PileDriver magazine - Attorneys examine COVID-19 vax in workplace

COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace

Eight considerations for employers

By: Lisa Griffin-Hodgdon and Jason Lambert, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
(Full article, originally published in PileDriver magazine, Issue #2-2020)

Three vaccines, one from Moderna Inc., one from Pfizer Inc., and one from Johnson & Johnson have been approved for emergency use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration [as of February 2021], and there are other vaccines in late-stage clinical trial phases. Employers across the country are contemplating whether to mandate their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment and evaluating the risks associated with mandating or not mandating the vaccine.

On Dec. 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance to assist employers considering mandating COVID-19 vaccines. The guidance addressed some of the risks employers must weigh in evaluating a mandate. In particular, it warned employers their COVID-19 vaccination policy could be impacted by other EEOC laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Below are common questions facing employers contemplating a COVID-19 vaccine requirement: [Click to keep reading]

PileDriver magazine - Issue #2, 2021

Check out the latest issue of PileDriver magazine

The latest news and information for professionals in the pile driving industry is now available in the digital edition of PileDriver magazine, Issue 2 - 2021. Check out the cover story which details a major, coastal project just completed in Florida. Poseidon Dredge & Marine recalls its experiences building the new Daytona Beach Riverfront Park Seawall Replacement using composite sheet piles. Read the full story starting on Page 106.

Other highlights include an all-inclusive guide to the International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo, or IFCEE-2021, coming up May 10-14 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas. Preview the more than 50 technical presentations, learn times for all PDCA standing committee meetings and see which of your friends will be onsite in either the indoor or outdoor exhibit areas. The full brochure starts on Page 43.

Norwalk Marine Contractors provides a fascinating account of a unique method it employed for foundation construction of a new condominium development in Connecticut. This technical story takes a deep-dive into the innovative construction method known as Timber Inclusion Systems, beginning on Page 102.

Past PDCA President Buck Darling brings a revealing commentary entitled Reputation Matters on Page 111. In it, the longtime president at Herbert F. Darling Engineering Contractors buttresses a narrative previously disseminated by Joe Hogan, CDT, VP of Building Services at AGCNYS.

On Page 115, Keller shares an in-depth look at its diversifying workforce through their story about a thriving employee resource group at Keller North America, designed exclusively to encourage women to build their careers with the geotechnical specialty contractor. Read KWIC Connections.

And a very timely, legal perspective is available on Page 120, it explores the pros and cons for employers to consider in regard to COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees. The authors Lisa Griffin Hodgdon and Jason Lambert are both partners in the Tampa, FL offices of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP; they provide valuable guidance through eight different considerations for employers in COVID-19 - Vaccines in the Workplace.

Don't miss the Career Stories of John Skinner of Parker Marine Contracting Corp. and Wystan Carswell of Haley & Aldrich. You can also read Member Profiles on GeoQuip, JD Fields & Company, Koppers Utility & Industrial Products and SJL Consulting.  Several other regular sections are also all part of PileDriver magazine, Issue #2 - 2021; click here to read it now!


Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

Join PDCA at IFCEE, May 10-14 in Dallas

In less than one month, the deep foundations industry will descend upon Dallas, TX for the triennial International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo, commonly known as IFCEE. This is a LIVE, week-long technical conference and trade show which takes place at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Dallas where more than 125 exhibitors will be spread across both indoor and outdoor exhibition areas. Meantime, there are more than 50 technical presentations at the various, designated meeting rooms and auditoriums within the conference facility available to conference participants. IFCEE happens only once, every three years; it is a collaboration of deep foundations construction association partners, the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA), the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors (ADSC), the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Registration is underway; enroll in IFCEE 2021 today, and don't forget to reserve your room!

While the event will feature a large variety of content directed at deep foundation construction, don't miss the following programs designed exclusively for PDCA members:

Live meetings of all PDCA standing committees at various times throughout the week

  • - A Tuesday morning short course on Working Platforms
  • - A Tuesday afternoon short course entitled PDCA Deep Foundations QC/QA for Engineers, Contractors and Inspectors
  • - The E.A.L. Smith Award Lecture honoring Dr. Frank Rausche
  • - A Thursday Invited Session on Vibrations featuring a presentation from highly regarded subject matter expert Dr. Cathy Aimone-Martin

Please contact PDCA if you have any questions about IFCEE 2021, please visit the show's website at www.IFCEExpo.com or call PDCA at (904) 215-4771. We look forward to seeing you next month in Dallas!


FREE Industry Update Webinar April 15th

A crew from Hal Jones Contractor finishes lunch break atop the construction barge on the St. Johns River; using an ICE-International Construction Equipment hammer, the contractor installs steel H-pile to support a new Jacksonville, FL floating dock.

UPDATE: This event has completed. Thanks to those of you who joined us April 15th for a FREE Industry Update webinar for PDCA members and other professionals in the pile driving industry. Please follow PDCA publications and watch your inbox for announcements of future events.

Do you need a break from that big project? Consider spending 30 minutes with PDCA for a FREE webinar that will provide important, timely information for deep foundations construction professionals. Plan to join us April 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. EDT for this Industry Update on considerations for pile driving contractors, equipment manufacturers, industry suppliers and affiliated engineers. This event is scheduled as a webinar presentation originating live from PDCA's Jacksonville-area offices. The prepared content will be limited to one-half hour, however PDCA staff will remain available for Q&A with participants after the webinar as-needed. This event is FREE for PDCA members and non-members.

The Industry Update will address the following:
•            New OSHA rule - piling rig operators face fine without certification
•            IFCEE - LIVE trade show, technical conference in Dallas May 10-14
•            Project of the Year - annual PDCA program entries due May 7

There is no registration necessary for the Industry Update. Please use the Zoom link below on April 15th at 1:30 p.m. EDT to Join this Webinar.


Project of the Year Entries Due May 7th

The 2021 version of annual program looks a little different, expands industry visibility

                      (Above: C.D. Perry and Sons, Inc. of Troy, N.Y., among the winners in the 2019 PDCA Project of the Year Program)

Jacksonville, FL (April 7, 2021): Time is running out if you intend to enter your work in the 2021 PDCA Project of the Year Program. Member companies are encouraged to submit projects in any of the following categories: land, marine, earth retention, engineering/associate and international. New in 2021, entry is FREE for PDCA members. If you are not a member, JOIN PDCA today. All entries are due to the PDCA offices by May 7th.

For more information on the the 2021 PDCA Project of the Year Program, see the graphic below. And for full instruction on all program terms and conditions, as well the ENTRY FORM, click the graphic to begin. The esteemed panel of PDCA judges eagerly awaits your submissions! 


A Pile of News - April 2021

A Pile of News: April 2021
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA
From the Association & Chapters
PDCA staff attended a March industry event where we met a New York-based contractor. He suggested OSHA has increased patrols for violators there, who operate LBCs and pile driving rigs without certification. Yes, certification for pile driving rig operators EVERYWHERE is now required (it'll be costly if you fail to provide it.) PDCA partners with NCCCO to administer written and practical exams; get certified today.

Industry events:
  • JOIN PDCA for a 30-minute webinar on April 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. EDT; it will deliver an industry update for pile driving professionals (use this link for access). PDCA members and non-members are encouraged to attend, no cost or registration necessary.

The PDCA Store now has select, archived PDCA conference sessions and educational webinars. Most are FREE to members; a nominal cost may apply to non-members. Visit today to see what is available.

Welcome (back) new PDCA members!
Contractors Black River Solar, Manson Construction Company, R. Kremer and Son Marine Contractors, Thatcher Foundations; Associates Buildbasematic, Favor Steel & Fabricating, John B. Wright Insurance, Sheet Pile, LLC, Sun Pile Foundations; Engineering Affiliates Applied Foundation Testing, RACE Coastal Engineering; Other affiliates McNeil, Silveira, Rice & Wiley, Timber Piling Council

Chapter news:
The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter is hosting a VIRTUAL 2nd quarter meeting on April 15.

The PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter is hosting its Annual Scholarship Shoot on April 30.

From the 'Wing T to the B-O-D: Veteran New Jersey contractor David Price, CEO at Linde-Griffith Construction Company, is the new Northeast Chapter representative on the PDCA Board of Directors. Meet the former NCAA All-American football player and 27-year pile driving veteran.

Ping-Pong, anyone? His road to Charleston had many stops, but Susheel Kolwalkar, Insight Group senior geotech, embraces it as home. Known for southern charm, he favors the unique geologic attributes for driven piles. Meet the table tennis aficionado and new South Carolina Chapter representative.
  • The South Carolina Chapter hosted its 2021 Oyster Roast on March 26, see event photos.

PileDriver magazine "Sales Ninja" Louise Peterson celebrates 20 years with PDCA publications partner!
Foundation Constructors, Inc., you are this month's winner!
Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of April to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Acquisitions & expansions:
On the job:
Atlas Foundation Co. installs a steel pipe foundation for a job in North Dakota; the photo depicts true "frozen tundra," a name often limited to Lambeau Field.

Baker GCI deep foundations staff perform test, production piling for Port Arthur, TX Valero refinery.

Black River Solar pokes holes in the Heartland; the crew installs foundation for Missouri solar farm.

Ciport & Tecnac installs foundations throughout Ecuador (see dramatic piling photos from South America); PDCA thanks the international contractor member for ongoing support.

Innovative Piering uses diesel hammer on 54 production piles for a northern Kentucky silo foundation.

Kiewit is brought into partnership for a study on concrete foundation installation on the sea floor near New York City for the planned Empire Wind project.

Logan Marine puts a test pile in the salt marsh, prepping for a new Shallotte, NC boardwalk. Fun fact the old Hardee's nearby was used for a robbery scene in the 2014 Melissa McCarthy movie Tammy.

Manson Construction Co. completed pile driving at Naval Base San Diego; they credit foreman Jeff Jenson for finishing installation of 216 concrete and 240 FRP piles a week early.

Massman Construction secures moorings in the Missouri River near Blencoe, IA as part of a new port terminal expected to accommodate 240,000 tons of ag products.

Pacific Pile & Marine can "pound it in," but diversifies like many contractors. In March, they "lifted it out" of Washington waters to assist the delivery of a new U.S. Navy tug that is headed east.

Palmetto Pile Driving has begun installing the PC/PS concrete pile foundation for a $71M, 12-story office building Morrison Yard in Charleston, SC; Insight Group is retained for geotechnical services.

Powell Foundations, Inc. drives H-pile for substation expansion and improvement of Hydro One in Ontario, a major electricity supplier to 1.4M people in the Canadian province.

Orion Marine Group engineers "take five" from ongoing work on the Maydell Bridge replacement in Tampa.

American Piledriving Equipment (APE) vibro is used to install sheet pile from Creative Pultrisions, Inc. for the Beaufort, SC Yacht and Sail Club.

ECA shows its Pileco D125-32 driving pipe at Woods Hole Ferry Terminal in Massachusetts; the final product should simplify your next trip to Martha's Vineyard.

GeoQuip, Inc. shares video of its Pileco D160-32 driving concrete cylinder piles for a VDOT bridge replacement in Franklin, VA.

PVE Equipment USA modifies the 120M to maximize the vibro's cooling while running 24/7; originally custom-built for a client, it'll soon be part of the rental fleet.

ECS Limited is the geotech of record for the forthcoming "jewel of Lake County" in Illinois; meanwhile, the firm's Orlando team consulted on construction of the new Pulse Nightclub Memorial.

Premier Geotech and Testing gassed-up the marshbuggy and dusted off the ATV; not for ol' fashioned, south Louisiana fun (this time), but for a complex testing job at a new compressor station.

Governmental relations:
  • Nucor CEO Leon Topalian repped manufacturing at reveal of ASCE Infrastructure Report Card on March 3. ICYMI, the U.S. earned a C-, equating to a need for $2.59 trillion public investment over 10 years. Congressional T&I leaders, Reps. Capito, Clyburn, Defazio, USDOT Secretary Buttigieg and a host of ASCE past and present brass appeared at the virtual event.
  • S&ME, Inc. client development leader and seasoned infrastructure advocate Sarah Martin provides analysis on the 2021 Report Card. Related, S&ME engineers Jonathan Thrasher and Melvin Williams presented Report Card findings to professionals in front of the South Carolina Capitol Building with George Washington looking on.
  • Do you live in one of 11 states with legislatures reportedly pursuing changes to fuel tax rates?

Giving back:
65 and counting The Interstate highway system was born by President Eisenhower's pen when he signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956. That year, PDCA engineering members Dewberry of Fairfax, VA and Robishaw Engineering Inc. of Houston established operations. In case you were curious, others celebrating 65 years in 2021 are The Hick from French Lick, Joe Cool, Arsenio! and Marcia Brady.
People on the Move
The monthly round-up:
  • Richard Rizzo retires as SVP at Clark Construction Group "after 40 years and 50 projects"
  • Nicholas Wendell begins as new EIT at Keller New Jersey office
  • Jose Gregorio Rodriguez is a new quality control coordinator for Powell Foundations
  • Susie Ingerson named HR director at American Engineering Testing, Inc.
  • Justin Castro joins Braun Intertec as CMT operations manager in Houston.
  • Ben Gramling new in client development, Talecia Dyson joins geotech unit at S&ME, Nashville
  • James Walsh appointed new president at Universal Engineering Sciences (UES); will oversee all 37 offices around U.S. from Orlando headquarters

  • Marry me, I'm a pile driver Kevin King, operator at Pile Drivers, Inc., weds Leanne Houston of Charleston, SC this month. A highlight of their engagement came in March when they modeled limited edition t-shirts from Kevin's employer in observance of St. Patrick's Day.

Generations quotable: "I asked my crane operator, Anthony, 'What's the longest pile you've ever driven?' He said, 'This one!' (Fun fact: Anthony has been a crane operator longer than I've been alive.)" said McCarthy assistant superintendent Brenton Hemp while onsite at Texas' Port Freeport with Anthony and a Liebherr crane, which are installing sheet piling from JD Fields and concrete piers.
Look Who Made the News!
ABC News 4 Charleston video shows Cape Romain Contractors onsite at the New Folly Beach Pier in the South Carolina city. Also, PostandCourier.com reports on their $8M pedestrian bridge project.

The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge quotes local Congressman Garret Graves scrutinizing the USACE, which stated that construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal may take an extra year. In March, we told you Coastal Contractors secured a part of this project to build a $9.5M bridge.

The Daily Aztec, student newspaper at San Diego State University, quotes Clark Construction VP Albert Valdivia reminiscing on the demolished football stadium; Clark won the contract to build a new one.

ENR updates progress on the new $187M Mulkiteo Ferry Terminal for the Washington DOT; an environmentally and culturally sensitive project on Puget Sound. Orion Marine Group completed pile driving early. Manson handled later-phase foundation work. It opened in December.
  • MORE: The Daily Herald chronicles Manson's removal of 275 old pilings, calls them "Lincoln Logs"
The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast (2/25) carries an interview with Tony Canale, P.E. of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers; it focuses on engineers interfacing in society.

Hawaii Business Magazine quotes Gerry Majkut of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company who previews 2021 construction; Honolulu Star Advertiser highlights the company's intern program.
Notes from the Field
Patriots past and present April 18 marks 246 years since Paul Revere rode horseback at midnight in Massachusetts to warn colonists of hostile British forces approaching. Fast-forward to now, a crew from Patriot Construction & Industrial worked through the night to complete a time sensitive project as hostile Louisiana storms were approaching, a demonstration of commitment to a client.

Burning the midnight oil  March Madness keeps us up late and the Cougars' Final Four berth busted this author's bracket. Speaking of UH, we send appreciation and encouragement to Brian Hancock, a purchaser at Flexicore of Texas. The 12-year Coast Guard veteran and current reservist is also working on his degree in construction management at the University of Houston. With that kind of load, it's a good bet he stays up late!

Field and Stream Check out this video of New Jersey wildlife in action at the Manasquan Reservoir; nice capture by crews at R. Kremer and Son Marine Contractors.

Watch for wannabe space pirates! Retired deep sea oil rig foundations are repurposed to accommodate space exploration. While advocating recycling, Eustis Engineering shares the fascinating news report.

Channeling The Man in Black As part of an ongoing improvement project for the El Dorado Irrigation District in California, Vortex Marine Construction has installed new freshwater intakes at Folsom Lake. Fans of Johnny Cash might be familiar with his legendary 1968 visit to the famous nearby prison, also called Folsom. It still sits just off the lake's southern shore. "Keep on movin'," people!
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