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Weekly Briefing: May 1-5, 2023

Week of May 1, 2023

OSHA Launches Nationwide Fall Protection Initiative

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced the National Emphasis Program, aiming to prevent falls in construction and other industries, which have accounted for approximately 13% of all workplace fatalities and caused more worksite deaths than any other accident type.

  • Under the new program, OSHA compliance and safety officers are granted the authority to initiate inspections upon observing a worker operating at an elevated height.

  • The nationwide scope of the program seeks to establish a consistent expectation for employers concerning the self-referral of inspections by compliance officers.


US Senate Repeals Solar Panel Tariff Suspension, Biden Expected to Veto

  • The United States Senate has voted to overturn President Biden's suspension of tariffs on solar panels imported from Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  • President Biden intends to veto the legislation, which is not anticipated to garner sufficient support to override the presidential veto.

  • The suspension was originally designed to foster the domestic solar manufacturing industry while maintaining a delicate balance between encouraging a domestic solar supply chain and ensuring access to affordable imports for clean energy initiatives.

  • Revoking the suspension may lead to the cancellation of 14% of planned new solar capacity and a loss of $4.2 billion in investments within the industry.


North American Clean Hydrogen Projects Are Booming

  • The number of planned hydrogen electrolyzer projects worldwide has risen by 18% in the past six months, surpassing one terawatt of electricity capacity for the first time.

  • Over the same period, North America has witnessed the most significant growth in planned hydrogen projects, leading to a decrease in Europe's share from 63% to 56%.

  • Europe's dominance in the hydrogen industry appears to be diminishing, partly due to the United States' Inflation Reduction Act, which has allocated $369 billion for green energy initiatives.

  • Of the one terawatt of planned hydrogen projects globally, a mere 1% have commenced construction, while the majority (86%) remain in the early stages of development.

May 1, 2023

IMEG Corp. (IMEG), an Illinois-based employee-owned firm, engineering design firm, has acquired Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers (Lilker), a New York-based provider of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering design, as well as technology, lighting, special inspections, and energy and sustainability consulting services. The acquisition of Lilker will expand IMEG's operating footprint in New York and D.C., as well as enhance its full-service capabilities. “We are excited to welcome Lilker to our team and deepen our bench of expertise in New York and D.C.,” said IMEG President/CEO Paul VanDuyne. “Their strong client focus and innovative technical skills are two vital characteristics that are consistent with IMEG’s priorities and will complement our full-service offerings as we continue to expand in New York State and along the East Coast.”


May 3, 2023

Montrose Environmental Group, Inc. (Montrose), an Arkansas-based environmental services company focused on supporting government and commercial organizations, has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Matrix Solutions Inc. (Matrix), a Canada-based environmental and engineering consulting company. “Matrix will form the platform for our consulting business in Canada and, together, we will be able to expand our support for clients across their full environmental engineering and service needs in North America,” said Doug Matthys, President of Montrose’s Consulting & Engineering division. “Within Canada, Matrix is recognized as a leading pure-play environmental solutions platform, offering a wide-range of services to compete against large-scale competitors, while having the regional expertise and personal touch to compete with local niche players. We’re excited about the opportunity to enhance our ability to address our clients’ increasingly complex environmental challenges and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Montrose family.”


May 3, 2023

WSP, a Canada-based professional services firm providing strategic advisory, engineering and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, environment, building, energy, water and mining sectors, has acquired lgt, a Canada-based building engineering firm providing advisory services in the areas of mechanical engineering, electricity, sustainable development, structural and civil engineering. The acquisition of lgt will help to strengthen WSP's building services in Quebec, particularly in the education, cultural building, and data center sectors. “WSP is pleased to welcome lgt’s solid team. Together, we have an opportunity to ramp up our presence in Quebec’s building market. We also intend to pool our expertise in the data centre sector while strengthening our capacities in this growing market across Canada,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, President and CEO of WSP Global.


May 4, 2023

Black & Veatch, a Kansas-based engineering, procurement, consulting, and construction company, has acquired Bird Electric Enterprises and Bird Electric Properties, both part of BASElectric Holdings, LLC (collectively known as Bird Electric), a Texas-based self-perform electrical construction services provider to electric utility clients with a national reach in emergency power restoration. The acquisition will enhance Black & Veatch's service capabilities in the Grid Solutions market, as well as expand its services in adjacent linear and distributed infrastructure markets and solutions such as EV charging, renewables, and connectivity.

Bechtel donated more than 800 new hand, technical, and construction tools to the Ingleside High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) program on May 4th. Learning on state-of-the-art tools is critical for Ingleside students to master the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) curriculum and prepare for certification.

“The Ingleside program is all about offering opportunities to local students. We know early engagement is key, and provides results,” said Bechtel Tool Operations Manager Geoff Whitman. “The NCCER classes taught at Ingleside give students access to tools, resources, hands-on experience, and a path to certification to prepare them for craft professional careers. I would like to thank Ingleside High School, our customer Cheniere Energy, all the students and their parents, and my Bechtel colleagues for making this program a reality.”

Bechtel is committed to helping the community develop the next generation of craft professionals through local partnerships that can create job opportunities for young professionals on the U.S. Gulf Coast projects, such as Cheniere’s Corpus Christi Liquefaction (CCL) facility.

This May 9-10, EFCG will host our annual HR Leadership Conference in Boston, MA!

EFCG has been hosting its annual HR Leadership Conference since 2010. Each year, HR leaders from across the AEC Industry come together to share their insights and lessons on HR strategies, policies, and metrics, as well as the impact of broader current events, while EFCG brings its extensive financial, HR, and compensation data and expertise in talent strategy and financial analysis.

Visit our HR Leadership Conference page to sign up, see the agenda, and view the current attendee list. Please note, this event is almost sold out.


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