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2nd Quarter Lobbying Expense Report Filed Today - Thursday, July 24, 2014

 

The 2nd Quarter Lobbying Expense Report was filed today for NUCA PA with a total expenditure of $7,387.00.

 
House Bill 1607 - PA One Call moves out of House with Gas & Oil Exemption - Thursday, July 24, 2014

 

Two amendments offering PA One Call exemptions to mark their facilities were passed by the House of Representatives on June 22, 2014.  Read the amendmend bill here.

Roll Call Votes for Coal Exemption Amendment

Roll Call Votes for Oil & Gas Exemption Amendment

Open the files above to see how your Legislator voted!  A special thanks to those Legislators that voted nay on either or both amendments!

The bill is now before the Senate for consideration.  Please contact your State Senator and ask to remove both the Daley and Causer Amendments by reverting to the prior Printer's Number 2868.

 
2014 ASCE Report Card on PA Infrastructure! - Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Canceled Event - 2nd Annual Crab Feed - August 2, 2014 - Friday, June 20, 2014

 

 

Click on the icon to Learn More!

 
E-Verify: Ensure Employment Eligibility of Your Workforce - Friday, May 23, 2014

 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted Act 127 of 2012, known as the Public Works Employment Verification Act (‘the Act’), which requires all public work contractors and subcontractors to utilize the Federal Government’s E-Verify system to ensure that all employees performing work on public work projects are authorized to work in the United States.  NUCA PA informed our members of this law passing in 2012.

The Department defines a “Public Work” to be construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration and/or repair work other than maintenance work, done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of a public body where the estimated cost of the total project is in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) but shall not include work performed under a rehabilitation or manpower training program.  Learn more here about the requirements prior to bid award The Public Works Verification form should be included in either your bid or award packet for submission prior to you signing the contract. (See our Knowledge Now links in the right column).

Look for this type of language in your bid documents:

Bidder acknowledges that this bid is for a public works contract and bidder is therefore subject to the provisions, duties, obligations and penalties of the Public Works Employment Verification Act, 43 P.S. 167.1-167.11, which is incorporated
herein by reference.

The lowest responsible bidder must comply with the Public Works Employment Verification Act by submitting a Commonwealth Public Works Employment Verification Form to the public body prior to award of contract.

Enroll Here for E-Verify!

Our October Regional Meetings will be a presentation on this topic!

 
PennDOT backs out of Hoe Pac study with NUCA PA - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

 

At 3:45 p.m. yesterday, May 12, Mark Hilson. P.E. of Lower Paxton Township was informed that PennDOT has canceled the Hoe Pac Study with NUCA of PA. This comes just 4 days before our scheduled date.  All materials were ordered and a special size hoe pac was shipped in from another state.

Instead; PennDOT is doing an open-ended contract with PennState University's School of Engineering to perform the hoe pac study.  This is NOT what was agreed to with Sec. Schoch at our August 2013 meeting in Rep. Turzai's office.  NUCA of PA does not believe it is necessary to expend additional federal research funds when our initial testing done as a "dry run" was successful to at least an 18-inch lift using thin-walled culvert pipe.

 
Work Zone Awareness Tips - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 

As last week was National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police are reminding motorists to use extra caution in work zones to protect workers.  In 2013, there were more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones and 16 people were killed in work zone crashes.

Work ZoneWhen traveling through a posted work zone, whether active or not, motorists are required by law to travel with their headlights turned on.  Motorists that do not have their headlights turned on in a work zone are subject to a $25 fine. 

Active work zones are recognized with a sign that reads “Active Work Zone When Flashing” that includes a flashing white light.  The flashing light will only be activated when workers are present and turned off when workers are not present.  Motorists caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in an active work zone, or who are involved in a crash in an active work zone and are convicted for failing to drive at a safe speed will automatically lose their license for 15 days.  Fines for certain traffic violations are also doubled for active work zones.

Below are tips offered by PennDOT to ensure the safety of both motorists and workers in work zones:

  • Drive the posted work zone speed limit
  • Stay alert and pay close attention to signs and flaggers
  • Turn on headlights if signs instruct you to do so
  • Maintain a safe distance around vehicles and don’t tailgate
  • Use four-way flashers when stopped or travelling slowly
  • Avoid distractions and give your full attention to the road
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Be patient
 
April 2014 is designated as "Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month" - Wednesday, April 02, 2014


A House Resolution passed designating April 20144 as Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month.  Consider a Toolbox talk geared toward the PA One Call Law this month!!  Maybe ask the PA One Call Liaision in your areas to visit your office to give an excavator safety talk.  Check out the PA One Call System website at www.pa1call.org.

 
Check out our NEW EPA Widgets - Left Column of this page - Monday, March 31, 2014

 

Look up EPA information about your Water Shed, Brownfields and Water Grants using your zip code.

 
PennDOT readies for Hoe Pac Study - Monday, March 24, 2014

 

Today, PennDOT informed NUCA PA, now that the weather is cooperating, they are ready to look for possible dates to perform the Hoe Pac Study.  Mark Hilson, P.E. at Lower Paxton Township Sewer Authority is coordinating the study with PennDOT and NUCA PA.  Watch here for updates!

 
President's Speech Includes Infrastructure Investment - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
  1. The President reiterated the need to put people back to work through infrastructure investment.
  2. The President will be signing an executive order requiring all Federal Contractors- which could be some NUCA Members who work on Federal projects (Potentially Highway Trust Fund, Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects)- to pay employees a minimum $10.10 per hour.
  3. The President said that he would not hesitate to act, meaning sign Executive Orders, if Congress failed to act and compromise on these ideas.

The transcript of the speech can be found HERE.

 

 
Hoe Pac Ban is Lifted effective November 25, 2013 - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

 

PennDOT officially lifted the Hoe Pac Ban on November 25, 2013, through a strike-off letter signed by Deputy Sec. Scott Christie.  The ban requires inspection during trench backfilling along with new paperwork.  The maximum lift height is 8 inches.

NUCA PA, Lower Paxton Township Sewer Authority and PennDOT are working together on a study to consider lift heights greater than 8 inches.  Once the study is completed, we hope to see PennDOT increase the lift heights once all the documentation and results are analyzed.

 

 
We've Moved! - Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 

4400 Deer Path Road
Suite 106
Harrisburg, PA  17110-3908

Our phone number is the same.  Our normal fax number is working! 1-717-234-7955
 
3rd Quarter Lobbying Expenses Reported - Friday, November 01, 2013

 NUCA PA filed the 2013 Third Quarter Lobbying Report in the amount of $3,036.00.  The subject of lobbying was Construction, Infrastructure, Transportation and Utilities.

 
New regulations on lifting the Hoe Pac ban is being considered - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PennDOT has submitted the proposed regulations to the Federal Highway Administration for approval to lift the ban of the hoe pac.  We hope this is approved quickly so contractors and excavators can once again use the Hoe Pac within the PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit areas.

 
How to Use the PA One Call System to Help You - Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 

NUCA of Pennsylvania encourages excavators to use the online PA One Call Complex Project portal for water and sewer construction projects.  The benefits of this system are invaluable tools.  Mark outs as your project progresses will reduce ticket recalls and facility contacts and phone numbers for emergency situations are two BIG benefits from using the Complex Project Portal. Read the Guidelines here.

To learn more about how to use this Portal, contact the PA One Call Liaison in your region to schedule training for your company. 

 

Report any utility incidents through the PA Virtual Private DIRT system and save time from completing numerous reports. 

 

 
Two-track solution on hoe pac ban is offered by Sec. Schoch - Thursday, August 15, 2013


On August 15, members of NUCA PA along with the Governor's Policy Office; Senator Stewart Greenleaf's staff (R), Rep. Mike Turzai's staff (R), Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R) and Rep. Todd Stephens (R); Mike Grabnic of Allied Products; Mark Hilson of Lower Paxton Twp. Sewer Authority; and Heidi Hawkins of AQUA, met with Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch and Deputy Secretary Scott Christy to discuss the PennDOT hoe pac ban.

After NUCA PA presented our facts and figures and Rep. Quinn noted her frustration, Sec. Schoch offered to consider a two-track approach on the hoe pac issue. On one track, he will determine the appropriate lift of 4" - 8" with field inspections where if a 97% Proctor Nuclear Density test fails, the contractor will remove and replace the failed areas. In the meantime, on the second track, the department and NUCA PA will move forward with a study to determine if greater lifts than 8 inch lifts with 95% Proctor testing using the hoe pac can be achieved. PennDOT's research funds will be expended for the study.

The Secretary offered a reasonable solution noting his concern that PennDOT can assure the public of good highways with less available dollars.

Sec. Schouch will meet with his department heads and determine the appropriate acceptable lifts that can be used by contractors using the hoe pac in PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permitted (HOP) areas. NUCA PA expects this determination within the next few weeks.

 
E. Alex Paris testifies before Congress - Thursday, July 11, 2013

 

E. Paris Paris, NUCA PA President, testified in Washington, D.C., Tuesday in support of legislation proposing to streamline the permitting of pipeline projects related to the transport of natural gas.

Paris, who testified in favor of the bill, said, "delays in pipeline projects in the region have also caused layoffs and idled equipment for my company."

 
Business Scam Alert - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

 

Last week, the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) issued an alert to businesses across the Commonwealth. There have been reports from businesses receiving phone calls from individuals falsely claiming to be from the Department of Community & Economic Development or the PA Department of Business Development. These callers have been very persistent in trying to obtain personal and classified information. These claims are currently being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. If anyone has received a call like this, please contact the DCED.

 
Court Decision Strikes Down NLRB Poster Rule - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

 

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C.) Circuit invalidated a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule requiring nearly six million employers to post an 11-by-17 inch notice regarding employee rights to unionize.

 

In its decision, the court held that the NLRB did not have the authority under the National Labor Relations Act to issue the poster rule.


Read more about it here.

 

 

 
OSHA Issues Final Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Demolition, Underground Construction - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

 

April 23, 2013 - OSHA has issued a final rule that applies the requirements of the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction. Application of this rule will protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment used during construction activities. 

 “It is important that construction workers in these sectors receive the same safety protections as other construction workers,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “Extending this rule to demolition and underground construction work will help save lives and prevent injuries.”

 

 This final rule applies the same crane rules to underground construction and demolition that are already being used by other construction sectors, and it streamlines OSHA’s standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for underground and demolition work.  The rule also corrects errors made to the underground construction and demolition standards in the 2010 rulemaking.

 

 The final rule becomes effective May 23, 2013.

 
811 Safe Digging Month - Friday, April 05, 2013

 

 
2012 Dodge Construction Outlook - Mid-Year Update - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
PennDOT 408 Ban on Excavator Mounted Hydraulic Compaction Equipment - Tuesday, October 09, 2012

 

The attached report outlines NUCA PA's position supporting the use of excavator mounted compaction equipment.

Included in the Report:

An explanation of compaction, types of compaction equipment, field examples using three different machines for compaction - same results for compaction and no pipe deviations or pipes crushed.  Safety of workers in trenches and cost savings for project owners and citizens.

READ the REPORT HERE

 
U.S. bridge projects going to the Chinese.... NOT Americans - Monday, October 08, 2012
NLRB RULES THAT EMPLOYERS CANNOT PROHIBIT EMPLOYEES FROM DISCLOSING THEIR WAGE RATES - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

By:  Thomas E. Weiers, Jr., Esq


CHECK YOUR POLICY MANUAL!

Employers often have published company policies or work rules that prohibit employees from disclosing or discussing their wages and other benefits with each other.   These Employers generally believe that resentment and dissent could occur if employees start comparing their individual wage packages with each other. 

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in a decision dated June 7, 2012, in the Taylor Made Transportation matter, ruled that the employer violated the National Labor Relations Act when it terminated an employee for disclosing her wage rates with fellow employees in violation of a company policy prohibiting employees from discussing their wage rates with each other.  Read more here.

 
Judge Orders Construction Firm to Pay $59,000 for Trenching Violations - Thursday, February 23, 2012

Published by OSHA      Release Date: January 29, 2012
 
An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has found that Newport, Del.-based Daisy Construction willfully violated OSHA's trenching standards and ordered the company to pay $59,000.00 in penalties.
 
Dennis L. Phillips' decision resolves litigation that followed citations issued by OSHA based on a 2010 investigation. Two willful violations were failing to provide employees working in a trench with an adequate protection system to prevent cave-ins and protect employees by removing them from the unprotected trench. One serious violation was failing to instruct employees on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions. The company contested the citations, and the case was litigated before the commission.

The decision upholds the willful and serious classifications of the violations and it could become a final order of the commission on or about Feb. 13 unless a petition for appeal is filed.

"This decision is a victory for excavation workers who regularly face dangerous trenching conditions, and underscores the Labor Department's commitment to pursue workplace safety and health violators to the full extent of the law," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Philadelphia. "Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that proper precautions are taken to prevent cave-ins."

 

 
New OSHA Trenching Documents - Tuesday, January 24, 2012


OSHA recently published some new trenching documents
which are available for download in English or Spanish
from the OSHA website —
http://osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html

They include:
1. Quick Card – Working Safely in Trenches
2. Fact Sheet – Trenching and Excavation Safety
3. Poster – An Unprotected Trench is an Early Grave
These documents are worth taking the time to download,
copy and share with your employees.

 
Ban on Handheld Cell Phone Use Goes Into Effect Jan. 3, 2012 - Wednesday, January 11, 2012


On Dec. 2, 2011 the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The prohibition goes into effect on Jan. 3, 2012. NUCA PA Members may need to change their safety policies.  Policies are available to NUCA PA Members on the Member Help webpage.

 
We're still Working for You! - Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's official!  The Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association is now "Doing Business As" (D/B/A) NUCA Pennsylvania!  We aligned with NUCA National so our names are the same.

 
Transportation Funding Recommendations Presented to Gov. Corbett - Friday, August 05, 2011

 

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Committee this week presented the governor with recommendations that eventually would raise an additional $2.7 billion annually for the transportation needs of PennDOT, local governments and public transit agencies.  It also contains a number of modernization recommendations aimed at ensuring that PennDOT funds are spent as efficiently as possible.

The cost to a typical motorist – someone who drives 12,000 miles per year in a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon – would be only 70 cents per week in the first year, growing to about $2.50 per week by the fifth year.

A copy of the entire report is available by clicking here.  (40 Pages so download time is lengthy)

 
Get your USDOT Number - Thursday, July 28, 2011

 

All Intra-state trucks weighing more than 17,000 lbs must have a US DOT number and Mark both sides of the truck with the company name & US DOT number. 

Your US DOT number is FREE.  Go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/  at the Registration & Licensing Section, click on Register Online.

 
PUCA meets with PennDot to discuss Hydraulic Plate Compactors a/k/a "hoe packs" - Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today, PUCA members Bill Kukurin, Ron Monzo, Ralph Mase and Billy Kukurin met with PennDot representatives to discuss the PennDot policy to ban the use of excavator-mounted hydraulic plate compactors for compacting backfill in pipe culvert and trenches. 

PennDot agreed to review the policy to see if water and sewer pipes in DOT right-of-ways need to be included in the policy.  PennDOT will review  the causes that led to the policy and come to a determination (good or bad) within a month of our meeting.

 
Gov. Corbett signs HB 440 into law that provides insurance for different forms of business - Thursday, June 30, 2011


Signed into law on June 30, 2011.

 
Governor Corbett signs SB 1131 - Tort Reform Bill (Fair Share Act) - Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Signed into law on June 28, 2011.

 
Worker's Comp bill for sole proprietors, partnerships, or LLCs goes to Governor for signature - Tuesday, June 28, 2011


HB 440 amends the Workers' Compensation Act by providing for worker's compensation coverage to sole proprietors, partners in a partnership or members of a limited liability company. The bill passed the Senate on June 26, 2011 and awaits the Governor's signature. The last day for action is July 7, 2011.  Learn more here.

 

 
PUCA's Executive Director talks about Harrisburg's failing Infrastructure - Wednesday, April 20, 2011
PA Needs an Infrastructure Upgrade - Monday, March 14, 2011

 
Crane operators; initial rulemaking published in PA BULLETIN, Dec. 11, 2010 - Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PENNSYLVANIA BULLETIN Volume 40, Number 50
Saturday, December 11, 2010

Effective Date

This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Board will make applications available through its web site after the final-form rulemaking has been approved by the Office of Attorney General; however, licenses will not be issued until the final-form rulemaking is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Read the published rulemaking here.

 
OSHA 10 AND 30 HOUR ONLINE TRAINING COURSES - Thursday, November 04, 2010


The OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Construction Industry Outreach Training Courses are voluntary training programs intended to train workers in the basics of safety and health hazard recognition and prevention. The curriculum for these programs is supplied and approved by OSHA. Only approved trainers and online training programs are authorized to provide this training to workers and the OSHA completion cards often required by owners and general contractors. Many states are requiring that all workers have a minimum of 10 hours of OSHA-approved safety training. In some situations, project managers and supervisors must complete the 30 hour training.

NUCA now offers this training online. The courses are available in both English and Spanish.  In addition to the construction courses, the NUCA online training also offers general industry courses.  NUCA's online program gives students the flexibility to take one module at a time, rather than all at once; as long as all modules are completed within six months. Following completion, students will receive an OSHA Certificate in the form of a wallet card.  As always, NUCA members will receive a members-only discount on these training products!

For complete details and to place orders for the online training visit www.nuca.com and click OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Online Training Courses from the sidebar.

 
Seeing is Believing - PA Raw Sewage Video - Tuesday, June 15, 2010

 

 

See other similar videos of raw sewage dumping into PA waters:
Video1  Video 2   Video 3    Video 4    Video 5

 

 

 
PUCA Sends Letter of Opposition to House Labor Relations Committee - Monday, June 07, 2010

On June 4, PUCA sent an official letter of opposition to the members of the House Labor Relations Committee.  "This letter outlines the major issues PUCA has with the bill as written.  Read the PUCA letter here.

 
IRS Issues W-11 Form to Claim Payroll Tax Exemption for Hiring New Workers - Sunday, June 06, 2010

WASHINGTON — Two new tax benefits are now available to employers hiring workers who were previously unemployed or only working part time. These provisions are part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act enacted into law om March 18, 2010.  Employers who hire unemployed workers this year (after Feb. 3, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2011) may qualify for a 6.2-percent payroll tax incentive, in effect exempting them from their share of Social Security taxes on wages paid to these workers after March 18, 2010. This reduced tax withholding will have no effect on the employee’s future Social Security benefits, and employers would still need to withhold the employee’s 6.2-percent share of Social Security taxes, as well as income taxes. The employer and employee’s shares of Medicare taxes would also still apply to these wages.

In addition, for each worker retained for at least a year, businesses may claim an additional general business tax credit, up to $1,000 per worker, when they file their 2011 income tax returns.  Read the IRS Press Release here.  Learn more from these IRS documents:: HIRE Act Questions & Answers     FAQs About Qualified Employees

 

 
OSHA Introduces Severe Violator Enforcement Program - Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The new OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program that takes effect sometime this June focuses on employers who demonstrate repeated indifference to health and safety regulations, putting their employees at high-risk for serious injuries and even death.  Download the PDF describing the new penalty program:  - 2010 OSHA Increased Penalties

 
DEP APPROVES OVERHAUL OF NPDES PERMITTING REGULATIONS - Tuesday, June 01, 2010

An overhaul of the NPDES regulations and STORMWATER MANAGEMENT AND EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL were approved on May 17, 2010 by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB).  Chapter 102 pertains to Construction.  See June 15, 2010 EQB agenda to read the May 17 minutes.   Final Rulemaking: Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management May 17, 2010 Agenda.  

Also, learn more about the changes in RT Environmental's article in the RT Review.

 
PA Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Contractor to Recover "Downtime" Losses Against Gas Company - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

PA Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Contractor to Recover "Downtime" Losses Against Gas Company, Even When the Gas Company Fails to Accurately Mark Lines Pursuant to the One Call Act. 
Experienced contractors recognize that it can be difficult for courts to appreciate the manner in which construction work is performed in the field, and must also recognize the importance of ensuring that their voices are heard in the legislature. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that demonstrates both of these points. In Excavation Technologies, Inc. v. Columbia Gas Co. of Pennsylvania, 2009 WL 5103605 CPa., Dec. 29, 2009), the Court held that a Contractor may not recover against a Gas Company for "downtime" damages caused by the Gas Company's failure to properly mark the location of its underground lines. In doing so, the Court refused to apply its earlier opinion in the Bilt-Rite case to allow the Contractor to recover purely economic damages against the Gas Company, and directed contractors to look to the state legislature if they want to create a remedy for such damages.  To Read the Court Case click hereTo Read Kevin McKeon's summary of the Court's Opinion click here.

 


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