There’s Still Room: 13th Annual SEAA Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament - back to top
Do your part to help the SEAA education fun and have a good time, too. The 13 th Annual SEAA Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament will take place Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. This course was named Best New Public Golf Course in 2010 by the North Carolina Golf Panel.
The shotgun start begins at 1:00 PM after a group lunch. Players are invited to a celebratory dinner after the tournament. Stay tuned for more details as plans are confirmed. Click here for information & registration.
George Pocock Honored at SEAA-MAC Golf Tournament - back to top
SEAA-MAC hosted the 1st Annual George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, September 17, 2012 at the Heritage Hunt Golf & Country Club. The event honored George Pocock, who died last year. George was a former SEAA officer and long-time member of the organization. SEAA-MAC stands for the Steel Erectors Association of America’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter, the only chapter in the association.
A hearty thank-you to the following sponsors for the SEAA-MAC 1st Annual George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament:
Cives Steel Company Mid Atlantic Division
Construction Insurance Agency, Inc
CRC Insurance Services, Inc
Construction Bonds, Inc
Kollman & Saucier PA
L.R. Wilson & Sons, Inc
Metro Steel, Inc
Nucor Vulcraft Group
Phoenix Steel Erectors
S&R Enterprises, LLC
Workers Compensation Experience Rating to Change - back to top
By Jason McElrath, M&P Specialty Insurance
The National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has announced a plan to change the formula for calculating experience ratings. These changes will directly affect employers in the 34 states plus the District of Columbia that currently use the NCCI rating system, and has caused the remaining independent rated states to re-evaluate their rating methods as well (see addendum below). After 20 years remaining at the same level, the primary-excess split will increase over a three year period from $5,000 to $15,000, with the first stage taking effect on January 1, 2013. After 2015, the split will be indexed for claim expense inflation. NCCI has stated that the impact of this change will be revenue neutral, meaning the experience mods that increase due to this change will be offset by the experience mods that decrease, and the total revenue experienced by the insurance industry will be unaffected. Therefore, we will see a wider range of mods across the industry. Employers with debit mods will likely see those mods increase, and those employers with credit mods will likely see larger credits, even though the actual experience used in calculating the mod has not changed.
Note: NCCI has provided these web casts to help employers understand why the changes are being made:
What is the “Primary-Excess Split”? In the experience rating process, claims are separated into two divisions, primary and excess losses. Currently the magic number or “split point” is $5,000. For example, a $3,000 loss would have no excess value, but a $20,000 loss would have a $5,000 primary value and a $15,000 excess value. Primary losses are counted in full in the experience rating calculation and excess losses only receive partial weighting. This means that primary losses have more of an impact on the mod than excess losses. The rationale is that severity follows frequency, therefore the experience rating plan is highly leveraged on frequency of loss versus severity of loss. The effect to individual employers’ mod will depend on the number of claims they have below the “split point”. As that point rises, so will the dollar amounts associated with the mod calculation.
Insurance brokers that use mod forecasting tools should have the updated values available by the fall of this year to help employers. In the meantime, all employers should take a fresh look at their loss control and safety programs, because those that are performing better than average will reap a great reward.
The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Certification sets the quality standard for the steel industry and is the most recognized national quality Certification program for the structural steel industry. Companies that are AISC Certified have been through a rigorous initial evaluation, and are subject to annual reviews. Our independent auditing company, Quality Management Company, LLC, confirms that companies have the personnel, knowledge, organization, equipment, experience, capability, procedures, and commitment to produce the required quality of work for a given Certification category, whether they are a structural steel fabricator or erector.
What’s Required for AISC Certification for ERECTORS
QMC auditors verify that a quality system is in place, implemented, and effective. Following are examples of key qualifications for certified erectors:
The firm's written safety plan, compliant with governmental regulations, is understood and implemented by supervision and the erection crew.
All welders are qualified per American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1. Written welding procedures, compliant with AWS specifications are available and used by welders.
Written bolt tightening procedures , compliant with the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC) specifications, are in place and used.
A written procedure for fall protection is periodically monitored and recorded by a person trained in fall protection and authorized to require needed corrections.
Crane operators are CCO certified or equivalently trained and/or experienced.
Project-specific erection plans with hoisting and erection requirements are communicated and implemented in the field.
"We knew we were a good company….But as we went through the certification process, we identified some programs that could be improved. As a result, we are an even better company as an AISC Certified Erector."
-Homer Peterson, Peterson Beckner Industries, Certified since 2000
America's Steel Industry Is Leading Manufacturing Out of the Recession - back to top
A just-released report by Timothy J. Considine, PhD, 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 analysis titled, “Economic Impacts of the American Steel Industry,” Dr. Considine notes, “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 http://www.steel.org/ .
Slower Recovery for Construction Industry - back to top
According to the Nonresidential Construction Index Report from FMI in Raleigh, NC, third-quarter 2012 indicators declined five percentage points over the prior quarter, marking their lowest level since the second quarter of 2010. FMI provides management consulting and investment banking to the construction industry.
Even these losses may not fully reflect the full extent of the situation. While the third quarter 2012 reading of 54.8 is above 50, which normally would indicate an expanding industry, FMI warns that recovery as it happens make take down contractors who are marginally surviving. Evidently, too many contractors, in an effort to boost their backlogs, have taken on too much work at low bids. As a result, rising labor and material costs could push them over the brink.
Some firms have also gone into bankruptcy due to declining profit margins and project management fees. One-third of panelists surveyed reported a decline in trade contractors while one-tenth had noticed fewer general contractor and design firms.
To make matters worse, banks have decreased their loans for construction, driving contractors to seek other alternatives such as self-funded projects in collaboration with owners and developers.
On a brighter note, the economy’s temporary gains have increased sales and moved some projects that had been on hold for a while. The resulting improvement in backlogs provides the first positive economic indicator since 2011’s second quarters.
Now Available: World Tower Crane Special Report 2007-2011 - back to top
Now available, the first edition of KHL Group’s World Tower Crane Special Report 2007-2011 is a five-year compendium of news, interviews, special features and tower crane site stories from the pages of International Cranes & Specialized Transport magazine, including the IC Tower Index.
Presented in a clear and easy-to-read format, the material is arranged in seven sections covering news, interviews, site reports, features, major new products and safety. Also included is the IC Tower Index from the IC50, the original listing of the world's largest crane-owning companies.
The report offers a perspective on some of the main trends and developments in the tower crane sector over the last five years, while the site reports section offers a wide range of stories illustrating the ingenuity and professionalism of the tower crane industry worldwide.
Also included is a list of tower crane manufacturers and specialists worldwide.
The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) provides an online database of available structural steel shapes in the U.S. from major steel producers as well as which mills are producing the shapes.
This availability is useful in the design process as a reference to determine the general availability of specific shapes. Generally, where many producers are listed, it is an indication that the particular shape is commonly available. However, except for the larger shapes, when only one or two producers are listed, it is prudent to consider contacting a steel fabricator to determine availability.
China International Crane Summit November 26, 2012 - back to top
Hosted by KHL Group in association with leading crane manufacturers and associations around the world, the 2012 China International Crane Summit will bring together senior executives from major crane-owning companies and manufacturers with experts on training, safety, research, and standards. The summit will take place on November 26 at the Jin Jiang Oriental Hotel, Shanghai Pudong, one day before the start of the Bauma China construction equipment exhibition.
In conjunction with the crane summit, a China Forum will be held to review the market and major players in China while also looking at key issues that affect them. Topics include the following:
China’s economy and the global business landscape
Forecasts and trends in global crane fleet management
New thinking on safety and the erection of wind turbines
The rise of China’s rental sector
Issues facing major crane-owning contractors in China
Creating true global standards—the next steps
Training and promoting best practice
Reports from ICSA, Guangdon Power Engineering, Sany, Terex, XCMG, Zoomlion and many more
November 8 Deadline for Rigger & Signalperson Qualification - back to top
Under the final revised Crane & Derricks Rule, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that Signalpersons and Riggers be “qualified” by November 8, 2012.
To be qualified a rigger must meet the following criteria:
possess a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or have extensive knowledge, training, and experience, and
successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging loads.
A qualified rigger must be able to properly rig the load for a particular job. He or she need not be qualified to do every type of rigging job. Each load that requires rigging has unique properties that can range from the simple to the complex. However, previous experiences does not automatically qualify the rigger to rig unstable, unusually heavy, or eccentric loads that may require a tandem lift, multiple lifts, or use of custom rigging equipment. In essence, employers must make sure that the person can do the rigging work needed for the exact types of loads and lifts for a particular job with the equipment and rigging that will be used for that job.
To be qualified, a signal person must meet these criteria:
Know and understand the type of signals used;
Be competent in the application of the type of signals used;
Have a basic understanding of equipment operation and limitations, including the crane dynamics involved in swinging and stopping loads and boom deflection from hoisting loads; and
Know and understand the relevant requirements of the provisions of the standard relating to signals.
Federal inspectors will be keeping a sharper eye on fall protection and other safety practices in the Southeastern U.S., under a new regional emphasis program aimed at reduce the death toll from falls in construction-related industries.
Effective Aug. 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Atlanta-based Region 4 is stepping up its scrutiny of worksites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, in response to a recent increase in fatal falls in that region.
Inspectors will offer outreach and additional resources to companies using proper fall protection (left) and take immediate action on unsafe practices, like those shown at right. Under OSHA’s 1926.451, the workers at right should have been provided with personal fall arrest systems or a guardrail system.
Falls are one of the four leading causes of employee fatalities in the Southeast and the leading cause of death in construction-related industries. A similar effort by OSHA’s mid-Atlantic region began earlier this year.
OSHA’s initiative involves identifying sites throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi that may be exposing workers to fall hazards and conducting unannounced inspections at those sites. The inspections will include all other hazards in plain sight, OSHA reports.
“OSHA’s goal is to raise awareness about fall hazards and eliminate those conditions that lead to employee deaths,” said Cindy Coe, the agency’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “Our compliance officers will conduct immediate inspections when they observe employees working from elevation without fall protection.”
The regional program is being launched as an OSHA special emphasis program. Such programs allow OSHA to open an inspection immediately when safety and health hazards are observed at a work site. The programs also include separate outreach, education and training components for employers and employees.
‘No Notice’ Initiative
The Southeast regional program is similar to a broader, summer-long “no-notice” Construction Incident Prevention Initiative by OSHA’s Region 3 Office, based in Philadelphia.
That program, announced in the spring, takes aim at four leading causes of deaths and serious injuries at construction-related work sites: falls, struck-by/crushing events, electrocutions and caught-in-between events.
Region III consists of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. The region saw 43 workplace deaths in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, with 18 attributed to falls.
The Region 3 program is also targeting health hazards involving silica, lead, hexavalent chromium, and excessive heat.
Like the Southeast program, the Region 3 program dispatches all available compliance officers into the field to conduct immediate inspections when any of the targeted hazards are observed. The inspectors also provide on-site outreach to support safe work practices.
Focus on Falls
The Southeast regional enforcement efforts are part of a national campaign announced in April to address deadly falls in the construction industry.
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are working with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates to provide employers and workers—especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers—with education and training on fall prevention equipment and strategies.