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8 NISTi 150Protecting schools and their associated high-occupancy buildings from violent tornadoes is the goal of the first approved building code changes based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) technical investigation into the impacts of the May 2011 tornado that devestated Joplin, Mo.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a campaign at, contending that prevention of falls—accounting for 291 of 828 total fatalities in construction during 2013—hinges on three simple steps:


Associated Builders and Contractors’ new “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard” reviews and grades state-specific information significant to the success of commercial and industrial construction stakeholders. The site identifies states that have created an environment where merit shop contractors are well positioned plus those where strategic improvements need to be made in order to create a friendly business climate.

Under a new plan aimed at preventing and deterring crimes that jeopardize the health and lives of workers, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will work with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and Wage and Hour Division to investigate and prosecute endangerment violations.


19 LCTPi 150Backed by 16 major producers—nine with significant North American market stakes—the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) outlined a Cement Action Plan aimed at reducing worldwide industry carbon emissions 20-25 percent by 2030. The announcement was made last month in Paris during the United Nations Climate Conference. Also known as (Conference of Parties) COP21, the event was staged with the aim of securing commitments from nearly 200 countries, whereby carbon dioxide emissions are cut to levels at which global temperatures climb no more than 2°C by 2100—a benchmark below the levels embodied in conference participants’ pledged plans.