The Construction Junkie blog has been a worthy finalist in recent Best Construction Blog competitions. This year blogger Shane Hedmond has truly improved an already excellent blog with some innovative ideas combined with consistently relevant posts.
His survey: The Top States to Work In Construction, is a fascinating project. He combines wage and cost of living data to rank the living standards of construction workers in various trades in the different states — and is continuing a series in state ranking order. Recently, he’s reached #4, Washington State, which it turns out is the only non-Midwest state in the Top 10. (I’ll be linking to some of the state specific posts for my regional publications — I think readers of Indiana Construction News, for example, will be interested in his report on that state’s number 10 ranking.)
This ongoing project is only one of several worthy topics covered in a truly wide-ranging blog, however.
The most recent post, for example, focuses on a legal challenge: Court Decision Says that GCs Can Receive OSHA Citations for Subcontractor Violations:
The blog reports:
A late 2018 ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that a violation given to Hensel Phelps Construction, a General Contractor, is valid, even though none of the form’s employees were directly affected by the cited safety hazard. The appeal overturns a previous court ruling from 2017, which stated that OSHA could not cite an employer such as Phelps. Phelps was cited for 1 willful violation, totaling $70,000 in fines, after the Austin, Texas area OSHA office received a complaint of hazardous working conditions, according to Safety and Health Magazine.
The citation explains that “four (4) workers were installing rebar during intermittent rain in an unprotected excavation approximately twelve feet and six inches (12’6″) deep by one hundred and fifty feet (150′) long, exposing the workers to a cave-in hazard. “ The workers subjected to the hazard were employed by a subcontractor hired by one of Hensel Phelps’ subcontractors.
OSHA’s Multi-Employer Worksite Policy was cited as the reason for issuing the citation to Hensel Phelps. In that policy, a “creating employer” is defined as “the employer that caused a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard” and explains that “employers must not create violative conditions. An employer that does so is citable even if the only employees exposed are those of other employers at the site.” That policy went into effect in 1999.
Construction Junkie also makes great use of videos. Here’s one posted in the blog: OSHA Releases 7 Videos To Help Prevent Falls in Construction
Overall I think you’ll find this blog to be well worth bookmarking. It certainly is a worthy entry in this year’s competition.