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Road Builders project minor boost in 2017 highway, bridge activity

Total transportation construction and related market activity is expected to grow 1.3 percent in 2017, driven largely by increases in highway and bridge work supporting residential and commercial developments. American Road & Transportation Builders Association Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black projects spending to reach $248 billion, up from an estimated $245 billion in 2016.

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OSHA-recommended construction safety and health program practices

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction to help industry employers develop proactive measures keeping their workplaces safe. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who lack safety and health specialists on staff.

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International Trade Commission finds cause to investigate imported rebar

By a 6-0 vote last month, U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) members preliminarily determined there is reasonable indication that concrete reinforcing steel imports from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey have materially injured the U.S. rebar industry. ITC figures show shipments from the three countries totaled nearly 20 percent of the $4.5 billion in rebar U.S. concrete construction consumed last year.

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Cement elite endorse Climate Convention carbon-reporting codification

Members of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) under the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) concur with formal adoption of the United Nations-crafted Paris Agreement, under which signatory countries pursue long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures. A threshold crossed earlier this fall—where more than 50 percent of signatories took official action toward commitments affirmed at the December 2015 Conference of Parties in Paris—triggered last month’s commencement of GHG management protocols.

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OSHA updates workplace safety, health program practice guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has tailored its new set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving their workplaces. The document updates agency guidelines from 1989 to better reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. It features an easier-to-use format, and should be particularly helpful to small and medium-sized businesses, agency officials note. Also new to the document is a section on multi-employer workplaces as well as a greater emphasis on continuous improvement.

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