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A publication of the Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc.


Bulfinch Triangle District of Boston City Proper Drainage and Water Works Improvements

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OFFICERS President AL MORTEO FED. CORP. President-Elect CHRISTOPHER WALSH W. Walsh Co., Inc. Treasurer JOHN OUR Robert B. Our Co., Inc. Secretary PAUL SCENNA Albanese D&S, Inc.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MARCELLA ALBANESE Albanese Bros., Inc. JEFF BARDELL Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, Inc. VINCENT BARLETTA Barletta Heavy Division MICHAEL BISZKO, III Biszko Contracting Corp. TONY BORRELLI Celco Construction Corp. STEVEN COMOLETTI P. Caliacco Corp. MAUREEN DAGLE Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. ADAM DeSANCTIS DeSanctis Ins. Agency, Inc. THOMAS DESCOTEAUX R. H. White Const. Co., Inc. JERRY GAGLIARDUCCI Gagliarducci Construction, Inc. MARCO GIOIOSO P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. BILL IRWIN C.J.P. & Sons Const. Co., Inc. PHIL JASSET Honorary Board Member BILL KEAVENEY A. R. Belli, Inc. ROBERT LEE J. F. White Contracting Co. RYAN McCOURT McCourt Construction Co. RICHARD PACELLA, JR. R. M. Pacella, Inc. LOUIS SCHOOLCRAFT Ti-SALES, Inc. ANNE KLAYMAN Executive Director


IN THIS ISSUE 3 President’s Message:

An Open Letter to City and Town Elected Officials

5 Legislative Update:

• UCANE Active on Variety of Matters as 2011-2012 Legislative Session Closes • Boston City Council Holds Hearing on Proposed Diesel Retrofit Ordinance • IRS Issues 2013 Optional Standard Mileage Rates to Calculate Deductible Costs for Business-Related Automobiles • Representative Robert DeLeo Elected Speaker of the House; Senator Therese Murray Elected Senate President • Representative Brad Jones and Senator Bruce Tarr Elected Minority Leaders

14 Contractor Member of the Month:

P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. Celebrating 50 Years in the Construction Industry

21 UCANE Interview:

Representative Paul Donato, House Third Division Chair

25 UCANE Has a New Website 40 UCANE’s 2nd Annual Appreciation Night Trade Show 26 OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations in 2012 33 Q & A With OSHA’s Patrick Kapust 36 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Gala for a Cure” 37 UCANE Member Rain for Rent Mobilizes More than 520 Pumps & 100 Personnel to New York/New Jersey Area 41 Environmental Viewpoint:

The New Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Processes Regulations

43 UCANE’s 2013 Scholarship Applications Now Available 45 Benefits & HR Strategies:

5 Steps Employers Can Take for 2013 Retirement Plan Success

50 Employers are Reminded to Post Injury & Illness Summaries 51 Financial Management:

• Social Security: The 8% Solution • Buying Stocks Through Dividend Reinvestment Plans • Tax Planning for S Corporation Owners

Editor: Anne Klayman, Associate Editor: Suzanne Savage, Graphic Designer: Sherri Klayman Construction Outlook Chairman: Al Morteo Editorial Board: Al Morteo, Christopher Walsh, John Our and Paul Scenna CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK published monthly by the Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc., 300 Congress Street, Suite 101, Quincy, MA 02169; Tel: 617.471.9955; Fax: 617.471.8939; E-mail:; Website: Statements of fact and opinion are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of UCANE and the Construction Outlook editorial board and staff. Subscriptions are included in dues payments for UCANE members. Presorted Standard postage paid at Abington, MA. POSTMASTER, please send form #3579 to Construction Outlook, Crown Colony Office Park, 300 Congress Street, Suite 101, Quincy, MA 02169.



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An Open Letter To City And Town Elected Officials… Clean Water is a top priority of your residents… Now is the opportune time to address water infrastructure!


here is no denying that the majority of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts continue to face budget deficits in 2013. This is precisely the reason why I am writing this open letter to city and town officials. I want to make two points. First, everybody is looking to their officials for bold and positive leadership. A major concern for you will be prioritizing essential programs and balancing the needs of your residents with expected revenue. My hope is that wastewater pollution control and clean drinking water will remain a top priority with you, as I know they are with your residents. Second, as the Legislature begins to tackle the Commonwealth’s water and sewer infrastructure, please be active in advocating for funding mechanisms that recognize the significant needs facing the Commonwealth and your city or town in the future. Whether residents and businesses understand it, a well maintained water infrastructure is the backbone to better public health, a cleaner environment and more economic development. While the financial crisis that our cities and towns are now facing is cyclical in nature, it provides local officials the opportunity to review each and every government sponsored program to improve operating efficiencies, while eliminating waste and redundancy. The resulting effort should be a government more responsive to the true needs of the people—one that does not ignore long term needs in the name of short term fixes. To that end, the financial crisis represents an opportunity to gain the largest social and economic benefit for

your residents. With this in mind, the Legislature will soon be addressing the Commonwealth’s water infrastructure funding needs in the near future. It is at this opportunity that cities and towns should seek more funding mechanisms to meet our future water infrastructure challenges. Despite the State Revolving Loan Fund Program (SRF), faithfully managed and administered by the MassDEP, historically being the primary funding source for clean drinking water protection, the SRF alone may not be enough today. Although for many years there was insufficient SRF resources to fund all of the approved projects, the SRF Program now has additional funds. Why? Facing these tight fiscal times, many municipalities may feel that more funding options are necessary. So while I encourage you to re-evaluate your SRF eligibility to acquire these unexpected and available funds, I also urge you to be a part of the discussions on Beacon Hill relative to your water infrastructure needs. If we tackle the Commonwealth’s water infrastructure needs today, we will establish a strong foundation for tomorrow. When you review your budgets over the next few months and scrutinize each program, if you think about your residents and the long-term benefits of having a modern and improved underground infrastructure, I believe you will make the right decision to not only go forward with your projects, if possible, but also be a leader at home and at the State House advocating for the tools to improve our water infrastructure. Leadership belongs to those who make difficult decisions for all the right reasons!

As I begin my term as UCANE President, I want to thank the membership for extending this privilege to me. I also want to congratulate my fellow Officers and Directors and look forward to working with them. My number one goal is to get work out to bid, and to support the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission (WIFC) in securing financial assistance for local cities and towns for their underground infrastructure projects. I’m counting on our memberships support so that we can reach this goal. n JANUARY, 2013




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UCANE Active on Variety of Matters as 2011-2012 Legislative Session Closes


s the 2011-2012 legislative session drew to a close, the informal sessions saw UCANE active in attempting to advance its filed matters and defending against other bills that would have a detrimental impact on the construction industry, generally, and utility contractors, specifically. While unsuccessful in advancing its price adjustment legislation, which had passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives, UCANE was successful in defeating legislation that would have created onerous conditions for contractors in the coming year. While informal sessions are generally occasions for passing non-controversial legislation, two pieces of legislation impacting the construction industry were slated for movement at the end of the legislative session. In particular, UCANE was successful in raising sufficient concerns in unison with the Associated Builders and Contractors, to forestall the passage of Senate Bill 85, An Act Relative to Maintaining Public Water Systems. This legislation, which originally would have exempted municipalities and utility contractors on public projects from the interpretation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety relative to the use of licensed sprinkler fitters, was amended to exclude only municipalities. The legislation, which had already passed the Senate, was defeated after a number of representatives raised concerns about the impact of the legislation. Another matter in which UCANE raised concerns about the impact on the construction industry was with respect to House Bill 3158/Senate Bill 2478, Acts Relative to Public Construction and Process Piping. Originally a piece of legislation that contained an unsupported requirement for additional electronic certified payroll submissions, the legislation was also amended to include further restrictions on “process piping”. As a result of the apparent duplication of certified payroll requirements and onerous process


piping requirements, UCANE and other construction associations raised significant concerns that led to both measures stalling before final passage. Accordingly, none of the aforementioned matters made it to the Governor’s desk for his approval. With the start of the 2013-2014 legislative session, it is expected that these matters will be re-filed for consideration by the legislature. continued on page 7

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Legislative Update continued from page 5


Boston City Council Holds Hearing on Proposed Diesel Retrofit Ordinance

n December 18, 2012, a joint committee hearing of the Boston City Council’s Committees on Government Operations and Labor, Youth Affairs and Health held a public hearing on a proposed local ordinance mandating the use of diesel retrofits. The late-filed ordinance would have had a dramatic impact on any contractor who entered into a contract for a public project funded by the City of Boston. In particular, the ordinance would have: 1. held city vehicles to a much lower standard (20% reduction vs. 85% reduction requirement); 2. specifically applied to contractors and subcontractors; 3. created a narrow exemption threshold of $500,000 as well as vehicles only operating 100 hours or less; 4. prohibit Tier 2 engines in all cases; 5. allowed for the city to average their entire fleet while contractors could not; 6. made for no exemption for cranes and;

7. created a different standard than that used by virtually every state agency. UCANE, after notifying its similarly situated construction associations, raised its significant concerns with City Councilors Stephen Murphy and Felix Arroyo, authors of the proposed ordinance. UCANE highlighted the concerns above as well as the general concern that this ordinance would adversely impact small to medium sized contractors and businesses. As a result of the significant concerns raised by a variety of impacted parties (i.e. snowplow contractors, trucking contractors and construction contractors), the Boston City Council did not act on the measure before the end of the year. Accordingly, the measure must be re-filed before the new City Council session beginning in January. As City Councilors expressed interest in seeing this ordinance, or a similar type of ordinance, passed into law, UCANE will continue to reach out to members of the Boston City Council to educate them about the practices currently used in the construction industry to address air quality concerns. continued on page 9

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Legislative Update continued from page 7

IRS Issues 2013 Optional Standard Mileage Rates to Calculate Deductible Costs for BusinessRelated Automobiles



ccording to a late November press release, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the 2013 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven. • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes. • 4 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. The rate for business miles driven during 2013 increases 1 cent from the 2012 rate. The medical and moving rate is also up 1 cent per mile from the 2012 rate. According to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs. It is noted that taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. That said, please note that the IRS warns that taxpayers may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously. These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical, or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2012-72 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan. To obtain a copy of this notice, please visit: continued on page 11


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Legislative Update continued from page 9


Representative Robert DeLeo Elected Speaker of the House; Senator Therese Murray Elected Senate President

he Massachusetts Legislature convened its 188th general session on January 2, 2013. After the swearing in of their respective membership, members elected Representative Robert “Bob” DeLeo as Speaker of the House and Senator Therese Murray as Senate President. Speaking to members of the House, Speaker DeLeo (D-Winthrop) vowed to tackle the issues facing the state’s transportation system, lead a state-level effort to address guns and mental health, maintain a sharp focus on economic development and job creation, and, once again, ask the House to freeze the scheduled unemployment insurance rate increase. Aware of the large issues and budget deficit that loom over the MBTA and state transportation system in general, Speaker DeLeo presented three main principles that will inform the House’s forthcoming approach: (a) considering all opportunities to bring efficiencies to our transportation operations; (b) reflecting a sense of regional equity; and (c) maintaining roads, bridges and tunnels in good and safe condition. Of further interest to UCANE members, Speaker DeLeo recognized the need for implementing an unemployment insurance rate freeze. In addition to asking the House to freeze the rate again this year, the Speaker reiterated his interest in stimulating business and creating jobs in the Commonwealth. This news was tempered by the Speaker’s note that he would also look at the long-term functionality of the state’s unemployment insurance system – something that has often spotlighted concerns over industries that rely on seasonal workforces. On the Senate side of the ledger, Senators elected Senator Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) to her last possible term for Senate President. (Note: Senate rules limit any Senator to eight years (i.e. four full terms) as Senate President.). In her comments before the body, Senate President Murray listed her priorities as transportation financing; water infrastructure financing; gun control and the revision of sex offender laws to greater protect the public. In particular, the Senate President noted that the needs of the Commonwealth’s water infrastructure were essential to protecting the environmental sustainability of the state as well as its economic growth


Rep. Robert DeLeo

Sen. Therese Murray

potential. As an example, the Senate President highlighted the needs of Cape Cod as it struggles to address the problem of nitrogen impaired waters throughout the region. continued on page 13

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Legislative Update continued from page 11

Representative Brad Jones and Senator Bruce Tarr Elected Minority Leaders


ith the election of Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Murray, Democrats chose their preferred leadership for the next two years. On the other side of the aisle, Republicans chose their own leaders for the 2013-2014 legislative session. To that end, House Republicans chose Representative Brad Jones (R-North Reading) as their Minority Leader. Since his election in 1994, Minority Leader Jones has not missed a roll call vote during his legislative career, accumulating 5,490 consecutive votes. In his initial comments, Jones asserted that Republicans would resist the "ongoing and increasing clamor on Beacon Hill about the need for a statewide tax increase”. Further, Jones called on the Legislature to "exhaust all options for savings at the state level" before considering a local aid reduction. Finally, Jones also called on Democratic legislative leaders to more aggressively tackle job creation measures in the new session. Republican Senators chose Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) as their leader for the session. A former Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Tarr was elected to the Senate in

Rep. Brad Jones

Sen. Bruce Tarr

1994. In addressing his Senate colleagues, Senate Minority Leader Tarr cautioned that raising taxes should not be the first approach to fix the state's transportation funding dilemma, water and sewer infrastructure needs, and a $540 million midyear budget gap. Instead, Tarr urged fellow lawmakers to exercise "fiscal discipline" before talking about taxes and to look at reducing spending in some areas. There are currently 29 Republican House members and 4 Republican Senators within the Massachusetts Legislature. n

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This bridge was built on temporary falsework and then carried 300 feet over MBTA Railroad tracks using Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT). This was the first MassDOT project which used the SPMT method over railroad tracks.

Using rapid bridge construction techniques, self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) carried the prefabricated bridge 300 feet over MBTA railroad tracks on River St. This was the first MassDOT project done using the SPMT method over railroad tracks.




In 1962, Pelino A. Gioioso and his five sons, Tommaso, Giuseppe, Luigi, Ferrante Sergio and Francesco founded P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. They immediately established their philosophy for success with core values to operate honestly with integrity and fairness, produce quality work, and honor all commitments without regard to financial consequences, which still holds true today. Last month they celebrated their 50-year anniversary in the Construction Industry. The Gioioso family emigrated from the small town of Filetto in the region of Abruzzo, Italy, where they worked as farmers looking towards America as the land of new opportunities that would improve their lives. Knowing the meaning and value of hard work, they first started out as manual laborers working for the city of Boston. In 1959, Pelino, Ferrante and Tommaso founded Gioioso Bros., Inc., which began as an excavating company for drainage, water and sewer work, golf courses, and later evolved to include the purchase and maintenance of machinery and the supply of materials. When P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. launched in 1962 with Ferrante and Tommaso as Directors, Giuseppe as Secretary, Luigi as President, and Francesco as Treasurer and General Manager, it carried out the projects working in tandem with Gioioso Bros., Inc. by continuing drainage, water and sewer work, and venturing further by building four more golf courses in Massachusetts and Maine. continued on page 16




P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. continued from page 15

(L-R) Gioioso Brothers: Luigi, Giuseppe, Tommaso, Ferrante Sergio & Francesco

The Gioiosos applied diligence and dedication to their work throughout the years as the projects became increasingly diversified in scope and scale. They met new projects head on. The diverse projects ranged from pipeline construction for water mains through Spot Pond, to building a sewer pipeline around Lake Winnipesaukee, to rebuilding the ferry terminal in Nantucket in the early 1980s. By taking on bigger and greater challenges, P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. grew to be a solid and a well-diversified general contractor performing pipeline, environmental, and transportation projects. After working in this industry for over 50 years, the brothers from Abruzzo have transcended the characteristics of their Italian heritage – strength and affability, dedication, love of work, the desire to make the company successful and the courage to face new undertakings – into everything they accomplished. They now have over 150 employees, including engineers, technicians, laborers, drivers, operators, carpenters, and many more, who consider the company their home.

Areas of Expertise P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. is a multi-faceted General Construction Contractor with its main location in Hyde Park, MA where the company also houses its equipment maintenance facility. Their construction management approach provides an efficient, seamless blend of experienced personnel from the major project participants who build on their expertise and experience with more accelerated and complex projects. This approach is based on team building, continuous coordination, open decisionmaking, and most importantly, the commitment by all parties to responsiveness. P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. and all of its employees – whether they are tradesmen, administrators or managers – take pride in the reputation the company has developed since 1962. The company has the necessary personnel, financing, and equipment resources to complete a wide range of projects including utility, heavy construction, and design/build throughout the state of Massachusetts and adjacent states. Most of their clients are public agencies, cities and towns. Their completed and current projects vary in size and complexity, and they range in value to more than $37 million. The company also has the capacity to handle larger projects up to $100 million. Over the years their projects included a $47 million design/build combined sewer overflow project with US Filter and the Maguire Group for the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission. The project was the first CSO Design/Build project in the nation. As opportunities arose, the company ventured into building pump stations, water and sewer treatment plants, tunnels, marine work, bridges, roads, hydroelectric turbines, chemical soil stabilization, restoration of

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continued on page 19


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P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. continued from page 17

2012 Capital Improvement Program Project Mass. Ave., Dorchester, MA

old buildings, residential subdivisions, buildings, a racquetball club, reconstruction of a ferry terminal, historical pump station re-modernization and microtunneling. As one of the region’s leading contractors with a strong specialization in environmental projects, they have maintained a continuous presence in the Boston area for over half a century. The pioneering efforts of the founders and the management team provide quality work, efficiency, and workers' safety, which earned P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. its reputation as one of the state's most respected contractors.

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3/18/11 1:15 PM JANUARY, 2013

Representative Paul Donato (House Third Division Chair)

Q: A:

Please provide some insight into your background and your responsibilities in the legislature.

I am serving my sixth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Prior to entering the Legislature in January, 2001, I served on the Medford School Committee from 1971-1975, the Medford City Council from 1976-1985 (served as Mayor 1980-1985) and from 1995-2001 (served as Council President from 1999-2000). I presently serve as one of four House Division Leaders. As a member of the Speaker’s leadership team, I provide counsel on legislative issues and often substitute as the presiding officer during House sessions. Prior to this appointment, I served as the House Chairman of the Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, Chairman of the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling, Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Personnel and Administration and previously served on the Transportation, Energy and Local Affairs Committees.


Massachusetts, along with the rest of this country, is facing an economic downturn. Please give your thoughts on how the state will continue to address these difficult financial times and the importance of finding ways to support local aid to cities and towns to help support basic municipal services, including water and sewer services.


Massachusetts has been impacted by the global downturn but has been able to cope with it far better than most states. In Massachusetts, we have a “rainy day fund” to help offset declining revenues in extraordinary times. We have been able to fall back on this fund which has protected our services and bond status. Massachusetts’ economy is growing, but we are still faced with difficult budget choices. The legislature remains committed to creating more innovative reforms, increasing efficiency in the delivery of services, and providing critical resources for Massachusetts communities, such as support for basic services such as water and sewer infrastructure.



You filed legislation this session that would enable owners of real estate who are 65 years of age or older to take a property tax exemption equal to 50% of charges paid to a city or town for water and sewer. Can you share your thoughts about this piece of legislation?


Malden and Medford are members of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) which has some of the highest water and sewer rates due to the cleanup of Boston harbor. Many seniors in my district live on a fixed income and struggle to make ends meet. This legislation will allow qualifying seniors a discount on their local water and sewer bills, based upon their income.


The State Revolving Loan Fund Program (SRF) is an important state program that provides financial assistance, in the form of 2% low-interest loans, to communities for critical wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. Please discuss the importance of this program. continued on page 23




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Interview continued from page 21

In Massachusetts, we have a “rainy day fund” to help offset declining revenues in extraordinary times. We have been able to fall back on this fund which has protected our services and bond status.


Each year MassDEP solicits projects from Massachusetts municipalities and wastewater districts to be considered for subsidized loans. The current subsidy is provided via a 2% interest loan. In recent years the program has operated with $300 to $350 million per year, representing the financing of 50 to 70 projects annually. This program is extremely important to address the needs of our communities and to provide an affordable option to these critical projects. Besides the obvious infrastructure improvements, this program is also important because these projects create local, good paying jobs.


As the Representative of a district with a Water Enterprise Fund in place, you understand the importance of maintaining water and sewer infrastructure systems. Please discuss your thoughts relative to the importance of drinking water, and the infrastructure that transports it.


Water is a key component in determining the quality of our lives. My district’s “Water Enterprise Fund” shows our commitment to promoting sustainable practices that will help ensure that citizens continue to enjoy the benefits of clean and safe water. We are working with a broad group of stakeholders to help bring about more sustainable practices at all levels. It is important for communities to make improvements to our water infrastructure, street by street, house by house – the MWRA cannot do it alone.


The Commonwealth Sewer Rate Relief Fund is an important program in the State Budget. These funds help to alleviate water and sewer rates for municipalities throughout the Commonwealth. At one point this program was funded at $61 million, but because of the declining economy it has been cut. Please discuss the importance of assisting communities with annual rate increases to water and sewer bills (and if not through Rate Relief then how)?



The Legislature has acknowledged, through programs like Rate Relief, that communities cannot continue to bear the burden of annual water and sewer rate increases. Rate Relief provides a mechanism that helps to alleviate the impact of rate increases by providing more assistance to those communities that incur debt through improving their water infrastructure. For that reason, it is important that the Legislature continue to appropriate funds to help communities avoid bearing the brunt of trickle down costs in other manners as well. For instance, MWRA's sewage treatment system has undergone a nearly complete transformation under the federally mandated 11-year, $3.8 billion Boston Harbor Project. The project, which is now complete, included a new sludge-to-fertilizer facility; the Deer Island Treatment Plant with primary and secondary treatment capabilities; the Inter-Island Tunnel that tied together two separate sewer systems (North and South) into one; and the 9.5-mile Effluent Outfall Tunnel to discharge treated wastewater away from shallow Boston Harbor waters and into the deeper waters and stronger currents of Massachusetts Bay. To lessen the impact on affected communities, the Legislature provided significant funding for rate relief to offset projected rate increases. As we proceed, we hope to increase funding of programs that provide relief to communities where possible to avoid increases to water and sewer rates. n

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har ness o f t h e i n t er n e ing the force t







' OSHAs Top10 mos t ci t ed v iol at ions Photo: Werner Inc.


Reprinted from Safety+Health, Vol. 186, No. 6 • ©2012 National Safety Council

OSHA’s Top 10 most most cited cited violations violations


Examining the CHanges Have been oCCurring at

in transition with the system, the data oSHa’S moSt OSHA in recent years. presented in this year’s annual Top 10 More than two years ago, the agency cited violationS article should be considered prelimireplaced its program targeting chronic vionary, as it does not reflect all the vioFor FY 2012 lators of OSHA standards with one officials lations issued during fiscal year 2012, hoped would lead more employers to take which covers the period of Oct. 1, 2011, and otHer steps that go beyond simple hazard abatethrough Sept. 30, 2012. enForcement ment. The agency has increased the numHowever, not everything OSHA does ber of press releases publicizing hefty fines can be summed up by what is presented initiativeS or violations of less-common standards. in the Top 10 list. In an interview with And during the past couple of years, OSHA has been transi- Safety+Health (see p. 52), 33 Patrick Kapust – deputy director tioning to a newer data collection system that officials believe of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs – explains will allow for better tracking and evaluation of data. how other changes at the agency are hopefully improving This new system – the OSHA Information System – sup- safety across the country. plied the data for this year’s list of the Top 10 most fre“Our emphasis is for employers to correct hazards,” quently cited OSHA violations. Because the agency is still Kapust said.


Fall Protection

This standard outlines when fall protection is required, which systems are appropriate for given situations, the proper construction and installation of safety systems, and the proper supervision of employees to prevent falls. It is designed to protect employees on walking/working surfaces (horizontal or vertical) with an unprotected side or edge above 6 feet. Standard: 1926.501


total violationS: 7,250

FY 2011 ranking: 1 (7,139 violations)

Hazard Communication This standard addresses the hazards of chemicals produced in the workplace and imported into the workplace. It also governs the communication of those hazards to workers.

Standard: 1910.1200

total violationS: 4,696

FY 2011 ranking: 3 (6,538 violations)

continued on page 29




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OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations Continued from page 27



This standard covers general safety requirements for scaffolding, which should be designed by a qualified person and constructed and loaded in accordance with that design. Employers are required to protect construction workers from falls and falling objects while working on or near scaffolding at heights of 10 feet or higher. Standard: 1926.451


total violationS: 3,814

FY 2011 ranking: 2 (7,069 violations)

respiratory Protection This standard directs employers on establishing or maintaining a respiratory protection program. It lists requirements for program administration; worksite-specific procedures; respirator selection; employee training; fit testing; medical evaluation; respirator use; and respirator cleaning, main-

tenance and repair. Standard: 1910.134


FY 2011 ranking: 4 (3,944 violations)

Ladders This standard covers general requirements for all ladders.

Standard: 1926.1053


total violationS: 2,371

total violationS: 2,310

FY 2011 ranking: 8 (3,244 violations)

Machinery and Machine guarding This standard covers guarding of machinery to protect operators and other employees from hazards, including those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.

Standard: 1910.212

total violationS: 2,097

FY 2011 ranking: 10 (2,728 violations)

continued on page 31




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OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations Continued from page 29


Powered industrial Trucks This standard covers the design, maintenance and operation of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks. It also covers operator training requirements.

Standard: 1910.178


electrical – Wiring Methods This standard covers the grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation. It includes temporary wiring and splicing, such as flexible cords and cables.

Standard: 1910.305


total violationS: 1,744 FY 2011 ranking: 6 (3,584 violations)

Lockout/Tagout This standard outlines minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

Standard: 1910.147

10 Standard: 1910.303


total violationS: 1,993 FY 2011 ranking: 7 (3,432 violations)

total violationS: 1,572

FY 2011 ranking: 5 (3,639)

electrical – general requirements This standard covers general safety requirements for designing electrical systems.

total violationS: 1,332

FY 2011 ranking: 9 (2,863)






OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations

Q&A with Patrick Kapust PaTriCk kaPusT serves as deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and leads a staff sup-

porting OSHA’s mission of standards enforcement. He started with the agency in 1991 as a compliance safety and health officer. In October, Kapust spoke with Safety+Health Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison about recent changes OSHA has undertaken regarding its enforcement efforts.

S+H: So this publicity is not merely to shame employers that were cited, but to offer a lesson that other employers may not necessarily be aware of?


Safety+Health | December 2012

above: Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison (left) and OSHA’s

Patrick Kapust announce OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations at the 2012 NSC Congress & Expo in Orlando, FL.

Our emphasis is for employers to correct hazards. Because OSHA can only reach a small number of workplaces in the country every year, the information contained in press releases serves an important educational and deterrent purpose for other companies in the same industry and geographical area. They also serve to bring attention to important novel enforcement cases. Some enforcement actions may not carry large penalties, but may be a case that the public should know about. For example, a workplace violence General Duty Clause case would be a novel case, and that could be a $7,000 or even lower violation because it’s just one single violation.


S+H: Two-and-a-half years ago, OSHA implemented its Severe Violator Enforcement Program to replace the Enhanced Enforcement Program. What effect has this change had on compliance? kaPusT: The Severe Violator Enforcement Program encourages employers to comply with our standards and abate continued on page 35

Photos: International Center for the Documentary Arts

Safety+HealtH: The current administration has increased its use of press releases to publicize fines and penalties levied on employers, even when assessed penalties are as low as $7,000. Top OSHA officials – including David Michaels and Jordan Barab – have said these releases help incentivize other employers to abate hazards. Is OSHA seeing increased awareness of workplace hazards as a result? PaTriCk kaPusT: OSHA generally issues press releases for larger enforcement cases. But we also have another kind of criteria – our “novel” enforcement cases. These are the cases where we anticipate media attention, or that we want to make other employers aware of. In addition to traditional methods such as press releases, OSHA is using new online social media to communicate our message about worker safety and health. I think we are seeing encouraging results – more hits on our webpages (more than 200 million visits last year alone) and downloads of applications we’ve developed and more requests for information from our field offices.





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OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations Continued from page 33

various hazards. Employers cited with multiple high-gravity willful or repeat violations, or failure-to-abate notices related to the high-emphasis hazards, would be brought into the program. Once employers are placed in SVEP, we do follow-up inspections and conduct inspections at other locations when we have reasonable grounds to believe non-compliance may be systematic. As of Sept. 30, we’ve had 209 SVEP cases. S+H: How does this program compare to its predecessor? kaPusT: We are undergoing a study of SVEP to evaluate

the program’s implementation – such as the number of referrals and follow-up visits. The program that preceded this was criticized by the Office of Inspector General for, among other items, failing to conduct follow-up visits where possible. We’re also looking at how SVEP affects companies with fixed sites compared with construction companies that are not going to be staying at the same site and may be difficult to follow up on.

S+H: Are you seeing some movement out of the program, or improvements from those employers in the program? kaPusT: An employer is not eligible to be removed from the program until after three years. Right now, we’re only twoand-a-half years into the program, so no one is eligible to be removed yet. I think the program is having an impact. Given the three years employers have to remain in SVEP during which they cannot have any violations of the same sort that put them into the program, we’re hoping employers will not only comply with OSHA standards, but also start implementing other enhancements, such as thirdparty safety and health consultation at their workplaces.

Along with increased issuance of press releases on penalties and fines, OSHA seems to be pursuing more corporatewide settlement agreements to abate hazards. Does OSHA plan to continue this, and how often does this occur? kaPusT: We are going to continue to pursue corporatewide settlement agreements. We feel that it is a highly effective tool for us to ensure companies address hazards that can seriously injure or kill their workers throughout their worksites. Corporatewide settlement agreements require the kind of widespread change within a corporation – beyond simple compliance with OSHA standards – that can go a long way in keeping workers across the country safe and healthy. We currently have about 14 corporatewide settlement agreements, but we are in the process of negotiating others. S+H:

S+H: What are you finding by using this as a leverage tool? kaPusT: A lot of companies are coming to us and want-

ing to enter a corporatewide settlement agreement where they’ll abate all the hazards throughout their corporation. But there has to be a little bit more than that. Companies already are required to abate their hazards and meet our standards. For a corporatewide settlement agreement, we look at what kind of enhancements they are willing to provide. For example, I was involved in corporatewide settlement agreement where the employer retained a third party to monitor compliance at their worksites to ensure they maintain a safe and healthful workplace. They also agreed to provide us reports on their progress.

Do corporatewide settlement agreements create any legal hurdles? kaPusT: When we enter into them federally, they only cover federal OSHA states. We let the State Plan states know that we’ve entered into a corporatewide settlement agreement, and we encourage them to do so, too. If a state decides to enter in the same agreement with that corporation, then they would be able to enforce it as in the State Plan. But it’s still up to the state whether they want to adopt or negotiate the corporatewide settlement agreement with the employer. S+H:

S+H: Regarding this year’s Top 10 list, OSHA is in transition between two different data systems – the OSHA Information System has replaced its Integrated Management Information System. Tell us about the reasons for this transition. kaPusT: OSHA needed to update its systems to replace its aging IMIS system and to have a more robust web-based information management tool that would allow us to have a better ability to manage, track and evaluate data. That is critical to the operations at OSHA, and to help with our long-term planning. Right now, all the federal offices in OSHA have transferred over to OIS, and it will be deployed to State Plan states in the future. S+H: Will there be any impact on employers? kaPusT: Employers will be able to access the data the same

way they’ll be able to access IMIS data. The combined OIS and IMIS data is available on the Department of Labor and OSHA websites. They’ll be able to access it pretty much in the same fashion they’re able to now. Safety+Health | December 2012




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SUPERSTORM SANDY RELIEF EFFORTS UCANE Member Rain for Rent Mobilizes More than 520 Pumps and 100 Personnel to New York / New Jersey Area


n October 24, 2012 at the news of a coming “Frankenstorm,” Rain for Rent began to mobilize equipment and personnel from the Western and Southern United States. What later became known as Superstorm Sandy devastated the eastern seaboard of the United States on October 29th. The hurricane brought a storm surge and sent 10 foot walls of water through New York and New Jersey, affecting millions of residents and companies in the area and killing more than 130 people. As the storm passed, the flood waters remained and Rain for Rent’s mobilization and emergency preparedness helped residents and businesses across the affected areas. Equipment was dispatched to various sites to support the needs of the Northern New Jersey and the New York City metro area. In all, more than 530 pumps were mobilized to the New York / New Jersey area along with 100 Rain for Rent employees to help the residents and companies of the Eastern U.S. grapple with dewatering to begin recovery.

New York Tunnels: Tunnels used by vehicles to access New York were completely underwater. Dewatering the tunnels would allow additional support and relief operations access to the city. In addition to emergency generator power and piping systems at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Rain for Rent mobilized HH125 and DV150i pumps to dewater the Queens Midtown Tunnel from the Queens and Manhattan sides. Water had to be pumped through the 1.3 mile long tunnel to discharge back into the ocean.

Electricity in New York: More than 100,000 power lines were downed by the storm and surge. One transmission center flooded that provided electricity for more than 900,000 customers and millions of New York residents. Much of lower Manhattan remained in the dark for days following the storm. Rain for Rent provided pumping needed to empty the underground transformer vaults to allow repairs to be made and power restored. Three teams worked 24 hour shifts, providing continual pumping for the utility. continued on page 39




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Rain for Rent continued from page 37

New Jersey Refineries: Fuel supplies in the cities dwindled and refineries struggled to get back to normal operations. Refineries and a tank terminal blending facility in New Jersey utilized Rain for Rent to help them salvage their operations and begin producing fuel for the surrounding area. Dozens of pumps, tanks, spill containment solutions and hoses to were used dewatering needs. Fire suppression systems were provided water by high head pumps, capable of producing up to 2,000 GPM at 150 psi and personnel while the facility was brought back online. Additionally, Rain for Rent had to recreate wastewater systems in one refinery with two DV150i pumps, sand-media filtration and carbon filtration to lower the total organic compound levels to less than 2 parts per million. The system was designed by Rain for Rent to run at the needed 2,000 GPM to return the facility to operation.

World Trade Center: Below grade construction at the World Trade Center flooded with millions of gallons of storm and sea water. Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and using DV300i pumps to boost the flow of submersible pumps, construction pit flood levels dropped four feet within four minutes of operation.

New Jersey Train Station: A major hub of transportation near the port of Newark needed to be drained. There was no access to create a pump station on land and access the tunnel, so a barge was floated in the port. The barge carried two DV300 pumps providing 8,000 GPM of dewatering. U.S. Army Corps Of Engineering divers helped repair valves in the tunnel so water would not flow back in. In all, the pumps ran for 36 hours straight, draining all of the water from the train station.

Basement Dewatering: Many basements in Lower Manhattan were flooded by a mix of storm and sea water. Mixtures of oil, fuel and other contaminants in these basements meant the water could not simply be discharged into the city’s storm sewer system. Rain for Rent tanks were used along with air operated diaphragm pumps to assist in the basement dewatering. The water was kept in tanks and later removed by vacuum truck in and around the Financial district and Water Street in Lower Manhattan over several days. Rain for Rent continues to provide ongoing support for storm recovery. n




To our valued Construction Outlook Magazine Advertisers

UCANE’s 2nd Annual Appreciation Night Trade Show Wednesday Evening, March 27, 2013 prior to our Annual “Forecast” Dinner Meeting Four Points by Sheraton Hotel • Norwood, MA Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with UCANE members and guests face-to-face. Our tradeshow is being offered at no cost to Construction Outlook advertisers. If you are not currently a Construction Outlook advertiser… we hope you will consider advertising. Our magazine showcases your products and services to contractors who use them. For more information call Suzanne at the UCANE office for advertising rates.

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Environmental Viewpoint Robin L. Main, Esq.

Rhiannon Campbell, Esq.

Hinckley Allen Snyder, LLP

The New Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Processes Regulations Note: I would like to acknowledge the assistance of my colleague, Rhiannon A. Campbell, who helped write this month’s article. Rhiannon is an Associate in the Litigation Group at Hinckley Allen Snyder, LLP.

On February 3, 2012 the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services’ Hazardous Materials Processing regulations, promulgated in response to a number of explosions and fires that involved processing of hazardous materials, went into effect. The regulations are applicable to any new or existing facilities that process hazardous materials, including, for example, facilities that heat, cool, mix, pressurize, reduce, oxidize, or purify hazardous materials. It does not apply to the storage or waste collection of hazardous materials.


nlike federal chemical process safety standards, which apply to specific chemicals in excess of certain amounts (usually 10,000 pounds), the Massachusetts regulations apply to processes involving any chemical with a National Fire Protection Association rating of three or higher and contains no threshold quantity for applicability. If a process falls within the scope of the regulations, it is placed into one of five categories largely based on vessel capacity, or the size of the container in which partial or actual process takes place. The categories are broken down as follows: Category 1: less than 2.5 gallons; Category 2: 2.5-60 gallons; Category 3: 60-300 gallons or a process area that is classified as being H Occupancy under the Massachusetts State Building Code; Category 4: more than 300 gallons, but not a Category 5; Category 5: amounts equal or greater than the threshold amounts of OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard or EPA’s Risk Management Plan. A process’ categorization determines its compliance and permit requirements. A facility with Category 1 processes must comply with all existing applicable regulations. Facilities operating Category 2 through 5 processes must, in addition to complying with existing regulations, meet permit requirements


by filing an application for a Permit to Process Hazardous Material. Facilities operating Category 3 and Category 4 processes must further complete a Category 3 Hazard Evaluation (a written evaluation, completed for each process, identifying hazards and determining preventative, protective and safety control measures) and, in the event of an incident in which there is an emergency personnel response or a reportable release of hazardous materials, must initiate a written post-incident analysis within 48 hours and complete that analysis within 45 days. Facilities operating a Category 4 process must also implement a “limited process safety program,” which is an evaluation or policy to ensure compliance with process information, facility stability requirements, a process hazard safety analysis, written procedures on emergency response and operation and maintenance, among other things, written training programs, internal reviews and a written records management process. A facility operating a Category 5 process must further self-certify compliance with OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard or EPA’s Risk Management Plan. Multiple processes may be present in any single facility, and each process must meet its respective requirements. However, although not yet determined, it is possible that after full implementacontinued on page 42



Environmental Viewpoint continued from page 41 tion of the regulations, facilities may be able to combine their processes into a single permit. Facilities operating any subject process, regardless of category, must implement a written emergency response program that identifies emergency coordinators, provides coordinators’ contact information, and provides a floor plan illustrating where hazardous material is stored and where any emergency equipment is located. For facilities operating Category 3 through 5 processes, the emergency coordinator is further required to communicate any concerns to the local fire department and must establish a protocol with the fire department for the shutdown of any process that would pose a risk to the public should there be a loss of controls.

As noted above, facilities operating Category 2 through 5 processes must meet permit requirements by filing an application for a Permit to Process Hazardous Material. These deadlines are fast approaching. Permits for all Category 5 processes must be submitted by January 1, 2013, while permits for all Category 4 processes must be submitted by June 1, 2013 and permits for all Category 2 and Category 3 processes must be submitted by January 1, 2014. n

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Scholarship Applications Now Available

UCANE To Award Ten $2,000 Scholarships WHO MAY APPLY? Any high school student who is the son or daughter of a UCANE member or an employee of a member who will be enrolling full time in an accredited four year academic institution for the year beginning in September 2013. IMPORTANT: In the event the applicant receives a full four year scholarship from the college of his/her choice, the UCANE scholarship will be awarded to another applicant.

HOW WILL THE APPLICATION BE JUDGED? This year there will be ten $2,000 scholarships awarded. Selections for the awards will be based upon: 1. scholastic achievement 2. interest and effort in preparing for your vocation 3. extra curricula activities at and away from school, including community service 4. personal recommendations 5. personal essay 6. financial need

HOW WILL THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE APPLICATION BE PROTECTED? Each applicant is assigned a number. When completed, page 1 of the application with the name of the applicant must be detached and sealed in the accompanying envelope. The applicants name must not appear on pages 2-4 of the application or attached transcripts and recommendations. After the winning applications have been selected, the envelopes with corresponding numbers will be opened to identify the award recipient.

WHAT MUST ACCOMPANY THE APPLICATION? 1. A transcript of high school grades through the latest period prior to April 15th must accompany application. 2. A letter of recommendation from the principal or faculty advisor. The letter should include the number of students in the class and the standing of the applicant or equivalent must accompany application. 3. Additional recommendations from people familiar with the applicant’s ability and character, and from responsible members of the community, (optional but recommended). 4. Please indicate the UCANE company by which you or your parent is employed. NOTE: The name of the applicant must be deleted entirely from pages 2 through 4 and all accompanying correspondence, and your application number must be inserted in its place.

WHEN MUST I APPLY? All applications must be submitted no later than April 15, 2013.

FOR AN APPLICATION, PLEASE SEND YOUR WRITTEN REQUEST TO: Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc. 300 Congress Street • Suite 101 • Quincy, MA 02169 Tel: 617.471.9955 • Fax: 617.471.8939 • Email: aklayman@ JANUARY, 2013



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5 Steps Employers Can Take for 2013 Retirement Plan Success As part of the recent 2012 PLANADVISER National Conference, panelists identified five ways plan sponsors can re-focus their goals for plan significance and success in 2013. Step 1

Market Your Plan & Its Resources Plan sponsors should be proactively reaching out to help participants make informed decisions concerning their retirement. Plan sponsors should ask themselves: “Is the plan currently being communicated to participants as a valuable component of the company’s employee benefits package? If not, how can we better promote the plan?” A key part of plan promotion is clearly and prominently sharing the available resources and guidance to which eligible employees have access. Retirement investing is a daunting prospect. Your internal marketing is key to ensuring successful participation in the plan. A variety of participant services can be employed to support a successful, high-touch, paternalistic campaign. Pinnacle provides many of its retirement plan clients with participant concierge services that allow eligible employees to contact our consultants directly, which is particularly valuable when entering the enrollment window. Direct engagement is proven to lead to more positive enrollment numbers. Barriers to entry are more easily overcome in a one-on-one setting with an expert who can help participants comprehend the value of high deferral rates, suitable asset allocation, and consolidation through rollover capture.


Step 2

Maximize Plan Design What is the goal of this plan? Is it altruistically maximizing financially sound retirement experiences for participants or is it limiting sponsor liability? Ideally, a plan sponsor can achieve both objectives, and having a plan design optimized for your company’s specific goals is one of your most valuable instruments. Many plan features can be altered to foster improved outcomes. As plan sponsor, you can: • Increase your match or optimize the match formula • Simplify investment options • Eliminate or restrict loans • Implement automatic enrollment and/or deferral increase features Plan sponsors should look to their qualified plan consultants for the cost-benefit analysis of any potential changes to ensure that you have the information needed to make the best strategic decision.

Step 3

Focus on Benefit Adequacy Participants need to be educated on the realities and the necessity of retirement planning. Participants continued on page 47



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• Wrap fees or asset-based charges (participant borne): Basis point charges typically applied to all assets in the plan and netted from returns.

Benefits & HR Strategies continued from page 45 often have expectations that are not entirely realistic, given that many are woefully underfunded and/ or under-informed when it comes to their retirement. The media depiction of retirement as daily golf, entertainment, and island vistas leaves many thinking that they’ll never achieve such idyllic retirement goals so why bother, while others blindly assume they certainly will retire like this yet don’t actually take the requisite actions to achieve it. Even if a modest retirement lifestyle is targeted, participants still often save at an inadequate rate. Automatic features like automatic enrollment or automatic deferral increases allow employee inertia to work for the plan and for the employee, rather than against them. Setting the default deferral rate to a higher percentage or using auto increases to get there over time can get participants to adequate savings rates that allow for a realistic chance of achieving their desired retirement lifestyle. While generally beneficial, automatic features are not right for everyone. Plan consultants can help sponsors carefully weigh the consequences of automatic implementation, such as the potential additional administrative burden and the increased outlay for plan sponsors who provide matching contributions.

• Per head fees (participant or sponsor borne): $x per head charged annually or quarterly. • Base fee (sponsor borne): $x per plan charged annually or quarterly.

Step 5 Evaluate Your Target Date Funds & Understand the Risks Don’t get too caught up with returns alone. Work with your plan consultant to assess and consider risk levels, glide paths, asset class coverage, and equity/ bond exposure ratios before deciding on a target date fund series which best reflects the needs of your participant demographic. Communicate effectively that target date funds are a long-term investment, and that while they are a one stop solution, they are not designed to unilaterally prevent any losses. If participants understand the associated risks, they can better select the appropriate fund, rather than rely simply on one metric like their age. They will also be more likely to ride out difficult markets.

Step 4

If off the shelf target fund series do not meet the needs of the plan, consider custom target date portfolios (if the recordkeeping platform allows). The evaluation and selection of target date funds should be specifically addressed in a plan’s Investment Policy Statement, as the typical guideline may not be continued on page 49

Understand Plan Costs Now that fee disclosure regulations have gone into effect, plan costs should be readily available, more transparent, and meaningful to both plan sponsors and plan participants. Often, the majority of a plan’s operating costs are borne by the participants in the form of investment or other asset-related charges. Most participants are not likely to properly interpret the fee disclosure or implement prudent changes to their investments, so plan sponsors should be expected to identify charges that may be excessive, and take steps to ensure fees are reasonable, particularly for those borne by participants. Fees can take a number of forms and can be excessive in any or all of them. Examples of charges to re-evaluate are: • Expense Ratios (participant borne): Funds come in a variety of share classes ranging from expensive to cheap.


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2013 Plan Limits

Benefits & HR Strategies continued from page 47 appropriate. At Pinnacle, we are proponents of target date funds, but take their selection and monitoring seriously, with careful consideration of employee demographics and investment sophistication applied during the selection process. Your retirement plan consultant should partner with you to achieve plan success - from enhancing investment opportunities for participants to protecting plan fiduciaries from liability and loss. Remember, your retirement plan can be a powerful recruiting tool for your company and it is a benefit that your employees will utilize throughout their lifetime.

Cost of living adjustments have been made and 2013 will afford participants the opportunity to save an additional $500 in deferrals. For those participants who intend to maximize contributions, be sure to communicate the new limits so adjustments can be made if necessary. (See chart below.) n

Plan Limits for Plan Year


401(k), 403(b), 457 Elective Deferral Limit


$17,500 $17,000

Catch-Up Contribution Limit

$5,500 $5,500

Annual Compensation Limit

$255,000 $250,000

Defined Contribution Limit

Defined Benefit Limit

Key Employee

Definition of Highly Compensated Employee



$205,000 $200,000 $165,000


$115,000 $115,000

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IN THIS ISSUE • Social Security: The 8% Solution • Buying Stocks Through Dividend Reinvestment Plans • Tax Planning for S Corporation Owners


Social Security: The 8% Solution

n today’s low yield world, you’ll earn little interest by keeping your money in a bank account, a money market fund, or a high quality bond. Nevertheless, certain individuals can earn 8% a year, guaranteed by the federal government. If you are between age 62 and age 70, deferring the start of Social Security retirement benefits provides that return, which, for many people in that age group, makes waiting a savvy move. Basic Math You can start to receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62. Before your full retirement age (FRA), though, you’ll receive reduced benefits for the rest of your life. Say your full retirement age is 66, as it is for people born from 1943 to 1954 (age 59 to 70 this year). By starting your Social Security benefits at 62, you’ll receive only 75% of your FRA benefit. Example 1: Mark Jones has a work history that entitles him to $2,000 a month from Social Security at 66, his FRA. Instead, Mark starts his benefits at age 62. Mark will get $1,500 a month (75% of $2,000) for the rest of his life, plus any cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Example 2: If Mark decides to wait until age 66, his FRA, he will get his basic $2,000 a month for the rest of his life, plus COLAs. Thus, by waiting 4 years, Mark increases his monthly benefit by $500—a 33.3% increase from $1,500 a month in example 1—


which is about 8% a year for the 4 years he waited.

Patience is Prudent Beyond your FRA, deferring the start of Social Security will increase your benefits by 8% a year (actually, by 2/3 of 1% for each month beyond your FRA). This goes on until age 70; deferring benefits beyond 70 provides no additional cash flow. Example 3: Mark Jones waits until age 70 to begin his Social Security benefits. This 4-year delay beyond his FRA increases Mark’s check by 32% from $2,000 to $2,640 a month, plus all the COLAs that took effect while he waited. Altogether, waiting to start benefits increased Mark’s monthly income from $1,500 at age 62 to $2,640 at age 70: a 76% increase in 8 years. That’s a 76% return, guaranteed by the federal government.

Later Than Sooner Waiting for Social Security has an obvious cost. If Mark Jones had started at age 62, with a continued on page 53



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Financial Management continued from page 51

Did You Know?

reduced $1,500 monthly benefit, he would have collected $18,000 that year; by age 70, he would have collected $144,000 in benefits, plus COLAs. If Mark ssets in exchange-traded funds (EFTs) had started at age 66, receiving $2,000 a month, he reached a record high of $8.8 trillion would have received $96,000 plus COLAs in the 4 in August 2012. The three largest EFT years before age 70. When does it pay to take the money as soon as sponsors (BlackRock iShares, State Street possible? When does it make sense to wait? Here Global Advisors, and Vanguard) had over are some guidelines: $1 trillion in assets: about 85% of the total. Do you need the money? If Social Security benefits are necessary to maintain your lifestyle in Source: Cerulli Associates retirement, you should probably take them. How is your health? The shorter your life expectancy, the more likely you and your loved ones will be well served by taking THE DRISCOLL DIFFERENCE: the benefits while you can. Assume, though, that Mark Jones is in good health with no pressing need for extra cash flow from Social Security. If he takes his benefits before age 70, he will pay tax and spend, save, or give away the aftertax amount. If he decides to reinvest, he’ll either have to settle for a low yield or take investment risk in the hope of receiving a superior return. For Mark, waiting in this example provides certain benefits. He’ll fter serving major contractors for more “The entire surety bonding team at than 50 years, the Driscoll Agency truly earn an annual return of around Driscoll has the experience, expertise understands the unique risks, insurance requireand industry contacts to give us the best ments and surety demands of the construction 8%, plus COLAs, on his full (unpossible representation and service. industry. In an industry as specialized as ours, taxed) Social Security benefit. The we wouldn’t consider letting any other Managing risk can be very difficult. Which is why return from waiting will be longeviagency handle this important need of it’s critical to obtain adequate and proper insurance coverages. Our underwriting specialists will work our company.” – Satisfied Client ty insurance: a reduced risk of runwith your best interests in mind when proposing solutions to your insurance needs. ning short of money if Mark lives To discover the Driscoll difference, contact into his 80s and beyond. When it’s time to navigate through the comTim Lyons, Bond Department Manager at plexities of surety bonding, you can rely on our 781-421-2560 or expertise and connections to get you aggresIn addition, assume, that sive representation and unbeatable access to Mark Jones is married and that industry decision-makers. his wife had lower lifetime earnings than Mark. In this case, Mark is entitled to a larger Social Security benefit than his wife. If Mark dies first, his widow will be entitled to his full Social Security benefit for the rest of her life, rather than her smaller benefit. Therefore, an older and higher earning spouse who waits to receive Social Security is essentially obtaining more life insurance for a surviving spouse.


Your key to obtaining the expertise needed to meet your bonding needs.


continued on page 00


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Financial Management continued from page 53


Buying Stocks Through Dividend Reinvestment Plans

ividend-paying stocks offer many potential advantages to investors. The dividends they pay provide welcome cash flow. Those dividends can grow over time, if the company’s profits increase. Moreover, rising dividends may lead to higher stock prices, and, therefore, to profits for investors who sell shares. Hundreds of dividend-paying companies offer yet another benefit: the opportunity to invest in a dividend reinvestment plan, known as a DRIP. Such plans make it easy to invest regularly and, thus, build wealth over the long term. DRIP participants generally cut out brokers’ commissions, reducing their costs to acquire shares. Partial Purchases As the name suggests, the basic purpose of a dividend reinvestment plan is to enable participants to reinvest a company’s dividend payout in that company’s stock. Suppose you own 100 shares of Pfizer, trading at $25 a share. If Pfizer’s next quarterly dividend is 22 cents per share, you’d get $22. Assuming you had enrolled in the Pfizer DRIP, that $22 would automatically be reinvested in 0.88 shares of Pfizer, bringing your holdings to 100.88 shares. Your next dividend would be based on owning 100.88 shares, and so on.

Direct Investing Obviously, you’ll have a difficult time building wealth at such a pace. For DRIP participants, the greatest advantage is the ability to make optional cash purchases, which most DRIPs offer. You can select the amount you’d like to invest and an investment schedule. Then you buy the shares directly from the company. Example: Laura Roberts enrolls in the Pfizer DRIP and decides to invest $200 every three months. In January 2013, with Pfizer trading at $25 a share, Laura’s $200 buys 8 shares. In April 2013, if Pfizer is trading at $27 a share, Laura’s $200 will purchase another 7.407 shares; if Pfizer is trading at $23 in July, her $200 will buy 8.696 shares. Over time, Laura can steadily build up her stake in Pfizer. If she wishes, Laura might participate in continued on page 56

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Financial Management continued from page 55 DRIPs offered by, say, ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and others, accumulating a diversified portfolio. Investors in DRIPs buy stock directly from the issuing company, so there are no brokerage commissions. Some DRIPs impose small fees, but even in those cases investors usually pay less than they would pay a broker. If you are interested in becoming a DRIP investor, select the company or companies you believe will be superior long-term holdings. Go to each company’s website and click on “Investors” or “Shareholder Ser-

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vices” or something similar for directions on how to enroll. Typically, you’ll be able to arrange for automatic transfers from your bank account to the DRIP with your choice of scheduled payments and the amount to invest.

Cons and Pros DRIPs have their drawbacks. You won’t know exactly how much you’ll pay for each batch of shares you acquire, and selling through a DRIP might take more time than would be the case with a standard brokerage sale. Recordkeeping also may be an issue: for example, if you participate in three different DRIPs, you’ll get statements and annual 1099 tax forms from each one. You won’t get the consolidated statements that you’d get if you worked with a broker to buy and hold your shares. For long-term investors, DRIPs can be valuable. They encourage the discipline to keep investing, in bad times as well as good ones. By regular investments of fixed amounts, you’ll buy more shares when stock prices dip and, thus, benefit from a lower cost per share. Your transaction costs will be low with a DRIP, and you can acquire sizable holdings over time with modest outlays, as long as you stick with the program. continued on page 57

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Financial Management continued from page 56


Tax Planning for S Corporation Owners

mall business owners may choose S corporation status. As long as certain criteria are met the S corporation election will be recognized, and corporate income tax will be avoided. Instead, all corporate income will flow through to the shareholders, who will report that income on individual tax returns.

last $50,000 of those earnings because a new 0.9% Medicare surtax applies starting in 2013. Suppose, though, that Nate determines that owners of comparable companies generally are paid around $140,000. He restructures his compensation, so he takes $140,000 in salary, leaving $160,000 as corporate profits not subject to Medicare tax. This will save Nate $5,090 in Medicare tax: 2.9% times $110,000 + 3.8% times $50,000.

Savvy planning can enhance S corporation tax benefits. For instance, owners may reduce self-employment tax. Example 1: Nate Sawyer and his wife, Vicki, own all shares of an S corporation that Nate runs. In 2013, that company has net income of $300,000, which Nate receives as compensation. Nate will report that $300,000 as taxable income. In addition, Nate will owe Social Security tax, on wages up to the 2013 limit ($113,700), a 2.9% Medicare tax on the first $250,000, and a 3.8% Medicare tax on the

Note that the IRS insists that the salary S corporation shareholders take be reasonable.


Shifting Shares Family tax planning may provide additional tax savings. Example 2: Nate Sawyer’s S corporation is appraised at $2 million. The company has $2 million shares outstanding, so each share might be valued at $1. Nate can give 14,000 shares to his son, Tim, continued on page 59




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Financial Management continued from page 57 and 14,000 shares to his daughter, Alexa, this year. His wife, Vicki, makes identical gifts. The senior Sawyers will face no gift tax consequences because the annual gift tax exclusion is $14,000 in 2013. (Nate and Vicki can give away more shares, covered by the exclusion, because of valuation discounts, but this simplified example illustrates the concept). By giving away a total of 56,000 shares this year, Nate and Vicki transfer 2.8% of the company to their children. With repeated gifts of this magnitude, the senior Sawyers can transfer 14% of their company in 5 years and 28% in 10 years and still retain control of the S corporation. If the children own 14% of the company, they’ll report 14% of corporate income on their income tax returns; as long as they are in lower tax brackets than their parents, the family will owe less income tax. Shifting ownership of shares also may result in lower estate tax in the future. S corporation earnings are considered unearned income, which means that the so-called “kiddie tax” can limit tax savings on transfers to children. Therefore, this income-shifting strategy might have its greatest payoff after children leave school or reach 24, when the kiddie tax won’t apply. Reprinted from CPA Client Bulletin. n


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E 60



Advertisers’ Index ATS Equipment, Inc. .............................................................4 Adler Tank Rentals ................................................................6 Aggregate Industries-New England Region.........................28 Arruda Trenchless Construction..........................................59 Boro Sand & Stone Corp......................................................58 Dennis K. Burke, Inc............................................................48 Concrete Systems, Inc...................................... Ins. Back Cvr. Dagle Electrical Construction, Corp....................................30 Darmody, Merlino & Co., LLP............................................48 DeSanctis Insurance Agency, Inc. .........................................7 Dig Safe System, Inc............................................................58 The Driscoll Agency ............................................................53 EJ......................................................................................... 46 Eastern Insurance Group, LLC............................................22 Eastern States Insurance Agency, Inc................................. 40 T. L. Edwards, Inc................................................................48 Ferguson Waterworks...........................................................42 Ford Meter Box Co.................................................................9 Fringe Consulting...................................................................5 Genalco, Inc..........................................................................47 Geod Consulting, Inc............................................................54 L. Guerini Group, Inc...........................................................58 HD Supply Waterworks..........................................................2 A. H. Harris & Sons, Inc. ....................................................49 Hinckley Allen Snyder, LLP..................................................8 P. A. Landers, Inc.................................................................55 Lawrence-Lynch Corp..........................................................52 Liddell Brothers Inc..............................................................12 Lorusso Corp........................................................................42 Lorusso Heavy Equipment, LLC.........................................34 Mabey, Inc............................................................................13 Mass Broken Stone Company...............................................56 Milton CAT...........................................................................20 North East Shoring Equipment, LLC...................................57 Oldcastle Precast...................................................................36 Our Outhouses, Inc.................................................................9 Palmer Paving Corporation..................................................54 E. H. Perkins Construction Co., Inc.................................... 60 Podgurski Corp....................................................................59 E. J. Prescott, Inc..............................................Ins. Front Cvr. Rain For Rent-New England.................................................32 Read Custom Soils ...............................................................50 Schmidt Equipment, Inc.......................................... Back Cvr. The Scituate Companies...................................................... 24 Smith Print............................................................................54 Social Mavens.......................................................................25 Sunbelt Rentals/Case of N. E...............................................10 Systems Support Corporation...............................................23 Taylor Oil Company.............................................................56 Ti-SALES, Inc. ....................................................................50 Albert J. Tonry & Co., Inc....................................................11 United Concrete Products, Inc. ............................................52 United Rentals Trench Safety...............................................38 C. N. Wood Co., Inc. ............................................................18 Woodco Machinery, Inc...................................................... 44




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Construction Outlook January 2013  

Construction Outlook January 2013

Construction Outlook January 2013  

Construction Outlook January 2013