January 2014

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Don’t Lose Your Benefits—Renew Today - back to top

You should have received an email reminder about renewing your company’s SEAA membership for 2014. If you haven’t already renewed, please take a few minutes today to drop a check in the mail or complete your renewal online. Payment may be made by check or credit card. Here’s how to renew:

  • Renew online. Click on the Members Only section and enter your User Name and Password. If you don’t know your User Name and Password, call Kathy Epperson at 336-294-8880 or email her at admin@seaa.net. Kathy will be happy to walk you through the process.
  • Submit a paper membership renewal form. Upon receipt of a paper invoice, fill out the appropriate information and mail it back to the SEAA office:
    Steel Erectors Association of America
    Piedmont Leaf Lofts
    401 E. 4th St., #204
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Stay Informed: Monthly e-newsletters, special reports, multiple educational events, updates on industry news, labor and regulatory trends, plus insurance and risk management tools.

Impact Decision Makers: Strategic partnerships with other professional groups, associations, and government agencies to leverage a greater knowledge base, members with broader resources, and influence legislation to benefit steel erectors, crane operators, and others in the construction industry.

Sharpen Skills: Workshops, symposiums, and webinars plus annual convention with the best speakers from around the industry to explore the latest practices, trends, equipment, research, and policy affecting the steel erection industry.

Improve Safety: Training and educational materials designed specifically for the steel erection industry, affordable solutions for in-house training courses, access to expertise from top safety experts in the industry.

Shape the Future: SEAA’s work with NCCER to promote the steel erection industry to young people, provide training for ironworkers, and facilitate job placement to ensure a trained labor force for the future.

SEAA Board of Directors - back to top

SEAA’s Board of Directors held its first meeting of 2014 on January 16th in Gainesville, FL. Among other topics the Board members discussed progress on the ironworkers’ training course that is being developed in collaboration with NCCER.

Welcome New Members - back to top

Monarch Residential Vaults & Ironworks, LLC
Durango, CO 81302

Gainesville, GA 30507

Schwob Building Company
Dallas, TX 75229

Come on Down…to Texas for the 2014 SEAA Convention & Trade Show - back to top

SEAA members, suppliers, and industry representatives will all descend on Frisco, TX for the 42nd Annual SEAA Convention and Trade Show March 12-14, 2014. Attending this event is a great business investment in addition to being lots of fun. In these three days you can get the latest industry updates, check out new equipment and materials, network with other members and suppliers and enjoy golf, shooting/fishing, or choose one of the other regional adventures —all in one place.

To register for the convention and any other activities, you can print a form at this LINK.

Hotel Reservations

Our host city Frisco, a rapidly growing suburb of Dallas, lies only 25 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Headquarters for the convention is the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco /Hotel, Convention Center & Spa. This 4-Diamond all-suite hotel, connected to the Frisco Conference Center and adjacent to the Dr Pepper Ballpark, is close to the airports, with convenient highway access to restaurants, bars, shopping venues, and sports facilities.

To obtain the special SEAA group rate of $159+tax/night (single or double occupancy), you must make your reservation by Sunday, February 9, 2014. You can choose from three options to reserve your room(s):

  • Register online HERE
  • Go to the SEAA website HERE and click on the “hotel” link
  • Call the hotel directly: 1-972-712-7600. (7600 John Q. Hammons Dr., Frisco, TX 75034)  

Speakers & Presentations

Convention attendees can choose from two different workshop tracks: Management or Field. Management Track:

  • Labor, Employment and OSHA Law: Lessons of the Past 80 Years —Frank Kollman, Attorney at Law with Kollman & Saucier, PA
  • Construction Claims and Other Legal Hotspots —Terry L. Salazar, Attorney at Law with Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett, & Moser, PC
    Bradford L. Bright, Vice President, Veritas Advisory Group
  • Innovation: The World of Construction 2.0 —Gregg Schoppman, Principal, FMI Corporation

Field Track:

  • What to Expect When Preparing a Site Specific Erection Plan —Justin Mitchell, PE, Preconstruction Engineer with L.P.R. Construction Company.
  • OSHA Roundtable: Fall Protection, Crane Operator Certification, Safety Training & More —Dean A. McKenzie, Occupational Safety & Health Specialist, Office of Construction Services, Directorate of Construction, OSHA
    Jim Maddux, Director, Office of Construction Services, Directorate of Construction, OSHA
  • Transitioning AISC Certification from a Check List to a Standard —Jacques Cattan, Vice President, American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)

George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament

This annual event honors a long-time SEAA leader while also raising money for SEAA’s education and training program. This year’s tournament will take place that The Tribute Golf Club, located in The Colony, Texas, just off the eastern shores of Lake Lewisville. From the beautiful Scottish-designed clubhouse to the legendary links patterned after some of the most famous and challenging holes in Scotland, experience a course not found anywhere but Scotland itself. Designed by renowned golf architect Tripp Davis, The Tribute features the finest elements of traditional Scottish golf, including wide-swept dunes, sea washed grasses, and challenging water hazards.

A shuttle, organized by SEAA, will leave the hotel at 11:30AM on Wednesday, March 12 to arrive in time for the 1:00PM shotgun start. The event fee of $160.00 for SEAA members (Non-Members: $175.00) includes greens fee, cart, range balls, snacks, beverages, lunch and round-trip shuttle service. Reservations are required. Golf awards will be presented at Welcome Reception & Trade Show.

For more information, email executivedirector@seaa.net

Fishing or Shooting Adventure

SEAA is hammering out details for the perfect combination of adventure and competition. Keep an eye out for an email from the SEAA office once final information is available on the website. In the meantime, plan on a day of fun in Texas!

Tea Luncheon & Trolley Tour Exploring Historic McKinney, Texas

See how Texas history comes to life on this unique tour! McKinney, Texas is revered for an extensive historical district with many carefully maintained old homes. Step back in time with the costumed interpreters who recreate a living historical museum, including blacksmith demonstrations, traditional cooking, animal care, and general daily life. Delight in the charming downtown square with its many boutique shops and restaurants. Enjoy history, shopping, dining in a beautiful location for a truly memorable day. The cost is $25.00 per person.

Questions: Contact SEAA’s coordinator for this tour, Travis Underhill: 276-728-2230


This tour of AT&T Stadium will appeal to people of all interests and ages. From its stunning sweeping architecture to the luxurious suites – experience a world of facts and figures about the world’s largest domed structure. Admire how the intellectually stimulating works of art throughout the stadium enhance the iconic architecture of the building – from the Main Concourse to the club locations. Throw the ball on the field. Pick up some Cowboys souvenirs from the Pro Shop. The things you can do are endless... experience them all! We’ll all head to dinner downtown after the tour. The cost is only $20 per person, including a round trip shuttle for the entire excursion.

For more information, call the SEAA office: 336-294-8880

Your Project Could Be a Winner! - back to top

SEAA is looking for a few good projects to recognize as part of our 2013 Project of the Year Competition, and your company’s project might be one of them. But don’t wait—the nomination deadline is January 31, 2014

For more than 10 years, SEAA has recognized complex and unique steel erection projects throughout the world. Past winning projects demonstrated successful completion while overcoming unusual conditions, tight time constraints, or other challenges. Many of the winning jobs are public works projects such as bridges, highways, and overpasses. Others are new construction of museums, hospitals, sports arenas, airports, and more.

These photos show construction of the Coney Island Steeple Chase Plaza in New Jersey, Gabriel Steel Erectors of Montgomery, NY, received the Project of the Year Award (Class II -- $500,000 to $1 million) for work completed in 2012.

So that member companies of all sizes can participate, projects are recognized in three categories:

  • Over $1 million
  • $500,000 to $1 million
  • Up to $500,000

For information on entering a project, click on this link: Nomination Information. You’ll also find the Nomination Form and Project of the Year brochure on the Project of the Year page.

You can also read about past project winners on the SEAA website.

Motel 6 Offers a Nationwide Discount to SEAA Members - back to top

Motel 6, already well known as the lowest priced national chain, now offers SEAA members a 10% discount at more than 1100 locations in the United States and Canada.

Motel 6 has partnered with the Steel Erectors Association of America to offer great savings to members and their employees for use on jobs and projects or personal family vacations!

Motel 6 is currently undergoing a major renovation of their brand with rooms that now feature hardwood-effect flooring, flat-screen TVs, modern fixtures and bedding and black granite countertops in the bathrooms. Motel 6 is also pet friendly and allows one small pet per room at no additional charge.

To take advantage of the 10% discount partnership, book online by using the SEAA landing page link, by calling 800-4-MOTEL-6 using the SEAA discount code, or presenting the SEAA discount code at check-in.
You can find the Terms and Conditions of this discount as well as the reference number to use on the SEAA Website under Member Benefits.

SEAA’s Industry Partnerships - back to top

One benefit of membership is SEAA’s strong partnerships with other industry organizations to exchange ideas and share information. Here are some of SEAA’s partner organizations:

American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), which promotes the use of steel as the material of choice in construction, offers two prestigious designations, Certified Fabricator or Certified Erector, which SEAA members are encouraged to apply for. Companies that are AISC Certified have been through rigorous evaluation and are subject to annual reviews. AISC Certifications are independently audited.

National Institute of Steel Detailing (NISD) represents the interests of companies that produce detailed drawings for steel fabricators and steel erectors. A member of NISD’s board of directors sits on SEAA’s board to maintain an open dialog between these professional organizations and to improve communication and job site productivity.

NCCER (formerly National Center for Construction Education and Research) assists organizations with implementing workforce development programs. SEAA is working with NCCER to develop an SEAA-endorsed training program and to establish national and regional SEAA Training Assessment Centers. The goal is two-fold: recruit young ironworkers into the profession and provide them with training, resulting in the creation of a workforce ready to replace retiring workers.

Steel Deck Institute (SDI) was formed to bring uniformity to the design, manufacture, quality control and construction practices applicable to cold-formed steel decking. SDI and SEAA work together to produce educational materials of common interest to both organizations’ members.

Steel Joist Institute (SJI) represents joist manufacturers, setting standards and developing regulations for the steel joist industry. SEAA is an associate member and participates on SJI’s board of directors. The two organizations will jointly produce educational webinars.


Stop Micro-Managing, Get Organized & In-Control! - back to top

By George Hedley, Keynote Speaker at the 2014 SEAA Convention & Trade Show

Every company must do important things perfectly in order to be successful. If these tasks aren’t adhered to in a systematic standardized way, customers gets confused and stop doing business with your company. Would you go to McDonalds if the hamburgers were different every time? Your company can’t move forward if you do things in a disorganized chaotic manner. With pressures of building a profitable construction company, it’s often tempting to micro-manage or do things by the seat of your pants.

Is your company doing just OK, but it’s missing a few parts, broken down, and taped together with duct tape? For example, do you personally order and schedule all materials because you don’t have a system in place to allow your foreman or superintendents to do it for you? Do you end up going from jobsite to jobsite making sure your crews are doing things the way you want them done? Do you have to make every major or minor decision for your people? Are you too busy working to fully understand your actual job costs, company financials, or profit targets?

Manage systems, not people!

Successful companies have written operational systems in place to allow managers to coach rather than micro-manage people and make every decision for them. When I finally realized I couldn’t be at every jobsite and watch everything for everybody, I had a choice. I could shrink my company back to a controllable size so I could continue to be the ‘do it all’ owner of a company that doesn’t make very much money. Or I could install and replace myself with written systems that allow employees to know how I want things done without my constant full-time supervision and direction. This will free you to focus on important things that allow your company to grow and prosper.

What happens or doesn’t happen when you do it all yourself? Nothing happens without your involvement if you don’t have good systems in place to allow people to do a good job without reminding or telling them what to do. The more you do for employees, the less they do for you. When you make all the decisions and constantly tell them how you want things done, they won’t grow as valuable employees. This micro-managing behavior controls people and keeps them down not wanting to contribute more or become the best they can be. When you finally discover the problem with your people is you and not them, you’ll realize the correct decision is to install written systems. This will change your role from control freak to manager of the systems.

Good people or good systems?

Without written systems in place, good people won’t help your problem. Six different good people will still do things six different ways. This is not a long-term solution to company growth challenges. Start by listing the top ten tasks you absolutely must do perfectly for your company to become successful. For example, if you are a concrete contractor, you better have a system in place to insure concrete slabs are installed per plans and do not crack except at expansion joints. When estimating new projects, you better have systems in place to provide accurate job costs to estimate new jobs. If you want to make a profit, you must have financial systems in place to track and collect money owed, forecast your cash needs, and track your overhead and profit goals.

Manage The Systems

If you were going to buy another company, what would you want to know about it? You want to know if the business works without the owner doing all the work. A business that works is in control, systemized, and organized. The systems run the business (not the owner). The owner or managers manage the systems (not do the work). The organized and systemized company produces the same consistent results every time. This guarantees repeat loyal customers, a safe working environment, quality workmanship, on-time projects, empowered and accountable employees, and an above average profit margin. With systems in place, your job changes from micro-managing and controlling every move for every employee to making sure the company systems are followed.

Install One System Every Week

Business always changes and continually needs improvement as you grow and hire people to do the work. If you continue to do business the same way, you won’t improve or get better. Look at professional sports. Teams are always installing new plays, trying new things, and constantly working on new ways to beat their competition. As a business, you must also be improving and working on new ways to improve. Make it your goal to install one or two new systems every month. As you create and write your “MUST DO” playbook, start with the most important things that must be done to insure success. This becomes your operational system “DO” manual and training tool how you do business. Remember, if it’s not written, everything is still in your head, and you’ll be the only one calling the plays.

By replacing yourself with written operational systems, you’ll have time to find better customers, hire and train better people, and seek better opportunities. When you work too hard and make all the decisions, you’ll never have time to get better, and you’ll peak at the level of what you control. To help you delegate more, email GH@HardhatPresentations.com to get George’s ‘BIZ-Builder Accountability Org Chart.’

George Hedley, who will be the featured speaker at the 2014 SEAA Convention, works with contractors to build profitable growing companies. He is a professional business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of “Get Your Business To Work!” available online at www.HardhatPresentations.com

Construction Costs Rise in November for 22nd Straight Month - back to top

In November construction costs in North America rose for the 22nd consecutive month as labor costs continued to increase as companies struggled with a shortage of skilled workers.

The Engineering and Construction Cost Index (ECCI) registered 53.2 percent in November, up from 52.6 percent in October, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) and the Procurement Executives Group (PEG). The ECCI indicates that construction costs in North America have been on the rise for nearly two years since January 2012.

Construction expenses have increased almost 15% in the past six months alone, with labor and materials become increasingly expensive as the industry rebounds, said Philip J. Spiegelman, who with International Sales Group partner, Craig Studnicky, has generated more than $8 billion in sales for leading real estate developers.

The index divides construction costs into two major categories: materials/equipment and subcontractor labor. Although materials/equipment on the index has remained near 50 for eight months, labor costs have caused the increase for the month.

In the recent past China’s economic boom drove materials costs higher for North American construction firms. This trend is likely to continue as spending on construction in the U.S. rises at the same time that skilled workers are aging. The result will be a tighter labor market.

With many investing in training and mentoring programs to be prepared for this next wave of activity, the wage inflation is expected to rise at a slower rate. 

Rental Trends & Benchmarks Report - back to top

Published by KHL Group, the new Rental Trends & Benchmarks Report provides detailed analysis of the worldwide equipment rental market using eight years of historical data from the annual IRN100 survey of the world’s top 100 rental companies equivalent to around 50% of the global rental market.

The 76-page report, which contains more than 55 graphs and charts, looks at ways in which the rental market has changed, including the impact of the global financial crisis. It also reports in detail on the rental sectors in North America, Europe and Japan.

Historic IRN100 data also allows for comparisons between rental market growth and GDP and construction sector growth, providing analysts and rental companies with valuable insights into how the rental sector is linked to the wider economy.

Co-authors Murray Pollok, editor of IRN magazine and Chris Sleight, editor of International Construction, present benchmark figures for rental performance, including average revenues per employee, average revenues per location and average employees per location. These benchmarks have been calculated regionally as well as for each of five different rental sectors.

The report, priced at $1350 with different pricing options also available, can be ordered at KHL Group’s Information Store: www.khl-infostore.com.



New York City Proposes to Limit Age of Cranes - back to top

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri on December 10, 2013 proposed regulations to remove older cranes from operation and improve the safety of crane operations at construction sites with a 25-year age limit. The bill would prohibit mobile and tower cranes from operating in New York City if they were manufactured more than 25 years ago. Cranes would be removed from service based on the original date of manufacture or based on the age of the crane’s oldest component, whichever is greater, the statement said.

In addition, all cranes would require “load cycle counters to record data regarding every lift that a crane performs – which is critical to setting maintenance schedules and overall operability over a crane’s service life,” according to a written statement.

“A strict limit on the service life of cranes will ensure that older models are continually phased out and replaced with the most sophisticated and technologically advanced equipment available. Requiring crane owners to update their crane fleet and make new cranes available will help maintain New York City’s position as a worldwide leader in construction,” the statement continued.

Bloomberg requested the bill following years of research on practices in other jurisdictions and extensive engagement with the City’s development and construction stakeholders.

“New York City has some of the toughest crane regulations in the world, and we enforce crane regulations more stringently than anywhere else,” said Bloomberg. “Since 2008, the City has adopted more than 25 new construction safety laws, conducted tougher inspections and raised licensing standards for crane operators. This legislation builds on those efforts by ensuring only state-of-the art, highly reliable equipment is transforming New York City’s skyline,” Bloomberg continued.

“Imposing a limit on the age of cranes will bring our policy in line with the reality of advances in safety and technology in the crane industry,” said LiMandri. “As building in New York City continues to accelerate, we must encourage crane manufacturers to supply the construction industry with modernized equipment. In partnership with the mayor and the City Council, we have made impressive gains in increasing the City’s oversight of crane operations and demonstrated our commitment to making construction safer for workers and the public.”

In addition to improving safety, the mayor said it will encourage investment in the research and design of new crane technologies that meet New York City’s high safety standards and unique needs.


Coming Soon: 2014 Steel Conference - back to top

The 2014 NASCC Steel Conference incorporates the Annual Stability Conference, the Technology Metal Conference and the World Steel Bridge Symposium. Attendees will benefit from technical seminars, networking, and a product showcase.

Structural engineers, detailers, erectors and fabricators are encouraged to attend. Click on the color graphic above for more information.

Craft Training Program for Iron Workers - back to top


Skyjack Introduces Two New Guarding Options - back to top

Skyjack’s two new secondary guarding options, which protect operators if a problem situation occurs, can be fitted to its new products or retrofitted to existing fleet of telescopic and articulating booms manufactured in or after 2006.

The Skyjack SG-M system features a low-weight protective steel structure designed to reduce the possibility of the operator’s being held against the controls if the boom accidentally contacts an obstruction.

The SG-E also offers a sensor bar that instantly stops all functions when pushed and initiates an audible siren and high-intensity flashing beacon. If the bar is released within one second, the siren and beacon will cease, and the selected function will return. If pressure is applied for more than one second, the siren and beacon will continue to activate, stopping the engine and halting all functions until it is reset.

“We understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to such precautions,” said David Hall, Skyjack product manager Europe. “However, we recognize that this new measure, although not mandatory, has a role to play. The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has welcomed secondary guarding but has also noted that no one system is appropriate for all job functions. By offering a choice of options it broadens the appeal of secondary guarding to a wider range of customers, who may consider it a worthwhile investment.”

Working closely with UK rental firm Select Plant Hire provided Skyjack with industry insight in designing the two secondary guarding options. Select Plant Hire also contributed to the project by providing an arena for testing the systems in the field.