OSHA is reminding employers to take precautions to protect workers from the potentially fatal effects of carbon monoxide exposure during the operation of portable generators and other equipment in enclosed spaces.
Carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, toxic gas – is produced by equipment that uses combustion to operate. Such equipment includes space heaters, compressors, power tools, pumps, furnaces, gas-powered forklifts, welding equipment and motorized vehicles. Symptoms of overexposure include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and tightness in the chest. Severe carbon monoxide overexposure can cause neurological damage, coma and death.
The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases during the winter months, when fuel-burning equipment and tools are used in buildings or spaces without sufficient ventilation.
OSHA resources include a pair of fact sheets, Using Portable Generators Safely and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, that address specific hazards related to use of the equipment and provide information on how to keep workers safe during operation.
The agency cautions workers to never use generators indoors or in spaces such as garages, crawl spaces or basements – even if doors and windows are open. Other tips:
- Make sure generators have 3 to 4 feet of clearance on all sides and above to ensure adequate ventilation.
- Do not place a generator near doors, windows or vents that could allow carbon monoxide to enter a building or an enclosed space.
- If a worker shows symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, get the worker to fresh air and seek medical attention immediately. Do not re-enter the area until it has been deemed safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.
Between 1992 and 2008, 22 workers were killed annually by work-related carbon monoxide exposure, according to a 2013 NIOSH study.
Insurance Associates (a Marsh & McLennan Agency Company) is proud to announce that they are expanding our dedicated claims team with the addition of Jennifer Wood. Jennifer comes to the agency with substantial experience that will allow her to champion clients’ workers compensation needs.
Jennifer has over twenty years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims. Prior to Insurance Associates/MMA, she worked with several major insurance carriers as an investigative case manager, lost time adjuster and resolution/litigation specialist. She has also worked for a large defense workers’ compensation firm as a paralegal. Jennifer’s prior experience as Senior Workers’ Comp Advocate at a large Baltimore, MD agency further enhances her strengths as a champion for our clients. At IA/MMA, Jennifer is responsible for ensuring that w/c claims are managed appropriately from first report through settlement. She holds regular claim review meetings with clients to assist them in reducing their reserves and costs while collaborating with our carriers to facilitate excellent claim resolutions and service. Jennifer holds her MD Property & Casualty license. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her son, traveling, bike riding and kayaking.
Applicants must be employees or a family member of an employee of NUCA of DC Member companies
APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 31, 2019
College Scholarship: $1,500 one-time grant
Eligible applicant: Current High School senior planning to attend an accredited 4-year university as a full time student as of Fall 2019. The NUCA of DC Scholarship Committee will consider applicant’s scholastic standing, ACT/SAT scores, extracurricular activities, career goals, past employment and/or leadership roles, essay, letters of recommendation. See more information and application HERE
Technical Education Scholarship: $1,500 one time grant
Eligible Applicant: Anyone who is planning to attend a technical school or approved craft training program in any discipline of construction. Applicant MUST be enrolled or accepted into an approved accredited program and must pursue a degree, certification or credential in construction-related program. See more information and application HERE
NUCA National Scholarships
NUCA National offers FOUR scholarships annually:
D.A. Foster Memorial Scholarship
$8,000 award ($2,000/year over four years)
NUCA $4,000 Scholarship
$4,000 award ($1,000/year over four years)
William & Shirley Burgett Scholarship
$2,000 one-time award
NUCA $1,000 Scholarship
$1,000 award ($500/year over two years for those enrolling in two-year programs) .
NUCA National Scholarship Eligibility: Any high school senior whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a NUCA member company in good standing at the time of the application deadline may apply. This includes dependents of employees of NUCA members, high school student employees of NUCA members, and dependents of NUCA Chapter Executive Directors. Submission Deadline: April 15, 2019. For Application and more information, click HERE!
The Washington DC Infrastructure Academy, a training program announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser, endorsed by local area utilities such as DC Water, PEPCO, and Washington Gas (all NUCA of DC Members!), is starting several new classes that have the potential to benefit DC area Utility Contractors.
A CDL Drivers class is beginning January 22 with 20 registered students. The last class had a 90% graduation rate, with 10/20 students obtaining their CDL license, so the pool of trained CDL drivers is growing! NUCA of DC representatives are in discussions with DCIA representatives to develop ways to help these graduates get the crucial on-the-job experience that is needed for our members to be able to hire these drivers.
Similarly, TWO auto mechanics courses will be taking place this training period, with one having already started and one starting on January 28.
A PEPCO-endorsed electrical worker course will be starting on February 4, and lasting 22 weeks. The graduates of this course will be trained in both underground and overhead electrical work.
Future courses under development include water and gas pipefitting.
As of now, many federal construction programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) have been directly affected by this shutdown. State DOTs across the country, uncertain of future federal funding, have been hesitant to authorize highway construction projects planned for 2019. For example, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation postponed accepting bids for approximately $137 million in projects because the state is uncertain of whether the federal share will be reimbursed. In Oklahoma, bidding for summer projects occurs in the first two months of the year, and an extended shutdown will adversely affect the summer construction season.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a notice earlier this week giving 50 state DOTs and the District of Columbia an extra $30 billion to start new federal-aid highway projects. However, the FHWA warned these agencies that if Congress enacts a short-term agreement to reopen the government, the states will have to put most of that money back in the interim. Some USDOT infrastructure entities could also be affected, such as Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD, formerly TIGER) grants, which draw from the general fund. USDOT just recently announced nearly $1.5 billion in BUILD grant awards, which have been slowed down due to the shutdown.
The shutdown is not only harming our country’s infrastructure and related agencies. Billions of dollars in post-disaster aid to cities and states have been delayed due to the U.S. Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) inability to issue guidance on how to apply for the funds. Additionally, many of our National Park System parks remain open but unstaffed by park rangers—leading to health, safety, and environmental concerns as trash and human waste pile-up, roads go unplowed, and historically prominent sites are vandalized. These park closures also have a direct effect on surrounding cities’ economies. Finally, thousands of ongoing transportation investigations, research, and engineering efforts are put on hold as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident investigators have been furloughed due to the shutdown.
In an effort to end this partial shutdown, the U.S. House of Representatives has begun to take up appropriation bills to reopen the Cabinet-level departments and affected agencies. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up:
- HR 267, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019, which provides $71.4 billion in spending, which is $1.1 billion more than the FY 2018 level and $23.3 billion more than the President’s FY19 budget request. The bill also provides for the release of $49 billion from both the highway and aviation trust funds. Under this legislation, there is $750 million in supplemental funding for Airport Improvement Program (AIP), $1 billion for BUILD Grants, and $2.6 billion for Transit Capital Grants (CIG).
- HR. 266, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019. The bill provides $35.9 billion to the USDOI and the EPA, including $63 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and $2.9 billion combined for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds—all of which are also equal to the current FY18 funding level.
H.R. 267 and H.R. 266 are effectively identical to the bill language passed by the Senate in 2018 in a “minibus,” or multi-appropriations bills package.
As negotiations between Congress and the President continue, ASCE’s government relations team will continue to actively encourage Members of Congress and the Administration to end this partial shutdown, which will put employees back to work, open our parks, and resume infrastructure projects. Then federal lawmakers can begin to advance legislation that invests in our country’s infrastructure, including an infrastructure bill. For our nation to have a complete infrastructure system and progress towards the future, Congress and the Administration must now work together to open up the government and resume our crucial infrastructure projects.
The current partial government shutdown is now the longest in modern history, and as it enters its 28th day, its impacts are increasing. This is a brief update on the situation, what lawmakers have done, and how this all might be resolved.
The shutdown has already affected infrastructure projects. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) delayed releasing funding for the Federal-Aid Highway Program, and as a result, Oklahoma delayed bids for some new projects. While FHWA released additional funding shortly after these reports surfaced, there is still a good deal of uncertainty for state transportation agencies that are trying to plan out their projects.
In addition to the consequences the shutdown is having on construction and infrastructure, there are also concerns about the effect it may have on the economy more broadly. The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers has revised their estimates and found that the shutdown is having a larger impact on the economy than they initially anticipated. Other economists have expressed concerns that a prolonged shutdown could push the economy toward a recession. This is not to say that the shutdown as it stands now will cause a recession, but that when combined with other factors, a protracted shutdown could certainly have a negative impact.
The shutdown is also taking Congress’ time and attention away from other priorities, including infrastructure. The longer the shutdown remains unresolved, the longer it will take for Congress to move on to other issues.
Our elected political representatives – both congressional and executive – remain dug in to their positions. Trump has insisted that $5.7 billion for border wall funding be included in any spending legislation and many Congressional Republicans have stood with him on this request. Congressional Democrats have remained united against Trump’s demand.
It’s not clear how the impasse will end. Negotiations between Congressional leadership and the President are essentially non-existent. There was a bipartisan group of Senators that was trying to find an agreement to temporarily reopen the government so that border security could be considered in Congress, but these efforts failed. This week, the House again passed legislation to temporarily fund and reopen the government, but the Senate refuses to take up this legislation.
It seems likely that the shutdown will only end when it has a significant impact on Americans, with the most likely candidate being related to something like air travel delays or cancellations. TSA agents continue to be responsible for conducting airport security, even though they had their first missed paycheck last Friday the 11th. Some agents have begun to call out because they are unable to afford transportation or childcare while they are required to work without pay. The more disruptions the shutdown causes, the more Americans will feel its effects, and Congress and the White House could really feel pressure to make a deal.
We will continue to keep you updated on the shutdown and any effects we are seeing on our industry.
DC Water is embracing a new set of six core values and will immediately move towards reshaping itself to operate more streamlined and businesslike under a strategic plan and realignment announced by Chief Executive Officer David L. Gadis.
Under the new plan, called The Blueprint, DC Water will better meet future challenges, improve service to customers and support One DC Water – known as Team Blue, said Mr. Gadis.
“This new blueprint is straightforward and sensible and it will get our organization to a better place to serve our customers,” said Mr. Gadis. “We’re going to do more to help customers and improve their experience interacting with the water authority.”
Under The Blueprint released by Mr. Gadis, DC Water will drill down on six strategic program areas as part of its service delivery. They are: Driving Performance, the Employee Experience, Leveraging Technology, Operational Safety, Customer Affordability and Resilience & Readiness. At the heart of delivering on those broad services will be six distinct values that DC Water is embracing authority-wide: Accountability, Trust, Teamwork, Customer Focus, Safety and Well-being. DC Water employees also helped craft a new vision statement for the organization: We will be known for superior service, ingenuity and stewardship to advance the health and well-being of our diverse workforce and communities.
Today’s announcement was preceded by a top-level meeting of DC Water executives to review and discuss the new plan, as well as to lay out a plan for implementing it. Also, Mr. Gadis announced that he’s refined the leadership structure at DC Water to generate more focus on the customer experience from start to finish, and to reduce the number of departments to eliminate the silo effect.
Under the new organizational structure, DC Water will be streamlined into seven separate departments; Administrative Services, Finance & Procurement, People & Talent, Performance, Customer Experience, Legal Affairs, and Operations and Engineering. Most of that staff will work out of the consolidated new DC Water administrative building, which sits next to the historic main District pumping station on O Street, SE near the Nationals ballpark. More news on that structure is coming this winter.
“Make no mistake, DC Water will continue to be the best utility in the world. But by realigning ourselves we will be more unified, deliver a better customer experience and provide the best environment for our employees,” added Mr. Gadis before concluding: “This new organizational structure will foster a collaborative environment – One DC Water! – for driving performance and improving employee engagement.”
The dates for the 2018 Damage Prevention & Properties of Natural Gas Training are below. Formal training sessions include the review of natural gas properties, the 811 laws in each of our jurisdictions, safe excavation techniques, escalation protocols, and a demonstration of a natural gas fire in our Pipetown training facility. In addition, we train the excavator on the benefit and use of WG’s Enhanced Positive Response information provided on every locate ticket where gas facilities are marked.
Please note that Classes will be held indoors and outdoors, please dress accordingly.
6801 Industrial Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
Presentations are from 8:00 am to approximately 10:00 am
If attending-please RSVP to Jack Ellison @ (703)750-5128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional training is available upon request