How Smart Highways Present Big Opportunities for the Aggregates Industry

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Built-in solar energy collectors. Traffic-predicting sensors. Space-age materials. Highways aren’t merely essential; they’re becoming cool.

Here, we look at some of the biggest innovations in asphalt, aggregates and highway building over the past few years. From ideas in the beta testing phase to those already implemented (and a few that failed), we explore the future of roadway construction, maintenance and durability — and where the aggregates industry fits into the mix.

 

When Did Highways Get ‘Smart?’

Smart phones, smart watches, smart cars: According to popular media, everything around us thinks even more than we do. Now, even the roads we drive on are getting “smarter.”

Smart highways that incorporate cutting-edge technology to save energy, improve safety and tackle other challenges may be an idea whose time has come. As Allie Kelly, executive director of the experimental Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway, notes, “In five to ten years, we won’t remember a time when we invested a dime in infrastructure spending for a road that only did one thing.”

The phrase “smart highway” is shorthand for an ever-growing collection of proposals to incorporate technology into the nation’s roadways. The goals of making roads smarter include generating energy, improving self-driving cars, offering more uniform lighting and monitoring road conditions.

river

Photovoltaic Pavement: A Bright Idea

The Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway is a stretch of Interstate 85 in Georgia. But it’s not just any stretch of interstate highway. “The Ray,” as it’s known, is one of the nation’s most active smart highway laboratories — and one of the first.

Currently, The Ray features photovoltaic arrays at rest stops in which solar panels charge electric vehicle charging stations, walkway lights and even the restroom facilities. Additional solar panels have also been installed in the roadway itself. The Ray was the first roadway in the United States to serve as a traffic-bearing solar road, based on designs from similar smart highway technology installed in France.

Results from testing along The Ray are promising for the aggregates industry, too: What works for highways may also work for other paved areas, like parking lots and walkways. In 2013, students at George Washington University’s Solar Institute partnered with Onyx Solar to install the nation’s first solar-energy-generating walkway.

Soon, even parking decks, buildings and other structures may also be able to offset their own energy costs with pavement that generates its own power.

 

Making Self-Driving Cars Smarter (and Safer)

Ask any personal injury lawyer, and they’ll tell you that roadway conditions play a major role in a number of vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Driver error plays an even bigger role, as Brad Gorski has experienced firsthand. By combining self-driving vehicle technology with smarter roadways, however, innovators seek to pack a one-two punch against roadway crashes.

In a 2013 TED Talk on driverless vehicles, Jennifer Healey noted that if vehicles could communicate with one another, they could both adjust speed, direction and other factors in order to avoid accidents. Two years later, Chris Urmson explained how driverless cars use their sophisticated sensor arrays to “see” the road ahead.

Smart roadways that incorporate road sensors combine these two ideas, integrating sensors into the roadway that allow vehicles to communicate with the road — and vice versa.

A number of test projects are already underway in southeast Michigan. General Motors is testing a feature that warns drivers and vehicles when a light is about to change, while bar codes on parts of Interstate 75 warn automated vehicles about construction site lane closures. Meanwhile, bar codes on the construction workers’ vests alert onboard computers that the workers are humans, not construction barrels.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” said Cadillac spokesperson Steve Martin. The possibilities for vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) applications seem endless. Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford, hopes that V2V and V2I systems will eventually make traffic gridlock — the feature of so many daily commutes nationwide — a thing of the past, eliminating not only the frustration but the risk of accidents and injuries that comes with it.

Sensor technology incorporated into roadways does more than just help driverless cars. On the Virginia Smart Road, sensors integrated into the pavement detect moisture levels, temperature, strain, vibration and weight-in-motion. The system collects this data for analysis and can also control other features on the road, including lighting and weather control systems and warning signs.

san-francisco

Beyond Sensors: Smart Highways for Simple Cars

Highways that can communicate instantly with driverless vehicles offer hope for the future, not the least of which is the power to combat driver distraction, as Tristan Harris notes. But certain smart features being integrated into today’s roadways are designed to help today’s vehicles — and their intelligent and entirely human drivers.

At Popular Science, Susannah F. Locke explores some of these options. Paint is a popular focus of research; glow in the dark paints that shine for up to 10 hours, eliminating the need for streetlights, have passed muster, and paint that changes color when temperatures are below freezing has been tested in areas prone to roadway ice and snow.

Other ways to incorporate energy efficiency into roadway design are receiving attention in South Korea, where students at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a magnetic-induction system that charges electric vehicles as they use the induction lane — and put it into operation on campus, where a bus already uses the technology, according to Wired’s Keith Barry.

 

Saving Energy on Smart Roadways

Energy production and costs place ever greater pressure on communities, businesses and individuals worldwide. Unsurprisingly, a significant amount of attention has been paid to making highways — one of the biggest sites of energy consumption — give back.

In addition to ideas like Korea’s magnetic induction system, photovoltaic cells in roads and walkways, and Daan Roosegaarde’s glow in the dark paint, other innovators are also seeking ways to improve energy efficiency in roadways. Electrical engineer Scott Brusaw used support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to explore using photovoltaics in parking lot applications.

The sun isn’t our only hope. At Green Car Reports, John Voelcker reports on technology that uses small turbines to catch the updraft from passing cars and use it as a source of energy, powering streetlights by attaching specialized turbines to each. The turbines are designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well, looking more like small works of art than like the future of roadway energy generation.

“Smart” doesn’t always mean high-tech, either. Smarter signs could make roadways safer: Gary Lauder’s suggestion for a “take turns” sign, used to replace some “stop” signs, could help save drivers’ time, energy and pollution.

city

Asphalt and the New Materials Building These Roadways

New materials for roadway construction are also being explored, taking traditional asphalt, aggregates and “glassphalt” to new applications. Wired’s Belinda Lanks, for example, explores options for alternative roadway materials, including recycled plastic bottles.

April Gocha of the American Ceramics Society discusses an updated “smart concrete” that embeds sensors, wireless connections and similar technology into pre-cast concrete panels. Dowel bars connect the slabs into an integrated modular system, creating a continuous paved roadway. Access ports in each slab allow the technology to be serviced without requiring the slab to be destroyed or replaced.

Noted benefits include ease of installation: Workers don’t have to understand complex technological details and can instead focus on their areas of expertise.

Applications of new materials for roadway construction could address many of the problems that weight and increased traffic cause on current roadways. They could also free up cement, sand and aggregate for other building applications.

 

Smarter Highways for a Smarter Future

Smart infrastructure has become a significant focus worldwide, according to University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute director Massoud Amin. It’s a concern not only for leaders like Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes, but also thought leaders like planetary futurist Alex Steffen, both of whom have given recent TED Talks on the importance of making infrastructure work for people and address upcoming global challenges. As long as the United States remains a vehicle-driven culture, smarter roadways will play a key role in this transformation.

Smart highways don’t just make environmental sense; they also make financial sense. As Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway director Kelly notes: “We don’t have to just talk about low or zero emissions; we can talk about revenue. Why miss an opportunity to leverage more for your investment dollar?”

Tom Blair, head of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Road to Tomorrow Initiative, agrees. “If their version of the future is realistic,” Blair says, “If we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves.”

For aggregates companies looking for the next step into the future, smart highways may be the way to go.

Images by: Denys Nevozhai, michael75, Wilson Ye, Joey Kyber

Safe Sites: New Site Regulations Area Managers Should Be Aware of in 2017

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female hand signing contract.

Due to shifting regulations, 2017 is shaping up to be a year of real uncertainty in the mining and construction industries. For executives and area managers who are simply trying to do their jobs, this uncertainty can be concerning.

We’re going to take a look at four regulations to keep your eyes on so you can stay on the right side of the law in 2017.

 

How to Navigate the MSHA’s Examination of Working Places Rule

On May 23, the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s new rule on examining workplaces will take effect. This will allow the MHSA to

  • conduct workplace examinations before work begins,
  • give notification to miners who are affected by hazardous conditions, and
  • have access to records of when and where examinations were carried out, as well as what conditions were found.

That all sounds fairly straightforward, but a couple of issues remain. First of all, will examinations conducted before someone’s work begins create new challenges?

“Currently, safety examinations must occur sometime during a shift, which could mean at the end of a shift when workers have already spent hours exposed to an undetected hazard,” Kristen Beckman writes at BusinessInsurance.com.

“The new rule specifies that examinations must occur before work begins in an area, but that requirement prompts questions such as how mines that operate multiple or overlapping shifts will schedule examinations.”

The bigger issue, however, is one that will come up a few more times below — will the Trump administration change all of these policies drastically?

“The industry now, with the change in administration, will be in a wait-and-see approach to see what happens,” Jason Nutzman, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl L.L.P., tells Beckman. “There is plenty of time for the Trump administration to pull it back, but it may not be high on their radar, so it may slip through the cracks.”

construction site at sunset

OSHA Enforcement Will Likely Change Under Trump

One organization that probably will not slip through the cracks is OSHA, which in October proposed 18 changes to its construction, recordkeeping, maritime and general industry standards.

The team at ConstructConnect has an excellent overview of what these changes would entail. Among 15 other changes, these would:

  • update the Mine Safety Health Administration’s standards on using diesel-powered equipment used underground,
  • require managers to ensure that cell phones can contact 911 effectively on the worksite,
  • and revise criteria for ascertaining whether a person’s hearing loss was work-related.

Legal experts, however, believe Trump administration plans for OSHA (which could include funding cuts) will reposition it as an organization that focuses more on compliance assistance and cooperation, not enforcement, Safety+Health’s Tom Musick writes.

Further, Justin M. Reese, assistant VP and senior risk consultant at HUB International, predicts that a 2015 rule allowing OSHA penalties to increase annually to essentially keep pace with inflation might get overturned, or at least undercut in power.

At state and city levels of government, regulatory measures continue to move forward. As Sally Goldenberg and Gloria Pazmino report at Politico, New York’s city council is in the process of introducing several bills that “would require additional safety training, mandate an apprenticeship program, address how fatalities are reported by the Department of Buildings and create a minority workforce task force.”

 

Where the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Directive Stands

An executive order from President Obama signed in 2014, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule was slated for repeal under President Trump.

That rule would have required contractors bidding on federal projects “to attest to whether they have had violations of the covered labor laws resulting in any ‘administrative merits determinations, civil judgments, or arbitral awards or decisions’ issued within the preceding three years,” the legal team at Littler Mendelson wrote in August. “It has been left to the [Department of Labor] to define the scope of such reportable violations or ‘labor law decisions.’”

Beginning this year, that EO would have required federal contractors and subcontractors to provide wage statements to employees and disclose any violations of 14 specific federal laws from the previous year, attorney Erik Dullea writes at The Contractor’s Perspective. In 2016, a federal district court in Texas hampered the order’s implementation, but now Congress is in a position to do away with it outright.

At the end of January, however, House Republicans introduced a resolution to overturn that EO, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America reports, and on February 2 the House voted 236-187 to overturn the resolution, which means it only now awaits President Trump’s signature for the congressional veto to become enacted.

two workers and quarry in background

Where the Directive Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Stands

Another EO from the Obama Administration that Republicans are targeting is the Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors order, which would have granted some 1.2 million people access to paid sick leave, AFCEA International says.

“The action arguably will improve the overall health and performance of the work force,” the organization writes. “Those who drag themselves to work coughing and sneezing — and infecting others — now can recuperate at home. The rule also brings the benefits packages of these workers in line with other companies, ensuring that federal contractors remain competitive employers.”

But Joe Davidson at The Washington Post reports President Trump intends to roll back that order, among several others. Those others, Davidson reports, include:

  • establishment of a $10.10 hourly minimum wage,
  • prohibitions against discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,
  • and a directive “to maintain Federal leadership in sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions.”

During any administrative turnovers in the White House, there is always some uncertainty in what laws apply and how they will be enforced. During the year, the dust will begin to settle, and some clarity will emerge.

In the meantime, decision-makers in our industry will have their hands full keeping up to date with what rules apply to them.

images by: ©nonwarit/123RF Stock Photo, ©sondem/123RF Stock Photo, ©wawritto/123RF Stock Photo

Mining Industry Recruiters: 20 Professionals that Companies and Job Seekers Should Know

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Investors and industry insiders are bullish on the mining industry’s prospects for 2017, which is good news for anyone looking to break into the industry, or looking for a new opportunity.

Whether you’re a fresh graduate, a mid-career professional looking to make a move up, or someone with a need for adventure on an international assignment, you will want to take a look at the list below. We’ve found 20 of the best mining and engineering recruiters in North America (plus one in Europe if you’re thinking it’s time for an overseas move).

 

Waseem Akhtar, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp

A veteran recruiter, Waseem Akhtar in Oakville, Ontario, specializes in placing engineers and engineering management professionals in mining and oil roles, civil engineering roles, and roles focused on working with contaminated sites. He manages a team of four other recruiters, all of whom have experience placing people throughout Canada.

 

Lacey Anderson, Modular Mining Systems

Lacey Anderson is Modular Mining Systems’ lead recruiter down in Tucson, Arizona, where for more than two years she has placed a variety of engineers, including mining engineers, project managers and even software developers. Her company has built hardware and software for the mining industry for nearly four decades, and it currently employs hundreds of people around the world.

 

Joe Arch, Arch Premier Search

An experienced HR and safety manager, Joe Arch founded his own recruitment firm in Omaha in 2012 to connect mining and metals companies with talented workers. Arch says his near-decade experience in the industry gives him a special insight into those companies’ needs. “By networking with mining and metals professionals every day, we have unique insight on what’s going on in the industry,” he says.

 

Jane Banks, Stratum International

With 18 years’ experience in international executive recruitment, Jane Banks is an excellent contact for any mining and metals executives looking for a new opportunity. Banks has over 13 years of comprehensive, hands-on experience exclusively in mining recruitment for corporate and operations roles, with over 600 completed searches within the mining sector.

 

Remco Doensen, Inter Find Recruitment

Anyone looking for opportunities overseas might want to speak with Remco Doensen in Holland, whose firm works with mining and engineering companies throughout Africa and The Middle East. Doensen’s specialties include geosciences, drilling, mine construction, engineering, mine operations and mineral processing.

 

Denise Dwyer, Kelly Engineering Resources

Denise Dwyer in Pleasanton, California, has more than 15 years’ experience as a corporate recruiter. Kelly Engineering Resources works across a variety of industries, but Dwyer brings to that team experience in engineering, plant layout, mining engineering, metallurgy and environmental placements.

Robin Harpe, Harpe & Associates, Inc.

An independent contract recruiter based out of Atlanta, Robin Harpe has spent more than three decades working in talent acquisition, during which time she’s offered HR consulting to more than 25 startups. Her specialties include cement manufacturing and heavy industry.

 

Mark Lempner, Midland Consultants

Mark Lempner in Northern Ohio is a logistics, mining and petroleum recruiter for Midland Consultants, a 44-year-old company that performs talent acquisition and placement in a variety of industries. Lempner’s own specialties include surface and underground mining professionals, environmental coordinators, and mine engineers.

 

Joline Lenz, The LENZ Firm

Veteran Bay Area recruiter Joline Lenz founded her own manufacturing-focused recruitment company, The LENZ Firm, which has offices in Northern California and Denver. “Every time I visit a manufacturing company/plant, I’m always amazed by the innovation, technology, and the people I meet,” she says. “Over the last two decades, the evolution of technology, systems, and the marketplace has been drastic. The only unwavering factor that supports the industry with its ongoing success is the people.”

 

Sarah Lightner, Geotemps, Inc.

Based in Reno, Nevada, Sarah Lightner has three decades of experience helping people launch careers in natural resources and mining jobs. Since April 2015, she has served as the direct placement manager at Geotemps, which works with companies in hard rock mining, coal, oil and gas, geothermal, and several other sectors.

 

Bob Lundblad, The Recruitment Group, LLC

Bob Lundblad in San Diego is the founder and CEO of The Recruitment Group, a firm that focuses on the IT, engineering, construction and natural resources sectors. “My core recruiting philosophy is networking based,” he says. “Whether it be through my own assignments or in helping other recruiters and colleagues, my goal is to be a ‘connector’ within our focus industries. I strive to build relationships that allow me to network deep within these select industries. I do my recruiting by networking, not headhunting.”

 

Sharon Marston, Salt Lake Recruiters

Sharon Marston is the owner of Salt Lake Recruiters, a company that specializes in finding engineering, business and science talent. For the last 12 years, Marston has helped recruit for industries such as alternative energy, civil engineering, manufacturing and mining engineering.

 

Dan O’Connor, Ted Nelson & Associates

Dan O’Connor is the VP of cement, lime and minerals processing recruitment at Ted Nelson & Associates, a company that’s been finding talented workers in heavy industry for 37 years. O’Connor himself is well-versed in the needs of companies that process cement, lime, potash, soda ash and other minerals.

Carolyn Pedersen-Howard, Mine Staffing International

Carolyn Pedersen-Howard is a senior recruiter at Mine Staffing International, a recruitment consultancy with an ever-expanding global footprint. Pedersen-Howard herself brings a background in psychology and philosophy to the team, as well as previous experience at Rio Tinto and Newport Mining.

 

Andrew Pollard, The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd.

Andrew Pollard, president of The Mining Recruitment Group in Vancouver, is one of Canada’s leading executive search experts. He founded his company in 2006 and has since gone on to advise smaller companies all the way up to international firms with $20 billion market caps.

 

Ron Powell, Woodmoor Group

Woodmoor Group SVP and Executive Recruiter Ron Powell brings a long and distinguished career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force (3,400-plus flight hours, he notes). Since 2006, he has led Woodmoor Group’s recruitment efforts in the hard rock, precious metals and base metals mining industries.

 

Patrick Salerno, Johnson Search Group

Another veteran, Patrick Salerno served as a Supply Chain Logistics Manager/Recruiter in the U.S. Army for 20 years before moving into the private sector. Today, he is an executive recruiter for the Johnson Search Group’s mining division, which has experience in every aspect of mining and heavy industry.

 

Justin Sivey, Lithko Contracting LLC

Justin Sivey is the head of Lithko’s recruiting and talent acquisition unit in Denver, bringing with him plenty of experience in recruiting for engineering, mining, minerals, cement and other sectors.

“Because we are growing rapidly, and promoting from within, roles constantly open up at all levels, from field and project roles, to operations and business unit leaders,” he writes. “For career development, we don’t just stop with orientation. Depending on the role, integrations range from specific alignments on project items, to guided processes with designated mentors showing you the way. These processes are used to facilitate career advancement.”

 

Larry Stauffer, Specialized Career Search

Larry Stauffer is an Allentown, Pennsylvania-based executive recruiter who specializes in mining, energy and process industries. He founded Specialized Career Search in 2008 and oversees a team of recruiters who have placed hundreds of candidates in roles over the last eight-plus years.

 

Craig Wangberg, SNI Energy

Craig Wangberg is a U.S. Navy veteran, having served four years of active duty on board the USS Meyerkord FF-1058 and earning the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer. Since then, he has gained more than a decade of experience in talent acquisition and consulting firms with their staffing and leadership needs. Some of the industries he focuses on at SNI Energy include mining, energy, oil and gas, and governments.
Images by: ©kuznetsovkonsta/123RF Stock Photo, ©wawritto/123RF Stock Photo, ©chalabala/123RF Stock Photo

What We’re Looking Forward to at the 2017 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Convention

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Because it only takes place once every three years, the CONEXPO-CON/AGG expo is a huge event for the construction, aggregates and ready-mixed concrete industries.

The 2017 expo will take place in March 7–11 in Las Vegas, at the convention center. The numbers for this year are pretty staggering: 2,500-plus exhibitions, 150 education sessions, and 2.5 million sq. ft. of space needed to host everyone.

We’re going to be at Booth B91804 in the Bronze Hall; stop in and say hello! And here are 14 of the other companies, speakers and events we’re especially excited about.

 

GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech (Booth C30973)

GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech has offered blasting and vibration consulting services to mine operators for years. At the expo, the company will be showing off its new Re:mote Monitoring Technology, which automatically collects continuous data on vibration, noise levels, dust and other environmental concerns, then delivers that data to either a web browser or the smartphone app.

 

Zeecrane (Booth G1412)

Zeecrane tends to turn heads on the exhibition floor with its zero-emissions cranes, one with a 9,000-pound lifting capacity and a second with an 18,000-pound capacity. Most importantly, these cranes produce zero operational waste (and make very little noise) because they have all-electric operating systems powered by a maintenance-free battery.

 

Metso (Booth C31061)

Finland’s Metso has promised to unveil some truly revolutionary crushing technology at the expo, though the company has kept a tight lid on details. What we do know is this new technology is said to increase uptime and reduce operational costs.

 

Liebherr (Outdoor Booth G4637)

Liebherr’s outdoor booth is going to be huge: The surface area will cover 50,000 sq. ft. and feature 25 different hydraulic excavators, tower cranes, wheel loaders and other heavy equipment the company manufactures. Additionally, its tower cranes team will have a virtual reality app that will let users get a feel for what it’s like to operate one of those giant cranes in real time.

TII Group (Booth G1723)

The TII Group will have several models from its Highway line of transport vehicles (pictured above), including some self-propelled models. One model the company is excited about is the SCHEUERLE SPMT Light, which it says is perfect for moving up to 220 tons in enclosed facilities such as plants.

 

McCloskey International (Booth S5115)

McCloskey International has a new wash plant called the Sandstorm that it will be launching at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. That first product will also signal the launch of a new division within the company, McCloskey Washing Systems. Other new products on display will include a lineup of screening equipment and a 100-foot telescoping stacker.

 

Raimondi Cranes (Booth S5035)

Italian crane-maker Raimondi is making its first-ever appearance at the expo in a move to get its products in front of prospective North American buyers. As such, the company is bringing its entire executive team out to Las Vegas. “We are signalling to the markets of Canada and the United States that we are looking to cultivate strong, new relationships, while simultaneously developing upon cooperative efforts with our existing client base,” technical director Domenico Ciano says.

 

Maeda (Booth G4017)

Maeda USA has a new mini-crawler crane, the CC1485, that the company is excited to show off. It’s the only small crawler sold in North America with a telescopic boom (that boom has a capacity of 6.6 tons, too).

 

Sandvik (S5128)

Sandvik Construction is going to have a pretty big display at the expo where it will feature its CS550 cone crusher, its brand-new QJ341+ mobile jaw crusher, its electrically driven UI310+ wheeled impact crusher, and its self-contained DT912D jumbo drill rig, among others.

Session: Tapping into New Technologies at the Tappan Zee Bridge Project (T14)

John Glinski, owner of Crane Training and Safety Consultants, will host one of three very promising sessions on Tuesday. Glinski will give an overview of the ongoing reconstruction to New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge and what innovative technologies are being employed on that project.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., March 7

 

Session: The Next Generation Job Site: Drones (T19)

Concurrent with the session above, Andres Vargas, kinematic integrations and applications engineer at RIEGL USA, will discuss various applications of drones in the construction industry: From estimating and surveying to giving potential clients aerial views of projects to structural inspection.

Vargas will also go over how contractors can find the right drones for their needs, what regulations they should be aware of, and what insurance or liability issues exist with drone deployment.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., March 7

 

Session: OSHA Compliance: How to Avoid Fines (T28)

Bruce Mosier, VP at Prins Insurance in Iowa and certified OSHA Outreach Trainer, will lead a session for contractors that will specifically address new laws governing OSHA (including its power to raise fines as of August 2016) and how contractors should interact with that organization.

Key points will include preparation for an inspection, a rundown of your rights as a contractor, communication with OSHA inspectors, and an overview of fines and penalties.

When: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 7

 

The Tech Experience

Organizers this year have a Tech Experience exhibit that, frankly, is going to be really cool. The showcase will be 75,000 square feet and feature some immersive technology, have solar-powered runways and include a 3D printed excavator, among other things.

Plus, the Tech Experience speakers list is outstanding. It includes NASA astronauts Captain Mark Kelly and Captain Scott Kelly, as well as Bruce Upbin from Hyperloop One. Look for some interesting talks on connected jobsites, the maker movement, SMART highways and high-tech protective equipment.

 

NSSGA 2017 Convention

The National Stone Sand and Gravel Association will hold its own annual convention in the days just before CONEXPO-CON/AGG, on March 3–7. Besides the networking opportunities and a scheduled Blue Man Group performance, there are some very good reasons for anyone in the industry to get to Las Vegas five days early.

On March 6 and 7, that convention will host educational sessions that will touch on strategic sales and basic supervisory skills. Also, the NSSGA announced at the beginning of the year that Ken Schmidt, former director of communications strategy at Harley-Davidson Motor Co., will close the general session.

For anyone who works in mining or with quarries, March offers an excellent opportunity to double up on conventions, make the most of those networking opportunities and maybe take in a trip to the Grand Canyon that Sunday.
images by: ©welcomia/123RF Stock Photo, TII Group, ©kasto/123RF Stock Photo