Workers and foreman uses virtual reality glasses

Construction goes high tech:
Wearable technology monitors health, safety, jobsite data

Nearly a decade ago, the use of electronic devices to transmit information about equipment operation earned widespread acceptance throughout the construction industry. Now called “telematics,” it was first used for tracking equipment. But, what about the health and safety of workers? Now there are ways to monitor that as well, with the use of wearable technology. At approximately the same time as machine telematics began earning favor, the advent of wearable tech occurred. Most people are familiar with it, thanks,Read More

Construction wages rising:
Firms paying more, but labor market remains tight

An Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis showed construction wages on the rise, which seems to be attracting workers to return to the industry. The organization cautioned, however, that labor conditions still remain extremely tight. “Many firms are boosting pay and taking other steps to compete for a relatively small pool of available, qualified workers to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s Chief Executive Officer. “While these measures appear to be luring construction workers back to the job market,Read More

Highway into city

Goal: No fatalities
Research suggests traffic-planning approaches would save lives

Research from the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Bank concludes that if all countries adopted a Safe System or Vision Zero approach to safety and traffic infrastructure, nearly a million lives could be saved around the world each year. WRI analyzed data from 53 countries and found that using Safe System tactics achieved both the lowest rates of traffic deaths and the largest reduction in fatalities in a 20-year period. The report, “Safe and Sustainable: A Vision andRead More

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

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

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

Tech working on machine

BUILDING THE FUTURE: New service tech training program

When Ann Pollert watched members of the inaugural class for the Komatsu Diesel Technician Program at North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, it was the culmination of 10 years of planning and an important step in helping the heavy equipment industry address its shrinking workforce. “This was a goal of ours for a while,” said Pollert, who is the Technician and Career Developer at General Equipment & Supplies, Inc., a KomatsuRead More