Concrete Products

AUG 2015

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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8 • August 2015 www.concreteproducts.com New reports from the Risk Control, Claim and Actuary unit of Chica- go-based business insurance provider CNA examine growing prescrip- tion opioid abuse in the U.S. construction and manufacturing indus- tries, where an estimated 15.1 percent and 6.5 percent of workers, respectively, have engaged in illicit drug use. "Construction: Prescription Opioid Abuse" and 'Manufacturing: Prescription Opioid Abuse" incorporate CNA claim data to provide employers risk management strategies. "The opioid abuse epidemic is taking a toll on many aspects of the U.S. economy, including business- es' workers' compensation losses," says CNA Senior Vice President, Risk Control Bill Boyd. "The delay of returning injured employees to work can affect operations and, therefore, negatively impact a company's bottom line. Opioid abuse is a real and emerging risk for businesses to consider, and through these Risk Outlook [reports], I hope our cus- tomers will learn solutions to avoid return-to-work pitfalls." "By partnering with leading construction and manufacturing associations, we have seen increased concern about prescription opi- oid abuse, as well as how it increases worker injuries and business- es' losses," adds Senior Vice President, Middle Market John Tatum. "Many of these associations are developing programs to educate their members about the issue in order to provide the tools, training and resources they need to address opioid abuse in their own workplaces." "Construction: Prescription Opioid Abuse" can be obtained at https://go.cna.com/opioidabuseCONST.html; "Manufacturing: Pre- scription Opioid Abuse" at https://go.cna.com/opioidabuseMFG. html. CNA will continue to release Risk Outlooks on emerging topics for key customer segments. Underwriter tracks prescription drug abuse among construction, manufacturing ranks OSHA EFFECTS INTERIM CONFINED SPACES IN CONSTRUCTION POLICY In response to requests for additional time to train and acquire equipment necessary for compliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has postponed for 60 days a new Confined Spaces in Construction standard. During temporary enforcement period through October 2, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. Employers must be in compliance with either the existing confined spaces standard or the new standard's training requirements; those who fail to train employees consistent with either standard will be cited. Fac- tors indicating good faith compliance efforts include scheduling employee training per new standard requirements; ordering the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard; and, tak- ing alternative measures to educate and protect employees from confined space hazards. OSHA issued the Confined Spaces in Construction final rule in May, noting how it provides construction workers protections similar to peers in manufacturing and general industry, with some differences tailored to project sites. The standard includes require- ments to ensure multiple employers share vital safety information and continuously monitor hazards. PRODUCER, CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES LEVERAGE ADA ACCOMMODATIONS Alleging discrimination against employees protected by the Ameri- cans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against Wichita, Texas-based ready mixed producer OK Concrete and settled a case with Baker Concrete Con- struction, Houston. The agency contends OK Concrete broke federal law by terminating a mixer truck driver candidate who, after com- pleting training in March 2012, informed the producer of time off needs once his health insurance coverage became effective—owing to planned treatment for prostate cancer detected two months pri- or. EEOC charges that a decision to fire the driver was based on dis- ability discrimination, violating the ADA. Following a pre-litigation settlement attempt, the agency has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking back pay, compen- satory and punitive damages, plus injunctive relief. As the EEOC Dallas District Office presses the OK Concrete case, Houston District Office staff report that Baker Concrete will pay $58,000 and provide injunctive relief to settle a suit alleging failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a payroll manager claim- ing asthma as a disability. The contractor terminated the nine-year employee who, EEOC notes, sought to work at home "for a period following a bad reaction to chemical dust in the workplace." Human resources staff informed the payroll manager she could no longer perform her job and would continue having breathing problems upon return to the office, housed in an old building. The employer's alleged conduct, EEOC contends, violates Title I of ADA, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations unless to do so would impose an undue hardship. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS REGULATIONS Aggregate Heating Water Heating We are your high efficiency heating specialists.

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