COVID-19: Legal Resources from PDCA Law Firms



What we once considered normal no longer exists. The COVID-19 pandemic which has gripped the globe is requiring cancellations, postponements, closures, quarantines which present mounting quagmires to society as we know it.


PDCA has compiled legal resources from some of the PDCA Member law firms which have developed online guidance for employers and businesses. These law firms work extensively in construction, contracts and employment law. Business owners, human resources officers and families can find useful information within the links below. The current state of affairs around the world presents everyone a lot of uncertainty. Hopefully the provided legal documentation can help you understand some of the changing laws, grasp legal complexities that might relate to your business or simply give you definitions to some of the terminology that is regularly used in news reports that continue to bring coverage of the COVID-19 health crisis.

2020 DFDTA: Pile Testing Technical Seminar Concludes

Orlando, FL (March 13, 2020):  PDCA, in collaboration with Pile Dynamics, Inc., presents DFDTA to practitioners in deep foundations. It is a multi-faceted, technical conference which begins with a one-day seminar titled Deep Foundation Integrity Testing and Wave Equation Analysis followed by a two-day workshop titled High Strain Dynamic Foundation Testing.  At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees can opt to take the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test, a 90-minute, multiple-choice exam that covers the theory of Wave Mechanics, Case Method (PDA) equations, data quality assessment, data interpretation and basic CAPWAP analysis.

The first of the two 2020 DFDTA events took place March 11 - 13, 2020 in Orlando, FL. Twenty five different companies from throughout the world sent employees to gain the valuable, technical training. Six PDCA Member companies including Braun Intertec, Fugro USA Land, Inc., Geostructural Engineering, Gerhart Cole, Insight Group and Terracon, sent staff for the three day seminar. Garland Likins and Ryan Allin of Pile Dynamics, Inc. conducted all programming. 


 

Spotted: PDCA Members at CONEXPO - CON/AGG

The highly anticipated, 2020 CONEXPO-CON/AGG has come and gone. As it is billed, it was a major industry event attracting more than 100,000 men and women from all over the world who work in the construction industry. PDCA Members were present at the event, both as exhibitors and as attendees. Here are a few of the Members and other industry partners who were caught on camera during the March 10-13 event in Las Vegas, NV:

     

PileDriver magazine: From the Ground Up - a Career Story

 Career Story on Dylan André, Patriot Deep Foundations
 By: Jess Campbell


Dylan André is a lover of the outdoors, so it makes sense that he would get into a job that allows him to work outside. With a degree in construction management from Louisiana State University, André has worked in construction since graduating in 2012, but is new to the deep foundations industry.

"I didn't get to work in deep foundations until I came to work for my current company, Patriot Deep Foundations, which was only about a year and a half ago. So, I'm pretty fresh," he said. "But I absolutely love it."

Coming to work for Patriot may have been an easy decision for André, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any hesitation. Patriot had just formed their deep foundations division and André was very up front about his lack of knowledge. Yet his boss, Patriot Deep Foundations president Kevin Gourgues, encouraged André to take the leap.

"It was scary to say yes to the deep foundations opportunity," said André. "I said to Kevin, 'Man, I don't know anything about this.' And Kevin said, 'Look, you ain' got a thing to worry about. You sit next to me and I'll lead you to the promised land. I'll teach you everything I know and you'll learn from the people around you.' And that's exactly how it's been the last year and a half."

It's clear that André is grateful for every learning opportunity that comes his way, no matter who it's coming from. As project manager and estimator, he works with many different types of people. But he's always willing and open to learning from everyone, which he feels is an important aspect of being successful at the work he does.

"I don't look at it like there's a hierarchy and the superintendents that I work with work for me. Those guys know way more than I will probably ever know. It's been fun learning the ropes from people who have years of experience and know what they're doing."   Continued, read the remainder of the story in PileDriver magazine.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

PileDriver magazine: Managing the Unmanageable

 
 Workplace safety in a cannibas revolution
 By: Bob Morgan, Esq. and Rick Kalson, Esq., Benesch Law
 Photo credit:  openrangestock/123RF

 T
here are now 33 states that have legalized medical cannabis and 10 that   have legalized recreational cannabis, with more soon to come. Many of   these state's laws have employer protections for safety-sensitive jobs, and   generally allow an employer broad discretion to enact and implement   zero-tolerance policies. For example, Arizona allows employers to   discipline an employee for possessing or using marijuana on company   premises or during work time, even if that employee is authorized to use   medical cannabis (A.R.S. Sec. 36-2814(B)). However, note some contradictory caselaw in states such as Rhode Island (See Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics, C.A. No. P.C. 2014-6680, where an employer was found to have violated the state medical cannabis law for failing to hire a job applicant that had a medical cannabis card and stated she could not pass a drug test) and Connecticut (Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC, 2018 WL 4224075, at 1, D. Conn. Sept. 5, 2018, where an employer was found to have violated the state medical cannabis law when refusing to hire a medical cannabis patient who tested positive on a pre-employment drug test).


Notably, the vast majority of cases have ruled in favor of employer discretion regarding whether to discipline or terminate medical cannabis users. Even when anti-discrimination provisions were implicated, courts have consistently left open the possibility for an employer to take action against medical cannabis users in safety-sensitive positions (See Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC 12226; July 17, 2017).

On its face, these decisions make sense. There are some industries where workplace drug testing is increasingly rare such as in the technology sector where millennial workers are more in-demand and others where the employer approaches cannabis as a substance scientifically less harmful than alcohol or more dangerous drugs. Yet, safety-sensitive positions such as construction sites, medical facilities and large warehouses will always require more stringent workplace standards.

Read more in PileDriver magazine...

Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

A Pile of News - March 2020

A Pile of News: March 2020

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars! 2020 Events South Carolina Chapter Driven Pile Technical Seminar, March 19, The Citadel, Charleston Pacific Coast Chapter sets 10th Annual Scholarship Shoot, registration open for April 17 event.

Coming to your city: PDCA will be hosting The Houston Social on April 9 and The Midwestern Meet-Up: Chicago on April 23. Both are FREE networking and social events for members and non-members; PDCA will give a short program about forming new Chapters in both regions.

Northeast Florida Chapter Luncheon Meeting, May 19, World Golf Hall of Fame, St. Augustine
PileDriver magazine, Issue #1 for 2020 is now live; click here to read the digital edition.

Rep the industry PDCA swag and educational resources are available at The PDCA Store. Always include #PDCAdriven on your social media for your chance to win free merchandise.

Activate!   If you haven't already, bring your 2020 member dues current. Or join at the same link. 
 
News from PDCA Members
Acquisitions
  • American Engineering Testing, Inc. of St. Paul, MN acquires Strata, grows western footprint 
  • ECS acquires Atlanta Environmental Management, Inc., incorporates into ECS Southeast LLP
  • Sunroc expands pile driving operations with purchase of Salt Lake City-based DDF Corporation
  • Terracon has acquired Skelly and Loy of Harrisburg, PA
  • Universal Engineering Sciences merges with GFA International, adds six more Florida offices
Anniversaries
  • Frank Black Pipe & Supply Co. in McPherson, KS celebrates 65 years in business
  • Service Steel Warehouse reaches 55 years in distribution from its Houston home
Is it football season yet? At their Super Bowl-themed potluck, GeoStructures, Inc. employees wore their favorite NFL jerseys. Winning the Best Jersey Contest was Paola Sequeira, who sported a throwback Buffalo Bills #32...do you remember who made that famous?
 
Football Part II: When the Chiefs returned to Kansas City, MO (or is it KS?), the Super Bowl Champs paraded before legions of loyal fans. Sunbelt Rentals also got to strut their stuff during the event.
 
Rock On: Among celebrity deaths this year was Neal Peart of Canadian rock band Rush, which dominated radio in the 1970s. We share a music video from Louisiana's Deep South Construction and Salvage showing their team in action to a soundtrack featuring Rush's 'Working Man.'
 
Goat Yoga in 2021? Employees at GeoEngineers in Redmond, WA compete in a planking challenge.
 
Starring with ScarJo: Last month, we wrote about Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE)'s domination of New York City intramural volleyball...now, we learn they were in an Oscar-nominated movie. See how an MRCE instrumentation installation appeared in a film called Marriage Story.
 
Scott Bridge Company of Opelika, AL contributed to what is described as "the largest project in Birmingham's history" a reconstruction of downtown's I-59/I-20 interchange. The ribbon is now cut and the new interchange is open to traffic. Company VP Bill Scott participated in the grand opening this winter along with other contractors and VIPs, including Congressman Gary Palmer.
 
People on the Move
Greg Fischer, PhD, PE becomes president at Seattle-based Shannon & Wilson, effective this spring; he succeeds Gerard Buechel, PE. At GeoEngineers of Redmond, WA, Ty Graham is the new CFO and Rick Heckel, PE is the new principal in Nashville. Golder appoints Andreas Rothe as Global CFO to succeed Lee Anne Lackey, who retires. Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. names new vice presidents; Michael Derr, PE in Pennsylvania and Donny Sousa in New Jersey. Syed Raza joins EXP as VP in California.
 
More: Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) appoints Andrew MacLeod, PE geotechnical department manager in Baltimore; Michael Venezia, PE and David Anderson, PE become principals. GZA Environmental, Inc. adds Gustan Taylor to the Detroit office. Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering of Columbia, SC expands, names 300th employee Fred Wright to oversee the new Lake City, FL office. Allan Korte tapped to lead new Florida Junttan office serving the Southeastern U.S.
 
New PDCA member, Shout-out 1: Baton Rouge-based Coastal Contractors, Inc. is a newly formed marine and bridge builder serving Louisiana. Industry vet and CEO Devon Overall opened in January.
 
New PDCA Member, Shout-out 2: Dallas-based Calsak Plastics named Scott Williams director of market development and Sean O'Leary manager in Los Angeles following the retirement of Steve Hankammer.
 
Other notes of interest:
  • Aradaman & Associates announced employee milestones, including Thomas Leto reaching his 50-year anniversary with the firm and Ethan Drew's receipt of his PE license in Florida.
  • John Haupt of AET is a Future City mentor in a Minnesota middle school; his team has designed a state champion sustainability project and qualified for Nationals. Help them get there!
  • Jim Dash of CarlsonDash in Chicago is named to the 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers list.
  • Clark Construction VP Megan Calhoun earns recognition from the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the region's Outstanding Women in Construction and Design 2020.
  • Dewberry CEO Donald Stone, Jr. will be inducted into The Citadel School of Engineering's Academy of Engineers. Also, EVP Craig Johnson, PE at the Fairfax, VA-based firm makes South Jersey Biz Magazine's 2019 Executive of the Year list.
  • Jannifer Anderson of ECS named to Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources workgroup on solar developments.
  • Reem Tanta of EXP achieves Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) designation.
  • Roy Morioka of Hawaiian Dredging Co. named to leadership series in Pacific Business News
 
Policy Matters
Trump Tackles T&I: The new budget from the White House proposes a hike in infrastructure spending
  • ARTBA releases analysis of Trump Administration FY 2021 Budget Request.
Decision 2020: Meantime, Presidential hopefuls appealed to voters on infrastructure policy during a Nevada campaign forum.
 
Investors take note: With new American infrastructure spending proposed by both President Trump and the Democratic U.S. House, there is renewed optimism for public revitalization dollars. InvestorPlace forecasts the top three infrastructure stocks for investors to consider.
 
State News:
 
Philanthropy
Matt Fogleman of ECS in Ashville, NC voluntarily judged the NAWIC Block Kids Building Competition.
 
Fugro in Houston volunteered with "Meals on Wheels" to assist immobile and senior residents.
 
Sealevel Construction Inc. wins the BIG Achiever Award from the Bayou Industrial Group, which recognizes the company's active involvement in the Thibodaux, LA community.
 
Terracon awards $67K in grants to universities and non-profits; the recipient list is here.
 
Tammy Taylor and Rick Kushner, both from the Jacksonville, FL office of Universal Engineering Sciences, participated in the Fight for Air Climb in support of the American Lung Association.
 
Iain Laing from the John Lawrie Group is an avid fisherman. Due to rapidly decreasing levels of Atlantic salmon in the U.K, he joins the campaign of The River Dee Trust to reverse the trend.
 
Look Who Made the News!
American Journal of Health Promotion includes an op-ed by American SpiralWeld Pipe Company wellness manager Sheri Snow about the value of investing in employee health and wellbeing.
 
ENR includes Jim McLamb of Clark Construction as a Top 25 Newsmaker. In the interview, Jim talks about meeting an arena project deadline, just in time for a Metallica concert and the NBA season!
 
Geostrata magazine publishes Big Reputation, a poem by Katherine Zadrozny, PE, M.ASCE of AET.
 
HGTV's Extreme Makeover begins new season, which features action-footage of Sunbelt Rentals.
 
Investing in California Small Business names Forefront Deep Foundations Face of High-Speed Rail.
 
News4Jax regularly covers increased flooding mitigation and adaptation efforts in Northeast Florida; 25 states experienced record flooding in 2019. Terracon senior manager Tony Pooley provided the TV station expert analysis on tidal data and stressed aquifers in the Jacksonville region.
 
Pacific Business News prints photos of a Hawaiian Dredging Construction Honolulu condo project.
 
WBUR Public Radio-Boston features a story on a wetlands restoration project by GZA Environmental.
 
Thanks for reading 2020's third installment of A Pile of News; please keep sending and posting your company announcements. And don't forget to include #PDCADriven on your social media, you might be randomly selected to win PDCA logo merchandise from The PDCA Store
 
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Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

PileDriver magazine: Taking Better Project Photos with your Smartphone

By: Brian Fraley, Fraley Construction Marketing
Photo Credit: 

So you want to capture high quality photographs, but you lack the budget for a professional photographer or high-quality camera equipment? There has arguably never been a better time for amateurs to capture decent shots because of that little high-powered gadget in their pocket, the smartphone. 


While the importance of high-quality photographs has not faded, it's better to capture an acceptable photo of your work in progress than to have no photo at all. The following will serve as a foundation for aspiring smartphone construction photographers. 


1. Buy a smartphone with a quality camera
When it's time to buy a smartphone, make sure the camera functionality and photo resolution are among the criteria you consider. Today's smartphone cameras are competing with actual cameras when it comes to quality. In fact, Samsung has an ultra-high 64Mp to 108Mp smartphone sensor, which has a resolution equivalent to that of a high-end DSLR camera.

2. Adjust the settings
You're not aiming to become a professional photographer and the smartphone doesn't have as many settings as a traditional camera, so your best bet is to use the auto setting, which is usually the default. The only settings you might consider changing are High Definition Resolution (HDR) and flash. One of the benefits of digital photography is that you can compare shots using each setting right on the jobsite.

3. Get closer to the subject
One of the most common problems with construction photos is that the shot is taken from too far away. Zooming in with the smartphone is as simple as touching the screen with two fingertips and sliding them away from each other. Reverse the motion to zoom out. Getting closer to the subject can also help you to overcome lighting challenges.

4. Experiment with lighting
Lighting can be tough on construction sites, especially when you're down inside of a deep excavation. There are some situations where you simply can't get good photographs without supplemental lighting. The best you can do is to take your shots in the best lit portion of the site. You might also alternate between flash and no flash to see which delivers the best photos.

5. Edit your shots for perfection
One of the best things about digital photography compared to traditional photography is that you can edit your images. There are dozens of software brands on the market, but most will find the Photos app in Microsoft Windows 10 to be a perfect option. You can easily straighten, crop and lighten the photo to improve your results. For a quick fix, you can use the option "Enhance Your Photo" under Filters.


Read more in PileDriver magazine...
 

Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

Spotted: PDCA Members at 2020 ASCE GeoCongress

Minneapolis, MN (February 28, 2020): PDCA Members participated in the 2020 GeoCongress, an annual event from the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is designed to promote the geotechnical profession and enhance the career development of practitioners. The 2020 GeoCongress took place February 25-28 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Minneapolis, MN. It offered a large variety of educational and professional development sessions as well as opportunties for attendees to enjoy activities unique to Minnesota. Dave Christian who is an Olympic Gold Medalist from the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Hockey Team gave a keynote speech and afterwards signed autographs and stood for photos with several admirers such as Van Komerka of GRL Engineers. Also, Silas Nichols of the Federal Highway Administration demonstrated new virtual reality technology that is presently used in the field on geotechnical building projects. Evening fun was available to attendees; there was a Prince Party celebrating the late musician from Minneapolis and a group block at an NCAA Men's Hockey game between the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan.

In 2021, the PDCA Annual Conference, the ASCE GeoCongress, the DFI Annual Conference and the ADSC Annual Conference all combine into the International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo or IFCEE. That will take place in May in Dallas, TX. The GeoCongress set aside a promotional booth for IFCEE 2021 and the parties involved in the planning and coordination took the opportunity to work on the forthcoming, major industry event.

PDCA Members who call the Twin-Cities home were also on hand at the event to participate in various capacities. American Engineering Testing, Inc. brought several staff members, including Katie Zadrozny who co-presented at the break out session on ASCE's governmental relations operations and the production of the Infrastructure Report Card. Contractors Atlas Foundation Company and Veit & Company exhibited as did engineering affilate Braun Intertec.

Other PDCA Members who participated as event sponsors and exhibitors included Atlas Pipe Piles, DuroTerra, Equipment Corporation of America, Fugro Loadtest, Giken, Goettle, GolderGRL Engineers/Pile Dynamics Inc., Keller, Nucor Skyline and Terracon.

     

Pacific Coast Chapter "Annual Schloarship Shoot," April 17

The Pile Driving Contractors Association, PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter's  "10th Annual Scholarship Shoot" will be held   Friday April 17, 2020at Birds Landing Hunting Preserve, 2099 Collinsville Rd Birds Landing, CA.

Any companies and sponsors who would like to provide raffle prizes are appreciated.



We will have Spectacular Raffle Prizes including;
-         Winchester SXP Max
-         Beretta A300 12 Gauge Shotgun
-         CZ 457 American 22 wmr Rifle
-    Browning Buck Mark Camper 22 lr Pistol

Please bring with you:
-         A Shot Gun
-         A Bag or Vest to Carry Ammo

What We Provide:
-100 Targets and 100 Rounds of Ammo
- Ear and Eye Protection
- BBQ Tri Tip Lunch

To RVSP, contact Sarah McDaniel at Foundation Constructors, Inc. Office number (925) 754--6633, Fax (925) 625-5783 or email smcdaniel@foundationpile.com.
 

If you would like to be station sponsor please have your logo emailed to Sarah by March 20, 2020.
Registration starts at 8am and Shotgun start at 9am.
We look forward to seeing you all there.  

 

Posted in Chapter News.

New Chapter Officers in South Carolina

Charleson, SC (February 13, 2020): A busy start to 2020 for the South Carolina Chapter of PDCA which recently hosted its largest Oyster Roast to date and is presently finalizing details for the March 19th Driven Pile Technical Seminar. Chapter members and guests gathered February 13th at the Town and Country Inn & Suites, Charleston for the first quartly dinner meeting of the year. The meeting began as voting members ratified the new slate of Chapter officers and directors. That list follows:

Executive Committee

  • John King (Pile Drivers, Inc.) - Immediate Past President
  • Jason Moore (Palmetto Pile Driving) - President
  • Susheel Kolwalkar (The Insight Group) - Vice President
  • Andrea Edwards (Koppers) - Secretary/Treasurer
  • Kyle Jackson (Palmetto Pile Driving) - Asst. Secretary/Treasurer
Directors
  • Jim Challenger (Nucor Skyline)
  • Clif Hough (Cape Romain Contractors)
  • Derrick Bellamy (HDR)
  • Greg Canivan (S&ME)
  • Scott Nigels (Palmetto Pile Driving)
  • John Skinner (Parker Marine)
  • Simon Ghanat (The Citadel)
The evening consisted of networking and fellowship followed by a buffet dinner. New Chapter President Jason Moore (who also serves as the President of the national PDCA organization), gave a thorough and inspiring history on PDCA and discussed in detail the significant value it has brought both to the individual contracting companies in South Carolina and the driven pile as a preferred deep foundation method thoughout the region. The program began with a surprise presentation by President Moore and Kay Shealy to John King for his years of dedication to the organization (pictured below). 






Posted in Chapter News.