Five Revolutionary Innovations in the Construction Industry

In the past, the construction industry lagged behind other sectors when it came to innovation and new technologies. However, that is changing. Today, construction is fast advancing with countless new innovations.

The construction industry contributes greatly to the economic stability of the country. It is an investment-led sector and is quite diverse. Innovation in construction has the potential to have a major impact. Construction is defined as a creative industry and, as such, innovative problem solving will enable construction businesses to compete effectively in an increasingly competitive global environment. Continue reading “Five Revolutionary Innovations in the Construction Industry”

OSHA Delays Electronic Reporting to December 15, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) electronic reporting rule requires certain establishments to report information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. Under the rule, the first electronic reports were due on July 1, 2017.

However, on Nov. 24, 2017, OSHA issued a new final rule officially delaying the first electronic reporting deadline to Dec. 15, 2017. Affected establishments will need to submit their reports through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) website by that time or face possible OSHA penalties.

Action Steps

  • Affected establishments must create an account on the ITA website and submit information from their 2016 OSHA 300A form by Dec. 15, 2017.
  • Other deadlines under the electronic reporting rule remain unaltered. Therefore, affected establishments should begin their preparations to submit information from all 2017 OSHA forms by July 1, 2018.

Affected Establishments

OSHA’s electronic reporting rule affects establishments that:

  • Are already required to create and maintain OSHA injury and illness records and have 250 or more employees;
  • Have between 20 and 249 employees and belong to a high-risk industry; and
  • Receive a specific request from OSHA to create, maintain and submit electronic records, even if they would otherwise be exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements.

The electronic reporting rule applies to establishments, not employers. An employer may have several worksites or establishments. In these situations, some establishments may be affected while others are not.

To determine whether an establishment is affected, employers must determine each establishment’s peak employment during the calendar year. During this determination, employers must count every individual that worked at that establishment, regardless of whether he or she worked full-time, part-time, or was a temporary or seasonal worker.

Finally, a firm with more than one establishment may submit establishment-specific data for multiple establishments.

Reporting Requirements

The data an employer must submit and the timeline for submitting this information to OSHA depends on the establishment size.

Establishments with 250 or more employees will be required to submit information from their OSHA Forms 300A, 300 and 301. However, in 2017, these establishments will only be required to submit data from their 300A Form. Establishments in high-risk industries with between 20 and 249 employees will be required to submit information only from their OSHA Form 300A.

For the first reporting year, the deadline has been delayed to Dec. 15, 2017. However, the final rule that delayed the first deadline did not alter subsequent deadlines, so reporting deadlines for 2018, 2019 and beyond remain as shown in the table above.

Submitting the Report

The ITA is a secure website that OSHA created specifically for the data required by the electronic reporting rule. The ITA allows employers three options to submit their reports:

  1. Manual entry;
  2. Comma-separated value (CSV) file upload; and
  3. Application programming interface (API) transmission.

The ITA offers affected establishment instructions and sample files and templates to help them complete the submission process.

OSHA-approved State Plans

The final rule required OSHA-approved State Plans to adopt the electronic rule or “substantially identical” requirements within six months of the final rule’s publication date. The final rule was published on May 12, 2016. This means that OSHA-approved State Plans have the authority to adopt reporting requirements that go above and beyond what is required by the federal rule. For this reason, establishments located in OSHA-approved State Plan jurisdictions should consult with their local OSHA offices to make sure they are satisfying all electronic reporting requirements.

However, the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically:

All Employers:

  • California
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Public Employers:

  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York

Similarly, state and local government establishments in IL, ME, NJ and NY are not currently required to submit their data through the reporting website.

More Information

Contact Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC or visit the OSHA tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses webpage for more information regarding electronic reporting.

Passenger Drones Present Emerging Challenges for the Insurance Industry

A recent unveiling of a manned drone by the company Passenger Drones has advanced the concept of personal aircraft from the imaginary distant future to a certain reality. Last week, Passenger Drones unveiled its version of a two-person passenger aircraft that is successfully flying passengers. The car-sized drone is powered by 16 individual motors paired with propellers for stability purposes. The company plans to start producing the manned drones commercially next year.

The company is focused on producing its lightweight drone that can fly autonomously. It can also be maneuvered or controlled remotely. The company plans to build more prototypes and log additional flight hours before moving forward with their commercial production plans.

There are other companies like EHang, Airbus and Volocopter that are working on their versions of passenger drones. Manned drones can carry 200 lbs of payload and cruise at a speed of more than 35 miles per hour. They are designed to fly at 11,500 feet above sea level, making them ideal for short or medium distance transportation. Continue reading “Passenger Drones Present Emerging Challenges for the Insurance Industry”

FEMA Disaster Assistance for Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

FEMA issued this fact sheet to address confusion on whether proof of a denial of claims is necessary to qualify for FEMA individual assistance. The official notice states:

  • If you have flood and/or homeowners insurance and believe you incurred a covered loss, you should file a claim with your insurance carrier.
  • Though the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) does not cover additional living expenses, you may be eligible for this type of assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for your uninsured or underinsured disaster-caused expenses or serious needs, including temporary housing assistance.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, you are not required to provide evidence that your insurance company denied your claim for the disaster caused-loss to be eligible for temporary housing assistance from FEMA. (Note: You will still need evidence that you’ve been denied by your flood insurance for structure or contents losses if you’re seeking FEMA assistance for those losses.)
  • If you only have homeowners insurance that does not cover flood — and have sustained only flood damage — you are not required to submit documentation that your carrier denied your claim to receive FEMA rental assistance or financial assistance for real or personal property disaster-caused damage.

Download the fact sheet here…

Go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800.621.3362 to register for assistance.

Technology Drives Changes in the Energy Industry

The energy industry has a very broad scope, representing industry sub-sectors such as petroleum, gas, electricity, coal, nuclear power and renewable energy (hydroelectric power, wind power, solar power and alternative fuels.) Advancements in technology are enabling all sectors of the energy industry to operate more efficiently and reduce costs.

Technology is making tremendous changes in the energy industry. Advancements in technology will create the efficiencies that will enable oil and gas producers to remain profitable at widely varying prices. The market can fluctuate substantially very quickly, causing oil and gas producers to focus on getting costs down and increasing their output up by applying new technologies.

 

Continue reading “Technology Drives Changes in the Energy Industry”

Getting You Ready for the Storm

We are currently tracking the movements of Hurricane Irma. It is currently expected to reach southern Florida later this week and we are watching to see if it will shift toward the Mid-Atlantic States. As we have all seen with Hurricane Harvey in the past week, once a storm has been downgraded; it can still cause severe damage and flooding. We sincerely hope you, your business, and your family do not suffer a loss in this storm.

Now is the time to prepare and to remind you we will be here for you. The information below provides guidance for assistance should you sustain loss or damage from the hurricane. While we certainly hope for the best, we will be closely monitoring this storm and will be available to assist you should the need arise.

Continue reading “Getting You Ready for the Storm”

When you know a storm is coming, take steps to prepare.

When a hurricane or tropical storm turns inland, it may diminish in strength, but the potential remains for severe damage from winds and heavy rain. When you know a storm is coming, take steps to minimize damage and speed recovery.

First and foremost, take whatever precautions are necessary to protect yourself and your family. While property preparations are important, they’re not worth risking life or health. If you need to evacuate, do so, as long as you have time to reach a place of safety. Don’t be caught on the roads in your car or attempt to drive through water-covered streets. Once the storm reaches your area, stay inside, away from windows and possible flying debris.

If you have sufficient time, here are some simple things you can do to prepare your home or business:

PROPERTY

Clean out your gutters. Remove leaves and other debris, first by hand to get rid of the large particles and then with a scraping tool and water hose. This helps to prevent overflows that could cause interior damage.

Make sure downspouts and window drains properly guide the water away from the structure. Direct downspouts at least 6 feet from the foundation. Clear any obstructions.

Clear your yard of potential flying debris. Store lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles, trash cans or other loose items.

Protect your windows and glass doors. If you have functional shutters, secure them.

Move business and construction vehicles to higher ground. Keeping vehicles and other movable property out of harm’s way can shorten the downtime faced by your organization and get you back in business sooner after the storm has passed.

EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

Test your generator or battery backup. Be prepared for an extended power outage, especially if you have electrically powered medical equipment. Store extra fuel safely and only in approved containers. Don’t operate portable gas generators indoors or in enclosed spaces where it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Charge your cell phone and any extra batteries. Adjust settings to eliminate non-essential apps and preserve battery life. Store emergency phone numbers in your contacts, including family members, your doctor, your insurance agent and your insurance company’s claims phone number. Keep a paper copy in case you lose power.

Stock up on flashlights, spare batteries, food and water. Keep your emergency kit supplied with provisions for each family member. Don’t forget your pets. Keep extra diapers on hand for little ones.

Check your first aid kit. Keep it stocked with the basics to treat minor scrapes or injuries; in the case of a disaster, emergency medical services may be limited to life-threatening cases. Keep several days’ supply of prescription medications on hand.

Know where your emergency shutoff valves are located. In the event of damage, you may need to cut off electricity, water or gas.

GENERAL PREPARATIONS

Understand the coverage provided in your insurance policy. No one should be surprised that things like “flood” and “earth movement” may be limited or excluded under some insurance policies. If something isn’t clear to you, contact your agent and get an explanation of exactly what your policy will provide for you.

Store a copy of your insurance policy. It’s best to keep a copy offsite, in a safe deposit box or digitally in a location you can access from anywhere. If you must evacuate, take copies of key papers with you, including birth certificates, marriage records, property deeds, bank accounts, etc.

Identify the safe places in your home. Know where to go away from windows, skylights and glass doors in case the storm spawns a tornado.

Keep a home inventory. If a storm is imminent, it may be too late to thoroughly document your belongings, but even taking cellphone photos of each room can help if you need to file an insurance claim later.

For more information please contact us today!

Source: https://blog.cinfin.com/2017/08/30/storm-prep-know-storm-coming-take-steps/

How Metal 3D Printing is Staged to Impact the Manufacturing Industry

Metal 3D printing could change much of the world around us if it was fast enough, and cheap enough, for mass production. Now there is a production metal 3D printing system, powered by single-pass jetting that is both fast and cheap enough. At up to 100 X faster than a laser-based system, the first 3D printing solution for mass production is about to hit the market.

The printer works by combining two mass powder spreaders and one print unit into a single-pass system to both spread metal powder and print. Unlike past metal 3D printers, there is no wasted motion with single-pass jetting.

Continue reading “How Metal 3D Printing is Staged to Impact the Manufacturing Industry”

Google Glass is Back with Hands-Free Enterprise Edition

Despite past skepticism, the wearable display Google Glass is back. Google Glass was first unveiled in 2012; a select few could buy them the following year. But the site for Glass was shut down in 2015 after concerns about privacy and an overall scattered launch.

Google has unveiled a reboot as an enterprise focused product, called Glass Enterprise Edition (EE). This makes sense as the wearable head-mounted display has long held a place in the enterprise. It all started back in the shutdown days of 2015 when Google continued giving Glass to companies like GE, Boeing and DHL.  Google’s blog says the spectacles have reduced paperwork loads and improved efficiency everywhere they are used.

Continue reading “Google Glass is Back with Hands-Free Enterprise Edition”

Innovative Floor Joist System Saves Contractors Time, Money and Waste

Innovative fast floor joist systems are “greener” and save builders time and money. At the center of the fast joist system is a 150-foot saw that enables floor joists to be pre-cut to 1/16th of an inch, according to an assembly plan. Once the joist is cut, it is labeled with an ink-jet printer and then bundled. The joists are then delivered in packages to make it easy for builders to lay out each section according to plan. This enables the labor time to be reduced by approximately 60 percent.

There are many benefits to having a pre-cut floor system, including time savings and reduced waste. Contractors have discovered they were able to lay out a floor in 2 days that would normally require 6 or 7 days of work. It takes less than 5 minutes to lay out and install a floor joist because the process is so quick and easy when they are precisely pre-cut, saving a great deal of time and money in labor costs. Another benefit is that there is zero waste at the job site, making this system environmentally friendly and less expensive to clean up. Contractors using this technology are left with less debris, and fewer dumpster runs.

Continue reading “Innovative Floor Joist System Saves Contractors Time, Money and Waste”