Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.
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10 • JuLY 2014 www.concreteproducts.com Injury and Illness Prevention Program OSHA has moved its controversial Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) proposal to "Long-Term Action," which agen- cies reserve for items under development but for which no reg- ulatory action is foreseen until publication of the next regula- tory agenda (expected in October 2014). Based on the agency's public statements, I2P2 would require employers to implement internal safety programs that "find and fix" workplace haz- ards on a rolling basis under penalty of enforcement. If imple- mented, the I2P2 proposal could result in significant costs and compliance burdens and lead to "double-dip" citations (once under existing rules, and once under the new requirements), in addition to negatively impacting employers that already have effective safety and health programs. Other actions, rules OSHA also plans to move forward with proposed and final rules on a range of other issues of importance to the construction industry: a) Amendments to the cranes and derricks in construction stan- dard, proposed rule in July; b) Clarification of employer's continu- ing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness, proposed rule August; c) Vehicle backover injuries and fatalities, SBREFA Panel review in August; d) Updating OSHA standards based on national consensus stan- dards eye and face protection, direct final rule in September; and, e) Walking working surfaces and personal fall protection systems (slips, trips, and fall prevention), final rule in October. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ACT PROGRESSES Aimed at strengthening the nation's approach to businesses' hiring and training needs and increasing employment opportunities, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed the U.S. Senate late last month on a 95-3 vote. In a letter to Senators supporting the legislation, the Associated Builders & Contractors cited the importance of targeted and accessible workforce train- ing programs to address the expected 19 percent increase of number of wage and salary jobs in the construction industry to be added through 2018. ABC believes effective programs will be crucial in preparing new workers for con- struction employment, while supporting current craft professionals' career advancement opportunities. "WIOA is an important step in ensuring our workforce development system is capable of providing workers with the skills they need, and providing our nation with a workforce that can respond to economic demand," ABC Vice President, Government Affairs Geoffrey Burr told Senators. "Specifically, the legislation will ensure that small businesses, which create more than 65 percent of all new jobs in America, have the opportunity to participate in shaping the development of train- ing programs targeted toward available career opportunities. By serving their com- munities through local workforce investment boards, business leaders can become directly involved in shaping the development of job training programs and serve as an authority on training, skills and job opportunities in their communities." ABC also supported the legislation due to the decision to allow existing pro- grams that provide workers industry-recognized credentials, including craft train- ing programs, access to workforce investment funding. The WIOA removes existing language limiting certain green job training grants to only union-associated firms, leaving the 86 percent of employees in the construction industry who choose not to be union-affiliated unable to access funding.