The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, October 05, 2018

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Survey: safety matters more on union sites

Construction firms that employ at least some union workers are more likely to perform safety best practices and undergo OSHA training than those with no union employees, according to the results of a biennial survey commissioned by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).

The Construction Safety Management Survey results also found that firms with union employees are larger and more likely to be involved in industrial buildings, high-rise commercial buildings, and non-building projects.

Ninety of the 334 firms that participated in the 2017 survey employed only union workers, while 109 had both union and nonunion employees, and 135 had only nonunion workers. The first two groups were combined to make up “union firms” in the survey results, which include:

*78.9 percent of union firms perform job hazard or safety analyses before construction starts, compared with 55.6 percent of nonunion firms.

*66.8 percent of union firms conduct “prompt/thorough” near-miss and incident investigations, compared with 49.6 percent of nonunion firms.

*75.9 percent of union firms designate “competent project safety personnel,” compared with 62.2 percent of nonunion firms.

*86.9 percent of union firms have a site-specific safety and health plan, compared with 68.9 percent of nonunion firms.

*63.4 percent of union firms require jobsite employees to undergo OSHA 10-hour training, compared with 50 percent of nonunion firms.

*71.7 percent of union firms require supervisors to undergo OSHA 30-hour training, compared with 54.5 percent of nonunion firms.

Additionally, union firms are more likely to use emerging technologies such as drones, wearable devices, laser scanning and robotics.

“The results confirm that labor-management cooperation is a win-win solution for improving safety management and safety culture at workplaces,” the study’s conclusion states.

State's jobless rate lowest since 2000

With a jobless rate that dipped to 4.1 percent in August, Michigan's jobless rate is its lowest since November 2000, and the decline was widespread throughout nearly all of the state's regional labor markets

In August 2017, the state's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. That half-point drop matched the U.S. jobless rate over the same 12-year period. The U.S. jobless rate was 3.9 percent in August, which was the same in July. The numbers were released Sept. 19 by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

"The state's unemployment rate decrease in August was primarily due to a reduction in the labor force as fewer individuals actively sought employment during this month," said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. "However, Michigan's labor market situation in 2018 has been positive."