The Construction Beat: Marty Walsh confirmed as labor secretary, Virginia becomes ninth state with worker protection unit and OSHA issues National Emphasis Program

The most important news updates from across the industry

Sam Garrett / Buildertrend

Don’t dig for construction headlines. We’ve done the work for you.

We at Buildertrend know the industry moves fast – and want to help you keep up. Because we also know a more informed construction team is a more successful and inspired one. That’s why we deliver the most newsworthy updates, all in one place. With “The Construction Beat,” check out what’s been happening around the industry – and why it matters to you.

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.

Construction dive labor sec

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.

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construction dive Virginia

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.

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hogan lovells osha

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.

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Wall Street Journal housing boom

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.

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realtor home construction

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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About the Author

sam garrett - law clerk at buildertrend
Sam Garrett

Sam Garrett is a law clerk at Buildertrend

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