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Containment: A Time to Think Ahead
By Robert Ikenberry

Typically, the two biggest costs for projects involving abatement of hazardous paint on complex structures are access and containment.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 27, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

The Questionable Promise of Superhydrophobic Coatings
By Warren Brand

Imagine for a moment painting a surface that never gets dirty. Or one that’s perfectly cleaned whenever it rains or is simply rinsed down with water.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 21, 2017 | 12 COMMENTS

OSHA's Slips, Trips and Falls Rule Revamped
By Eric J. Conn

On January 17, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new Walking-Working Surfaces Rule took effect, updating OSHA regulations that have been in place for nearly a half century. ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 27, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

A Chilly Surface Prep Method Gains Steam
By Lee Wilson

What is stopping dry ice blasting from becoming a more prevalent method of surface preparation?... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 15, 2017 | 7 COMMENTS

The Evolution of Protective Coatings and Applicators
By Kevin Coleman

At the same time coatings have advanced, the equipment to apply them has evolved as well. ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 9, 2017 | 4 COMMENTS

Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 3
By Lee Wilson

Why, when the joint standards supply so much more information, are specifiers still choosing ISO 8501-1 without stating the SSPC/NACE standards as equivalents?... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 1, 2017 | 2 COMMENTS

Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 2
By Lee Wilson

How does a SSPC/NACE joint standard on surface preparation differ from the equivalent ISO standard, and why does it matter?... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 25, 2017 | 1 COMMENT

Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 1
By Lee Wilson

Some say the ISO standard for dry abrasive blasting is in need of a revamp. Is it? And what really makes a good standard?... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2017 | 7 COMMENTS

The World’s Largest Movable Structure You’ve Probably Never Heard About
By Warren Brand

It’s called The New Safe Confinement (NSC). Picture a massive, movable hangar-like dome designed to cover the highly radioactive remains of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 21, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Sandblast Nozzle Selection
By Patrick Harmon

When it comes to sandblasting, the blast nozzle you use is critical. Blast nozzle selection will impact how fast you can blast, how long you can blast before replacing the nozzle, and the volume of ai... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 30, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

The 'Fatal Four' and Your Worksite
By Michael Halliwell

I recently took the time to look at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration website for some of the commonly used statistics. To be perfectly blunt, the statistics were eye-opening. ... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 4
By Eric J. Conn

Following the enactment of this controversial rule [the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation], eight industry groups and companies—among them, Associated Builders and... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 9, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Normalization of Deviance
By Warren Brand

It brought down both Space Shuttles, is responsible for the disaster at Deepwater Horizon and is an insidious issue for many corrosion mitigation failures.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | 18 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 3
By Eric J. Conn

OSHA has expressed particular concern with the supposed chilling effect and retaliatory nature of employee incentive programs used by many employers across industries.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 2
By Eric J. Conn

The new “workers’ rights” anti-retaliation provisions of the updated Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation add language to 29 C.F.R. §§ 1904.35 (employee involvement) ... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 19, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 1
By Eric J. Conn

OSHA’s recent reform to its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation has created quite a stir for employers.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 12, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

No Two Alike
By Amy Gibson

Have you ever been in a class or a training session with an individual who asked too many questions? How about with an individual who knew everything about everything? ... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 5, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

Getting Along
By Michael Halliwell

A lot has been going on recently that draws my attention back to the social side of our world rather than worker safety or the latest technical innovation.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

How About a New 95:50 Rule?
By Robert Ikenberry

I think we should have a new way of looking at quality. We don’t have to settle for “just OK,” and we don’t have to go all the way to budget-busting perfection. ... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

Outgassing: It’s Not Just Hot Air
By Warren Brand

I am intimately familiar with the fine art of “eye-rolling.” As the followers of my blog know, I have three daughters, ages 16, 19 and 22.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 31, 2016 | 9 COMMENTS

OSHA Civil Penalties Spike
By Eric J. Conn

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Interim Final Rule to implement the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act passed last fall as part of the highly publicized B... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 17, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Blast It Fast: Factors that Contribute to Sandblasting Speed
By Patrick Harmon

As a contractor, the speed at which you can prep a surface or remove contaminants can be critical for your business.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 10, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

A Matter of Degree: Nothing Is Black or White
By Robert Ikenberry

We, as a society, seem to have a hard time with “facts” and “truth.” As a self-described science geek, I’m tempted to see things as bipolar: black and white, good and bad, true and untrue.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 3, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

The Development of Protective Pipeline Coatings, Part 2
By Lee Wilson

The 1980s really did see the birth of the three-layer systems comprised of a polyolefin (polyethylene or polypropylene) topcoat, a copolymer adhesive intermediate layer, and a fusion-bonded epoxy prim... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 27, 2016 | 6 COMMENTS

The Development of Protective Pipeline Coatings, Part 1
By Lee Wilson

This is the first in a two-part series chronicling the history of protective pipeline coatings, from the earliest coatings in ancient times to the most cutting-edge current technology. ... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 20, 2016 | 4 COMMENTS

Be Ready for What May Come
By Michael Halliwell

Kay Redfield Jamison once said, “There is always a part of my mind that is preparing for the worst, and another part of my mind that believes if I prepare enough for it, the worst won’t happen.” ... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 13, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

Between a Rock and a Rusty Place
By Warren Brand

My eldest daughter, Jessica, 21, excitedly called me a few months ago to tell me about a new hobby she’s taken up: bouldering. If you’re anything like me, you’ve just had the response, “Huh? Is that a... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 29, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

The Importance of Your Learning Culture
By Amy Gibson

First things first: What is an “organizational learning culture”? Your organizational learning culture is defined by the value you... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 22, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

OSHA’s Enforcement Weighting System
By Eric J. Conn

Over the course of this year, employers can expect to see longer, more comprehensive Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections that focus on complex safety and health hazards. ... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 25, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Infrared vs. Convection Curing
By Patrick Harmon

Many manufacturers face the challenge of product piling up around their painting department, waiting to cure.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 25, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Our Industry’s Aversion to Risk: Nothing Is Risk-Free
By Warren Brand

I was 18 and SCUBA diving off a pristine, white, sandy beach in the Red Sea. My dive-buddy was a highly experienced world-traveling... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 18, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

OSHA vs. DC Court: Statute of Limitations
By Eric J. Conn

Late last year I wrote about a significant rulemaking to amend OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping regulations to require employers to proactively submit their injury logs and reports to OSHA on a... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 27, 2016 | 1 COMMENT

Coatings Safety On and Off the Job
By Michael Halliwell

As anyone who reads my blog knows, my job involves sampling paints for lead, conducting environmental construction operation plan audits on bridge rehabilitation projects and addressing other health a... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 21, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Are Your Clients Arguing from Ignorance or Authority?
By Warren Brand

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know I live with four women—three daughters (15, 19 and 21) and my wife, whose age will remain confidential as I prefer to remain married.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 13, 2016 | 5 COMMENTS

Old-School vs. New-School Learning: Which Do You Prefer? (You Might Be Surprised!)
By Amy Gibson

Learning occurs every day, but when we think of learning, many of us have a nostalgic association to childhood experiences. Your instant recollection is likely to be of a musty classroom or an old acq... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 6, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

OSHA Withdraws Long-Planned Rule to Reduce Slips, Trips and Falls
By Eric J. Conn

In what can only be viewed as another example of OSHA’s inability to effectively advance its rulemaking agenda, the federal agency recently withdrew its quarter-century-in-the-making draft Final Rule ... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 23, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

A Tale of Two Contractors:
The Hidden, Staggering Costs of Inefficiency
By Warren Brand

It was early spring of 2007 when my old coating company got the call from Grainger World Headquarters to line the interior of four, identical, stainless steel cooling tower basins.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 9, 2016 | 7 COMMENTS

OSHA Criminal Cases on the Rise
By Eric J. Conn

In the 40-plus years since Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act, there have been more than 400,000 workplace fatalities, yet fewer than 80 total OSH Act criminal cases have been pro... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 2, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Electrostatic Painting: What You Need to Know
By Patrick Harmon

Electrostatic painting is often not well understood in the paint and coatings industry. To help clarify the... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 16, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Unwelcome Surprises
By Michael Halliwell

A recent article in The Globe and Mail brought to light a disturbing trend in work-related fatalities in Canada. ... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 9, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Web Reporting Tool: Use with Caution
By Eric J. Conn

In addition to employers’ longstanding obligation, as of Jan. 1, 2015, to report to OSHA all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, all employers were required to also begin reporting to OSHA, within... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 3, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Kindness: The Missing Ingredient in Any Successful Coating Application
By Warren Brand

It was 2010 and I had just turned 50 when I walked away from a family business. In doing so, I sacrificed roughly three years of salary. I had tried as best I could to change the culture of our family... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 27, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Asset Integrity and Fabric Maintenance
By Lee Wilson

Asset integrity can be defined as the ability of an asset to perform its required function effectively and efficiently while protecting health, safety and the environment. ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 20, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

A Perspective on Learning
By Amy Gibson

Former CEO of GE Jack Welch said, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” ... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 13, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

5 Tips to Reduce Solvent Use in Your Finishing Work
By Patrick Harmon

I was recently with a customer who wanted to reduce solvent use. His company currently uses about 350... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 6, 2016 | 5 COMMENTS

A Tale of Two Clients
By Warren Brand

There’s a concept in martial arts that the first time a student sees a... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2015 | 6 COMMENTS

Should You Demand an OSHA Warrant?
By Eric J. Conn

Perhaps the most common question I am asked about OSHA inspections is... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 10, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Deep Dive into Subsea Coatings
By Lee Wilson

I was approached recently by a fellow coating inspector who had applied for a position with a leading oil company as a SURF coating inspector [Subsea production equipment such as Umbilicals, Risers an... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 4, 2015 | 6 COMMENTS

Confined Space, Common Sense
By Michael Halliwell

As I write this, it’s October, which means that the new OSHA confined space standard, published back in May 2015, is now in force.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Beyond Compliance: Inspired by Confined Space Rules
By Robert Ikenberry

In the works since 1980, federal OSHA recently published new construction-specific confined space safety regulations under rule 1926.1201-1213.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 20, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Can We Save Our Corroding Infrastructure?
By Warren Brand

It's time for a new way of thinking. Let’s first start with a story from a 60 Minutes exposé that aired... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 6, 2015 | 23 COMMENTS

OSHA’s Full-Time Enforcement Policy for Temporary Workers
By Eric J. Conn

In April 2013, OSHA declared that protecting temporary workers would become a top priority.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 | 1 COMMENT

No Room for Painters
By Lee Wilson

Way back in June 2011, I wrote an article that was published in a European coatings journal (PCE). In it I expressed my concerns about the health and safety of offshore workers due to oil and gas leak... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 | 10 COMMENTS

Giving Back
By Michael Halliwell

Isn’t it amazing how many lives we touch in our day-to-day work? Or even when we are “off the clock”?... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 | 1 COMMENT

A Pleasant Surprise in the Permian Basin
By Warren Brand

The three-hour drive through the scrub of the Northwestern Shelf of the Permian Basin was hot, long and fascinating.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 18, 2015 | 9 COMMENTS

All About Adhesion
By Lee Wilson

As I have stated time and time again, if a protective coating does not stick to the substrate it is intended to protect, then it is of little use as a method of corrosion control. You see, my colleagu... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 7, 2015 | 4 COMMENTS

Embracing Your Inner Geek
By Robert Ikenberry

PLEASONTON, CA--When you read the news, it seems there’s always a war on, over just about everything—and not even the shooting kind.... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 10, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Sex and the C-Level
By Cynthia O'Malley

PITTSBURGH--In Corporate America, balanced representation of women in leadership (with significant authority and the compensation that goes with it) remains an elusive goal.... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 9, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Battling the Employer Blacklist
By Eric J. Conn

On July 13, 2014, President Obama executed Executive Order 1376: “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces.” On May 28, 2015, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council (composed of the Defense Departmen... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 30, 2015 | 2 COMMENTS

Specifications: Does Anyone Still Care?
By Warren Brand

When I was nine or 10, my summers were spent with gun-toting workmen, driving around Chicago in old blue Metros, lining the exterior bottoms of 275-gallon tanks in the city’s basements.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 18, 2015 | 6 COMMENTS

Unstoppable Ego v. Irresistible Force
By Michael Halliwell

As many of you know, my involvement with the coatings industry is not on the application side. As someone in the environmental field, my most common involvement is in the assessment of applied paints ... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 30, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Standards: Guidelines or Gospel?
By Warren Brand

In coatings, as in every other profession, you can go by the book or you can go with what real life demands. Sometimes, those are very different paths.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 6, 2015 | 7 COMMENTS

Seeking Sense from the Experts
By Warren Brand

It takes an enormous amount to get under my skin. But I just attended a conference for the benefit of Illinois DOT and came away appalled.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 24, 2015 | 15 COMMENTS

When Bad Specs Happen to Good Projects
By Lee Wilson

As we are well aware, many factors can and do cause premature coating failure. The usual suspects, it is widely accepted, are inadequate surface preparation and coating application.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 19, 2015 | 10 COMMENTS

OSHA Missteps on SVEP
By Eric J. Conn

It’s been five years since OSHA launched its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and two years since an agency White Paper trumpeted the program’s “strong start” and progress on “key goals.”... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 26, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Why Your Bridge Needs a Good Bake Sale
By Robert Ikenberry

Americans are great innovators. We develop the coolest technological toys. From personal computers to smartphones, our inventions are groundbreaking and status-quo shattering.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015 | 4 COMMENTS

Game of Pros: Experience v. Credentials
By Lee Wilson

Inspectors and others in the protective-coatings field often ask me which is “better”—practical experience or third-party certification? My answer: Yes.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 2, 2015 | 10 COMMENTS

The Big Deal about Asbestos
By Michael Halliwell

Once again, asbestos is hitting the headlines. There have been articles about school-board employees being exposed via sanding tiles and a potential cover-up, about an unscrupulous individual using he... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 18, 2014 | 5 COMMENTS

Where It All Went So Wrong
By Lee Wilson

I recently returned from inspecting a high-profile gas plant being developed by a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company for a big oil and gas concern.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 9, 2014 | 6 COMMENTS

But What about the Men?
By Cynthia O'Malley

Our industry will never achieve the benefits of gender equality with only one gender putting forth the effort.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 5, 2014 | 7 COMMENTS

Failure? Analyze This (or Don't)
By Warren Brand

So, I get a call from the manager of a tony high-rise condo on Chicago’s Gold Coast.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2014 | 10 COMMENTS

Beware of Stepped-Up Reporting Rules
By Eric J. Conn

This month has brought an unwelcome announcement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: a sweeping amendment to its Injury & Illness Recordkeeping regulations.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Driving Data from Disco to Digital
By Warren Brand

For nearly 30 years, I’ve watched, fascinated, as technology in the coatings industry has advanced.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

The More Things Change ...
By Cynthia O'Malley

I recently had the rare opportunity to sit and have an extended conversation with a longtime acquaintance without rushing through dinner to get to the next commitment.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Confined Space:
Have We Learned Our Lesson Yet?
By Michael Halliwell

I don’t think we go more than a week between articles about injuries or fatalities involving confined spaces.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 14, 2014 | 3 COMMENTS

Lead: Much Ado about Nothing?
By Warren Brand

I can think of few corrosion protective materials more durable, functional and versatile than lead. Setting aside the health issues for a moment, the history of lead is truly remarkable—like the Swiss... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 28, 2014 | 12 COMMENTS

Opening a Loophole for Stale Claims
By Eric J. Conn

On May 21, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a memo discussing a new agreement about a back-door route for employees to file safety-related whistleblower claims that are too st... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 21, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Going Beyond the ‘Good Old Boys’
By Cynthia O'Malley

Where are the women in coatings, and why aren’t there more of them? ... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 11, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Staying Safely on a Roll
By Eric J. Conn

Fall hazards are always among the top Occupa­tional Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement priorities. These violations rank among the most frequently cited year after year.... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 6, 2014 | 4 COMMENTS

Who’ll Take Responsibility for Safety?
By Michael Halliwell

Although I am an environmental professional by trade, my work is tied into enough health, safety and environment (HSE) programs to expose me to a variety of safety programs, styles and attitudes over ... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 2, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Learning (Yes, Really) from Al Jazeera
By Robert Ikenberry

Last week on our bridge demo project, I ran into a news reporter I know who hopes to be involved in building the future of science and technology reporting—a particular passion of mine.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 30, 2014 | 6 COMMENTS

Coating Inspectors: Are We Necessary?
By Warren Brand

Over 30 years in the industry, I’ve been on most sides of many paint issues. I’ve owned a painting company; I’ve represented coatings; and I’m a coating consultant and inspector with an SSPC-PCS, NACE... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 24, 2014 | 23 COMMENTS

Playing on a Field Not Remotely Level
By Cynthia O'Malley

The Women in Coatings group was formed in 2010 as part of SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 1, 2014 | 5 COMMENTS

‘Solutions’ That Also Teach Lessons
By Warren Brand

It all started over coffee with a friend. I had wondered to Dean, a coating rep, how it was that Chicago—the U.S.’s third-largest market—had never hosted a local corrosion conference... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 25, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

Reporting Plan Makes a Bad Idea Worse
By Robert Ikenberry

Reading about the proposed requirement for companies to upload their OSHA 300 logs got me thinking.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 19, 2014 | 3 COMMENTS

How Much Does a Bad Paint Job Cost?
By Warren Brand

I’m passionate about everything pertaining to our industry. I have one company that consults on technical aspects of coating selection and application, and another that focuses on business development... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Sick Over Illness/Injury Reporting Plan
By Eric J. Conn

Intrusive and burdensome are just two of the words we used in reporting earlier on OSHA’s proposed new Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting rule.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 21, 2014 | 1 COMMENT

Land Mines on the Road to Safety
By Simon Hope

I never cease to wonder at the depths to which individuals will lower themselves for self-promotion.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 18, 2014 | 3 COMMENTS

The Hidden Hazards of Bridge Rehab
By Michael Halliwell

Any time that one is working bridge rehabilitation, there are certain hazards that should be pretty obvious. The first, and often foremost, is falls and fall hazards. But there are other potential haz... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 31, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Know Your Rights When OSHA Calls
By Eric J. Conn

I was recently asked an interesting question: “Employers often are told to know and exercise their rights during an OSHA inspection. What exactly are those rights?”... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 30, 2014 | 6 COMMENTS

Closing Thoughts
By Karen Kapsanis

Years ago, when I joined JPCL as the editorial assistant, I told myself that I would stay in publishing for two years and then go back to graduate school.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 20, 2013 | 9 COMMENTS

I Try to be Flexible...
By Warren Brand

We are in the process of getting a water tank—85 feet in diameter and roughly 80 feet tall—back in service.From start to finish, we have about four weeks.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 3, 2013 | 9 COMMENTS

The Perils of O-Ring Thinking
By Warren Brand

When it comes to failure, there are causes, and then there are causes.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 5, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Up a Tree ... without a Password
By Karen Kapsanis

Sometimes, I think living in the Information Age is like trying to get into some kid’s treehouse. That’s because to get into a treehouse (and into just about everything online or otherwise digital), y... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 1, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

ECO Plans: More Green on the Job Site
By Michael Halliwell

Our job sites have sure changed over the last 15 years or so. Many things that were once commonplace can no longer be done, due to their impact on the environment. To that end, many jurisdictions have... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Beyond the Cold Wall: A Penetrating Look
By Warren Brand

Thanks to everyone for reading, thinking about and commenting on my last blog on the Cold Wall Effect. For better or worse, the column seems to have raised more questions than it answered.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 | 8 COMMENTS

The Cold War over the Cold Wall Effect
By Warren Brand

Reality is not always as firm a thing as we would wish, alas, even in the realm of coatings science. Take the Cold Wall Effect: to some experts, a key cause of coating failure; to others, a myth.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 | 18 COMMENTS

Doom and Gloom on Blood Lead Levels (Really?)
By Robert Ikenberry

As one gets older, it’s interesting how people’s perspectives differ.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 20, 2013 | 12 COMMENTS

Techie Trials and Paper Tigers
By Simon Hope

Life is great, things progress, and every day a shiny new techno-toy arrives to make our work easier … or so we are all told.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 9, 2013 | 6 COMMENTS

Hot Times, Cool Opportunities
By Robert Ikenberry

It’s time to talk about climate change—and I don’t mean arguing about whether it’s happening. It is.... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 10, 2013 | 10 COMMENTS

Merger Mania, and Why It Matters
By Karen Kapsanis

Over the past 30 years in the coatings industry, mergers and acquisitions have affected every kind of coatings-related business—from coatings companies and equipment manufacturers to contractors, raw ... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 16, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Dirty Secrets of the ‘Q’ Word
By Simon Hope

Having dispensed with human competence, can we hope for any better from its inanimate, intangible cousin ... quality?... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 25, 2013 | 4 COMMENTS

Revelations of the Magic Hammer
By Tim Race

Ever hear anyone state with great authority that you can't know what surface preparation was performed after the paint has been applied? You know: Once you paint that steel, you just can't tell how we... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 15, 2013 | 5 COMMENTS

Congratulations on Your Engagement
By Pamela Simmons

Today the word “engagement” does not so much mean moving to the next level with your significant other as it does, the measure of effectiveness of online marketing efforts and even of the intended per... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 2, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS

Dangers of the Daily Juggling Act
By Karen Kapsanis

I have been trying to write this little essay for weeks, but I keep getting interrupted—by emails beeping, phones ringing, texts boinging, multiple projects (often with the same deadline) closing in, ... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 28, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Construction Still Low on High Tech
By Robert Ikenberry

Construction is one of the last industries to embrace technology—or so it seems. If so, why? And is it time for a change?... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 22, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

‘Competent Persons’ vs. Competence
By Simon Hope

One of the eternal problems that our industry grapples with is defining the differences between training, competence and experience.... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 7, 2013 | 16 COMMENTS

Infrastructure Needs a Good PR Firm
By Robert Ikenberry

Which would you notice first? Money missing from your Social Security check, or a patch of rust on the underside of your local bridge? Obviously, the check.... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 30, 2013 | 4 COMMENTS

Clean and Green? Maybe...
By Karen Kapsanis

I wouldn’t call it a scam or a lie or even an intention to mislead. “It” is the language that appears on many utility bills I receive.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 31, 2012 | 4 COMMENTS

Business Building: Investing in ‘Yes’
By Robert Ikenberry

I’m often amazed when I watch other contractors interact with owners.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 19, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

Foul Play with the Not-So-Fine Print
By Simon Hope

Over the years, I have watched all sorts of wonderful ideas come and go—many of them well thought out, but also a large number of what can be described only as “snake oil” get-rich-quick schemes.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2012 | 3 COMMENTS

Tapping into a Time-Honored Test
By Tim Race

Tap ... tap ... tap ... Between the years of 1660 and 1664, my ninth great-grandfather Andries Rees was repeatedly dragged before the magistrate in the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam. The char... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 4, 2012 | 4 COMMENTS

Not Strangers to Danger
By Karen Kapsanis

Maybe you’ve had this experience, too: I have a hard time forgetting accidents that happen close to home, especially when the accidents are fatal and especially when I know the victim.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 25, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

When Safety Incentives Backfire
By Robert Ikenberry

When you try to foster safety by offering incentives, do you really get what you want?... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2012 | 5 COMMENTS

Too Much Rust for the Weary
By Karen Kapsanis

Although I don’t see offshore oil platforms around Pittsburgh, rarely pass storage tanks, and don’t frequent industrial facilities where pipe needs to be repaired because of corrosion under insulation... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 11, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

New Tools Stuck in Old-School Ways
By Tim Race

In 1973, I was playing baseball for Parkside High School Eagles with Tony Dungy. That was also the year that SSPC published PA2, its first standard for measuring paint dry film thickness.... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 4, 2012 | 9 COMMENTS

Casting a Vote for Infrastructure
By Karen Kapsanis

I really don’t like leap years, mainly because they are the years when the campaign for U.S. President shifts into high gear. And I get tired of the same old rhetoric.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

A Surreal Game of Cops and Bloggers
By Pamela Simmons

As I write this, a hostage situation is playing out in downtown Pittsburgh. A man by the name of Klein Michael Thaxton is holding a hostage on the 16th floor of a building. He is armed and has two duf... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 | 1 COMMENT

Social Media: Y U Should ‘Like’ It
By Pamela Simmons

Social media isn’t new, but you wouldn’t know it from some people in the coatings industry.

Although billions of Earthlings have been Linking In for 10 years, Facebooking for nine, and Tweeti... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 | 11 COMMENTS

Wanted: Common Sense on Next Lead Regs
By Robert Ikenberry

Recently, when I took my annual C5 refresher, I was reminded that the OSHA Lead in Construction standard is now almost two decades old.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 | 9 COMMENTS

Rebuilding a Skilled Workforce
By Robert Ikenberry

Recently, McGraw-Hill Construction went looking for skilled labor. Turns out, they weren’t the only ones.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 13, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

Print vs. Digital: The Ultimate Partnership
By Pamela Simmons

Google the words, “print dead” and you’ll come up with countless articles, polls, and opinions in general, courtesy of many who are all too eager to shovel that last bit of dirt on the medium that has... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 2, 2012 | 3 COMMENTS

One for All?
By Karen Kapsanis

I recently heard that some owners change a contract by replacing an “SSPC-certified contractor” requirement in the original contract with a requirement for an individual who has certification as a coa... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 12, 2011 | 2 COMMENTS
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