The Steel Joist Institute (SJI) has released Version 2.0 of its Joist Girder Moment Connections. The new downloadable version includes updates to the AISC’s 2016 specifications for most spreadsheets. In the new version, SJI also revised reference manuals to make them easier to follow.
Other updates include spreadsheets that are corrected and matched to each reference manual example, and figures that have been reviewed and modified for consistency, along with new notes and clarifying dimensions.
SJI’s Design Tools include Joist Girder Moment Connections to the Strong Axis of Wide Flange Columns; Strong Axis of Wide Flange Columns-Intermediate Levels; Weak Axis of Wide Flange Columns; HSS Columns – Top Plate; HSS Columns – Knife Plates; and Wide Flange Columns – Knife Plates.
“The tools were developed to assist the Structural Engineer of Record, the connection designer, and the steel fabricator with the complex task of designing appropriate connections between joist girders and columns,” according to SJI’s website. The tool can be downloaded at steeljoist.org, and once in your cart, allows you access to the Joist Girder Moment Connection Design Tools.
OSHA has postponed the 7th annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, originally scheduled for May, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be rescheduled this summer, but OSHA urges vigilance on the jobsite.
Because falls remain the leading cause of fatal injuries to construction workers, while the National
Stand-Down is postponed OSHA encourages employers to use all available resources for worker safety. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Five steel industry groups are pushing Congress to include significant infrastructure investment in the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus legislation. The goal is to provide a clear path toward our nation’s recovery.
The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, according to a steel.org report. The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), and Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) reiterated that 38% of America’s 616,000 bridges are in need of replacement or rehabilitation.
“Making a long-term and robust infrastructure investment now will not only respond to the urgent
transportation system needs, but it also will create high-paying jobs allowing businesses and families to recover from this extremely difficult economic shock,” they wrote. “With such a staggering backlog of substandard bridges, there is significant opportunity to put Americans back to work and back on the road to economic recovery.
“We can…improve quality of life in our cities, towns, and rural areas and drive commerce and supplies across our nation by making infrastructure investment a critical component of the next stimulus package by including Buy America provisions and using domestically produced and fabricated steel.”
The groups concluded that the infrastructure supply chain for steel products used in highway and bridge construction “starts with American steel producers, who have revolutionized the industry by developing clean and efficient steelmaking processes at mills located strategically throughout the country,” noting that steel is sold directly or through national distributors to construction companies and steel fabricators who have built plants, and created jobs, in virtually every congressional district in America.
The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) attended its first ConExpo-Con/Agg show last
week in Las Vegas, Nev. Despite the decision by show organizer Association of Equipment
Manufacturers (AEM) to close the show a day early due to uncertainty over COVID-19,
registration for the event totaled more than 130,000.
SEAA’s experience was a positive one. “In spite of the recent health crisis, we were able to
make great connections with industry professionals and SEAA member companies,” said Tom
Underhill, Executive Director of SEAA. “Participation gave SEAA exposure to an international
Drew Heron, Project Manager for Empire Steel, who volunteered at SEAA’s booth, said: “The
show is so much bigger than one could ever imagine. You have the opportunity to see so many
new tools, products and technologies that could really benefit the industry and SEAA member
companies,” said Heron. “AEM is to be commended for the way they handled the unprecedent
situation with the pandemic. In true Vegas fashion, the show must go on!”
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Construction: Liability, Recordability, and Financial Implications
Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that the world is facing a remarkable health crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has now been detected in most countries worldwide, creating
personal, practical, and legal implications for those in the construction industry. To address
business considerations of the COVID-19 threat, employers should consider multiple categories
Recordability, EMR, and Insurance Costs
A recent publication from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has
confirmed that COVID- 19 is a recordable event; this means that employees who contract the
virus while at work must be recorded on an employer’s OSHA300 Log. These cases may be
compensable under Worker’s Compensation if it can be proven that the virus was contracted
on the job (which is fairly simple to uphold if multiple employees become infected at the same
time). In other states, it has already been decided that Worker’s Compensation will be
extended to workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job and will be inclusive of time in
quarantine, medical testing, medical expenses, and indemnity payments while out of work.
Considering the long incubation and recovery periods associated with COVID-19, these
recordable events are likely to have high levels of “Days Away From Work” and “Restricted
Duty”; furthermore, due to the contagious nature of the virus, there is significant potential for
multiple cases within a company after the first case appears. An employer’s Experience
Modification Rate (EMR) is calculated based upon both of these figures (number of claims and
severity of claims). This means that a COVID-19 situation in the workplace has the potential to
make a company’s EMR, as well as the corresponding insurance premiums, skyrocket. These
figures are kept on a company’s record for a total of three years, thus impacting the ability to
bid and receive work long term.
When thinking about the legal implications of COVID-19, employers should consider the
regulatory requirements outlined by various parties. A few of the regulatory agencies most
pertinent to the construction industry, as well the standards which apply to the COVID-19
pandemic, are outlined below:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Due to COVID-19’s impact on global supply chains, it is likely that the spread of the virus will
result in delays and cost overruns in the construction industry. China, one of the world’s largest
exporters of building materials, is currently experiencing a 17.2% decline in exports. The party
that bears the risk and the losses resulting from construction delays and increased costs
associated with materials shortages will be dictated by contract. Contractors would be wise to
review contracts currently underway and consider making revisions to contracts soon
The data surrounding coronavirus spread in the United States is staggering, and the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) are
encouraging continued adjustments and accommodations in the work setting. As business
leaders, it is important to consider all categories noted above while navigating this chaotic
period. The importance of emergency action planning, business continuity, and remote
work/alternate revenue sources cannot be over stressed.
- Julia Kunlo, Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Vice President of Evolution Safety Resources
- Ashley L. Felton, Senior Counsel, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
- Adam P. Banks, Senior Counsel, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
New ANSI A92 standards for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, which were supposed to go into effect on March 1, have been pushed back. The new effective date is June 1.
NCCCO Foundation has released a new web-based tool to help employers navigate OSHA’s rules
on crane operator qualifications. Who’s Accredited? Directory, is designed to take the
guesswork out of determining whether or not a certification organization’s programs are
It provides a direct link to the accredited certification maintained by the two bodies that OSHA
recognizes- ANSI and NCCA.