Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sims Crane Earns Insurance Premium Reduction Via Safety Record

Sims Crane & Equipment Co. has earned a significant reduction in its insurance premium, due to its on-the-job safety score. The firm’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is .68, meaning its insurance premiums will be 68 percent of the premiums required from less safe companies. 

“The EMR is a rigorous standard set by insurance companies and the state, so having those outside third parties attest to our superior workplace safety practices and our culture of safety at Sims is a credit to everyone who works here,” says Dean Sims II, VP of marketing at Sims Crane & Equipment.

The EMR is a gauge of both past cost of injuries and future probability of injuries. An EMR of 1.0 is considered industry average. The lower the EMR, the lower the firm’s worker compensation insurance premiums will be. 

The EMR is designed to measure whether a company’s workers’ compensation losses are better or worse than expected. If the experience is worse than expected, a company is punished with a high EMR greater than 1.0. If the experience is better than expected, a company is rewarded with a low EMR below 1.0, paying less for workers compensation premium than a company with a high EMR.

“In Florida, Workers Compensation rates are ultimately determined by the Florida State Department of Insurance. The only real mechanism to apply either good or bad loss experience to the premium calculation is through the experience modifier,” says Randy Proos, USI Insurance Services, Coral Gables, Fla..

The EMR is calculated by a rating bureau, the National Council on Compensation Insurance, using three years of past loss history, excluding the immediate past year. The 2014 EMR is calculated using the 2012, 2011, 2010 loss experience.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Exchange-A-Blade Changes Name to EAB

Exchange-A-Blade, the pioneer in exchangeable and environmentally sustainable power tool accessories, announces the change of its corporate name to EAB Tool Co. Inc., and the marketing of its core line of exchangeable products under the brand name EAB.

The EAB acronym preserves the connection with the company's origins as a supplier and re-manufacturer of exchangeable circular saw blades for the retail hardware and building supply markets, while allowing it to represent its entire power tool accessories product line.

This announcement launches the rebranding of the Company's exchangeable EAB products, and its non-exchangeable products under the existing StaySharp name. The rebrand encompasses all logos, graphics, product packaging and in-store displays and will be rolled out to retail dealers in Canada and the United States during 2014.

"We're very excited about the new EAB," says Rob Forbes, founder and president of EAB. "This is an evolution of the brand. We continue to enhance the Exchange System that has allowed us to compete successfully against much larger competitors, while reinforcing our principles of delivering outstanding value and service, building customer and dealer loyalty, and striving for a more environmentally sustainable industry."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

News for Masons: QUIKRETE Opens Company Store

The QUIKRETE Cos., manufacturer of packaged concrete products for the building and home improvement markets, is opening an online company store at www.thequikretestore.com. Consumers, customers and employees can chose from hundreds of officially licensed QUIKRETE items, ranging from premium golf shirts and fleece jackets to die-cast toy trucks and trains.

“We’ve had countless people over the years express a desire to own QUIKRETE branded apparel and merchandise,” says Frank Owens, VP of marketing for The QUIKRETE Cos. “The online company store makes it easy for consumers to get their hands on fun, authentic and even retro QUIKRETE items, like baseball caps and hoodies, while contractors and QUIKRETE employees might select more practical things, like hard hats.”

There is no minimum purchase at the online company store and, for convenience, there are several delivery options, including “QUIKSHIP.” More information on QUIKRETE products and access to home improvement project how-to videos are available at www.quikrete.com.

Monday, April 14, 2014

SAKRETE Named 2013 Building Products Vendor of the Year

SAKRETE, a concrete and concrete-related products company, has been named an ENAP Inc. 2013 Building Products Vendor of the Year in the Specialties Department category. ENAP Inc. vendors are evaluated on a variety of criteria including sales growth, gross margin improvement, customer support and product quality. 

ENAP Inc. is a member-owned forest products and building materials cooperative whose corporate headquarters are in New Windsor, N.Y. ENAP is comprised of premier independent lumber retailers. 

“Sakrete has been a supplier to ENAP Inc. for more than 30 years, and we continue to support the co-op and its members,” says Johnsie Beck, president of Sakrete. “Being named vendor of the year proves our commitment to understanding our customers’ goals. We strive to provide them with leading products, outstanding customer service and support.”

For additional information about SAKRETE, call 866-725-7383 or visit sakrete.com.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kleinfelder Names Janacek as Retaining Wall Practice Group Leader

Noel Janacek, a senior engineer in Texas’s architecture and engineering community, has been named Kleinfelder’s new retaining wall technical practice leader.
Janacek has developed expertise in retaining wall design, construction and forensic evaluation through years of engineering work and work with a specialty contractor. Kleinfelder has been providing investigation, design, construction and expert forensic services to transportation and commercial clients throughout the Texas region.

“Kleinfelder’s ability to deliver integrated retaining wall services provides our clients continuity and clarity in this diverse industry,” says Janacek. “I am excited about the opportunity to support our practitioners in continuing growth and innovation in the practice.” 

The Retaining Wall Practice Group works within Kleinfelder’s Geotechnical and Geological Engineering Discipline and focuses on coordinating high quality, efficient analysis, design, and construction among geotechnical engineers, civil engineers, structural engineers and project managers for large or complex retaining walls of all types. 

The group has already built a solid record of accomplishment of providing innovative, cost saving designs, including a recent project where Kleinfelder’s retaining wall engineers saved the client $1.3 million through a revised design of a key retaining wall on a commercial site.

Janacek earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Master of Science from the University of Texas, Arlington. He is licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.

To learn more about Kleinfelder, visit www.kleinfelder.com.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Big News for the Masonry Industry: Holcim, Lafarge Announce Merger

Two of the world’s largest suppliers of building materials announced plans for a “merger of equals” that would create an industry giant with a combined $44 billion in annual revenues.

Swiss-based Holcim and its French counterpart, Lafarge, said the new company would be named LafargeHolcim and be based in Switzerland. They said the merger would create the most advanced group in the building materials industry. The two companies are already global leaders in the supply of cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel.

The plan is for Holcim board member Wolfgang Reitzle to serve as chairman of the merged entity, while Lafarge’s chairman and chief executive Bruno Lafont becomes its CEO. Seven people from each company will be represented on the board.

Reitzle, a German mechanical engineer, also has extensive experience in the automotive industry, while Lafont, a French business executive, has been with Lafarge for more than 30 years and is also a special adviser to the mayor of Chongqing, a Chinese city of 32 million.

“This merger of equals is a unique opportunity in the history of our companies,” Holcim Chairman Rolf Soiron told reporters in Paris.

The combined entity has a market value estimated at 40 billion euros ($55 billion) based on their share prices Friday before news of the deal was announced. LafargeHolcim will dwarf the next largest cement makers, Cemex of Mexico and Heidelberg Cement of Germany.

Lafont emphasized the two companies’ complementary geography. While Lafarge has greater presence in mature North American and European markets, Holcim has a far larger reach in the faster growing markets of Asia and Latin America.

Holcim, based near Zurich, employs 71,000 people and has production sites in around 70 countries. Paris-based Lafarge, meanwhile, employs 65,000 people and operates in 64 countries. The companies said that by combining they would “be uniquely positioned in 90 countries around the world with a balanced exposure to both developed and high-growth markets.”

They said they plan to sell off businesses in developed markets representing about 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) of revenue and businesses in developing markets worth about 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) of revenue. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approval.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Masonry Structural Design Seminar Coming in May

The American Concrete Institute is hosting a one-day seminar is for Engineers, Architects, Specifiers, Public Agencies, and anyone else involved in the designing and specifying of masonry structures. Attendees will learn to design and specify masonry structures using the 2013 edition of Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures. Discussion and comparisons of masonry provisions in earlier Codes and the International Building Code will also be presented. Practical design examples of typical masonry building elements will be reviewed as part of this informative seminar.

Earn .75 CEUs (7.5 PDHs) by attending this one-day ACI Seminar in Charlotte, N.C., on May 14, 2014.
Doubletree Guest Suites Charlotte/South Park
6300 Morrison Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28211
Topics Covered This intense one-day seminar guides attendees through masonry design requirements while reviewing practical design examples of typical masonry structures. Instructors will review masonry design and specification provisions in the 2013 Masonry Standards Joint Committee's (MSJC) Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (TMS 402/ACI 530/ASCE 5), which is the primary reference in the International Building Code (IBC) for the design and construction of masonry. Several practical design examples of typical masonry elements will be examined using the 2013 MSJC, and necessary revisions to the design examples based on modifications in the 2013 IBC will be discussed. In addition, a preview of the masonry provisions that will appear in the 2015 IBC will also be presented.
Free Publications As part of this seminar, you will receive a FREE compilation of related ACI technical documents valued at $144 if purchased separately.
TMS 402/ACI 530.1-13/ASCE 6 Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry Structures and Companion Commentaries Speaker Lecture Notes.
In addition, nonmembers can receive a FREE 6-month ACI membership for attending a 2014 ACI Spring Seminar.
To register or for complete information, click Masonry Structural Design or contact Karen Smith at Karen.Smith@concrete.org or 248.848.3814.
Custom Seminars: Education Customized To Meet Your Company's Needs
Let ACI bring the latest concrete technology to your doorstep for all of your employees at one low price. For more information on Custom seminars visit ACI Custom Seminars. To schedule a custom seminar, contact Eva Korzeniewski at eva.korzeniewski@concrete.org or 248.848.3754.