Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule Regulating Cranes and Derricks in Construction
New rule will take effect Nov. 8, 2010
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) issued on July 28, 2010, a new rule addressing the
use of cranes and derricks in construction. Approximately 267,000
construction, crane rental and crane certification establishments employing
about 4.8 million workers will be affected by the final rule. Read the changes to the final rule from the proposed rule here.
OSHA announced its decision to establish a Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking
Advisory Committee (C-DAC) under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA), the
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Federal Advisory Committee
Act (FACA) in 2003, AGC participated on the C-DAC Committee and commented
extensively on the proposed rule. AGC’s comments centered on crane operator
qualification and certification, as well as the scope, definitions, fall
protection, inspections, and assembly/disassembly requirements of the rule. AGC
also held a series of conference calls with members and Chapters to review and
solicit comments on the proposal.
The previous rule, which dated back to 1971, was based on
40-year-old standards. The new rule is designed to prevent the leading causes
of fatalities, including electrocution, crushed-by/struck-by hazards during
assembly/disassembly, collapse and overturn. It also sets requirements
for ground conditions and crane operator assessment. In addition, the
rule addresses tower crane hazards, addresses the use of synthetic slings for assembly/disassembly
work, and clarifies the scope of the regulation by providing both a functional
description and a list of examples for the equipment that is covered.
The new rule will take effect on Nov. 8, 2010. To view AGC’s
comments on the proposed regulations, click here, and the changes in the final rule here. The
complete rule is available here. The
regulation text is available here.
For additional information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)
837-5410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AGC Efforts May Delay OSHA Bill
This week it was expected that the AGC-opposed Miner Safety
and Health Act would be on the House floor for a vote. Thanks to
AGC’s efforts Washington, D.C., and from grassroots contacts nationwide, as of
Thursday this bill has not been considered and it is now unlikely that it will
be considered before September. More than 1,200 AGC letters were sent to
Capitol Hill explaining the dedication of AGC members to safety and outlining
the concerns posed by this bill.
The Miner Safety and Health Act would make significant
changes to both MSHA and OSHA. AGC is a strong advocate of worker safety but is
concerned about the direction of the bill. The legislation turns the clock back
on well over 10 years of progress in improved workplace safety, which has lead
to a nearly 50 percent reduction in the construction fatality rate, by creating
a more adversarial relationship between employers and OSHA.
The bill does not help facilitate worker safety on a
site or help businesses, especially small businesses, improve their worksite
safety. Instead, the House proposal focuses on punitive measures, such as vague new
standards for criminal liability, and imposes complicated and costly procedures
for adjudicating whistleblower cases. This approach fails to take
into account the construction industry's successful accident prevention
strategies that have resulted in reducing workplace injury, illness and
fatality rates through the successful efforts of business and government
working together. AGC is worried that this legislation will hamper continued construction industry safety
improvements through increased litigation and discouragement of cooperative
With the House leaving on Friday for their district work
period, consideration of this bill is pushed back until at least
September. The Senate has not yet focused on this bill and is likely to
take a more deliberative (much slower) approach.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to send letters.
Please take advantage of your Members of Congress being home during August to
let them know your thoughts on this legislation. In addition, click here
to send a letter to your Representative and Senators about your concerns with
For more information, contact Kelly Knott at (202)
547-4685 or email@example.com.
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House Transportation Appropriations Bill Poised for Passage, Including AGC-supported Amendment Cutting "Livability" Program
The House of Representatives is currently debating the
Fiscal Year 2011 funding bill for the Department of Transportation. The
bill is expected to pass and now includes an amendment that will restore $200
million to the Highway Trust Fund due to AGC’s lobbying efforts. Because several
of the amendments would cut various transportation investment programs, AGC and
our colleagues in the transportation construction industry sent a letter opposing any effort to scale back the transportation funding
levels in the bill.
An amendment offered by the Chairman of the Transportation
and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Congressman Peter
DeFazio (D-Ore.), drew the most attention. The amendment restored $200
million that was taken from federal highway formula funds to fund DOTs “livable
communities” initiative. The “livable communities” initiative is an
unauthorized, yet to be defined grant program that DOT hopes to create to
provide certain planning grants to communities. The amendment was opposed by
the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, John Olver
(D-Mass.), as well as several House Democrats who wanted to ensure that federal
transportation dollars were not spent on particular modes or types of
AGC along with its transportation construction stakeholder
partners led the lobbying efforts for the DeFazio amendment. These
efforts ultimately led to Chairman Olver accepting the amendment, ensuring that
the $200 million will remain in the Highway Trust Fund.
The bill provides $45.2 billion for the highway program,
$11.3 billion for transit program funding, $3.5 billion for the Airport
Improvement Program (the same amount as appropriated in previous years), $1.4
billion for high-speed passenger rail, and $400 million for TIGER Grant
programs, while failing to provide the $4 billion requested by the president
for a National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Small Business Jobs Bill Stalls Again in Senate
Failure to agree on how to handle bigger tax provisions continues to block consideration
today failed by a vote of 58 to 42 to pass a procedural vote (60 votes needed
for passage) on a new substitute amendment to the Small Business Jobs Act. The Senate Democrat and Republican leadership
were once again unable to reach an agreement on amendments to be offered by Republicans
to the bill prior to the vote.
The Bill would
make $30 billion in funds available to community banks to make loans to small
businesses and provide $12 billion in tax cuts, including quicker write-offs
for depreciation. The bill also includes relief from small businesses from
Internal Revenue Code section 6707A penalties.
had been stalled for weeks in the Senate over Republican amendments on issues
including the estate tax, federal spending, border security, nuclear loan
guarantees, and other expiring tax provisions.
Another pending amendment offered by Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) would
repeal the expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements enacted in the health care
reform bill that requires every business and corporation to file a Form 1099
for every purchase of goods or services totaling $600 or more in a calendar
on the bill in the Senate may be delayed until after the Senate returns from
its August recess in September.
For more information,
contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733
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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Considers New Water Resources Development Act
The Water Resources Development Act of 2010 was introduced
July 28, 2010 by Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), Chairman of the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas),
Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. The
legislation authorizes approximately $6 billion for critical navigation, flood
damage reduction, and environmental restoration projects, as well as studies
carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Among the projects included in the legislation are three
concerning storm mitigation and ecosystem restoration, 31 for aquatic ecosystem
restoration, 31 small flood damage reduction projects and 160 studies for
potential future water projects, according to a news release.
The package is much smaller than the WRDA 2007 legislation,
which totaled $23 billion, however that bill was nearly eight years late. Another factor impacting the total authorized amount is the fact that the package does not include Republican project designations at this time. Other
language in the bill would clarify the way expenditures are credited, increase
transparency of reviews and improve mitigation of environmental impacts
associated with Army Corps projects.
AGC notes three provisions in the bill. The first, which
causes some concern, would classify Operations and Maintenance work as
“inherently governmental.” This could put this type of work, which is normally
done by contractors, in-house within the Corps. A second provision that will
require further examination would increase opportunities for the Corps to
facilitate watershed planning and carry out watershed and river basin
Another provision, one that AGC strongly advocated for,
would create a “firewall” to ensure all funds contributed to the Harbor
Maintenance Trust Fund will be spent out on an annual basis. This will ensure
as much as a 50 percent increase in funding for projects financed by the Fund.
AGC was a key leader in getting the WRDA 2007 bill passed
and we are working to provide a full analysis of the complete bill as soon as
To view a copy of the bill, click here. To view a summary of the bill click here. To view a copy of Chairman Oberstar’s statement of
introduction, click here. To view AGC’s policy on WRDA 2010 passage, click
For more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or email@example.com.
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AGC Launches New Resource on “Buy American”
AGC has compiled a new resource for all things Buy American on
its website. The new page describes the differences between “Buy American,”
“Buy America,” and the Recovery Act Buy American provisions.
The page also catalogues AGC’s standing policy of opposition
to expansion of the Buy American Act, a description of the Recovery Act rules
and regulations governing the Recovery Act Buy American provisions (both for
direct-federal and federal-aid work), AGC’s analysis of several key provisions
of the rules and regulations, and a catalogue of waivers guidance from agencies
that have construction portfolios. This valuable new comprehensive resource is
located at www.agc.org/buyamerican
and will be updated on an ongoing basis as new information is released from the
For more information, contact Scott Berry at (703)837-5368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Capitol Hill Briefing on the Clean Water Trust Fund Attracts More than 100 People
and participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill in an effort to educate staffers
on the Clean Water Trust Fund (H.R. 3202). A Clean Water Trust Fund will
protect vital sources of drinking water and fragile watersheds, including the
nation’s great water bodies, enhancing the health and security of citizens
nationwide. EPA’s most recent needs surveys estimates nationwide needs for
drinking water and wastewater improvements at over $600 billion. With a rate of
28,500 jobs per billion spent, projects across the country would spur economic
growth, create jobs and improve the environment and public health.
In a packed
room of over 100 staffers, Kasim Reed,
mayor of Atlanta, explained the challenges faced by big cities that need
to service large numbers of people with outdated and aging water systems. The
audience also heard about the challenges faced by small towns forced to
shoulder the debt burden from the mayor of Buhl, Idaho, Tom McCauley. They
heard about the state of the construction and equipment industries from AGC and
United Rentals and the environmental benefits from the National Wildlife
Foundation. Finally, staffers heard an impassioned appeal for water and
wastewater infrastructure from the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority.
AGC has been
on the forefront of advocating for a Clean Water Trust Fund that would be
deficit-neutral, financed by user fees, and help counteract the steady decline
in federal investment in water and wastewater infrastructure. AGC will continue
to garner support in the House for this important legislation.
For more information,
contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5368 or email@example.com.
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