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Top News
On Sept. 8, 2014, OSHA awarded more than $10 million through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 78 nonprofit organizations, including a $135,000 grant to AGC of America for work zone safety training.

The training will offer 7.5-hour highway work zone safety training to road construction workers, company officers, and managers. The target audience includes low-literacy and limited English proficiency road construction workers. The training, which will be nationwide, will review OSHA standards, proper set up of highway work zones, flagger safety, and heavy equipment management. A CD of the training materials will be developed for distribution in class. Training will be provided in English and Spanish.

For information about the Fiscal Year 2014 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients, visit http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2014_grant_recipients.html and http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2014_grant_targeted_recipients.html.

Updated information on the training program can be found at AGC's event page and with each issue of Safety Matters.

Safety Management Training Course
October 15-17, 2014
Arlington, VA
The AGC Safety Management Training Course (SMTC) provides attendees three days of training on the basic skills needed to manage a company safety program in the construction industry. Participants receive intensive instruction and training that will allow them to return to their fi rms with readily applicable new skills to positively impact their company’s safety and health program.

AGC Safety and Health Conference 
January 14-16, 2015 
San Diego, CA 

Best Practices

2014's Atlantic Hurricane Season is about to enter its peakAre you planning on starting a construction job in Florida, the Caribbean or either of the Carolinas? If you are, you should probably think about checking the weather reports for the upcoming months first, since the Atlantic hurricane season is in its heat.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. Most storms and hurricanes occur during the season’s peak which lasts from mid-August to October. The areas covered include the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

According to the National Weather Service, a hurricane is an intense tropical weather system with well-defined circulation and sustained winds of 74 mph or more. It only takes one hurricane to cause a great disaster. If you are starting a construction project, having a storm preparedness plan is strongly recommended. Builders and contractors lose millions of dollars every year due to insufficient planning.

Here are the top three states where storms and hurricanes are likely to hit during this year’s season.

#1 Florida
Florida has been hit by hurricanes more than any other state. On average, one to two hurricanes make landfall on the East Coast every year. Of those, 40 percent hit Florida. Since 1851, 37 hurricanes have made direct hits on Florida.

Hurricane Andrew, the costliest hurricane to ever hit America, was the storm which provoked major changes in the way Florida builds and how the government manages crises. Andrew ripped Florida’s infrastructure 22 years ago and it took the state 10 more years to recover and adopt the new Florida Building Code.

Back then, the Florida Building Code was the first statewide building code and it mandated that all new construction should be built to sustain hurricane force and have shutters or impact-resistant glass to protect openings. In 2010 the code was amended. The state increased the wind speed that buildings need to be designed for to further minimize property damages.

Keep in mind that, apart from abiding with the Florida Building Code, all contractors also need to be licensed and bonded. 

#2 Texas
Since 1980, at least 69 tropical or subtropical cyclones have hit Texas. According to the Weather Prediction Center, a tropical cyclone makes landfall along the coastline about three times every four years. Statistically, Texas suffers from the most storm hits every year during August and September when, respectively, between 19 and 23 storms hit the state.

With hurricanes Arthur and Bertha having already passed, the next named storms of the Atlantic hurricane season for 2014 will be Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. According to the Colorado State University Hurricane Forecast, there is a 33 percent chance that at least one of them will hit Texas. They also estimate that there is a 19 percent chance of a major hurricane impacting the state this year.

Due to the heavy concentration of storms in the state, Texas has adopted the 2006 International Building Code, but has made some revisions to adapt it for a stormier weather. For example, exterior openings located within 30 feet of grade shall meet the requirements of the Large Missile Test of ASTM E 1996 and removable windborne debris protection need to have installation instructions provided.

All of the revisions are tailored to the magnitude of wind storms that Texas faces every year.

#3 North Carolina
Not counting the still-in-progress 2014 hurricane season, North Carolina has been hit by 47 hurricanes in total. Twenty-four of them were Category 1, 13 were Category 2, 11 were Category 3 and one was Category 4. Of all the hurricanes which make a landfall on the East Coast, about 16 percent hit North Carolina. However, the state has never had a direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane.

The Atlantic hurricane season has already started with full speed for North Carolina, having been hit by hurricane Arthur. Arthur first became a tropical depression at the end of June. Then, on July 1, it became the first named storm of the year, reaching hurricane status in just two days. On July 3, Arthur hit North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane, picking up 100 mph winds.

Although forecasters predict a calmer Atlantic hurricane season this year, North Carolina’s location makes it a tropical storm sweet spot. Therefore, the threat of upcoming storms and downpours for this season is still not gone. Builders need to remember to constantly check the weather forecast and double-check the sturdiness of the construction. The condition of the roof is critically important in times of a stormy weather. Protecting the roof should be one of the priorities when building a construction in a "hurricane-prone" location.

Get Ahead of the Storm
If you are a contractor who is planning on starting a job on the East Coast during the Atlantic hurricane season, you should always be prepared for a storm landfall. Make a storm preparedness plan ahead of time, and try to always check the weather for the upcoming months.

Boryana is a recent University of Westminster graduate with an MA in Broadcast Journalism. Her interests span across film, sports and Asian culture. She has vast experience in blogging on everything surety bond-related

Photo credits:
2014's Atlantic hurricane season is about to enter its peak. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY NC 2.0)

Hurricanes cost millions in damage every year. Pam Andrade / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CCY 2.0)

Member News
Tocci Building Companies, a Boston-area construction manager and AGC of Massachusetts member, has announced the addition of experienced industry safety leader Charles Rosenthall (Chuck) as the company’s full-time safety director. 

In this position, Rosenthall will work hand in hand with management and field staff to administer, direct, and oversee the implementation of company health and safety standards. Rosenthall joins Tocci with over 15 years of first-hand construction safety experience and will spearhead Tocci initiatives that continue to spread and expand the safety culture throughout the company. 

"Chuck’s extensive background and experience in the construction safety industry made him a great candidate to join Tocci as our safety director," said Tony Sandonato, executive vice president of operations at Tocci. "We look forward to Chuck playing a key role in advancing Tocci’s commitment to safety and keeping our construction and development sites safe places to work."

Rosenthall will primarily be tasked with directing and overseeing safety procedures at Tocci’s New England and Mid-Atlantic area projects.

"I’m thrilled to be joining Tocci as the safety director," says Rosenthall. "I am inspired by the company’s commitment to safety and look forward to implementing proven procedures to help build a stronger, safer Tocci for our employees and team members."

Rosenthall is an alumni of Keene State University and was a member of the school’s Kappa Delta Phi fraternity. He currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife, Nicki, and two sons, Louis and Jack. In his spare time, Rosenthall is actively involved in community sports, serving as a board member to the Manchester East Little League, directing a local t–ball team, and coaching local boys’ basketball and soccer teams. 

About Tocci Building Companies:
Tocci Building Companies, a leading construction management firm, is internationally recognized as a leader in Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  Headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, Tocci provides intelligent building solutions and construction services with an integrated approach and emphasis on sustainable construction throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. For more information visit www.tocci.com
AGC of Massachusetts and AON Construction Services Group of Boston recently awarded Tocci Building Companies (Tocci) with a 2014 National Safety Award.  This marks the 21st consecutive year that Tocci has received this award, demonstrating the superior safety standards the firm strives to exemplify. Charles Rosenthall, safety director at Tocci Building Companies, accepted the safety award on behalf of Tocci. 

The National Safety Award recognizes firms that have developed superior safety standards to implement onsite for each project. In order to qualify for a safety award, an AGC-member firm must participate in the AGC Safety Awards Program for three consecutive years and have either zero lost-day incidence cases or an average incidence case rate 25 percent below the average rate of all firms that participate in that particular division. In total, 15 AGC of Massachusetts firms received national safety awards for their model safety records. 

In the past four decades, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its state partners have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. According to OSHA, worker injuries and illnesses have decreased from 10.9 percent in 1972 to less than 4 percent in 2010. Tocci diligently promotes awareness of the industry’s dangers through its commitment to strict safety protocol, ensuring that its jobsites are managed with an even higher level of safety compliance than required by OSHA. 

"Our top responsibility is to provide a healthy and safe working environment for our employees and project partners, both on and off the jobsite," comments Rosenthall. For Tocci, this includes weekly safety bulletins, employee training, OSHA certification, and subcontractor "Toolbox Talks." 

About Tocci Building Companies
Tocci Building Companies, a leading construction management firm, is internationally recognized as a leader in Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  Headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, Tocci provides intelligent building solutions and construction services with an integrated approach and emphasis on sustainable construction throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. For more information visit www.tocci.com.

Safety Cabinet
This manual defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, and private toads open to public traffic. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. This manual also includes all 2012 revisions. Please visit the AGC store for this and other safety products.

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