March 2018

Today’s episode of the Maryland Construction Network includes newly released information from two Maryland government agencies.

First, the Department of Assessments and Taxation unveiled on March 12th the Maryland Business Express, a new website that will make it easier for Maryland’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to plan, start, manage, and grow their business. Accessible at businessexpress.maryland.gov, the new site combines information previously spread across many state agencies into one, easy-to-navigate site, while also providing a clear outline of the steps involved in starting a business.

Maryland Business Express also features a digital assistant designed to communicate with and deliver guidance to Marylanders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Since taking office, our administration has been committed to ensuring Maryland is Open for Business, and since that time, we have become one of the top states in the country for entrepreneurial business growth,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Now, Maryland Business Express will make it easier than ever to start a business, and will provide quick access to the many tools and resources that Maryland agencies have to offer to support our small business job creators.”

“Our Department’s goal is to allow Marylanders to interact with the state any time it’s convenient for them, and the new Maryland Business Express will move us closer to that goal than ever before,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “This new website will be a tremendous benefit to Maryland’s business community, and the feedback we receive will allow us to continually update content to better suit their needs.”

Over the past few years, SDAT has focused on making government services more accessible to the hundreds of thousands of Maryland businesses that interact with the Department annually. Recent efforts to provide more services online have resulted in dramatic improvements in processing times, including a reduction from 10 to four weeks to start a business. Today, more than 50 percent of all documents are filed online, 40 percent of which occur outside of normal business hours and 20 percent of which are done through a mobile device. SDAT’s online services process more than 250,000 transactions annually.

Second, on March 10th, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) released Additional Guidance including Model Policies and Updated FAQs to the recently implemented Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.

To date, the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance received more than 2,000 emails from employers and employees with specific questions about complying with the law. The most common of these questions have been compiled into a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document, available at www.dllr.maryland.gov/paidleave.

In addition to the updated FAQs, the department has provided an updated employee notice poster for your place of business, and model policies for your employee handbook or other employee benefits documents. These resources are also available on the paid leave website.

These documents will assist employers with compliance as well as facilitating a discussion with employees regarding their rights under the law. Responses are preliminary and subject to change. Please note that the department cannot provide legal advice regarding specific employer leave policies or employee exemptions under the law. These documents are for informational purposes and are intended to provide general guidance to employers and employees about the requirements of the law.

Further, Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2018.04 creating the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance to assist small businesses in complying with the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. Questions can be sent to this office at small.business@maryland.gov.

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This episode of the Maryland Construction Network contains two articles published in MCN’s February 2018 edition of Networked & Connected.

The first article, “Education & Awareness In The Context Of Cybersecurity”, was written and submitted by Allan Hirsh of Allan Hirsh Advisors. The article highlights some basic tips to protect your company’s data online.

The second article was submitted by Ro Waldren from his successful blog, “Ro’s Words of Encouragement.” “The Power of No” illustrates the positive impact receiving a “no” can have upon your sales approach.

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Electrical Safety—Toolbox Talk # 4

For more information about the Focus 4 Campaign and to access to all the toolbox talks (English and Spanish), click here.

Electrical Safety and First Aid Assistance

Actual Incident:

At approximately 4:15 p.m., an employee installing a ground conductor inside a 277/480 VAC 3-phase pan-elboard was shocked when his wrench came into contact with the “A” phase lug of the three-wire system. The employee sustained first and second degree burns from the arc flash created by the contact with the “A” phase lug. The employee was hospitalized and treated for these burns for more than one month.

Assistance:

  • Ensure your own safety, by making sure the scene is safe.
  • If possible, and if it is safe to do so, shut off the source of electricity.
  • Call 911 with explicit address & inform them the source of the current such as a downed pole, etc.
  • Do not hang up on the 911 operator until told to do so.
  • If you cannot shut off the source of electricity, attempt to move the source away from both you and the injured person using a dry, non conductive object made of cardboard, plastic or wood; all without placing yourself at risk of electrocution.
  • Begin CPR and use an AED if the person shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement until EMS arrives.
  • Try to prevent the injured person from becoming chilled.
  • Apply a bandage. Cover any burned areas with a sterile gauze bandage, if available, or a clean cloth. Don’t use a blanket or towel, because loose fibers can stick to the burns.

Source: The Mayo Clinic

 

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Electrical Safety—Toolbox Talk #3

For more information about the Focus 4 Campaign and to access to all the toolbox talks (English and Spanish), click here.

Be Aware of the Power Lines Where You Live and Work

Always assume power lines are energized. This includes power lines on utility poles as well as those entering your home or buildings. Always keep yourself, your equipment, and anything you carry at least 10 feet from power lines. Even though you may notice a covering on a line, NEVER assume it is safe to touch. Stay Away!

Ladders – Never stand ladders near power lines. When working on or near ladders, keep all tools, the ladder, and anything you carry well away (at least 10 feet) from power lines.

High Reach Equipment – Keep all cranes, scaffolding, and high reach equipment away from power lines. Contact with a power line can cause serious burns or electrocution. Remember to work a safe distance from all power lines. When performing construction activities, keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines and 34 feet from transmission tower lines.

Fallen Power Lines  -Keep yourself and others away from any fallen power lines. You never know when they might be energized. Call local utility provider right away and report the location of the downed wires. If a line falls on your car, stay in your car. If you must get out of the car, jump clear, do not touch any part of your car and the ground at the same time and stay clear of the fallen line.

Trees Near Power Lines – Do not climb or trim trees near power lines and keep children from doing the same. Hire a qualified contractor to trim trees near power lines. Contact your local electrical utility if you have any questions about removing limbs or trees near power lines.

Digging – You are required by law to call One Call at 811 to locate gas, electric, and other underground utility lines before you dig. Whether you are planting a tree, building a fence or laying foundation, contacting a line with a shovel or pick can damage power lines and injure or kill you or others.

Working Near Power Lines – Contact your local electrical utility if you are conducting any work or activity that may bring yourself, your equipment, and anything you carry within 10 feet of a power line.

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OSHA Focus 4 – Electrical Safety—Toolbox Talk # 2 “How Can We Prevent Electrocutions While Using Power Tools?”

Electrical Safety—Toolbox Talk #2 For more information about the Focus 4 Campaign and to access to all the toolbox talks (English and Spanish), click here. How Can We Prevent Electrocutions While Using Power Tools? What are the hazards? Bodily contact with electricity. What are the results? Shock, fire, burns, falls or death. What should we […]

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OSHA Focus 4 – Electrical Safety—Toolbox Talk # 1 “Precautions for Avoiding Electrical Shocks Include, But Not Limited to the Following:”

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