As we count down the final hours of 2014 and start to look forward to ringing in the New Year, we take a look back out our most popular blog posts of the year.
1. Top 10 OSHA Standards Cited for the Construction Industry – Our most read blog post of 2014. We take the concept of OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards that gets released every year and go one step further by creating our own list specifically for the construction industry. We also show the prior year’s rank for each standard and the number of incidents cited during the fiscal year.
2. States Banning LEED Use on Public Projects– We took a look at how a 1-point credit in the LEED rating system has led to some states creating legislation or issuing executive orders to essentially ban its use on publicly funded projects. As a counterpoint to this post we created a Map of States with LEED Certification Requirements to show which states have requirements for the use of LEED or an equivalent green rating system on state-funded construction projects.
3. Solar Roads – This was probably one of the most divisive posts all year with an equal number of supporters and detractors for Solar Roadways’ quest to repave the nation’s roads and highways with solar panels. The company raised over $2 million during their Indirgogo crowdfunding campaign, more than doubling their $1 million goal and are planning to install their first solar road project in the spring of 2015. Sadly, this will not be the world’s first solar road project. A consortium in the Netherlands, SolaRoads, installed a 230 ft. solar bicycle path in Amsterdam back in November.
4. Drones Coming to the Construction Site – We took a look at some of the ways drone use could have a positive impact on the construction industry, aiding in everything from performing building inspections to providing detailed 3-D models of construction to improving jobsite safety. The FAA was expected to release proposed rules for commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems this month but they probably won’t be released until January. This could be detrimental to widespread use in the construction industry because one of the potential requirements would be that operators obtain pilot’s licenses in order to use drones for commercial use.
5. Five Construction Apps to Improve Productivity – This was our most recent post to make the list. We highlighted five mobile apps that can help construction companies and their employees improve productivity at the jobsite. We will be taking a look at more apps and mobile solutions for the construction industry in the coming year.
6. Robots on the Construction Site – Some day in the future it might be commonplace to see construction workers and robots working together to build roads, demolish a building or erect a brick wall. The technology we highlighted doesn’t eliminate the human element, but rather shows how robots could be used to handle some of the more dangerous and strenuous tasks associated with the construction industry.
7. OSHA’s Updated Reporting & Recordkeeping Rule – Starting tomorrow, January 1, 2015, OSHA’s new rules on reporting workplace injuries and fatalities go into effect. In this post we break down the new rules and what is now being required. The two key changes are that all fatalities have to be reported within eight hours and all inpatient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye have to be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.
8. A Look inside the 2014 World Cup Stadiums – The World Cup has come and gone, Germany defeated Argentina in the final match after dominating host country Brazil in the semis, but the stadiums built and renovated to host all the matches remain. We highlighted the architects and contractors responsible for these impressive stadiums along with what it cost to build them.
9. When Are Site Safety Managers Not Site Safety Managers? – This was one of the weirdest and most corrupt construction stories we came across all year. In New York City all construction projects that that involve exterior construction and demolition on buildings 15 stories or taller require that a licensed third-party site safety manager be retained to perform inspections. In June, two separate companies were indicted for falsifying safety inspections and one company was accused of hiring hairdressers, bellhops and short order cooks to pose as licensed inspectors and falsify records.
10. MAGIC Summer Camps – Mentoring a Girl in Construction – We started an ongoing series on getting young people interested in construction careers and our story on MAGIC Camps was our most popular. The free, weeklong day camp introduces young women to the construction industry. The camp emphasizes safety first as girls get hands-on training in a number of construction trades including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding and masonry.