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Audit: Bush safety program a failure Posted by on

Confirming what many in the field already knew, an audit by the Labor Department found that under the Bush administration, a highly touted OSHA program didn't do what it was supposed to, even before it was curtailed last year.

From a Washington Post story:

A special government program to improve worker safety in hazardous industries rarely fulfilled its promise, a Labor Department audit concluded yesterday, and over the past six years, dozens of deaths occurred at firms that should have been subjected to much tighter federal safety enforcement.

This on the heels of a report by the Government Accountability Office that the Labor Department's Wage and Hour division doesn't work very well at all and that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission violates their own employees' rights to overtime pay.

More vindication for those who sported 01.20.09 bumper stickers.

Formwork and Concrete Pour Posted by on

With the crushed stone poured and the ground graded, crews working for S. & F. Concrete began form work this week. Footings and steel reinforcing bar, also known as rebar, were put in to place (pictured below).

If a material with high strength in tension, such as steel, is placed in concrete, then the composite material, reinforced concrete, resists compression but also bending, and other direct tensile actions. A reinforced concrete section where the concrete resists the compression and steel resists the tension can be made into almost any shape and size for the construction industry. (

In this picture, Foreman for S. & F. Concrete Gifford Lawrence, Local 624, works on the support system for the concrete forms. He uses the sledgehammer to drive a strongback, which helps maintain vertical alignment.

The forms, the red steel in the picture above, have plywood faces. The plywood is sprayed with a releasing agent. When the concrete is set, metal clamps are released that keep the structure in place and the forms are removed, cleaned and reused.

The concrete was poured this afternoon.

For an interesting article on developments in concrete check out this NY Times article.