Power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy last October and thunderstorms followed by a heat wave along the East Coast last July tested the U.S. electrical grid, proving the system is too outdated to support the nation’s demands. While a comprehensive solution to increasing efficient power supplies and decreasing consumption may be far off, experienced contractors are busy responding to the immediate need for updated electrical systems. Continue »
According to early estimates, Hurricane Sandy’s rampage across the United States caused at least $50 billion in damage. Of course, that only represents a partial measurement because it does not fully reflect the economic losses associated with damage to business operations, business failures, loss of compensation, and most importantly the loss of more than 100 people and others with severe injuries.
How Hurricane Sandy ranks against other U.S. storms depends on the manner of measurement. In 2011, the National Hurricane Center attempted to rank the most damaging and expensive storms in the nation’s history. According to a straightforward analysis of economic damage, Hurricane Sandy is positioned to rank as the second or third most expensive storm since 1900—surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and effectively on par with Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Continue »
The construction industry’s outlook is blossoming with the April daffodils, according to the Gilbane Building Co.’s Spring 2013 Construction Economics Report. Signals are strong for residential buildings and margins, and total construction spending is on a roll. The executive summary follows. Continue »
Hiring a young person can be an enriching and performance-boosting act. Young workers under the age of 25 account for around 8 percent of the construction workforce. Youth are enthusiastic and eager to learn and contribute to the team. They can be a true asset to the business.
There are differences that need to be addressed when hiring young workers compared to older, more experienced workers. First, youth are computer-savvy and often want to know where they’re going. They’re at a stage in life where they are new to the workforce and it likely will be necessary to offer them a career and not just a job. For contractors hiring young workers, here are three tips to help attract and retain this demographic. Continue »
The multibillion dollar market for remediation of groundwater and soil will continue to grow. Fueling this growth is a reduction in available water per capita. This is the prediction of the McIlvaine Company in its Site Remediation and Emergency Response Newsletter.
By the year 2030, the world population will rise from today’s population of 7.1 billion to 8.3 billion. Demand for water will increase 40 percent between 2011 and 2030. The population across the globe will need 6,900 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water in 2030. This total exceeds current sustainable water supplies by 40 percent. By 2030, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that nearly one-half of the world population will live in areas of severe water stress. Continue »
OSHA QuickTakes, OSHA‘s monthly e-newsletter, recently published several notices of information designed to help protect construction workers from a variety of workplace hazards. The Construction Industry Digest contains a summary in both English (80 pages) and Spanish (88 pages) of OSHA standards for construction safety. The agency also has published new fact sheets to help employers minimize exposure to silica when using construction equipment and a new web page warns of hydrogen sulfide exposure. Finally, OSHA reveals a study that finds a higher rate of roof fatalities among roofers in residential construction, particularly among younger, Hispanic, racial minorities and immigrant workers. Continue »