The Construction Beat: Marty Walsh confirmed as labor secretary, Virginia becomes ninth state with worker protection unit and OSHA issues National Emphasis Program
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This week, we’re bringing you updates on the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of labor secretary, Virginia’s worker protection unit, OSHA’s National Emphasis program and more.
Senate confirms former union leader Marty Walsh as labor secretary
Former union leader and Boston mayor Marty Walsh was confirmed as secretary of labor last week by a 68-29 Senate vote. Walsh is the first union leader to serve in the position in more than 40 years.
Virginia becomes ninth state to create a worker protection unit
Virginia joins eight other states and the District of Columbia in creating a worker protection unit. The unit will be dedicated to informing Virginian workers of their rights and charging those who exploit workers. The unit’s first task will be targeting businesses that commit wage theft and payroll fraud. States with similar worker protection units include Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts and New York.
OSHA issues National Emphasis Program and Enforcement Response Plan, targeting certain industries
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a new National Emphasis Program, which will prioritize inspections for “high-hazard industries” where there is a hazard for contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. The NEP’s goal is to reduce spread of the virus within workplaces. To accomplish this, OSHA will use a phased approach with construction being a targeted industry within the third “programmed inspections” phase.
The pandemic ignited a housing boom – but it’s different from the last one
The residential real-estate market has been performing its best since 2006 just before the housing bubble burst. However, today’s market is the inverse of the previous boom due to more stability and fewer systemic risks.
Raising the roof: 10 cities building the most homes for buyers
The global pandemic has exacerbated demand for new homes after the number of listings for available homes is about half of what it was a year ago. However, these ten cities are the locations where builders have filed the most permits for single-family homes, condos, co-ops, apartments, townhouses and duplexes.
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