While architects, engineers and construction pros close the books on 2014, industry experts have already crunched mountains of data and released their predictions regarding where the construction industry is headed in 2015. Here are some highlights from industry analysts.
AGC of America Economist Ken Simonson took a look back at 2014. In a recent release, Simonson cited a report from the Department of Labor which confirmed 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs between October 2013 and October 2014. The association’s chief economist noted, “These year-over-year and one-month changes show that construction is doing well in most of the country. Yet, the list of states that have added construction jobs varies from month to month, showing that the industry’s recovery remains vulnerable to worker shortages and unfavorable governmental actions.”
Houston was the fastest growing U.S. city in 2014, according to Forbes Staff Writer Erin Carlyle. The oil industry metropolis was the site of $25.1 billion in new construction in Read more
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Fall Protection remains the most commonly cited OSHA standard according to the recently released top 10 OSHA violations in 2014. The annual list from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is intended to help employers identify safety concerns so they can take corrective action to avoid citations, injuries or worse.
Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014
(as of October 28, 2014)
- Fall Protection – 1926.501 – 2013 Rank: 1
- Hazard Communication – 1910.1200 – 2013 Rank: 2
- Scaffolding – 1926.451 – 2013 Rank: 3
- Respiratory Protection – 1910.134 – 2013 Rank: 4
- Powered Industrial Trucks – 1910.178 – 2013 Rank: 6
- Lockout/Tagout – 1910.147 – 2013 Rank: 8
- Ladders – 1926.1053 – 2013 Rank: 7
- Electrical, Wire Methods – 1910.305 – 2013 Rank: 5
- Machine Guarding – 1910.212 – 2013 Rank: 10
- Electrical, General Requirements – 1910.303 – 2013 Rank: 9
Earlier this month a man was killed at a construction site New Jersey when a 1-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him in the head. This tragedy is a stark reminder that falling object injuries can and do occur. It could also be considered a call for an industry-wide effort to prevent these incidents in the future.
Falling Object Statistics
- A solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in 2 seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour.
- The same object dropped at 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles per hour.
- A 2-ounce pen dropped from 230 feet has the potential to penetrate a hardhat.
Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries
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Portable storage containers are commonly used by construction firms and retail stores to keep materials, equipment and inventory safe from the elements and theft. But around the world, architects, community planners and entrepreneurs are finding new, inventive ways to use portable storage units to create visually stunning places for people to work, eat and live.
Here are some great examples of how storage containers have been reinvented around the world.
In 2001, Container City I was built in London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf by Urban Space Management. The project transformed 40’ storage containers into affordable housing and office space in just four days.
The following year, the firm expanded the development with the creatively named Container City II, adding more offices and several colorful bridges that connect it to Container City I.
Ice Cream Parlor in a Can
In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, Smitten Ice Cream put a new spin on the traditional ice cream parlor using a 40’ storage container. Builders sliced the container in half and Read more
Effective January 1, 2015, OSHA has revamped its requirements for reporting specific injuries and hospitalizations. In addition to notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, employers under federal OSHA will be required to notify the administration within 24 hours when an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. This new rule resembles the CAL/OSHA rule already in place.
Current regulations require an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of 3 or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye is not required.
Learn more about the new notification requirements now at OHSA.com.
Equipment World.com named the Apple iPhone 5s the best smart phone for construction industry professionals. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the most affordable. Despite its faults, the iPhone still has far more readily available apps that make construction pros smarter, more efficient and more effective on the job. Add a beefy case and the right app and you have a powerful tool that goes wherever you do, including the jobsite.
Construction apps can provide the developer, project manager, and even site foreman a wealth of real-time resources that make every job easier. From apps that monitor project bids to finger-assisted CAD drawing to calculating architectural formulas, the number of available construction-specific apps is currently in the thousands and growing.
Best Apps for Construction
The best app for you depends on your job responsibilities, personal preferences and technical aptitude. Here are a few of our favorite free apps you may find useful: Read more
Most people know that in-factory construction is faster than traditional, site-built construction. But there are several more advantages to in-factory building. Here are a few that may impact your decision on where to build.
1. Precision Assembly
The repeatable nature of in-factory construction allows builders to continuously improve equipment and processes that cannot be reproduced onsite. Cuts and connections are practiced and confirmed accurate.
As the building proceeds through the assembly line, frequent checks confirm strict adherence to specifications. Components that fail to meet specifications are corrected Read more
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Construction accounts for 24 percent of all solid waste produced in the U.S. That’s approximately 160 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris created every year.
Reducing construction waste can have a tremendous impact on landfill costs, not to mention the obvious benefit to our environment. One solution for greener building is modular construction. Modular is inherently more resource efficient, and can dramatically reduce C&D waste.
Click on the infographic below to see some staggering construction waste figures, and the waste and money savings that can result from modular building.
Copy and paste the code below to embed this infographic on Your site.
<img src="http://modspaceblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/modspace_deconstructwaste-final-012413.png" width="800">
Deconstructing Construction Waste – An infographic by the team at ModSpace
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can sometimes be expensive, appear unnecessary or extreme, or even just a pain. But when faced with the alternative, a robust safety program is the far better option. Here are just a few factors to consider every time your team heads out to the construction site.
Workers’ compensation insurance is frequently a contractors single largest expense next to payroll and materials. Even a single claim can result in a huge rate hike that is sure to put a dent in your bottom line.