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Associations tackle safety challenge with initiatives and training services

North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Construction associations are stepping up their safety training initiatives after the North Carolina Department of Labor reported the doubling of the number of workers killed on the job in 2014, with a significant portion occurring in the construction industry.

The NCDOL reported that 44 people died in work-related accidents, up from 23 in 2013.  All of the victims were men, and all were classified as “laborers” – and disturbingly, 19 of the workers who died were on construction sites, 12 more than in 2013.

“Labor Commissioner (Cherie) Berry was right when she called these deaths tragic,” said Dave Simpson, interim president and CEO of Carolinas Associated General Contractors (CAGC). “We are working every day to offer the training needed to avoid these tragedies and we will be ramping up efforts in light of the latest numbers.”

NCDOL states that statistics demonstrate the majority of workplace injuries occur from improper training, failure to recognize hazards, and inability to execute the proper response to remain safe around those hazards. A majority of injuries occur the first week on the job.

“Safety is the number one priority for Carolinas AGC,” said vice-president of professional development Bill Stricker. “Our goal is for employees to safely return home to their families at the end of each day.:

Carolinas AGC said in a news release it is committed to removing obstacles to acquiring critical training by making training opportunities open to members and non-members for an affordable cost. In 2015, they will eliminate pricing obstacles by setting lower safety training pricing and make classes open to everyone.

“Carolinas AGC will ramp up promotional efforts for these courses to ensure employers and employees know they have these critical tools at their disposal. Our goal is to drive the number of deaths to zero,” said Stricker.

Alliance agreements with the North Carolina DOL and South Carolina LLR have been formed and Carolinas AGC will focus on changing negative outcomes by changing safety behaviors at this year’s safety conference. The Conference is scheduled July 30 – 31, 2015 in conjunction with the CAGC Divisions Conference and Industry Summit in Greenville, SC.

To further motivate employees to place utmost importance on proper safety, Carolinas AGC has created incentives for training and a safety culture through their annual safety awards programs and scholarship programs.

Meanwhile, both the Hispanic Contractors Association of the Carolinas (HCAC) and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Carolinas chapter have confirmed their own safety training initiatives.

            HCAC says it held an OHSA 10-hour training program on Jan. 19 and 20, focusing on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. The program also provided information regarding workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

The association says additional safety trainings are available on demand as a part of HCAC’s objective to ensure the worker’s knowledge about their workplace hazards.

As well, the ABC Carolinas chapter has an annual safety conference, safety awards, and training programs on safety topics.

Research Triangle: Chatham Park development to generate $154 billion over 40 years

A new study by North Carolina State University reveals that Chatham Park development will have a significant impact on the local, regional, and state economies, generating $154 billion over next 40 years.

The development will produce $80 billion for Chatham County, $140 billion for the Triangle region and $154 billion for North Carolina.

In addition, the development will create 61,000 permanent jobs in Chatham County, 99,000 permanent jobs in the Triangle region and 115,000 permanent jobs in North Carolina, according to the study.

Chatham Park is a 7,000-acre master-planned live, work, play sustainable community under construction in Pittsboro. With zoning approval for 22 million sq. ft of commercial, office, and civic space and 22,000 residential units, it will be one of the largest master-planned communities in the country upon completion.

Triad: $100 million Union Square at South End construction to start in March

Work on the first building for the $100 million Union Square at South Elm development is likely to start in March, Triad Business Journal reports.

The 90,000-sq. ft. facility will house nursing programs for UNC-Greensboro and N.C. A&T State University.

            Rentenbach Constructors was selected as the construction manager at-risk, and the three-story building should take 15 months to build.

Charlotte: Developer plans construction on 393-unit apartment tower over the Mint Museum

            Childress Klein Properties plans to start construction later this year on a 393-unit apartment tower over the Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte, reports Charlotte Business Journal.

The high-rise development would total 42 stories, including the museum building.

The firm hopes to start work on the tower in the spring, says Fred Klein III, a partner with Childress Klein.

News updates and information

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