News Update

11/19/2014 - New concrete claims faster, denser cure

CLEVELAND, Ohio—A new concrete claims to eliminate the harmful effects of hydration and the need for expansion cuts, according to CoolCrete Technology Group, a venture company of K&E Chemical Co. Inc., a developer of eco-friendly restoration products. CoolCrete is made from Portland cement, sand, and stone, but it modifies the typical hydration reaction, resulting in concrete that behaves differently when mixed. The product alters the chemistry through which concrete cures, eliminating the first-phase heat of hydration. According to the company, CoolCrete has a pH of 11.5 and eliminates chemical burns. The product is less porous than conventional concrete and thus less susceptible to the freeze-thaw cycle. It also shrinks less while drying and is denser when fully cured. It does not require saw cuts or caulking, can be poured in hot weather, and is ready for use at 4 days with a strength of over 6,700 psi at 7 days.


11/18/2014 - Thousands of construction jobs slated for US veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Some 100,000 US veterans are in line for good-paying jobs over the next 5 years under a new initiative backed by the construction industry. More than 100 construction associations and companies—many of them direct competitors—are collaborating on the initiative. The initiative was announced earlier this year at “A National Symposium: Veterans' Employment in Construction.” The symposium was hosted by the US Department of Labor and Joining Forces, an organization led by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that assists US military families.

Private-sector employers support the jobs initiative “not just because it's the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because they know that it's the smart thing to do for their business,” First Lady Michelle Obama wrote in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. The US construction industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, outpacing the growth of the economy as a whole, Michelle Obama wrote.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls construction one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, with more than 1.5 million additional jobs expected by 2022 at an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. Employers have expressed concern about being able to staff adequately for the expected boom. Large and small construction contractors and subcontractors are participating in the veterans' employment initiative, officials said. “All men and women who have sacrificed for our country in our armed services deserve opportunities for good jobs worthy of their character and their achievements,” said DOL Secretary Thomas E. Perez. “The Department of Labor will do whatever it takes to help our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs, and I am inspired by the commitment displayed today by the construction industry and all our partners in helping to achieve that mission.” More than 80 additional companies are committing their existing training and employment programs to fill new construction jobs with veterans.


11/13/2014 - Anti-corrosion spray in development

ORLANDO, Fla.—A graphene-based spray coating that would help multiple industries easily and inexpensively fight corrosion is the focus of a new program at the University of Central Florida's NanoScience Center. The center is building on the recent success of UCF spinoff Garmor Inc. in making a powder form of graphene available. In July, the university announced that Dr. Richard Blair and graduate student David Restrepo had developed a scalable mechanism to produce graphene products. “Manufacturers can make tons at a time,” Blair said at the time. Garmor has licensed Blair and Restrepo's technology.

Interest and investment in graphene-based coatings has skyrocketed worldwide in the 4 years since the flake of carbon was the focus of Nobel Prize-winning research. Able to conduct electricity and heat, and unparalleled in thinness and strength, graphene is being studied to create a new generation of coatings that protect surfaces, resist UV degradation, fight corrosion, create ultra-water-resistant surfaces, resist fouling, and even harvest energy. Cambridge University is 3 years into a 10-year, $1.4 billion graphene research project supported by the EU.

“We can use graphene and composite materials to produce new ways for automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, the military, and even the medical industries to take advantage of this extremely powerful material,” said Sudipta Seal, director of the NanoScience Technology Center and Advanced Materials Processing Analysis Center and a professor of materials science and engineering. Seal has published articles on the strength and flexibility of aluminum composites reinforced with carbon nanotubes that is central to the process.

The goal of the UCF program is to provide a cost-effective, large-area polymer/graphene-based coating technology to both strengthen mechanical components and protect materials from corrosion. The research program will also focus on developing graphene oxide, a plastic host, and a plasma spray. The scientists will modify graphene, which originates from graphite similar to that found in pencil lead, so that it can be sprayed onto a surface while retaining its innate strength and elasticity. NanoScience Professor Lei Zhai will focus on developing a plastic material to host the graphene and ensure that it keeps its electrical and mechanical performance when embedded. The composite development element is being led by Seal, who will configure the graphene agent for performance testing on steel, aluminum, and high-strength plastic. The coated substrates will be evaluated for both their mechanical (abrasion and strength) and corrosion performance.


11/12/2014 - Allnex opens headquarters, technology center

ALPHARETTA, Ga.—Allnex has announced the official opening of its Americas headquarters and technology center in Alpharetta, Ga. The new center brings together the sales, marketing, technical service, and research and development organizations and several functions that support Allnex's four key business groups in a modern building with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. The center facilitates paint formulation, technical service, raw material research, resins modification, and new resins development.

The uniting of several smaller research laboratories and the talents and expertise of approximately 95 employees under one roof will help the company further develop the Allnex brand and foster teamwork, creativity, innovation, and customer focus. At the same time, attractive financial incentives are helping offset relocation expenses from Smyrna, Ga., and to create a comfortable and welcoming work environment.


11/10/2014 - Furniture company selects North American manufacturing headquarters

RALEIGH, N.C.—Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that BuzziSpace Inc., a Belgian furniture company, will locate its North American manufacturing headquarters in High Point, N.C. The company plans to create 113 jobs and invest more than $1.75 million during the next 5 years. BuzziSpace will operate out of a renovated building. Salaries will vary by job function, with an average annual wage of $45,000 plus benefits. The average annual wage in Guilford County is $43,326.

BuzziSpace's products are developed for the workspaces of tomorrow and offer functionality, lightness, and flexibility. The aspect of multi-functionalism is always the main interest of the design. The intention is to present unique products that may be used in diverse ways, in any room, and are effective acoustically. BuzziSpace products focus on acoustics, ecology, and flexibility with a special emphasis on recycling, environmentally friendly processing of materials, and the sustainable use of raw materials and energy.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $100,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches. The state grant will be based on the company creating 50 jobs over the first 3 years of the project. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Guilford Technical Community College, Guilford County, High Point Economic Development Corporation and the City of High Point.


11/6/2014 - New coating offers steel and aluminum guarantee

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.—A new coating system is designed to provide maximum protection for aluminum and steel products in harsh climates and environmental conditions. CENTRIA says it has redefined its current coatings line with the new Versacor Elite Coating System. The company designs, develops, and manufactures architectural metal wall and roof systems. According to the company, the coating system provides abrasion resistance and protects against moisture and intense sunlight. This performance can be achieved with a 2-mil-thick barrier coat over a metal substrate along with premium polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) topcoat. The system carries a 25-year warranty on aluminum and a 20-year warranty on steel products against cracking, chipping, peeling, color change, and chalking.


11/5/2014 - DOD targets culture of corrosion

ORLANDO, Fla.—It will take more than protective coatings to make a dent in the US military's $23 billion a year campaign against corrosion. It will take an entirely new national attitude — one trained to “prevent, treat, and control” corrosion rather than “wait, find, and fix” it. So says the Defense Department's Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight, which contends that the real cause of corrosion is not oxidation, but indifference and lack of awareness. This is according to “Changing the Corrosion Culture through Education and Training,” a presentation given earlier this year by Daniel J. Dunmire, director of corrosion policy and oversight.

According to Dunmire, just about everybody needs culture change, including designers and engineers, policy makers and the public, trainers and standards writers, suppliers and academia, and procurers and project managers. Each of those parties is a piece of the overall corrosion puzzle, and Dumire's office is working on many fronts to show each party what their role is and what's at stake when corrosion spreads and materials degrade. The toll is not just economic, although corrosion does consume a full 25 percent of DOD's annual maintenance budget. The greater toll, says Dunmire, is corrosion's impact on military readiness.

Dunmire contends that there are three faulty assumptions and perceptions underlying the current corrosion culture: corrosion is inevitable and can't be prevented; corrosion control means “wait, find, and fix”; and upfront attempts to stop corrosion are too costly. Correcting these mistaken beliefs is now the job of seven working integrated product teams (WIPTs), staffed by volunteers from every service branch. Other teams in the effort include the University of Akron, the first university in the western hemisphere to offer a bachelor's degree in corrosion engineering. For more info, visit www.corrdefense.org and www.corrconnect.org.


11/4/2014 - Courses: December 2014

December 9-10: Powder Coating 202 Hands-on Workshop. Gema's facility, Indianapolis, Ind. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 936/597-5060; fax 936/597-5059; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.


11/3/2014 - US Supreme Court upholds OSHA whistleblower protections

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of two former employees of privately held companies that provide advisory and management services to the Fidelity family of mutual funds. The former employees claimed they faced retaliation after they reported allegations of fraud. The ruling asserts that the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act apply broadly to a public company's private contractors and subcontractors just as it protects employees of the public company served by the contractors and subcontractors. “Whistleblower protections play a vital role in protecting the health, safety, and financial well-being of all Americans,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of employees of a public company's contractors to expose fraud and securities rule violations without fear of retaliation. The Labor Department is committed to protecting these critical whistleblower rights for workers.” OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations. For more info, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.


10/31/2014 - Hartford Finishing grows, adds 94 jobs

HARTFORD, Wis.—Hartford Finishing Inc., a powder coating and painting firm, and its sister companies have announced the addition of 94 new jobs. The announcement coincided with the opening of the company's new paint line. Wendorff Bros. Co. is the parent company of Hartford Finishing and several sister companies, including Steel Craft Corp., Capitol Stampings, and SnoWay International. Phase one of the $12 million expansion project adds 110,000 square feet to the Steel Craft building in Hartford. Phase two includes upgrades to the original Hartford Finishing building. The three sister companies will add a combined 94 new jobs to handle increased business due to the expansion. Hartford Finishing currently employs 180 workers and houses six separate state-of-the-art powder painting systems, a full service assembly area, stripping center, wet paint line, and 12 loading docks.


10/29/2014 - Axalta appoints director

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems has announced that Andreas Kramvis has joined its Board of Directors and will serve on the Audit Committee. Kramvis is a vice chairman of Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing leader that provides aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Axalta is a leading provider of liquid and powder coatings to the automotive, transportation, general industrial, and architectural and decorative industries.


10/28/2014 - GMI adds staff member

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—Goyer Management International (GMI) has announced that Mark Gentry has joined its staff and will assist with all of GMI's clients, including the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), FABTECH, and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association. Gentry will serve as CCAI's vice president of sales and education. In this role, he will be responsible for new membership development, exhibit sales and solicitation, providing information and education on energy efficiency, and much more. Goyer Management has provided management services to CCAI since 1990.


10/27/2014 - Axalta, BD Barcelona Design celebrate 40th anniversary

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, was chosen by BD Barcelona Design, a prestigious international design group, to develop special powder coatings for the 40th anniversary of the Banco Catalano, an iconic furniture design. Axalta created powder coatings in four Natural Color System (NCS) colors in fine textured finishes to provide a completely new appearance for the Catalano. Axalta's powder coatings offer excellent performance, a wide range of colors, and beautiful finishes. Architects Lluis Clotet and Oscar Tusquets created the Banco Catalano in 1974, shortly after founding their company Barcelona Design. Clotet and Tusquets are highly regarded for their concept and design of the Catalano, and are considered revolutionaries in the realm of urban furniture design. Axalta is a leading global provider of liquid and powder coatings for automotive, transportation, general industrial, architectural, and decorative applications.


10/24/2014 - New coating nixes chromate

FARGO, N.D.—A new coating for aluminum alloys eliminates toxic hexavalent chromium while retaining its anticorrosion properties, developers say. The Cr(Vl) coatings technology was developed by the North Dakota State University Research Foundation and licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings of Fargo, N.D. The patented magnesium-rich coatings technology protects aluminum alloys, such as those in vehicles and ship parts, or vehicles made entirely from aluminum.

The agreement gives Elinor Specialty Coatings exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize the coatings technology in marine and automotive markets. Chromium-free system primers using the technology will be marketed to military and civilian markets under the names Aluma45MTM and Aluma45ATM. The products are intended to be applied over chromium-free pretreatments or bare metal, so that hexavalent chromium is eliminated from the entire coating system.

The coatings' long-lasting protection allows longer periods between maintenance cycles, while eliminating the toxic work conditions and longterm hazmat storage dilemmas of Cr(Vl) for companies or command units. The university says the coatings may reduce costs by eliminating the need for extra controls to reduce chromate exposure and reduce weight and fuel consumption because of their lower density over chromate primers. The coatings were developed in part by previous research funding from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Center for Surface Preparation, a state Economic Development Center of Excellence at NDSU; and the Product Design Center at NDSU.


10/22/2014 - W.R. Grace pays more than $63 million to clean up hazardous waste sites

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Under its bankruptcy plan of reorganization, W.R. Grace & Co., Columbia, Md., has paid more than $63 million to the US government to resolve claims for environmental cleanups at approximately 39 sites in 21 states.

W.R. Grace's payment includes approximately $54 million for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company agreed to pay another $9 million to other federal agencies, including the US Department of Interior and the US Army. W.R. Grace, a global supplier of specialty chemicals, and 61 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in April 2001. In 2003, EPA filed claims against the company to recover past and future cleanup costs at sites contaminated by asbestos and other hazardous substances. Numerous agreements to resolve the Agency's environmental liability claims against the company and its affiliates were negotiated as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings between April 2008 and February 2013. The company continues to be responsible for all of the sites it owns or operates and for any additional sites that were not known or resolved under the earlier settlements. The payment to the EPA will reimburse cleanup costs and provide funds for future cleanup.


10/21/2014 - Department of Labor files whistleblower complaint

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of Labor has filed a whistleblower complaint in the US District Court for the District of Idaho against Clearwater Paper Corp. in Lewiston, Idaho, for allegedly retaliating against an employee who raised workplace safety and health concerns. The department alleges that a Clearwater Paper employee was fired in 2010 in retaliation for filing a safety complaint with OSHA's Boise Area Office. The employee was first suspended and then fired soon after OSHA conducted an inspection to assess excessive exposure to red cedar dust at Clearwater Paper's sawmill in Lewiston. This facility was later sold in 2011. The department is seeking reinstatement of the employee as well as payment of more than $300,000 in damages and fees, including back pay, compensatory damages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employers from discharging or in any manner retaliating or discriminating against any worker for exercising their rights under the Act. These rights include filing an OSHA complaint, participating in an inspection, raising a safety and health issue with the employer or the government, or any other right afforded by the OSHA law. For more information on whistleblower statutes under OSHA's jurisdiction, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.


10/17/2014 - Spray guns boast uniform pattern

TOLEDO, Ohio—Lightweight spray guns that handle industrial coatings have been introduced by Finishing Brands, the manufacturer of Binks industrial finishing equipment. The Trophy Series spray guns are available in full size and for touchup work, feature a curved spray gun handle, and are available in various configurations. Air caps are designed to produce uniform spray patterns. The series features large stainless steel fluid passages for industrial coatings. The spray guns have a lightweight design and oversized knobs and air cap ring for easier adjustments and maintenance. A soft, smooth trigger pull was designed to reduce stress and fatigue and provide no kickback during spraying.


10/15/2014 - Scientists conduct advanced research into self-healing polymer

CHICAGO, Ill.—Self-healing material technology is not new, but scientists at the University of Illinois have moved the field a significant step forward. Their new polyurea-based polymer, made of off-the-shelf materials, heals itself repeatedly at low temperatures with no catalyst, the researchers say. What looks like tiny dog-bone-shaped gummies now could be the beginning of peel-off coatings and self-healing plastics, according to materials science and engineering professor Jianjun Cheng, graduate student Hanze Ying, and postdoctoral researcher Yanfeng Zhang. Their paper, “Dynamic Urea Bond for the Design of Reversible and Self-Healing Polymers,” was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

“We just buy commercial materials and mix them together, no fancy controls or special apparatus,” says Cheng. “It's a very simple, low-cost, inexpensive process. Anybody can do this on any scale. The key advantage of using this material is that it's catalyst-free and low-temperature, and can be healed multiple times.” Unlike other self-healing materials, the new product uses softer elastic materials made out of polyurea, one of the most common classes of polymers used in paints, coatings, elastics, plastics, and other consumer goods.

The polymer is made with commercially available ingredients. By tweaking the structure of the polymer's molecules, the team “can make the bonds between the molecules longer so that they can more easily pull apart and stick back together, which is the key for healing,” the university says. This molecular-level rebonding, called dynamic chemistry, uses consumer materials and readily available ingredients. When the polymer is cut or torn, the researchers press the two pieces back together and let the sample sit for about a day to heal. No chemicals or catalysts are required. Furthermore, the team says, the materials can heal at room temperature, although curing at slightly higher temperatures does speed up the process. The team says the mended polymer bonds “nearly as strongly as before it was cut.”

The researchers hope manufacturers can easily integrate the dynamic materials, and are exploring how the polyurea could perform in different applications. One possibility, they say, is a removable polyurethane coating or paint. “In some areas, when it's not necessary for the coating to be permanent and you want it to be removable, this chemistry may be applied to existing coating materials to make it reversible,” Cheng says. “In general, polyurea and polyurethane are widely used. This chemistry could modify existing materials to make them more dynamic, healable.” The research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


10/14/2014 - AkzoNobel extends warranty period for architectural coatings

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—AkzoNobel Powder Coatings has announced a new and improved warranty system for its Interpon D series AAMA-compliant line of architectural coatings. Interpon D1010 series products comply with AAMA 2603 and come with a 10-year warranty. Interpon D 2000 series products are AAMA 2604 compliant and now come with a 20-year warranty, and Interpon D3000 series products are AAMA 2605 compliant and now come with a 30-year warranty. Interpon D architectural powder coatings are performance guaranteed with a full global warranty when applied to aluminum by an approved applicator. Interpon Powder Coatings is brand of AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals.


10/13/2014 - Trans-Matic Manufacturing improves safety, reduces workplace injuries

HOLLAND, Mich.—As part of the high-hazard metal stamping industry, Michigan-based Trans-Matic Manufacturing Company Inc. recognized the need to protect its workers and contacted OSHA's free Onsite Consultation Program for help developing a strong safety and health management system. With a proactive approach to worker safety, Trans-Matic has reduced its rates of OSHA recordable cases and injuries, resulting in days away from work significantly below industry averages. The company also used OSHA's online Safety Pays tool to save an estimated $172,000 a year in workers' compensation costs.

Trans-Matic develops and produces precision-engineered, deep drawn metal stampings and assemblies used for a wide variety of products and markets including builders' hardware, appliance manufacturing, plumbing materials, and HVAC components. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

In April, OSHA also accepted Trans-Matic into its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for developing a safety and health system that provides outstanding protection for its workers. SHARP recognizes small business employers who operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program, and acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that singles out a worksite among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.


10/10/2014 - Courses: November 2014

November 4-5: Powder Coating 101 Hands-on Workshop. TCI Powder Coatings, Jacksonville, Fla. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 936/597-5060; fax 936/597-5059; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

November 11: Practical Course on Viscosity Measurement. Cleveland, Ohio. Also offered November 12 in Middleboro, Mass., and November 13 in Philadelphia, Pa. Offered by Brookfield Engineering Laboratories. Contact Brookfield at 800/628-8139; fax 508/946-6262; www.brookfieldengineering.com/services/educational-programs.


10/9/2014 - EPA partnerships cut greenhouse gas emissions, save businesses money

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its annual Climate Protection Partnerships report, EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs Climate Protection Partnerships 2012 Annual Report. The report highlights the steps more than 21,000 organizations across the United States have taken to reduce greenhouse gas pollution while achieving significant environmental and economic benefits.

“The urgency to act on climate change is clear,” says Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator. “Through investments in cleaner technologies and energy-efficient practices, EPA's Climate Protection Partners show us that we can cut the harmful carbon pollution that fuels climate change and protects public health while continuing to grow a strong, sustainable economy.” The achievements outlined in this report support the goals of President Obama's Climate Action Plan by cutting energy waste, encouraging energy efficiency, and saving money for American families and businesses.

EPA's climate protection programs continue to advance greenhouse gas reduction goals and deliver greater benefits each year. These benefits can only grow as more businesses, public sector institutions, households, and others adopt the practices promoted by the climate protection partnerships. All of these benefits are the result of voluntary actions by individuals, businesses, and industry.


10/8/2014 - Intech Services announces new industrial coating shop evaluation program

NEWARK, Dela.—Intech Services is proud to announce a new onsite industrial coating Shop Evaluation program, which is designed to boost operational efficiency, improve final finish quality, and offer a customized business report post-evaluation. This program is a customized, onsite shop evaluation bringing cutting edge, state-of-the-art research, information, and industry recommendations.

During the evaluation, Intech will observe and identify quality improvements in coating techniques, shop efficiency, and effectiveness of the equipment used in shop processes. Having an experienced, fresh set of eyes assessing shop processes will allow for improvements, identify opportunities to enhance business practices, and create growth for an industrial coating shop. There is minimal business interruption and no shut down needed. An analysis with observations and recommendations on specific shop processes is completed, and a customized business report is produced post-evaluation. Everyone from management to spray technicians will benefit from this evaluation and information. Intech has over 20 years of experience with fluoropolymer finishes and application processes. For more information about the program, visit www.intechservices.com.


10/7/2014 - US Supreme Court rules no pay for donning PPE

GARY, Ind.—Donning and doffing personal protective equipment and getting to and from the worksite are a normal part of a worker's day and do not merit extra pay, the US Supreme Court unanimously declared. In a ruling released recently, the high court sided with US Steel in a collection case by workers seeking back pay for time spent “donning and doffing” PPE that the company requires at its steel plants. In Sandifer et al v. United States Steel Corp., Clifton Sandifer and coworkers at the company's Gary Works subsidiary in Indiana claimed that they spent up to 2 hours getting ready for work—time that the workers said should be compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

The workers contended that putting on protective gear is not the same as “changing clothes” and should be a separately compensated activity. The workers pinned their case on a 1949 amendment to the FLSA that allowed that some instances of changing clothes and washing before and after work (at mine portals, for example) consumed enough unpaid time that the issue could be part of a collective bargaining agreement. In the US Steel case, however, the justices affirmed all of the lower court rulings that viewed donning PPE and cleanup as an integral and brief part of the workers' day.


10/3/2014 - Artistic Plating changes name to Advanced Plating Technologies

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—Artistic Plating has changed its company name to Advanced Plating Technologies. “The name Artistic Plating has not accurately represented who we are as a company for some time,” says Matthew Lindstedt, technical sales manager. “Artistic Plating was originally founded in 1948, and at that time the name was representative of the company's decorative finishing work that was a large part of the company's business until the late 1990s.” Lindstedt says that over the past decade Artistic Plating has been undergoing significant changes in finishing capabilities, markets serviced, and strategic focus. The company has now shifted to a technically oriented, problem solving metal finishing job shop that is focused on providing metal finishing solutions within a range of demanding sectors.


10/2/2014 - Willful citation issued in PPG worker's death

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Federal authorities are accusing PPG Industries of willful and serious safety lapses in the death of a worker last summer at its facility in Barberton, Ohio. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines totaling $69,000 in the death of Wendy Breiding, 51, of Barberton, Ohio, who became entangled in an unprotected spindle winder on a paper rolling machine at the plant on July 15, 2013.

PPG Barberton Specialty Chemicals Plant produces optical casting resins, design silicas used in paints and other products, and printable materials for a wide variety of applications. The Barberton plant began operation in 1900 as the Pittsburgh-based company's first chemicals site, producing soda ash for glassmaking operations. The facility employs about 160 people, and the company has about 39,000 employees worldwide.

OSHA issued one willful citation alleging failure to ensure that machine guarding was in place to protect the operator and nearby employees. A willful violation, OSHA's highest level of infraction, is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health. The agency also issued two serious citations alleging failure in other areas of the facility. A serious violation reflects the substantial probability or death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

PPG says it has been cooperating fully with OSHA and local authorities on this matter. The company announced in November that it had invested more than $9 million to expand the Barberton facility, to begin making organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products.


9/30/2014 - AGA unveils inspection app

AGA unveils inspection app CENTENNIAL, Colo.—A new picture-based app offers inspectors, architects and engineers a clear visual guide to surface conditions and other critical information when evaluating hot dip galvanized steel. The app, developed by the American Galvanizers Association (AGA), aims to assist professionals “who may be unfamiliar with the specific outcomes of the galvanizing process with a visual example of a surface condition similar to one they are viewing for their particular project,” according to Philip Rahrig, AGA executive director. Each image in the app is accompanied by text identifying the industry term for the surface appearance, detailing how and why it occurs, and noting whether or not it is accepted according to the specification. The app also contains critical specification (ASTM, ISO, AASHTO) information to assess compliance with coating thickness requirements, as well as information on how to conduct repairs. The app is available for purchase in both the Apple and Google Play stores and through AGA at galvanizeit.org/mobile. Founded in 1933, AGA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of after-fabrication galvanizers, fabricators, architects, specifiers, and engineers.


9/29/2014 - OSHA releases new resources to better protect workers from hazardous chemicals

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Each year in the US, tens of thousands of workers are made sick or die from occupational exposures to the thousands of hazardous chemicals that are used in workplaces every day. The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched two new web resources to assist companies with keeping their workers safe.

While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA's exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. The first resource OSHA has created is a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones. This toolkit walks employers and workers step-by-step through information, methods, tools and guidance to either eliminate hazardous chemicals or on make informed substitution decisions in the workplace by finding a safer chemical, material, product or process. The toolkit is available at www.osha.gov/dsg/safer_chemicals/index.html.

OSHA also created another new web resource: the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits, or annotated PEL tables, which will enable employers to voluntarily adopt newer, more protective workplace exposure limits. OSHA's PELs set mandatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air to protect workers against the health effects of certain hazardous chemicals; and OSHA will continue to enforce those mandatory PELs. Since OSHA's adoption of the majority of its PELs more than 40 years ago, new scientific data, industrial experience, and developments in technology clearly indicate that in many instances these mandatory limits are not sufficiently protective of workers' health. The annotated PEL tables are available at www.osha.gov/dsg/annotated-pels/index.html.


9/25/2014 - KECO Coatings granted second license by DuPont

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Mike Klinge, president of KECO Coatings, has announced that the company has been granted a second license by DuPont for the application of Teflon industrial coatings. One of only 26 Licensed Industrial Applicators in the US, KECO has been applying an extensive range of Teflon coatings for more than two decades at its headquarters in Indianapolis. Following extensive investment at its new facility in Statesville, N.C., KECO is now able to offer a similar service locally to customers in the southeast. The company's portfolio includes hundreds of different fluoropolymer formulations, designed to offer a wide range of nonstick attributes and which can be specifically tailored to meet customers' requirements.


9/24/2014 - EPA releases 2013 TRI preliminary report

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the 2013 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) preliminary dataset with the most current TRI data available on toxic chemical releases and pollution prevention activities that occurred at facilities during the 2013 calendar year. This data includes what toxic chemicals a particular industrial facility is using, how much is being released into the environment, whether the facility is recycling or treating any of the waste, and much more. This dataset is preliminary; the complete 2013 dataset will be available in October. The TRI National Analysis report is published in January. To access the report, visit www.epa.gov/enviro/facts/tri/search.html.

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