Pressure Sensitive Tape Council Opens Calls for Abstracts for TECH 40 Technical Seminar

Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) opens Calls for Abstracts to its TECH 40 Technical Seminar, taking place during the 2017 Tape Summit from May 15-19, 2017 at Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. Submitting an abstract allows participants to share industry expertise and leadership, all while supporting the PSTC event. Chosen abstracts and subsequent final papers will be highlighted at TECH 40 in Las Vegas.

Topics include ideas on processes, materials, technology, test methods, applications, environmental issues and more – all related to advancing the science of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes in the building construction, alternative energy, packaging, transportation, medical/healthcare industries.

The abstract submission process has been upgraded with a more user-friendly interface. Those interested in participating can visit www.pstc.org/TECH40Papers to submit an abstract. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 29, and applicants will be notified if their work has been selected in late fall 2016. In the event that applicants should require deadline flexibility for submission, contact PSTC directly at info@pstc.org.

The Pressure Sensitive Tape Council is an organization of pressure sensitive tape companies, complying with manufacturing standards in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

Essential Ladder Rack Features

As a roofing professional, you rely very heavily on your ladder for work. Keeping that ladder secure during transportation should be a priority. If you recently purchased a new work vehicle or a new ladder and are in the market for a secure storage solution for your ladder, it’s important to understand all of your ladder rack options before you make an investment.

At first glance, a ladder rack is just that—a piece of equipment that attaches to the roof of your van or truck to aid in the transportation of your ladder. But did you know that different ladder racks have different elements that may benefit you as a roofing professional?

Take a look at some of the most important features to consider when shopping for a ladder rack for your work vehicle:

  • Ergonomics: You use your ladder on a daily basis, if not more! Overtime, all of that loading and unloading can really take a toll on your back, shoulders and overall body. Even if you’re in fantastic physical shape, if you twist wrong or lose your balance while unloading a ladder, you could get seriously injured. An ergonomic ladder rack is ideal for professionals just like you. These types of ladder racks allow users to lower the ladder down to an easily reachable height. No more straining to reach your ladder!
  • Security: When you choose a ladder rack, you will want to make sure that it’s one that will keep your ladder secure during transportation. The last thing you want is to deal with a lawsuit because your ladder fell off your vehicle’s roof while driving. Look for ladder racks with lockable, gripping mechanisms to ensure safe transportation of your ladder.
  • Durability: No one wants to invest in a ladder rack just to have it rust out in a few years. Like with most products, the cost of a ladder rack is often directly correlated with its quality. A high-quality ladder rack may have a high sticker price but, in the long run, its durability and reliability will prove to be more cost-efficient. However, if you’re just looking for a short-term solution, a cheaper ladder rack maybe a better fit for your situation.
  • Versatility: Sometimes you may need to transport things other than your ladder on the roof of your work vehicle because of their size. If this is the case, you may want to consider a roof storage solution that has the ability to secure ladders and cargo. Look for a utility rack that features heavy-duty tie-down cleats to secure loads on the roof while traveling. Ladder racks come in all shapes and sizes with many different features available. So if you’re in the market fora new ladder rack, do your homework before you buy to ensure you’re getting the right product for your trade.

College of Engineering at OSU Develops Facility to Improve Safety for Construction Workers

The College of Engineering at Oregon State University is developing a facility to improve safety for construction workers and the general public.

A $1 million grant announced from Knife River Corp. and MDU Construction Services Group will help support creation of this laboratory, which will be called the MDU Resources Group Construction Safety Laboratory, officials say.

“This lab establishes us as a national facility for construction and transportation safety research and education,” says Scott Ashford, the dean and Kearney Professor of Engineering at the OSU College of Engineering.

“We’re delighted to partner with Knife River and MDU Construction Services Group on this critically important project,” says Ashford. “These two companies are industry representatives in safety, and their commitment to our program will allow us to further advance processes and technologies that will help to better prevent workplace injuries.”

When complete, the lab will have two components to create a virtual construction environment that replicates real-world job sites. An interactive, high-definition projection system will allow multiple users to conduct sample work operations without actually putting workers at risk for injury. And a connected driving simulator will help evaluate driver and worker actions as vehicles pass through a work zone.

“This project provides a virtual environment where industry and academia can work together on real-world solutions,” says Jeff Thiede, president and CEO of MDU Construction Services Group.

The lab will also expand and enhance an initiative begun several years ago at OSU to yield major improvements in worker safety by emphasizing “prevention through design.” This concept emphasizes safety consideration at the very design stage to make buildings, bridges, roadways, and other structures safer to build and to maintain.

“There’s a long history in the construction industry of architects and design engineers leaving construction safety up to the builder or contractor, saying it wasn’t really the designer’s concern,” says John Gambatese, an OSU professor of civil engineering, a national expert in construction design and safety.

“Some of this dates historically to the separation between owner, architect, contractor, maintenance and construction worker,” Gambatese says. “There are also legal and liability issues. But there are many ways we can improve construction safety with this approach.”

OSU researchers and other experts eventually see construction safety, both in design and job-site activities, as becoming one component of “green” construction concepts, and adding a social aspect to the idea of sustainability. Based in part on OSU research, the U.S. Green Building Council recently added a pilot “prevention through design” credit to its rating system for sustainable buildings.

This emphasis on safety is needed, OSU researchers say. Construction is a traditionally dangerous profession, with such risks as falls from an elevated height, electrocution, trench cave-ins and many lesser workplace injuries.

The laboratory at OSU will be able to simulate some of these situations on the jobsite, helping to identify safer ways to work while also studying improved productivity and minimizing costs, officials say.