Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First 2014 Human Cases of West Nile Virus Confirmed

Landscapers and any outdoor workers alike need to be taking the proper precautions to prevent West Nile Virus. This Total Landscape Care article discusses the first 2014 case of West Nile Virus, as well as ways to protect yourself from it while working outside.

Total Landscape Care
The West Nile Virus is spreading as the first signs for 2014 appear.

The first 2014 case was confirmed when a Pennsylvania man was hospitalized due to the virus and has since recovered. The second case took the life a 75-year-old Louisiana resident.

The Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed a third human case of West Nile Virus for the season on Monday.

Landscapers need to be on the look out and be using proper protection while working outdoors, especially as more West Nile Virus cases are confirmed.

Landscapers should be using DEET-containing insect repellents and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing.

Continue reading this article here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just Not Buying It: Purchase of 'Green' Products Slows Down

Today, about a quarter of Americans purchase products based on their green reputation, but this number is declining. This EHS Today article discusses the projected future for consumers and green product consumption. 

EHS Today
A new study finds that “green” certification and brand reputation are playing a larger role for

Further, when making a product selection, about 30 percent of American consumers select products based on a company’s “green” reputation, and 25 percent look to see if the product has been certified by a leading certification organization.

The study also pointed out that while overall interests in green and sustainable issues are gaining ground, many green purchases and behaviors – including selecting green cleaning products and personal care and food products, and energy and water conservation – either are stagnant or in decline.
consumers when choosing products. The Shelton Group, a marketing and communications firm focusing on the sustainability and energy sector, conducted the study and found that 70 percent of consumers want “greener” products and corporate commitments to sustainability.

Click here to continue reading.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Resource Helps Practitioners Enhance Posture Assessment Practices in the Workplace

According to this CDC article, injuries to muscles, bones and joints from overexertion cost businesses billions of dollars per year. Reports have shown that conducting posture assessments at your workplace can prevent and control these injuries, making it a safer environment. 

Cover page for publication 2014-131
CDC
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, has released a new report that can help occupational health and safety practitioners more accurately and efficiently assess postural stress of workers performing their duties at work. The ability to conduct posture assessments in the workplace can assist with the prevention and control of musculoskeletal disorders.

The report, Observation-Based Posture Assessment: Review of Current Practice and Recommendations for Improvement, describes a research-based approach to classifying the severity of torso and arm posture. This approach has been demonstrated to improve the accuracy and efficiency of workplace posture analysis. Authors address enhancements such as the benefits of digital video, computer software, training and use of visual cues. Additionally, the report provides practitioners with useful tips for digitally recording and analyzing workers’ posture.

Click here to read more!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Battle Over “Green” Plastics Continues In The Building & Construction Industry

Those who were once resistant to alternative plastic building materials are now taking a second look! Consumers are realizing the benefits of many plastic building products for both interior and exterior uses. According to this Plastics Today article, builders are embracing these new products as well. 

Plastics Today
This week, David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, took the opportunity to rake the plastics industry over the coals while SPI and other plastics industry groups held their "fly-in" in Washington, D.C. In Levine's commentary, Plastic Industry's Faulty Lobbying Agenda that appeared in this week's issue of The Hill, he chided the industry for what he called "a brazen attempt to block progress."

Levine refers to the plastics industry's opposition to the LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building standards, and believes that the industry's time would be better spent on an agenda to "move away from toxic chemicals and toward safer chemicals and products using safer plastics."

This is an argument that is almost as old as the LEED standard itself. I can remember when I first began covering the International Builders Show (IBS) a number of years ago, there were a number of presentations from builders over whether or not to even certify any buildings that contained plastics construction materials.

Many would like to disallow a LEED certification to any building containing plastic materials, primarily because in the minds of many, anything "plastic" is a horrible material. The LEED competitor, Green Globes, has its detractors as well, who accuse it of pandering to not only the plastics industry, but to 'big wood' (the lumber industry) as well. We certainly can't have both - the plastics and lumber industries in cahoots in the "green" building industry!

To read more about this article, click here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Guide for Driving Sustainable Innovation Throughout a Construction Organization

There are two major types of innovation: Sustaining - smaller, incremental changes and Disruptive - game changing moves. Both types of innovation are discussed in this Construction Business Owner article. Learn what inhibits and inspires innovation in the construction field. 
Boegh, Flickr.com


The world is witnessing a new Renaissance. Just as Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo and Titian defined a generation of classical painting, sculpting, mathematics and literature, a new revolution surges in the world of business. For the last few decades, innovative business leaders have dramatically altered the landscape with groundbreaking ideas that have forever changed how the world lives.

Inventors and entrepreneurs toil tirelessly to invent the next big thing, while the iPhone, Facebook, Google, Instagram and Zynga dominate the headlines and inspire savvy businesspeople to create. Some of these creations, such as the iPhone and Facebook, have morphed from simple conveniences to necessity. What may sound frivolous—a platform people use to share every detail of their lives with their friends, for example—has managed to reshape the business world we see today. Imagine that 20 years ago someone told you that a firm such as Kodak would no longer be around.

Today’s innovative businesses managed to supplant many legacy giants that most likely had the same impact when they themselves began as fledgling start-ups. This phenomenon shows us that innovation and evolution are in some way linked.

Innovation in Construction
On the continuum of innovation, few construction firms would be confused for the likes of Apple or Google—comparing a construction firm to Apple is, well, apples and oranges.

However, the flawed thinking is not in comparing Apple and ABC Construction Inc., but rather, in failing to recognize that—regardless of the industry—every contractor can take a page out of the Google handbook. Consider the following questions.

To read the full article, follow this link.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Optrel Weldcap Reinvents the Welding Helmet with Radical, Casual New Design

A new take on the traditional welding cap has been featured in this ISHN article. With its revolutionary wear comfort, extensive field of view and lightweight design, it's no wonder why the Optrel Weldcap(R) is achieving high marks in comfort and design. 


ISHN.com
Optrel Inc., the global innovator of auto-darkening filter technology for welding helmets, has reinvented the welding helmet with a radical, casual new design: weldcap®. The new optrel weldcap combines the lightweight wear comfort of a baseball cap with the full protection of an autodarkening welding helmet. weldcap is soft where it needs to be comfortable, rigid where it needs to be tough — combined with an extensive field of view that expands a welder's line of sight by 2.7 times.

“We know that welders rank field of view and comfort as essential features in a welding helmet. The more comfortable the helmet, the more productive a welder can be. The wider the viewing area, the safer the welder can be,” said Renee S. Bessette, Vice President of Marketing and Operations. “weldcap raises the bar for the ultimate in wear comfort and protection. In our conversations with weldcap users, they are continually amazed by the field of vison they get in such a lightweight helmet.”

Weldcap takes an innovative approach in its design to achieve this revolution in comfort and vision.

Revolutionary Wear Comfort – weldcap’s lightweight, flame-retardant textile is soft where it must be comfortable and its robust plastic is rigid where it must be tough, while meeting the ANSI Z87.1+ standard for impact resistance. Its sleek, flexible design enables users to access confined spaces without hindrance.

To read more on this new welding cap, click here

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

3D Printer Constructs 10 Buildings In One Day From Recycled Materials

Would you believe it if someone said, "3D printers could someday be used to build skyscrapers from the recycled materials of other building?" Well that day is near! With the capabilities to build the shell of a 2,000 sq. ft. house in under 20 hours, this new technology could provide a tremendous breakthrough in the future.
Computerworld.com

A Chinese company has become the first to construct multiple buildings using 3D printers that extrude recycled building materials at breakneck speed.

Using four huge 3D printers, Yingchuang New Materials Inc. was able to print the shells of 10 one-room structures in 24 hours and at a cost of only about $5,000 per building. The buildings had to harden at the factory and then be transported and assembled on site.

The 3D printed buildings will be used as offices at a Shanghai industrial park.

The printers, supplied by WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, are 20 feet tall, 33 feet wide and 132 feet long.

Like their desktop counterparts, the construction-grade WinSun 3D printers use a fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology to deposit materials one layer at a time in a process that's similar to squeezing frosting from a pastry bag.

To view the full article and brief video, click here