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Please remember, item availability is not guaranteed. All sales are final. Upon request, purchased items can be transferred to the WBS location nearest you. For additional information on any of the items listed, please contact the WBS location carrying the item/s.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October Updates: Material Costs, OSHA Guidance, Featured Products

The weather this month in Wisconsin sure hasn’t seemed like autumn -- and we’ll take as many good building days as we can get! The backlog of business with our customers appears to be a little stronger compared to this time last year. Roofing sales continue to be brisk across the state, mainly due to the storm damage over the past year.

The cost of lumber materials for a typical two-story house is up 4.32% from this time last year, although current prices are 2.1% below the YTD average and 3.7% below the 2010 average prices. In fact, the Commerce Department reports U.S. construction spending rose 1.4% in August, estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $799.1 billion. That’s 1.4% higher than the revised July estimate and 0.9% higher than the August 2010 figure.

We also have updates on OSHA’s new fall protection requirements -- there is new compliance assistance for builders. The NAHB says this includes:
  • OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS) will give the highest priority to on-site consultation project requests involving residential fall protection.
  • If an inspection finds that employers are following the old directive instead of the new one, a citation will likely be issued but OSHA’s area directors may reduce the penalty by as much as 10% if there is evidence of a good faith effort to comply.
  • Area directors will give residential construction employers at least 30 days to correct fall protection violations identified under the new fall protection directive. During this time, if employers are found not to be in compliance at that site or another site, no additional citations or repeat citations will be issued. 
In addition, OSHA’s regional offices will review all the proposed fall protection citations that are issued to ensure that the regulation is being enforced consistently. These additional measures went into effect on Sept. 22 and will expire on March 15.

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just released new guidance for residential homebuilders and construction contractors, subcontractors, and supervisors to prevent nail gun injuries.  The guide outlines types of triggers, describes key terms, highlights what is known about nail gun injuries, discusses common causes of nail gun injuries and gives practical steps you can take to prevent these injuries. Click here to read Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors

We’re featuring Weyerhaeuser’s Trus Joist brand of engineered lumber products on social media this month. You may have known Weyerhaeuser’s wood product as iLevel, but the company recently adjusted its name in order to simplify customer contacts. The “iLevel by Weyerhaeuser” business will simply be known as “Weyerhaeuser.” Trus Joist developed wooden I-joists over 40 years ago, and since then Weyerhaeuser has continually improved their quality and made them easier to work with. Engineered to provide strength and consistency, TJI joists are a key part of the Trus Joist Floor System using TJ-Pro Ratings to help ensure high customer satisfaction and quality.

Staying up-to-date on your projects and community involvement is important to us, so please keep us updated. We’re glad to feature your work on our website and social media. Contact your local Wisconsin Building Supply representative or leave us a comment on this post.