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Silica Standard Costs Vastly Underestimated

A new report released by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed silica standards for the U.S. construction industry will cost the industry $5 billion per year – $4 .5 billion per year more than OSHA’s estimates. The coalition cautioned that the flawed cost estimates reflect deeper flaws in the rule and urged the federal agency to reconsider its approach.

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Construction Employment Declines, Also Expands

Construction employment declined by 1,000 jobs in March but is still up by 282,000 compared to the prior year, as the sector's unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials noted that declining demand for residential and public sector projects offset gains in other areas to contribute to the overall month job losses.

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February Construction Spending Flat

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during February 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $967.2 billion, 0.1 percent (±1.2 percent) below the revised January estimate of $967.9 billion. The February figure is 2.1 percent (±1.6 percent) above the February 2014 estimate of $947.1 billion.

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More Than 61,000 Bridges Need Significant Repair

An analysis of the recently-released 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database finds good news and bad news when it comes to the most heavily traveled U.S. bridges. The good news is that there are more than 2,000 fewer structurally deficient structures than there were in 2013. The bad news is that it means more than 61,000 structurally deficient bridges are still in need of significant repair. And it is a problem that hits close to home.

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