Man painting outside

Adding the arts to technical skills can generate more productivity, innovation

by Stuart G. Walesh, PhD, PE In 1871, engineer James Watt patented a steam engine that produced continuous rotary motion. Steam engines both figuratively and literally drove the Industrial Revolution and introduced the expression “build a head of steam.” When critical pressure is applied to pistons, things happen. Construction-sector professionals and organizations must strive to achieve the same momentum by building a head of STEAM – that is, by adding the “A” to STEM, the already-developed skill levels of science,Read More

Hand drill cutting concrete

New OSHA silica dust exposure limits

A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule regarding respirable crystalline silica dust in the construction industry requires covered employers to comply with stricter exposure limits and take steps to protect workers. OSHA reduced the exposure for construction activities to 20 percent of the previous permissible limit (from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 50) averaged throughout an eight-hour shift. The previous standard had been in place since 1971. These new regulations for the construction industry wentRead More

Tax Prep on desk

Investment Incentive: New tax law allows bonus depreciation on used equipment

Used equipment buyers are the recipients of expanded benefits with the passage of last year’s tax law, including the ability to combine Section 179 Expensing and first-year bonus depreciation. Previously, bonus depreciation was limited to new purchases only. Section 179 Expensing by itself can be significant, and generally companies use this deduction first. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act doubled the deduction limit to $1 million on qualifying equipment purchases, including previously owned machinery. It also raised the spending capRead More

Money stacked

Tax Law Spurs Optimism

Tax reform took firm hold this year, affecting both individuals and businesses, including major changes for some in the construction industry as Congress passed and President Trump signed H.R. 1, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, last December. This legislation, in most cases, increased take-home pay, lowered corporate tax rates and included provisions designed to increase expensing limits. The signature piece of the legislation may be a reduced corporate tax rate, which was slashed from 35 to 21 percent andRead More

Large format printer

Print is not dead: It’s still alive and flourishing in good marketing plans

When asked about rumors that he was dead, Mark Twain was often (mis)quoted as saying, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The great American author was in London at the time on a speaking tour when word first spread that he was seriously ill, followed by news of his death. One newspaper even printed Twain’s obituary. When an English correspondent for the New York Journal contacted him about the speculation, Twain delivered his famous quip in 1897.Read More

SAFETY STUDY: Time of day, size of firm play role in construction fatalities

Understanding why, when and how construction fatalities occur and helping construction firms implement the most effective safety measures in response are vital to reducing work-related accidents and deaths. To that end, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) conducted a study, Preventing Fatalities in the Construction Industry, during a three-year period in association with the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech University. Researchers studied every construction fatality during that time span. Best time for safety talks? The study dispels the beliefRead More

Action Camera on Helmet

CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE: Drone and action-camera footage takes marketing up a level

Looking to give your next marketing campaign a little more punch? Adding a vibrant photo or stunning video may do the trick. These images can be captured with conventional cameras by scouting a site to set up a shot with extreme angles or interesting lighting, but finding that perfect location takes time and capital. Another way to achieve eye-catching visuals is by adding a drone or an action camera, such as a GoPro, to your arsenal. Sweeping landscape shots, underwaterRead More

business women jumping from rock to rock that says "JOB"

How to keep a millennial on staff

Hiring and retaining millennials is a growing concern for companies across the country. Although they now comprise a majority of the work force, according to a Gallup poll, six in 10 millennials are currently open to exploring new job opportunities, So, why the unrest? Part of the reason is the ability to search for a seemingly infinite number of jobs wherever, whenever. There are thousands of positions listed across dozens of job sites, so why would employees limit themselves toRead More

ConExpo Trade Show Floor

TRADE SHOWS: An excellent way to reach your target market

Social media and the Internet have changed marketing’s landscape throughout the last few years. Many companies are relying more on these avenues to get their brand’s message in front of customers. They can be effective, but how sure are you that your target audience is seeing what you want them to? Traditional forms of marketing, such as industry trade shows, are an excellent way to “see the right people.” Individuals attending these events are specifically looking and in the marketRead More

Wordle in Crown Image

6 ideas for reusing your content

One of the newest buzzwords in marketing and promotion is “content” (aka, stuff you’ve created or paid to have created, such as articles, videos, photos, graphics, etc). So, once you’ve gone to all that work and expense, make the most of your efforts – reuse it! Here are some ideas on how to repurpose the content you already own, and some reasons why you should take advantage of this treasure trove of information that’s at your fingertips: Post it onRead More