January 2015

From Our Spotlight Sponsor – MD AGC!

In this episode of the MCN Podcast we MCN Podcast 130x130 Brownwelcome Mr. Erik Cartwright, Safety Director for J.F. Fischer, Inc. and Chairman of MD AGC’s Safety Committee.

MD AGC routinely conducts safety training for the benefit of their members and non-members alike. AGC’s safety committee is comprised of industry leading safety experts who maintain the highest level of professionalism. Meeting monthly, they work to ensure MD AGC members receive timely information and training necessary to the success of a construction company.

MD AGC is hosting a 4-day OSHA 30 training course on January 20, 22, 27 & 29th at the AGC offices in Lutherville MD. The course is specifically designed for safety directors, foremen, field supervisors, and other construction workers with safety responsibilities. OSHA 30 training is a broad spectrum training program that fulfills many needs for construction personnel. This program utilizes hands-on training and the latest in safety publications.

The cost of the program for MD AGC members is $225 and non-members is $495. Included are lunches and refreshments as well as the OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Manual, and all classroom materials. Contact Sue Battey at 410-321-7870 for more information about this or future OSHA training classes scheduled by AGC.

MD AGC 6th Annual Safety Awards Program

AGC members in good standing must provide a copy of their 1/1/14 to 12/31/14 OSHA 300A log to MD AGC by January 30th 2015. Awards are presented in 4 categories – 25% below the BS NAICS rate – improvement of safety incident rate by 25% or more from the previous year – members that have a zero lost time incident rate – and a First Time Participant award for all members who joined MD AGC in 2014 and have an incident rate 25% below the BLS NAICS rate. Companies can win multiple awards.

The award program is currently being planned, but the expectations are the awards presentation will be held in April or May of 2015.

 Globally Harmonized System

What you need to know NOW for your construction company.

GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It is a set of guidelines for ensuring the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials. The U.S. officially adopted the GHS on March 26, 2012. OSHA’s adoption is actually a revision of the Hazard Communication Standard to align with the GHS. OSHA calls this revision, HazCom 2012. The most noticeable changes brought by GHS for most organizations will be changes to safety labels, safety data sheets, and chemical classification. The GHS refers to safety data sheets as SDSs, dropping the M from material safety data sheets (or MSDSs) as most American companies are used to. The GHS also standardizes the content and formatting of SDSs into 16 sections with a strict ordering. Labels also look quite different, with 6 standardized elements that include specific language depending upon chemical classification.

GHS is meant to be a logical and comprehensive approach to:

  1. Defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals (although environmental hazards are outside OSHA’s jurisdiction)
  2. Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria
  3. Communicating hazard information in a prescribed and uniform way on labels and safety data sheets


In the United States, GHS adoption is under the domain of four agencies:

  1. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
  2. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  3. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  4. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

OSHA served as the lead U.S. agency on the classification of chemicals and hazard communication and adoption affects over 43 million workers in over 5 million workplaces. The DOT was actually the first agency to implement GHS and OSHA’s adoption brings the regulations between the agencies into greater harmony. The EPA is expected to follow closely on the heels of OSHA’s adoption with revisions to its own standards to bring them into alignment with GHS.

Adoption of GHS brings major changes especially around:

  • Hazard classification
  • Labels
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Training

The biggest costs to businesses will be to:

  • Re-classify all chemicals using GHS criteria
  • Re-author all Safety Data Sheets in GHS formats and produce GHS formatted labels
  • Train workers on new how to read new label and SDS elements, and newly identified hazards

While GHS has been formally adopted for quite some time, enforcement of GHS standards will begin on June 1, 2015. As a result, you must begin to make changes to your safety program, data sheets, and all related information and policies in preparation of the enforcement date. Of most importance is the fact that should you not be able to procure a new data sheet for a material/chemical you use in your business, it is imperative that you establish a paper trail which can prove you attempted to receive the updated material. Without this you will be in violation of the GHS and will have no recourse should your company be inspected from June 1st onward.

It should also be noted that the MD Dept. of Environment no longer requires construction companies to submit a chemicals list as has previously been the standard.

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Sticks & Bricks – Learn the Construction Process from the Experts

In this episode of the MCN Podcast, Rob speaksMCN Podcast 130x130 Brown with Michael A. Schollaert, Esq. a principal in Ober|Kaler’s Construction and Litigation Groups. Michael is promoting an upcoming presentation of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law titled “Stick & Bricks – Learn the Construction Process from the Experts” to be given on February 27th at Ober|Kaler’s downtown Baltimore offices.

Taught by leading industry professionals, this program presents a unique opportunity for construction lawyers and other construction industry participants to learn the key elements and terminology of all aspects of construction systems and technology – site work and foundations, structural steel, masonry, building enclosures, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and roofing systems. This program is designed to provide exceptional training for law firms and construction industry professionals, giving those new to construction the background information necessary to identify issues and to understand the technical context in which those issues arise. However, this program can benefit anyone in the construction industry, regardless of experience, if they wish to better understand issues of critical importance.

The schedule for the event is:

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m. Welcome & Introduction
8:40 a.m. – 9:35 a.m. Site Work/ Foundations
9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Concrete
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Morning Break
10:45 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. Steel
11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. Roofing
12:35 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Luncheon
1:45 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. Masonry
2:35 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Afternoon Break
2:50 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Curtainwall
3:45 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. HVAC/MEP
4:40 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Q&A

The expert panel of scheduled speakers include:

Kimball Beasley, P.E. | Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc. – Princeton, NJ
Carl Hensler | Carl Hensler Consulting Services – Reston, VA
Kenneth M. Lies, AIA | Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc. – Willowbrook, IL
Christopher P. Pinto, P.E. | Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. – Philadelphia, PA
Charles Russo, P.E. | Simpson Grumpertz & Heger, Inc. – Rockville, MD
Michael Schollaert, Esq. | Ober | Kaler – Baltimore, MD
Adam Snavely | The Poole and Kent Corporation – Baltimore, MD
Brian Wood, Esq. | Keller Foundations – Hanover, MD

Seminar tuition of $210* includes Sticks & Bricks, A Practical Guide to Construction Systems and Technology (retail value $119), a textbook published by the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, plus lunch.

*Forum Member Tuition (Advanced Registration Ends 1/26/15)

For more information and a program schedule visit: www.americanbar.org

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