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Effective this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors or importers (including ready mixed concrete producers) to adjust their Hazard Communication Plan. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association notes specifically that member producers need to change their Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS’s to a new 16-part format Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

In a weekly address airing November 16, President Obama cited the country’s gains toward energy independence, through increased oil and natural gas production, plus solar and wind power ramp up, concluding: “More good jobs. Cheaper and cleaner sources of energy. A secure energy future. Thanks to the grit and resilience of American businesses and the American people, that’s where we’re heading.”

Fall Protection once again leads the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top 10 most-cited workplace safety violations, which the National Safety Council announced last month in Chicago during its 2013 Congress & Expo.

Coal ash recycling in the U.S. was off 4.7 million tons in 2012 against the prior year, according to the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) “Production and Use Survey” released last month. Ash utilization has stalled after nearly a decade of growth of a practice that conserves energy and natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and safely keeps ash out of landfills and disposal ponds.

In the candor that marked his terms (February 2009–June 2013) as U.S. Transportation Secretary and in Congress (1995–2009, R-IL), Ray LaHood told cement and concrete interests assembled for this year’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) Showcase: “I believe that the time has come for America to say we need to be number one again, we need to fix up our bridges that are falling down, we need to fix up our roadways and we need to raise the [federal] gas tax 10 cents per gallon.”

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