www.agc.org • December 2015  

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MSA - The Safety Company
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American Ladder Institute
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Top News
Please join fellow construction safety professionals Jan. 20–22, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona for the AGC Safety and Health Conference. You'll have the opportunity to participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity at the national and local levels, assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts.
  • The latest updates to regulations and OSHA activities
  • Get the latest updates on congressional activities directly affecting construction safety and health.
  • Participate on subcommittee and taskforce meetings on DOD, Utility Infrastructure, Highway & Transportation and more.
  • Take an active role in improving safety and health in the construction industry.
The Willis-AGC Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) is the industry’s elite safety excellence awards program for contractors of all types and sizes. It is unique because applicants are not only judged based on their submitted applications, but also make five-minute presentations to a panel of five judges who then ask questions of the finalists. CSEA recognizes companies that have developed and implemented premier safety and risk control programs and showcases companies that have achieved continuous improvement and maintenance of their safety and health management system. 

So don’t miss the opportunity to get recognized for your best-in-class safety program!  For more information on the Willis-AGC CSEA program, please visit www.agc.org/csea. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org

Each year around this time, AGC asks you – our members – to predict what next year will be like for your business. This year AGC has partnered with Sage to prepare questions that focus on expectations for market performance, hiring, labor market conditions, etc. Please take a moment to complete the survey here at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016AGCBusinessOutlook. We will spend November and December asking members to complete the survey.  After that we will work with AGC's chief economist Ken Simonson and the team from Sage to analyze the results, which we will release in early January to the media and members. As in the past, we will also prepare state-specific outlooks for every state where we have a sufficiently robust response.  Thanks in advance for all your help and support, and please contact Brian Turmail at turmailb@agc.org with any questions.
Regulatory & Legislative Updates
On Oct. 28, 2015, AGC submitted comments as part of the Coalition for Workplace Safety in response to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) "Clarification of an Employers Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" proposed rule. This rule would revise the recordkeeping regulation to allow the agency to cite for inaccuracies on an employer’s OSHA 300 Log.

The proposal was put forward in response to the 2012 court decision which held that OSHA could not issue a citation for a recordkeeping violation after the six-month statute of limitations expressly included in the Occupational Safety & Health Act. OSHA maintains that they could issue a citation during the entire 5-year period during which employers are required to keep these records. The comments cite the lack of legal authority within the agency to essentially revise the Act through rulemaking as well as the absence of any economic analysis that takes the continuing obligation into consideration.  Ultimately, the comments request that OSHA withdraw this rulemaking.

For more information, please contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.org.
97th Annual AGC Convention 
March 9-11, 2016 
San Antonio, Texas
Grab your hats, don your boots, and join your fellow construction industry professionals at the 97th Annual AGC Convention, March 9-11, 2016, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. As our premier event each year, the AGC Annual Convention and Technology & Construction Solutions Expo is the ideal opportunity to see everything AGC can do for you and your business.  Join us for more than 15 education breakouts, terrific networking events and industry leading speakers, all in a perfect location for business, culture, family and fun ... San Antonio.
Learn more.
Best Practices

There’s an iconic photograph entitled ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ taken 83 years ago, showing construction workers eating their packed lunches while perched precariously on a metal beam on the 69th floor of the under-construction Rockefeller Center in New York City. The picture encapsulates America’s skyscraper boom, although it was in fact a publicity stunt to promote the building. What the picture also reveals is the risks people were willing to take to get work during the Great Depression. We’ve obviously come a very long way in improving safety, at least in the West. What would probably surprise the foremen of Depression-era construction sites is that increased safety has not come at the expensive of productivity. Thanks to technology, better designs and working practices, construction sites have never been safer or more efficient. However, there is always room for improvement, and the advent of wearable technology and data science is set to change the nature of the construction site once again.

Wearable technology comes in lots of forms — from fitness devices like Jawbone or Fitbit to communication pieces similar to Apple Watch or Pebble and smart clothes. This opens the door to a number of innovative ways workers on a construction site can lead safer lives. In 2014 there were 874 worker fatalities on construction sites, accounting for one in five work-related fatalities in the U.S. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has categorized the causes of these accidents into what’s called the Fatal Four — falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.

How can wearables help? In addition to tracking these risks, they can help avoid them altogether. Google Glass-type technology could soon be worn by every worker. The display could provide updated information to workers on what wires are live, the proximity and route of vehicles or machinery and the presence of dangerous substances. It also allows workers to keep their hands on the job and not a tablet or mobile device. Construction professionals could see what their on-site workers see. Technologies like XOEye and Daqri are delivering this today for the industrial workplace.

In many cases, muscular injuries are not immediately apparent, with pain or stiffness arriving after an initial injury has taken place. Smart clothing can reveal immediately when muscular injuries have occurred, allowing speedy treatment and preventing further exacerbation. As prevention is the best cure, wearable devices can also send warnings when a worker has adopted a dangerous posture when lifting a heavy object or operating heavy machinery.

Trips and falls are harder to predict. However, smart devices and beacon technology could be deployed en masse to improve the overall layout and functioning of a construction site. By monitoring the movements and activities of workers, machinery and vehicles, coupling this information with the construction plan and applying data science techniques, the most efficient means of construction can be ascertained.

The correct work plan could be delivered to each worker via a Google Glass headset or smart watch. Not only will this allow foremen and planners to identify dangerous actions or locations and apply better safety procedures, it will also allow the construction process to become much easier to modify in real time. For example, designers, project managers or developers can view the construction as it happens through the Google Glasses on their workers. Modifications and problems could be solved almost instantaneously, without the need for site visits or a drawn out decision process.

The design of buildings and infrastructure will also be influenced by data science. By rigging existing structures with beacons and monitoring how individuals interact with them, a picture will soon emerge of the best way to design new developments. This will become a more prevalent trend as smart cities become the norm and provide designers with even more information on how people within a city use different facilities.

Data science thrives on analyzing more information and refining algorithms, therefore, the more times these techniques are applied to construction projects the more efficient the results will be. In short, there will come a point when data science can reveal the optimum strategy for completing any project – balancing build efficiency, worker productivity and safety.

Wearable technology and data science is changing how a lot of industries operate, and construction should not be an exception. Developing and experimenting with wearable devices is surprisingly cheap, especially in the context of the cost of most construction projects. There is a significant opportunity for building professionals to invest in wearable technology for their staff or work with third parties to create new devices and procedures that make construction safer, cheaper and more efficient.

Anthony Mullen is practice lead, research and development at data science consultancy Profusion. He is an expert in consumer and enterprise technology research with more than 20 years’ experience advising Fortune 500 market leaders on emerging technology, development and innovation strategies. 
Industrial Scientific Corporation

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