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August 17, 2017

SOMERSET, N.J.—NEI Corporation recently announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance to the company on two patent applications—one for a durable highly hydrophobic coating and the other for an adhesion promoting surface treatment. These patents complement NEI’s portfolio of patents pertaining to superhydrophobic, self-healing, and abrasion resistant coatings. The company is an application driven company that uses nanotechnology to develop and produce advanced materials.

August 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—OSHA has launched its “Safe and Sound Campaign,” which calls on employers to review and revamp their safety protocols to better protect workers. OSHA states that each year, more than 4 million workers suffer series job-related injuries or illnesses, causing companies to spend about $1 billion per week on workers’ compensation. This means that not only do workplace incidents hurt workers and their families, they also cost businesses money. The campaign aims to curb both.

The program, being promoted in OSHA’s Region 7, comes on the heels of 12 fatality inspections in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in the period of Oct. 1, 2016, through Feb. 1, 2017. That number is up from seven during the same period last year. OSHA found a significant increase in fatalities associated with confined space entry, trenching and excavating, and workers being struck by motor vehicles. Region 7 covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

OSHA is also reminding companies that the administration offers compliance assistance to small- and medium-sized business at no charge. More information is available at www.osha.gov/consultation.

August 14, 2017

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Scott Rowley is excited to announce the launch of his new, professional painting business. Fresh Coat of Fort Collins offers residential and commercial painting services, including interior and exterior painting, wood staining and finishing, and other services for nearly every protective coating application. The company serves Fort Collins, Windsor, Severance, Eaton, Timnath, and surrounding areas.

The company uses quality, environmentally safe materials and offers a 24/7 customer service center, online scheduling, in-home color design consultations, and detailed quotes. As part of their commitment to customer service, Fresh Coat offers a 3-3-3 customer service pledge, so calls will be answered by a live person within 3 minutes, a quote will be delivered within 3 days (customer schedule permitting) and the job will be started within 3 weeks.

August 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have collaborated to update OSHA’s original Heat Safety Tool. The updated app, available for both Android and iPhone, provides a clearer user interface, while still providing the same information to help keep workers safe when working outdoors in hot weather. Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard; each year more than 65,000 people seek medical treatment for extreme heat exposure.

Employers should encourage workers exposed to hot and humid conditions to use the app to check the heat index and relevant protective measures. The app displays the heat index in the user’s location and shows the current risk level. The app also forecasts the hourly heat index throughout the entire workday, giving employers information they can use to adjust the work environment as needed to protect workers. More than 450,000 users have downloaded the original app since it was launched in 2011. The original OSHA app will no longer function after September 30.

To download the updated app and get more information on OSHA’s efforts to help protect workers from the heat, visit www.osha.gov/heat/index.html.

August 8, 2017

CHICAGO, Ill.—Rebecca Bennett has received the 2017 Bertram A. Stone Award from the Chicago Midwest Chapter (CMC) of the NASF. The award is the top honor of CMC and is bestowed on an individual who has performed outstanding service to the finishing industry locally and/or nationally. Bennett, director of chemical and environmental compliance at Precision Plating, serves on NASF’s board of directors.

August 7, 2017

Oct. 10-11: Powder Coating 101 Workshop. Rockwall, Tex. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

August 4, 2017

CLEVELAND, Ohio—The long-gestating acquisition of the Minneapolis-based Valspar Corp. by The Sherwin-Williams Co., Cleveland, was finalized on June 1. The $11.3 billion deal was first announced in March 2016 and was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The merger creates a global paints and coatings company with a strong financial foothold across the Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions.

The companies will complete the deal for $113 per share. As part of a regulatory agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in relation to the merger, Sherwin-Williams will divest of Valspar’s North American industrial wood coatings business by selling the unit to Philadelphia-based Axalta Coating Systems for $420 million in cash.

August 3, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings has announced the results of its 2017 election process. Don Holle, Ahbe & Svoboda Inc., was elected to the board in the Coating Contractor demographic. Former board president James King, John B. Conomos Inc., will take the role of ex-officio for 2 years so that he may complete his work on various financial committees. Reelected to the board was Jay Kranker, AggrekoNorth America, in the Other Product Supplier category.

As of July 1, Brian Skerry, Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings, will take over as president of the Board of Governors. Garry Manous, Atsalis Bros. Painting, will be president-elect. Joe Walker, Elcometer, will serve as vice president. Gunnar Ackx, SCICON Worldwide, will become immediate past-president. SSPC is the only nonprofit association that is focused on the protection and preservation of concrete, steel, and other industrial and marine structures and surfaces through the use of high-performance protective, marine, and industrial coatings.

July 31, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—OSHA will begin enforcing its new respirable crystalline silica standard for construction this June, and the federal agency has released a compliance guide for small businesses to help them understand and follow the rule. The new guide for construction helps business owners to determine whether the rule applies to them, and what measures they must take to protect workers as well as keep proper records.

OSHA approved the new regulation on respirable silica dust, which can cause silicosis and lung cancer and can be a hazard in abrasive blasting and some concrete work, last year. The agency reduced the permissible exposure limit for the material to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over an eight-hour shift.

July 28, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—In June, PPG Industries dropped its months-long bid to merge with Dutch rival AkzoNobel. PPG, which had been the world’s largest coatings company prior to The Sherwin-Williams Co.’s acquisition of Valspar, said that after a final attempt to engage with AkzoNobel, PPG decided to give up on the merger bid. The bid lasted for over two months and involved three formal offers.

AkzoNobel said in a statement that it will continue to pursue its stated plan to spin off its Specialty Chemicals unit into a separate business from its Paints and Coatings unit, a move that the company says will help it to accelerate growth.

July 27, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), Taylor Mill, Ky., has honored members for service and dedication and installed its 2017-2018 Officers and National Board members. CCAI is a nonprofit technical and professional association that provides information and education on surface coating technologies worldwide.

CCAI’s highest honor, the 2017 James F. and David J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Kevin Coursin, Engineered Finishing Systems. Coursin was honored for his dedication and commitment to CCAI.

CCAI also installed its 2017-2018 National Board of Directors and Officers. Serving as officers are Ron Lum, Coral Chemical Co., president; Bill Oney, Therma-Tron-X, vice president; Duane Fudge, Chemetall, treasurer; and Kevin Coursin, Engineered Finishing Systems, recent past president.

Serving as directors are Shivie Dhillon, SunDial Powder Coatings; Jim Gallagher, Harley-Davidson; Kevin Irving, AZZ Metal Coatings; Loren Keene, Pneu-Mech Systems Mfg.; Dan Labrecque, Tiger Drylac USA, Inc.; Todd Luciano, Products Finishing; Jim Malloy, Kolene Corp.; Ron McMahon; Tim Milner, JIT Powder Coating; Tony Sclafani, AR Iron, LLC; Mark Walsworth, Nordic Ware Inc.; Bob Warren; and Sam Woehler, George Koch Sons LLC. Serving as Ex-officio Board member is Larry Melgary, Northern Coatings & Chemicals.

Each year, CCAI chapters recognize a user and supplier member for their year-long service and dedication to their respective chapter. The 2016-2017 Chapter Award winners are: Central States Chapter — Nathan Finney, IHD Powdercoat Services Inc., and Josh Gilmore, IntelliFinishing; Georgia Chapter — Derek Dennis, Matrix Powder Technology; Iowa/Central Illinois Chapter — Seth Padilla, Macon of Kewanee, and Kevin Irving, AZZ Metal Coatings; Las Vegas Chapter — Tony Sclafani, AR Iron LLC, and Sercy Spears, Coral Chemical Co.; Northern Illinois Chapter — Kevin Coursin, Engineered Finishing Systems; Salt Lake City Chapter — Ginny Phommavongsay, Martin Door Manufacturing, and Ron Lum, Coral Chemical Co.; Southern California Chapter — Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coating, and Antonio Tapia, Coral Chemical Co.; Twin Cities Chapter — Angela Kokesh, Life Fitness, and Pat Cullen, Cullen Equipment LLC; West Michigan Chapter — Marc Sanchez, Techno-Coat Inc., and Dale Mulder, ChemQuest Inc.; and Wisconsin Chapter — Will Hochschild, Wacker Neuson Corp., and Terry Welch, Prime Coatings Co.

July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Donald J. Trump’s recently released budget proposal includes a closer look at the administration’s infrastructure plan, which involves increased spending at the federal level that the president hopes will spawn four times as much private spending in order to fulfill a $1 trillion campaign promise.

Trump’s budget, which was unveiled May 23, proposes $200 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure in the next 10 years. The plan calls for a $5 billion expenditure in 2018, as proposed reforms and financing programs kick into gear. Federal spending would increase to $25 billion in 2019, $40 billion in 2020, and peak at $50 billion in 2021. Trump also would halt bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund and fill it with federal gas tax revenue; the result would be a $96 billion “drop-off” over 10 years.

The White House said Trump would use taxpayer money to leverage investments by states, local governments, and the private sector, for a total of $1 trillion in investment at the end of the day. The administration would also augment every dollar spent by streamlining permits, overhauling loan and cost-sharing programs, and cracking down on frivolous lawsuits that the administration says bog down construction.

The White House released a six-page fact sheet that gave a broad sketch of the initiative. The actual legislative package is expected to be presented later this year.

Top Republican lawmakers are hoping the release of Trump’s budget to shore up the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, and other infrastructure will spur talks with Democratic leaders, who were disappointed by the steep cuts to the expenditures touted by Trump in his run to the presidency. Democratic lawmakers said that cuts to existing programs, including slicing federal funding for local transit projects, outstrip any proposed new spending.

July 24, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) recently held its annual Hall of Fame Banquet. Hall of Fame members are selected for their many years of service and dedication to PCI and the powder coating industry. This year, honoree Bob Allsop, a 42-year employee of Nordson Corp., was recognized for his service on multiple PCI committees, the PCI Board of Directors, and for serving in all the PCI officer positions. PCI is a nonprofit technical and professional association that provides information and education on powder coating technologies worldwide.

July 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to postpone the filing deadline for its new electronic recordkeeping rule, which had been set at July 1 for many employers. The new deadline for electronic reporting compliance is December 1, 2017. The reporting website (www.osha.gov/recordkeeping) will be updated as new information becomes available.

The regulation, officially titled the Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, was put into place in May 2016. It requires, among other provisions, that many employers submit workplace injury reports to OSHA electronically. The rule does not change the information that employers must keep, but changes the way they are required to report it.

Employers required to submit injury reports electronically under the new rule include those with more than 250 employees that are required to keep records of workplace injuries, and those with between 20 and 249 employees that are in certain “high-risk”
industries, including construction and manufacturing.

OSHA has said that information on workplace injuries that is collected electronically will be made public, though no personally identifiable information about workers will be disclosed. The rule is the subject of a suit filed by a number of industry groups, which claim it jeopardizes privacy, is unfair to businesses, and creates burdensome paperwork.

July 20, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has updated its coatings comparison app, the Coatings Comparison Calculator. Make sure that you have the most up-to-date app, along with a link to upcoming PCI events, by removing the old app from your phone and downloading the new version from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Using information such as volume solids, application or reclaim efficiency, specific gravity, product cost, and applied thickness, the app calculates and compares the cost of each material. It offers a visual comparison between powder and liquid material cost, or it can be used to evaluate each coating material individually. There are many other advantages to using a powder coating finish, and links to additional information highlighting these advantages can be accessed from within the app.

July 17, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA), a national trade association representing the major segments of the industrial heat processing equipment industry, has announced that its Fundamentals of Industrial Process Heating online learning course will be held on October 30, 2017. In this instructor-led, interactive online course, students learn safe, efficient operation of industrial heating equipment, how to reduce energy consumption, and ways to improve a company’s bottom-line.

Industry expert Jack Marino will lead students in this 6-week online course, which will provide an overview of the fundamentals of heat transfer, fuels and combustion, energy use, furnace design, refractories, automatic control, and atmospheres as applied to industrial process heating. Students will gain a basic understanding of heat transfer principles, fuels and combustion equipment, electric heating, and instrumentation and control for efficient operation of furnaces and ovens in process heating. Students will also earn PDHs for passing the course.

The registration fee includes course instruction, live interaction with the instructor, class forums to interact with other students, and an electronic copy of IHEA’s Fundamentals of Process Heating Course Handbook. Registration is open now through October 29 at www.ihea.org.

July 13, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Several new products have been introduced recently. The latest technologies available on the market are designed to make surface preparation easier, more effective, or even hands-free.

Clemco Industries, Washington, Mo., has introduced the Alpha 1 autonomous blasting robot by Sabre. The robotic system is built to provide blasting services in complex environments, removing human operators from workspaces that may be difficult or dangerous to access.

Spartan Blasting Systems, Durham, Calif., has introduced the Universal Blasting Station. This system is designed to be compatible with multiple brands and pot sizes, and is intended to save blasters time and money by eliminating the need to repeatedly refill the pot.

The Fonon Corp., Orlando, Fla., now offers CleanTech by Laser Photonics, a line of laser systems for cleaning and surface preparation. These systems offer a nonabrasive solution for paint, epoxy, rust, corrosion, and anodizing removal.

Blastrac NA, Oklahoma City, Okla., recently introduced the 18DM Shot Blaster, a new portable, lightweight shotblasting system that can prepare, strip, clean, and profile in one step.

Barton, Glen Falls, N.Y., has introduced the MG1 line, a medium fine garnet abrasive. The material is designed for new construction applications where thin coatings, mill scale, and light rust are to be removed without using a deep anchor pattern.

Jetstream, Houston, Tex., is now offering the FX Tornado spinner gun, a new gun for high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure waterblasting. The gun allows the nozzle to spin while maintaining maximum force.

July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Department of Labor’s OSHA has announced a proposed delay in the effective date of the rule entitled Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, from March 21, 2017, to May 20, 2017.

The announcement follows a White House memorandum, entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” issued Jan. 20, 2017, that directed the department to undertake a review of any new or pending regulations and temporarily postpone the date that they would take effect. The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity for further review and consideration of the rule, in keeping with the White House memorandum.

OSHA published the final rule on Jan. 9, 2017, and, in response to the memorandum, previously announced the effective date would be postponed to March 21, 2017. In its review process, OSHA has preliminarily determined that it is appropriate to further delay the effective date to May 20, 2017, for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy. The proposed extension of the effective date will not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule. The proposal has been scheduled for publication in the Federal Register.

The new rule would limit workplace exposure to beryllium, a metal that is present in some blasting abrasives and has been linked to lung disease. The rule comprises three separate standards for general industry, shipyards, and construction.

The new rule reduces the 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) for airborne beryllium from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter, a limit that applies to all industries. If beryllium exposure is greater than the PEL, employers must take extra steps, including providing engineering controls, medical exams, or medical surveillance. The rule also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.

Workers performing abrasive blasting can be exposed to fine particles of beryllium when the abrasive media contains the metal, as coal and copper slag sometimes do. Beryllium levels in abrasives are generally very low, but because of the fine dust generated in the blasting process, it can still be dangerous.

July 11, 2017

BRUSSELS, Belgium—After months of review, the European Union has approved the pending merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont, setting the two companies one step closer to combining. In order to make the $130 million merger happen, Dow and DuPont have agreed to sell key assets such as research and development activities.

The EU had been worried that the merger of the world’s two biggest chemical producers would impede on incentives for herbicide and pesticide innovations. Regulators had suspended the review twice seeking more information from both companies. However, the end result landed with divestments smaller than what analysts originally anticipated. DuPont will divest large portions of its pesticides business, including research and development organizations. This unit develops herbicides and pesticides. Dow will sell two acid copolymer manufacturing facilities in Spain and in the US, and a third-party contract through which it buys ionomers.

The European Union stated that its decision ensures that the merger between Dow and DuPont does not reduce price competition for existing pesticides or innovation for safer and better products in the future.

While the deal still needs to be approved by Brazil, China, Australia, Canada, and the US, Dow and DuPont released a joint statement citing the significance of the EU win. According to the statement, this regulatory milestone is a significant step toward closing the merger transaction, with the intention to subsequently spin into three independent publicly traded companies focused on material science, agriculture, and specialty products.

While the US typically follows suit with the EU, there are higher shares in corn and soybean seeds in the US that might cause concern.

July 10, 2017

DUBLIN, Ohio—Chemical manufacturer Ashland Inc. has established a new North American center for the study of corrosion vis a vis fiber reinforced polymers. The Ashland Corrosion Science Center, headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, will be focused on defining the efficacy of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) in new corrosion applications, and supporting customers already using FRP technology in fields like chemical processing, oil and gas, and mineral processing.

July 6, 2017

WESTPORT, Conn.—According to a recent Chem Show survey sent to more than 10,000 chemical and other processing manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and design/engineering firms, 2017 is expected to foster significantly elevated business prospects and sales throughout the chemical process industries. Based on survey results, 82 percent of respondents expect their sales to increase this year, with 69 percent additionally rating the year’s business climate as either good or excellent.

The five-question survey, distributed at the close of 2016, addressed a variety of parameters by which respondents were asked to measure overall business outlook for 2017. When asked to rate the overall industry business climate for 2017, 98 percent of respondents indicated a positive outlook. Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed also responded positively regarding their own company’s prospects for business this year, with 76 percent rating them as either excellent or good. Additionally, 82 percent indicated they expect their company’s sales to increase when comparing 2016 to 2017.

The Chem Show is the CPI’s largest North American event exclusively focused on the processing of fluids, powders, and gases. Held every odd-numbered calendar year, the Chem Show will return to New York City this October, opening its doors to thousands of engineers, plant managers, and other CPI professionals looking for new ways to optimize their process operations. More than 5,000 attendees are expected this year.

July 5, 2017

Sept. 6: Paint & Coating Basic. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact the PRA training team at training@pra-world.com ; www.pra-world.com/training.

Sept. 12-13: Powder Coating 202 Workshop. Elgin, Ill. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Sept. 26-28: Color Theory and Applications. Akron Polymer Training Center, Akron, Ohio. Sponsored by the University of Akron. Contact the training center at 330/972-8303; fax 330/972-8141; aptc@uakron.edu; www.uakron.edu/aptc.

July 3, 2017

ESSEN, Germany—Coatings manufacturer Evonik has introduced a new line of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) powders designed to reduce wear and tear on the industrial equipment that they protect. The Vestakeep line of powders can be applied via flame or electrostatic spraying or as aqueous dispersions. The line is designed specifically for tribological performance, reducing friction between sliding surfaces.

June 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Department of Labor is delaying its enforcement of a new rule on respirable crystalline silica in the construction industry, originally set to be enforced in June. The DOL’s OSHA announced in April that it would push back enforcement of the new crystalline silica standard from June 23 to September 23. The agency said the extra time is needed to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.

OSHA issued its final rule on respirable silica exposure in March 2016. The updated rule reduces the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift. The final rule also includes key provisions that require employers to use engineering controls and work practices to limit worker exposure, provide respiratory protection when controls are not able to limit exposures to the permissible level, limit access to high-exposure areas, train workers, and provide medical exams to highly exposed workers.

Two rules were issued, one for the construction industry and one for general industry. Employers covered by the construction standard had until June 23, 2017, to comply with most requirements, while employers covered by the general industry and maritime standard have until June 23, 2018. The general industry deadline has not changed.

The silica rule is subject to ongoing litigation in the N. Amer. Bldg. Trades Unions v. OSHA case, a suit in which both business and labor interests are challenging aspects of the rule and its implementation. Industry groups have expressed concerns about how protection requirements were determined, while unions challenging the law are concerned with provisions related to free silica testing and protection for workers who need to be removed from a worksite as a result of silica exposure.

Silica is one of Earth’s most common minerals, found in stone, rock, brick, mortar, and block. Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries, and abrasive blasting. Studies indicate that breathing in silica dust can lead to the debilitating and potentially fatal pulmonary disease silicosis as well as lung cancer.

June 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken the helm of the US Environmental Protection Agency, indicating in his first address to employees and the nation that he would follow President Donald J. Trump’s lead in stepping back from regulations set forth by the Obama administration. As an Attorney General, Pruitt often went rounds with the EPA and joined more than a dozen lawsuits challenging EPA actions by the former administration. He historically hasn’t shied away from an alliance with fossil fuel firms and maintained that he had stood up for the concerns of Oklahoma’s largest industries.

June 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Donald J. Trump has signed an executive order that establishes task forces within executive departments to identify regulations that might be ripe for repeal or modification under the new administration, and gives them 90 days to report back with recommendations.

The Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda calls on executive agencies to designate one official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO). The RRO will work with other agency officials on finding regulations currently on the books that the administration might want to eliminate in order to comply with an earlier executive order that requires the elimination of two regulations for every new regulation put into place.

The order calls on the RROs and their task forces to concentrate on rooting out regulations that might be eliminating jobs or inhibiting job creation, becoming outdated or unnecessary, imposing costs that exceed their benefits, and creating serious inconsistencies, among other factors. The order, as issued, affects all federal departments, but allows for a waiver for agencies that can prove they rarely issue regulations.

A number of new regulations that could affect the paints and coatings industry were put into place during the final year of the Obama administration. For example, OSHA approved new rules regarding electronic reporting, which also includes provisions related to workplace safety incentives. OSHA also put into place new rules on workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica and beryllium, both of which could affect abrasive blasting operations. The EPA has begun enforcing changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as it governs generators of hazardous waste. The new regulations, which went into effect in April, could affect both coating manufacturers and field coating removal operations.

June 26, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings has revealed that SSPC 2017, held in late January in Tampa., Fla., posted positive numbers in terms of registrations and exhibit booths. The organization states that the conference boasted more registrations, more exhibiting companies (including more first-time exhibitors), more overall booths, and more full conference participants than the previous year’s show. In fact, there was a nearly 20 percent increase in the number of people who chose to participate in the technical program. The next show, SSPC 2018, will be held January 15-18 in New Orleans, La.

June 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The deadline for many US employers to report workplace injury records under a new electronic recordkeeping rule is upon us, but there’s one big hitch. The website that they’re required to use to submit information doesn’t yet exist.

OSHA has yet to post the online submission form that’s central to the new Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries. The rule, put in place in May 2016, requires many employers to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data to OSHA. While there is legal action pending against the new regulation, a federal judge in Texas said last month that he won’t rule on the case until after the July 1 deadline for injury reporting submissions.

Employers are currently on the hook to comply with the rule before the deadline, because the same jurist, Judge Sam Lindsay of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, previously ruled against a preliminary injunction to stop provisions of the rule from taking effect during the legal challenge.

OSHA offers forms for recordkeeping on its website, but the page that the agency promised to post so that employers can upload their records wasn’t available yet (as of this magazine’s press date). The main webpage pertaining to recordkeeping states that OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs. Updates will be posted on www.osha.gov/recordkeeping when they are available.

Employers required to submit injury reports electronically under the new rule include those with more than 250 employees that are required to keep records of workplace injuries, and those with between 20 and 249 employees that are in certain high-risk industries, including construction and manufacturing.

The rule does not require employers to keep records they were not previously required to maintain, but changes the way the Department of Labor receives and publicizes the information. OSHA says the information collected will be made public, but also holds that no information made public will include personally identifiable information about individuals injured on the job.

According to Judge Lindsay’s April ruling, the Plaintiffs in the case have until July 5 to submit a proposed summary judgment briefing, and attorneys for the Labor Department have until the same date to respond to motions to intervene.

June 22, 2017

CANBERRA, Australia—Corrosion on a steel sculpture has led to a large repair bill for the government in one Australian territory, and the problem reportedly stems from a failure to apply needed primer when the piece was first installed.

The Toku sculpture stands in Canberra’s Nara Peace Park, a tribute to the Australian capital’s sister city in Nara, Japan. It was designed by artist Shinki Kato, and created in 2010. Its lack of proper coating has led to rapid corrosion and deterioration.

The sculpture’s rust problem was due to a lack of primer, which caused the paint on the piece to strip away. The internal surfaces were also untreated, which contributed to the deterioration. In addition, the artist used a special decorative paint containing a silicon additive to create a hammered effect, which may have compounded the problem.

Because the corrosion problem was discovered outside of the warranty period for the piece, the government of the Australian Capital Territory has been left footing the more than $66,000 bill for repairs. A pair of restoration companies were hired to address the issue. The sculpture was removed, blasted, and recoated to stop the rust and protect the structure, while restoring its original aesthetic as much as possible.

June 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A rule that would have required contractors seeking work on federal projects to disclose violations, including wage and hour laws, health and safety rules, and civil rights protections, was struck down by President Donald J. Trump.

In order to overturn the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, also known as the blacklisting rule, lawmakers employed the Congressional Review Act, a rarely used legislative tool. In a close vote, the Senate passed H.J. Res. 37 on March 6. The House approved the measure in February. The rule was repealed when the President signed H.J. Res. 37 on March 28.

Originally issued in July 2014 and amended in August 2016, the rule was scheduled to go into effect October 25, 2016, implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13673. The month the rule was set to go into effect, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the provisions.

The rule would have required businesses bidding for federal contracts over $500,000 to disclose not only civil and administrative proceedings against them, but also violations of any of the 14 listed workplace protections in the past 3 years. According to the Department of Labor, the final rule was meant to ensure that contractors who don’t follow the rules aren’t rewarded with federal contracts, and those who do are given a fair chance. Opponents feared that the rule imposed a sweeping new regulatory scheme on federal contractors that would disrupt the federal procurement process, significantly increase red tape and costs for both government and industry, and serve as a barrier to entry to federal contracting for many businesses.

June 20, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—After 2 weeks of deliberation and one meeting with PPG Industries, Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel has rejected PPG’s third proposal for a merger between the two companies. The new proposal came in at about $28.8 billion. PPG’s first and second offers, of $22.8 billion and $26.3 billion, were both rejected.

AkzoNobel stated that it engaged in an extensive review and careful consideration of the third bid, but determined that its stakeholders would be better suited by its plan to accelerate growth by spinning off its Specialty Chemicals business as a separate entity from its Paints and Coatings business. In response, PPG stated that AkzoNobel refused to negotiate and that the meeting was called hastily and did not involve a discussion about AkzoNobel’s concerns regarding the merger plan or its alternative strategy for growth.

In rejecting the latest proposal, AkzoNobel cited many of the same issues it noted previously with regard to PPG’s merger bid. The offer undervalues the company, includes regulatory risks, would take up to 18 months to complete, contains uncertainty because of its scale, and does not fully address AkzoNobel’s concerns about its employees and its commitment to sustainability. PPG is currently the largest coatings company in the world, with AkzoNobel second. A merger with AkzoNobel would be the largest acquisition PPG has ever taken on.

In response to the proposal rejection, PPG issued a new statement reiterating that the Pittsburgh-based firm still favors the idea of combining the two companies. PPG remains willing to meet with AkzoNobel to engage in meaningful discussions, but that without productive engagement, PPG will assess and decide whether or not to pursue an offer for AkzoNobel.

It is possible that PPG may consider a hostile takeover bid for AkzoNobel. Bloomberg reports that PPG Chairman and CEO Michael McGarry has said he will pursue a takeover if AkzoNobel is not willing to negotiate by June 1. In a hostile takeover, a company seeking to acquire another firm appeals directly to the firm’s shareholders in order to circumvent resistance from executives. The practice can also include attempting to have executives at the firm replaced.

June 14, 2017

ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Diamond Vogel Paint has broken ground for an addition of 91,000 square feet to its existing Peridium Powder Coatings production facility in Orange City, Iowa. The 5-year, $30 million expansion plan will more than double the facility’s current size. There are currently 10 production lines in the powder coating plant, and this expansion will allow room for 15 more lines.

Diamond Vogel, which is celebrating 90 years of service this year, provides coating products to the architectural, heavy-duty protective, industrial, traffic, and powder coating markets. The Peridium Powder Coatings technologies include TGIC polyester, hybrid, urethane, and epoxy.

June 13, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) will hold its 2017 Fall Seminars at the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, S.C., on September 19-20.

IHEA’s 48th Annual Combustion Seminar and its annual Safety Standards and Codes Seminar will take place over both days. The Induction Seminar will be a half-day event on September 19. Attendees to all events will also enjoy access to IHEA’s Tabletop Exhibition & Reception on September 19.

Held concurrently, the Combustion Seminar features industry professionals from leading heat processing companies who deliver pertinent information in combustion technologies. The comprehensive Safety Standards and Codes Seminar covers critical safety information for those involved with a wide range of industrial thermprocess applications. The safety seminar speakers have a first-hand working knowledge in the development of the NFPA 86 standard. IHEA’s newly developed Induction Division has created a concise, half-day seminar that highlights the basics of induction technology, the applications and equipment used, and the advantages of induction for improving plant operations.

These classes offer the perfect mix of technical information and the opportunity to attend the tabletop exhibit to interact with speakers and suppliers of the products and services discussed throughout all three seminars.

Details are being finalized for these educational seminars and combined tabletop exhibition. For more info, visit www.ihea.org.