Safety classes draw the smallest audiences every year at the World of Concrete and also at the American Society of Concrete Contractors’ annual meeting. At the ASCC Concrete Executive Leadership Forum (CELF) last week, I was involved in a discussion on this topic and the question was simple: why? The contractors were adamant that it’s not because they don’t take safety seriously. Perhaps classes on safety don’t generally present anything new—they tend more to be scoldings about why safety is important. Learning about new management techniques or the newest materials and equipment seems more urgent. The CELF group agreed that good safety isn’t a program or a device, it’s an attitude. Maybe you can’t go to a safety class to learn an attitude!
Congress has passed and the president has signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a rare bit of bipartisan progress. This comes at an opportune time for the construction industry and we need to make sure we get our share—construction industry insiders are busy at work on that right now. The need for trained workers seems like something we can all agree on, although we all know there will be bitter fights over how that happens.
The ASCC Concrete Executive Leadership Forum in Santa Fe, N.M., in July was another successful affair. Since the program was put together last spring, one of the speakers, Ben Sasse, became the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska—meaning he is likely to win. He talked about the coming disaster in the federal budget due to the impending cost of baby boomer retirees’ medical and social security programs. My favorite quote was that the Democrats seem to only have dumb ideas while the Republicans have no ideas, except to say no.
Architecture of Tilt-Up
The Tilt-Up Concrete Association is marketing a new book called TILTWALLISM by Jeffrey Blaine Brown. Although this book tends towards the architecture side of the business, it includes hundreds of photos and drawings arranged in a unique and fascinating way. Brown explores the history of tilt-up (or, as he calls it tilt wall), the possibilities of tilt-up, and some case studies of unique projects. If you’re interested in tilt-up at all, you should check it out. You can watch a short, edgy video from TCA here.