Volume 4 -- Issue 43 -- November 15, 2007
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Highway and Transportation
House Adopts 2008 Transportation Funding
Municipal & Utilities
AGC Helps Draft Guide for One-Call System Improvements
Safety
Final Rule for Employer Payment of PPE Standard Published

  House Adopts 2008 Transportation Funding

By a vote of 270 to 147, just a handful of votes shy of a veto-proof majority, the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday adopted the conference report for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2008.  Like the majority of spending bills to be considered by Congress, the $105.6 billion measure faces an administration veto threat.  The Senate will take up the bill next, but possibly not until after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The bill provides full funding for the federal-aid highway program at $40.2 billion as required by SAFETEA-LU, plus the extra $1 billion for structurally deficient bridges the Senate added to its bill in September.  The bill also includes $9.65 billion for the transit program, a $640 million increase over FY 2007, but slightly less than the level called for in SAFETEA-LU.  Additionally, the bill makes available $3.5 billion for airport capital improvements, the same amount as last year

AGC strongly supported the adoption of the conference report and worked for its passage.  AGC will next focus on Senate consideration of the measure. 

For more information, contact Karen Bachman at bachmank@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. [ return to top ]

  AGC Helps Draft Guide for One-Call System Improvements

The Excavation Damage Prevention Initiative (EDPI) is a collaborative effort led by pipeline and construction interests to advance incorporation of the “9 Elements of effective safety and damage prevention programs” set forth in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act (PIPES).

PIPES was signed into law last year.  Last week, an AGC draft was instrumental in developing the "Guide to the 9 Elements" to reflect the consensus of national stakeholders on the guidelines it provides.  The Guide will be circulated to additional stakeholders including excavators, underground facility owners, operators, safety advocates, state regulators, and the public for review and comment to broaden the consensus on its contents. 

For more information, contact Stu Megaw at megaws@agc.org or (703) 837-5321. [ return to top ]

  Final Rule for Employer Payment of PPE Standard Published

On Wednesday, Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin Foulke announced the final rule for employer payment for personal protective equipment (PPE).  The rule was published in the November 15 Federal Register.  This rule covers construction, general industry and maritime standards.

OSHA standards already require the employer to provide PPE, however the standards have not specified that the employer needs to provide the PPEs without cost to the employee. The final rule does not create new requirements on what an employer must provide in PPE.

The final rule requires that the employer must pay for PPE and replacement PPE; however, if the PPE is lost or intentionally damaged, the employer is not required to pay for its replacement.  Employees may choose to use their own PPE and the employer does not need to reimburse the employees for the PPE; however, the final rule makes clear that the employer cannot require employees to provide for their own PPE, that the use of PPE which the employee already owns must be completely voluntary, and the PPE must be adequate to protect the employee from hazards.

Exceptions in the final rule include: ordinary protective equipment such as non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (which includes steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots), non-specialty prescription safety eyewear (which can be worn off site), shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection versus the detachable metatarsal guards, logging boots, everyday work clothing, skin creams or other items used solely for protection from the elements.

The final rule becomes effective on February 13, 2008, and must be implemented by May 15, 2008.

For more information contact Michele Myers at (703) 837-5410 or myersm@agc.org. [ return to top ]