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Economist: Construction equipment sales bode well for nonresidential market

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Weighing new Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, ABC reports that nonresidential fixed investment—a gross domestic product category embodying nonresidential construction activity—expanded at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.2 percent in the second quarter, following a 7.2 percent jump in Q1. The expansion contributed more than 0.6 percentage point to GDP growth, due in large measure to increased construction equipment investment. The other two nonresidential fixed investment components—structures and intellectual property—also expanded, but at a slower pace.

Read more: Economist: Construction equipment sales bode well for nonresidential market

OSHA gives crane stakeholders another year for operator certification

Sources: National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.; CP staff

As industry observers hoped and anticipated, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has moved its crane operator certification deadline back a full year from a November 10, 2017 target. The compliance extension follows the agency’s early-July announcement that it would exempt operators of monorail hoists—also known as A frames and typically deployed in precast concrete delivery—from the crane operator certification rule.

Read more: OSHA gives crane stakeholders another year for operator certification

Noise control specialist acquires SoundBlox masonry proprietor Proudfoot

Source: Sound Seal, Agawam, Mass.

Sound Seal, a leader in acoustical and noise control products for industrial, architectural, commercial and construction markets, has acquired Connecticut-based Proudfoot Co., a pioneer in sound-absorbing concrete masonry.

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OSHA programs application for Form 300A data submission

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA plans an August 1 launch for the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), a web-based form allowing employers to electronically submit injury and illness data from their 2016 Form 300A. The agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking in June to extend the data submission deadline to December 2017 to afford affected entities sufficient time to familiarize the electronic reporting system, and the Trump Administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements.

Read more: OSHA programs application for Form 300A data submission

New FHWA index measures materials’ steady cost escalation

Sources: Federal Highway Administration; CP staff

The new National Highway Construction Cost Index, dubbed NHCCI 2.0 following major methodological revisions to improve accuracy, shows asphalt, concrete and metal prices rising 107 percent, 61 percent and 45 percent, respectively, from 2003 to 2016.

Read more: New FHWA index measures materials’ steady cost escalation