easily get mats to your project location. Spartan Mat offers three distinct mat programs to best fit your needs: Purchase, Purchase with buy back and Rental.
With 13+ years of experience and 70+ locations to ship mats from across the US and even Canada, Spartan can provide truck and rail delivery, and sometimes even customer pick up at our sawmill or load out yard location. Besides just selling new and used mats, Spartan also buys your used mats off your project whether we sold them into your site or not.
Spartan offers a monthly mat inventory list via email that keeps you up to date on new and used mat availability in your local area. To be added to this service, simply email Spartan your email and phone number to email@example.com. Add as many of your co-workers to the list as you'd like.
Spartan offers installation and pick up of your mats on location, sending people in to load with our equipment or you can load with your equipment and we will only send the trucks. Spartan can also sort and grade through your mats to determine usability and grades and quality of the mats coming off your project to ensure shipping only usable mats. In addition, Spartan provides mat washing & cleaning services to allow intrastate or USA/Canadian border crossing transport.
Whether it's new or used hardwood mats, crane mats, bridge mats, laminated mats, truck mats, pipeline mats, construction mats, equipment mats, steel rig mats, composite mats, pipeline skids or timbers, Spartan can take care of your project needs. And if you don't need mats right now, get prepared for when you do and add yourself to our mat email list now! Spartan emails a free monthly-mat inventory list that keeps you informed on current mat availability in your area.
Former SEAA President Jack Moss Has Passed Away - back to top
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, John Charles "Jack" Moss, 67, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Jack, who worked for Rebarco for 25 years as a project manager, served as SEAA President in 1981 when the organization had 38 members. More recently, he was the owner of Jack's Detail and Car Wash in Clayton.
Sonny McIver with Rebarco remembers, “Jack was really a pro in the steel business and an asset to the profession. He did a good job as SEAA president.”
Ruth Vickers, who served as director of SEAA for years, is reported as saying, “Of all the SEAA presidents I served, Jack took the job more seriously and put his heart and soul into it.”
Long-time SEAA member and former president Eddie Williams recalls that “Jack was very outgoing, acting as emcee at SEAA events and involved in the auctions at conventions. A fun person!!!”
A memorial service was held Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at Aversboro Road Baptist Church with Dr. Harvey Whaley officiating. Jack is survived by his wife, Doris Moss; sister, Charla Armbrust & husband, Bob of Columbia, SC; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to American Liver Foundation, 39 Broadway, Suite 2700, New York, NY 10006. Condolences may be made to the family at http://www.mclaurinatpinecrest.com/obituaries.html.
Bauma 2013: Genie Launches World's Biggest Boom - back to top
Terex AWP introduced the Genie SX-180 self-propelled telescopic (180-ft.) boom, the largest of its kind on the market and suited to applications in commercial and industrial construction.
“Customers are always looking for new and innovative ways to carry out their work more efficiently and more effectively. In concert with customer input, our engineers have been able to reach new heights for this next generation of Genie telescopic boom lifts,” said Scott Krieger, Terex AWP senior product manager, booms and telehandlers.”
With its 180-ft. vertical reach and 80-ft. horizontal reach, the Genie SX-180 provides an 8-ft. x 3-ft. platform and has an unrestricted capacity of 750 lb.
The machine is designed to be driven at full height. Travel speeds vary based on boom position and range from 2.5 mph with the boom in the stowed position, 0.4 mph below 125 ft., and 0.1 mph above 125 ft.
The newly designed X-chassis extends and retracts to provide stability on the job and a narrow profile for transport. The boom lift’s stowed dimensions are 10-ft. height and 8-ft, 2-in width. With a stowed length of 42 ft., 7 in., the 54,000-lb. machine requires no over-width or over-height permits, allowing it to be easily transported on a truck.
The model allows easy access to important systems and components, robust hose and harness routings and access to slew bearing bolts from topside. The rotating jib offers a robust slew bearing and worm drive arrangement, added the company.
New platform controls consist of toggle switches and fully proportional jib and boom controls. The ground controls offer an updated function diagram layout and tactile membrane switches. Customers may choose from a Deutz or Perkins engine. Also standard on the equipment are a 50 gallon fuel tank for longer run time and a 7.5 KW generator.
This product will be available worldwide in the second half of 2013.
Euan Youdale, editor of Access international magazine, talks to Scott Krieger, senior product manager at Terex AWP about the launch of the Genie SX-180 on this video:
America's Steel Industry Is Leading Manufacturing Out of the Recession - back to top
A report by Timothy J. Considine, professor of energy economics, University of Wyoming, reveals that the American steel industry is playing a significant role in leading manufacturing’s post-recession resurgence primarily because it is highly interrelated with many other sectors of the economy.
In his recent analysis titled, “Economic Impacts of the American Steel Industry,” Dr. Considine notes that, “Every one job in the U.S. steel industry supports seven jobs in the U.S. economy, reflecting its ripple effect on employment.” For 2011, the report states, the American steel industry directly employed 150,700 and given the multiplier effect, supported more than 1,022,009 jobs.
In his report, Dr. Considine points out that the significant economic impact of the industry is based on the fact that steel is the most prevalent material in the economy, and the steel industry purchases a wide variety of inputs from other industries that create a favorable ripple effect. “This is one reason why so many countries around the world welcome investments that establish steel mills, because they stimulate industrial supply chains,” he states.
These indirect impacts support jobs in industries supplying the steel industry with inputs of energy, materials and services, examples of which are identified in the report. A third and final set of economic impacts arise from the stimulus that additional labor and capital income provides for households to spend on goods and services, the report explains.
“These so-called induced impacts together with the direct and indirect impacts constitute the total economic impact of the industry,” the report states. “Thus, for every dollar increase in sales for iron and steel mills and ferroalloy industries, total output in the U.S. economy increases by $2.66.”
Based on the estimated 2011 direct steel sector employment of 150,700, the Considine report states that the steel sector supported 1,022,099 jobs in the U.S. economy, contributed over $101 billion in value added and $246 billion in gross output. Based on tax multipliers utilized in the analysis, during 2011 the steel sector generated nearly $23 billion in local, state and federal taxes.
Dr. Considine’s analysis was commissioned by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) to provide an updated look at the American steel industry’s overall impact on the U.S. economy. In his study, Dr. Considine employed the IMPLAN system developed by MIG, Inc., one of the most widely used and highly regarded systems for economic impact analysis.
The report describes the industry’s purchases of a highly diverse range of products and services, thus supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs along the supply chain. For example, in 2010 the steel industry purchased more than $20 billion of materials produced in other industries, $8 billion of machinery, $4.4 billion from wholesale and retail trade sectors and more than $4 billion of transportation services. It also generated $12.4 billion in labor income.
AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org .
New AISC Competition Aims to Shape the Future of Steel - back to top
Do you have the next great idea for a groundbreaking technology, model shop or building that could potentially revolutionize the future of the steel design and construction industry? Enter AISC’s first-ever Future of Steel competition! The competition rewards and celebrates innovative ideas for the future of structural steel fabrication, erection, engineering, design and construction. And you have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes, totaling $2,000!
The first-place winner of the competition will receive a grand prize of $1,000 cash; the second-place winner will receive a $500 cash prize; and two third-place winners will receive a $250 cash prize. In addition, the winning designs and runners-up will be displayed at the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference, March 26-29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. Designs may also be selected to be featured in Modern Steel Construction magazine.
“What makes this competition truly fantastic is that there are no rules,” said Carly Hurd, AISC director of membership services. “AISC is looking for design concepts for innovations that haven’t been realized yet by the steel design and construction industry. We believe that the future of the industry lies in the areas of innovation, which is driven by great ideas. Let your inner visionary and inventor shine; the sky’s the limit!”
The only requirement is that designs and graphics be sent electronically. All images should be 300-dpi JPEG, TIFF or ESP files, preferably 4 in. by 6 in. or larger. Please do not embed photographs or figures in a Microsoft Word document (or any other file type) unless you have also included separate image files. AutoCAD files cannot be used; submit structural details as line drawings or high-resolution PDFs.
Competition entries can be submitted by an individual or a team. Please also include a title for your innovation and a brief description with your entry, as well as the entrant’s name(s) and/or company. All submissions represent that the entrant grants AISC an irrevocable, world-wide, paid-in-full license to publish (in both print and electronic form) all of the designs, images, drawings, graphics or electronic files provided by the entrant.
Please email your competition entries to AISC’s Carly Hurd at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2013, and label the subject line: “Future of Steel Competition.” All of the entries will then be posted publicly to AISC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG , where they’ll be voted on by fans. The three entries that receive the most votes will be crowned the winners.
For questions about the competition, please contact AISC’s Carly Hurd at email@example.com .
Access Lift & Handlers’ 2012 Top List Now Available- back to top
Each year, Access, Lift & Handlers produces four top lists that rank North America’s telehandler, aerial and mast-climbing rental companies. The fourth top list covering scaffolding, ranks erecting and dismantling companies across North America. These lists provide an in-depth look into the North American access and telehandler markets, giving readers an analysis of market conditions.
This special 2012 issue of ALH top list combines all four access and material handling areas with extended commentary and examination. ALH has fleshed out each top list by providing additional background information on every company listed and ranked. Also available is contact information (website, company location, phone number) for each firm on the list, as well as additional tables detailing trends of the top players.
Published in April, 2013 this 18-page report is available for purchase at £50 / $80 / €60.
Crane Company Completes Unique Move: A Giraffe - back to top
Membrey Transport and Crane Hire in Melbourne, Australia lifts a rare Rothschild giraffe with a Terex AT-20 pick and carry crane
According to International Cranes & Transport, Membrey Transport and Crane Hire in Melbourne, Australia, moved a rare Rothschild giraffe from the Melbourne Zoo in Victoria to the Mogo Zoo on the southern coast of New South Wales. The giraffe named Tanzi, 4.8 meters tall, was relocated as part of the regional breeding program. Prior to the move, Tanzi underwent more than two months of "crate training" Melbourne Zoo said, to minimize stress during her transportation.
A Terex AT-20 pick and carry crane was chosen for its high road speed and pick-and-carry capability without outriggers, the manufacturer said.
"We have moved a variety of large and small exotic zoo animals for around 30 years,” said Craig Membrey of Membrey’s Transport. “For this move, we were required to lift and transport the animal in a specially made giraffe crate and selected our Terex AT-20 pick and carry crane as the best equipment for this task."
“Moving animals of this size requires detailed route planning, such as avoiding low bridges, while also ensuring minimum impact on the animal by completing the move in the shortest possible time," Membrey said.
“The Terex AT-20 Pick and Carry crane was ideal for this application. Its smooth controls gave the crane operator the ability to position the crate with gentle, fluid movements throughout the operation.”
Preliminary figures from the US Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) show February, 2013 employment in the construction sector was at its highest since September, 2009 at 5.78 million jobs. According to the figures, some 48,000 jobs were added in the industry in the month of February, from the 5.74 million employed in January.
According to the BLS figures, the low point in US construction industry employment came in January, 2011, with 5.44 million jobs. Industry employment has grown since then, with some lulls in the winter months, with the latest estimate for February indicating a +6.4% increase from the lowest point.
There is still room for growth, however, since there were some 7.77 million people employed in the US construction industry at its peak in 2006 and 2007, or 34% more than the current level.
LAWS & REGULATIONS
Effective May 7, 2013: New Form I-9 Required for New Hires - back to top
The Safran Law Offices provided the following information needed to proceed with this new form and avoid any potential fines from the changes just enacted:
For those of you involved in the hiring of new employees, the I-9 form is something with which you are very familiar. That form--known officially as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form--is used to prove that an employer has taken steps to make sure that an employee has documentation to show he is legally permitted to work in the United States.
Before last week, the I-9 form was last updated in August of 2009, and it had actually expired several months ago. However, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had previously issued a directive that employers should continue to use the old form until a new one was promulgated. And on Friday, March 8, the new form was finally published.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in discussions with OSHA over ongoing questions surrounding the Cranes & Derricks regulation. In March the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) invited Dean McKenzie, Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, and Jim Maddux, Director, Office of Construction Services for the Directorate of Construction, to answer questions posed by its members during its annual convention, held in New Orleans, La. Then in April, I spoke at one of the crane industry stakeholder meetings hosted by OSHA in Washington, D.C.
Within the industry opinions are strong and quite fractured on two key issues. The first is whether certification is equivalent to qualification. The second stems around the value of testing operators by type and capacity.
Regarding certification being equal to qualification, it’s interesting that OSHA is at this crossroads when it comes to crane operators, when elsewhere in the crane regulation, a strong distinction is made between the two as it applies to riggers.
During the Steel Erectors meeting, OSHA officials Jim Maddux and Dean McKenzie made it clear that employers are responsible for making sure a rigger is qualified for the work assigned, which was characterized this way: “If you hand me the prettiest, gold-plated card that says you are a qualified rigger, I will take that under advisement then continue my interview process to make sure you are indeed qualified for what you are rigging today. There is no known rigging course that guarantees you carte blanche that you are a qualified rigger.”
When it comes to operator certification and qualification, OSHA needs to clarify to the industry if it is taking a different approach than it has with riggers. Is OSHA implying in the regulation that achieving certification is the final authority on an operator’s ability to run a crane? I hope not. Most certification organizations, employers, and crane owners would agree with me. It is good that the regulation requires operators to be certified by type and capacity, which helps employers match the skill set of the operator to the crane to be operated, but employers should also assess if an operator has the skills and experience for a specific crane in a particular job scenario. Additional familiarization and training may be necessary.
“Crane operator certification is of value to employers because it is an indication that an operator has demonstrated at least the minimum knowledge, skills, and ability qualification requirements to operate a type of crane in a particular capacity range. It’s a driver’s license—not a learner’s permit. However, just because you have a driver’s license doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills or experience to drive any vehicle in all situations,” said Debbie Dickinson, Executive Director of Crane Institute Certification (CIC).
The second issue regards the benefits of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes, and the risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type. When this issue is raised, opponents are quick to re-direct the discussion to one about the costs associated with doing so rather than to address the actual benefit of this type of testing. It is widely assumed that testing to type and capacity is more expensive.
When addressing this opinion at the SEAA meeting, OSHA officials said, “It’s only very expensive if you are asking people to be certified for the exact crane that they are going to be operating. Two [certification] organizations have figured out how to do this and are continuing to implement certifications that include capacity.” Mr. Maddux and Mr. McKenzie agreed that OSHA will not require operators to be certified for each individual crane, but rather some type of grouping, levels, or categories offering operators greater flexibility.
Other special interest groups also support this stance. Last fall, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) suggested that OSHA endorse a banding proposal of 14 groupings of cranes and capacities that should be considered equivalent in operating requirements for training and certification purposes. According to AEM, endorsement of these bands would allow certifying bodies to continue to certify operators and issue cards with type and capacity without needing to test on the largest crane in a band.
The rule as it stands is very clear that when an operator is certified for a given capacity of crane, they are permitted to operate cranes of the same type at lower capacities.
CIC is one of two certification organizations that tests according to type and capacity. When designing its tests back in 2007, its capacity thresholds were established based on typical boom lengths associated with certain capacity bands. This was done in acknowledgment of the fact that it takes varying levels of skill to operate cranes with different boom lengths. The industry has long recognized that the longer the boom, the more skill required to operate the crane. The concept parallels the idea that the greater the capacity, the more skill required. A crane rated at 15 tons typically has a much shorter boom than one rated at 500 tons, and cranes with longer booms require much more skill to operate.
According to Dickinson of CIC: “The type and capacity requirement has merit in that the industry understands cranes by type and capacity. It’s a reasonable way to communicate to employers the skill level of an operator. It provides a strong foundation for good hiring practices.”
The November 2014 deadline for operators to be certified is only a year and a half away and employers are concerned about compliance, with good reason. During SEAA’s meeting, the OSHA representatives were asked what the target date is for an enforcement directive to be issued to compliance officers. According to OSHA officials the department is dealing with enforcement questions one at a time and hopes to release the directive by the end of this year. The goal: greater consistency in citations.
I encourage crane owners and employers to not be swayed by the rhetoric. Crane operator certification does add value to the industry and will improve safety. Employers must continue to take responsibility for making sure a certified operator is qualified for the specific lifting scenario of the job and employers should look closely at the certification options open to them. Meanwhile, the industry looks for OSHA to clarify what it is thinking on these important issues.
North Carolina Among States Requiring Employers to Enroll in E-Verify - back to top
The North Carolina Legislature passed a bill that requires all private employers with more than 25 employees to use the federal online E-Verify program to verify the employment authorization of newly hired employees. E-Verify is a free internet-based system that allows employers to determine employment authorization by checking an employee’s documentation against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases. Employers enroll in E-Verify at https://e-verify.uscis.gov/enroll/ .
This new E-Verify law, signed into law in 2011, required North Carolina counties and cities to register and participate in E-Verify by October 1, 2011. Private sector employers' participation in E-Verify is being phased in more slowly, according to the employer's size:
Employers with 500 or more employees were required to participate by October 1, 2012;
Employers with 100 or more employees were required to participate by January 1, 2013; and
Employers with 25 or more employees will be required to participate by July 1, 2013.
Businesses will not be required to verify the employment eligibility of current employees unless the employer has been awarded a federal contract on or after September 8, 2009 that contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause.
Civil penalties for violations of North Carolina's E-Verify law are assessed by the NC Commissioner of Labor and range from $1,000 to $10,000.
The federal government has added E-Verify Self-Check which permits an employee or prospective employee to check his or her employment eligibility, just like an employer would when it uses E-Verify. E-Verify Self-Check also provides information to the employee on how to correct any problems. The E-Verify Self-Check website is https://selfcheck.uscis.gov/SelfCheckUI/start.html
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has issued a statement confirming that its substance abuse policy remains in full force and effect, despite initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington permitting the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
The NCCCO Substance Abuse Policy, as set forth in NCCCO's candidate handbooks, prohibits the use of illegal drugs, prescriptions, and any controlled substances that would impair the ability of individuals to perform their duties safely. This list of prohibited substances includes marijuana, whether used recreationally or prescribed for medical use.
“We wanted to make it perfectly clear that state initiatives regarding marijuana will have no bearing on the requirement that CCO-certified personnel comply with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy as well as the substance abuse testing provisions of the ASME B30 standard,” said NCCCO executive director, Graham Brent.
Lifting personnel certified by NCCCO must attest to their compliance with its Substance Abuse Policy as a condition of certification. Non-compliance with the policy automatically revokes a candidate’s certification status.