October 2015 Vol. 70 No. 10


October 2015 News Shorts

OSHA Approves Maine As Newest State Plan Protecting State And Local Workers
Maine has recently been approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the newest State Plan responsible for protecting the safety and health of state and local government employees. The Maine State and Local Government Only State Plan will cover more than 81,000 employees of the state and its political subdivisions under an OSHA-approved plan. The plan became effective Aug. 5.

Maine joins Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and the Virgin Islands as one of six states and territories that administer safety and health programs for state and local government employees that are committed to maintain programs that are at least as effective as federal OSHA. Twenty-four states still do not provide federally approved workplace safety and health protections for its public employees. The plan will be administered by the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards, which will provide coverage to 81,430 public employees. Private sector and federal government employees in Maine remain under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

The OSHA Act of 1970 and 29 CFR Part 1956 allow states and territories to establish plans that cover only state and local government employees – workers excluded from federal coverage. Once a State Plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50 percent of the program’s costs.


Civil Engineers Launch Nation’s First Utilities Pipeline and Surveying Institute
With the premier of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) new Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI), civil engineers have one more reason to “dig” their profession.

ASCE’s President Robert Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE and inaugural UESI President Randall Hill, P.E., F.ASCE unveiled the new institute in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the association’s 2015 Pipelines Conference in Baltimore, MD.

ASCE’s 9th technical institute, UESI will be the first national organization designed to embrace professionals engaged in utility and pipeline infrastructure engineering regardless of the products they transport, as well as surveying professionals. Once fully operational in October, the institute will be the worldwide leader in establishing standards and manuals of practice that reflect state-of-the-art engineering practices including planning, design, construction, operations and asset management for utility infrastructure and surveying.

The vision of ASCE’s president, Stevens, whose leadership path began in ASCE’s technical institutes, UESI will provide a home for pipeline and utility infrastructure engineers and surveyors where they can collectively work to strengthen the two professions.

“Technical excellence has always been at the heart of ASCE and its mission,” said Stevens. “The establishment of UESI will give our members working in these fields an organization focused on their needs and unique opportunities to work together using ASCE’s strong, recognized brand to push for

UESI is led by a 10-member board of governors from a variety of utility pipeline and surveying disciplines. As the organization evolves, it is expected to draw up to 8,000 members.

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