The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
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November 2017


Get connected to the latest news from NAWIC Committees.



By Yasmine Branden, CCA, NFSF Administrator

Partnering with NFSF
The academic year is well underway. There are students across the country who are in classes and training programs due to an NFSF scholarship. Thank you to all who donated generously to supporting the educational dreams of our workforce!

If your chapter currently administers scholarships, there are many reasons to shift that responsibility to NFSF. A big consideration is obtaining and maintaining the appropriate legal IRS tax status. If your chapter does not have the scholarship set up properly and your chapter is audited, your chapter risks losing tax status and being assessed a large fine. So, leave those worries to the Trust!

Was your chapter contacted by a family that wants to direct donations to a memorial scholarship in lieu of flowers? This is a great way to honor someone who dedicated her or his life to our industry. Talk with the family about the perimeters of the scholarship—for trades only or for a specific program, for instance—so that we honor their loved one appropriately.

When setting criteria for awarding scholarship funds, consider a tiered system. NFSF Trustees sometimes run into very narrowly defined award criteria that prevent us from awarding scholarship funds. To increase the likelihood of awarding funds, consider one of these award structures (or create one of your own):
Ex. A: Tier 1 = students from your city attending a local program (undergraduate or trade)
Tier 2 = students from your state attending a program in your state
Tier 3 = students from your state attending a program in your region

Ex. B: Tier 1 = students from your state attending a local program
Tier 2 = students from your region attending a program in your state
Tier 3 = students from your region attending a program in your region

Ex. C: Tier 1 = local students attending a specifically named school/trade training program
Tier 2 = any student attending a specifically named school/trade training program

Whether your chapter is establishing a new scholarship or transitioning an existing one to NFSF, it’s as easy as completing the Application for NFSF Administration of Scholarship Award. It can be found at



By Sue-Ellen Stoddard, CIT, NEF President

NEF Education Programs for All Ages
The NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) recently elected its Executive Committee and Board of Trustees who started to work on several goals for 2017-2018.

NEF has K-12 Programs that can be used within your chapters, as well as adult construction industry education programs for your personal growth.

  • K-12 programs: Block Kids, Design Drafting, Create*Design*Build. Block Kids has a new logo and awards certificate for your use. We also have promo items including highlighters and candy packets that can be purchased from our online store
  • CAD/Design/Drafting (now Design Drafting): Now has a new logo and new guidelines featuring two levels of competition, high school and college. This year’s project is a tiny house.
  • Create*Design*Build (formerly Accessory Structure Project): This was recently added as a free program, along with Block Kids and Design Drafting. Visit the site at for details and program guidelines.

You can advance your career with NEF’s adult construction industry education programs. Some recent updates include:

  • Construction Document Specialist (CDS) was split into two separate programs, Estimating and Scheduling Practitioner (ESP) and Construction Document Technician (CDT)
  • Certified Construction Associate (CCA) program is currently under construction but you can still purchase individual course textbooks. With any CCA purchase, you will be “grandfathered in” once the new and improved CCA program is unveiled.
  • Construction Industry Technician (CIT), Construction Bookkeeping Technician (CBT) and Construction Industry Specialist (CIS) are all available through the online store at
  • The current edition of NEF’s Construction Dictionary was updated in 2015 adding over 600 new terms

NEF’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee are working very hard to bring you the best educational programs in order to enrich your career within the construction industry.


WIC Week

By Heather Berlinski, WIC Week Chair

While WIC Week may still be several months away, it doesn’t hurt to start your preparation now! We will be hosting our first conference call on November 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with several more calls happening in January, February and March of 2018.

Here is a quick recap if you missed AMEC this year:

  • The national Chair this year is Heather Berlinski from the Maine Chapter #276 and the national Co-Chair is Jennifer VanBreda from the Dallas Chapter #2.
  • The Commitment Form due date is now Jan. 5, 2018. Be sure to order your pins and posters by Feb. 1. The Recap Form will be due April 2, 2018.
  • Award categories for this year include Chapter with the most WIC Week Events, Chapter with the largest Single WIC Week Event, and Region with the largest Single WIC Week Event.

Do you or someone you know in a current chapter have an outstanding woman that takes WIC Week to a whole new level? Be sure to keep us updated so we can highlight those women year round, not just during WIC Week.

Have questions? You can reach Heather Berlinski and Jennifer VanBreda at


Strategic Planning

By Cindy Johnsen, CBT, CDS, CIT, Strategic Planning Chair


Are your strategic plan goals SMART?

When working on goals for your chapter or on your personal strategic plan, make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Specific: Have a clear outcome of the goal.
Measurable: Have a clear indicator of progress.
Achievable: Can be achieved in the next three to five years.
Realistic: Have human and monetary resources available.
Time-bound: Specify when the outcome will be achieved.

Remember that just because you don’t have a resource to help you achieve the goal now, it does not mean that you cannot work towards the resources needed to achieve the goal in the future. This is part of your working strategies that will follow once you set a goal. Also, you can always allow more time if needed on a goal, should you determine it is necessary, or determine that a goal is no longer needed. This is all part of working the plan.

Tecker International is consulting with the NAWIC Board on their strategic plan and has on its website many videos on strategic planning and leadership development. I encourage you to go to and look at the video library and publications to help guide your chapter towards implementing a strategic plan or tuning up your current one. The videos are short, so take a few minutes to look at them. I learn something new every time I review one.

If you need any assistance, please contact Chair Cindy Johnsen, CBT, CDS, CIT, at or Co-Chair Connie Leipard, CIT at


U.S. Transportation

By Cari Durbin, U.S. Transportation Chair

Impact of Hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and Florida

Immediately following the storms, many contractors and construction-related businesses were helping their own employees with personal needs, helping them find resources to make damage repairs.

Next, contractors in areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma needed to get work underway with crews ready to work. Damage assessment and reconstruction processes can be lengthy. It has just started and there will be plenty of work.

Two big question marks that arose were the availability of materials and labor. In general, contractors said their ongoing job sites were not badly affected by the storms. The additional work will keep them busy in the coming months as insurance claims and funding become available. Materials suppliers predict that there should not be a shortage of building materials due to the recent increase in homebuilding activity. Labor has been scarce in both areas and the increase in work will require additional workers, which will be largely in the residential sector.

Top 10 OSHA Violations Announced

On Sept. 26, at the National Safety Council's annual Congress & Expo, OSHA Deputy Director of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust announced the preliminary list of 10 standards most frequently cited by the agency’s inspectors during fiscal year 2017. Fall protection was the most-cited standard for the seventh year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication, and Scaffolding. The only new addition to last year’s list was Fall Protection – Training Requirements, which came in at ninth place. OSHA publicizes the top 10 list to increase awareness of these standards. This helps employers take steps to find and fix hazards and prevent injury or illness. That list is on OSHA’s website.

 Infrastructure Funding Update

It is likely that progress on infrastructure funding will fall behind the tax reform package on the list of legislative priorities. Billed as a 100-day priority to rebuild U.S. roads, bridges, airports, and other infrastructure, it has been pushed down the list and a preliminary proposal is submitted with a heavy emphasis on public-private partnerships. All viable options are being considered. Lawmakers in rural areas are concerned that this option may not work in less-populated areas since urban areas would find it easier to get investment costs covered. States are also being asked to contribute. Some infrastructure grant programs are being revived at the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation,;; American Road & Transportation Builders Association,; Construction Dive;



By Schelle Wood, OSHA/NAWIC Alliance Chair, and Kathi Dobson, OSHA/NAWIC Alliance Co-Chair

OSHA Silica Standard Update
Enforcement of OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction went into effect on Sept. 23.
On Sept. 20, the agency announced a 30-day enforcement phase-in to help employers comply with the new standard. (Future announcements TBD.) Citations may be considered for employers not making any efforts to comply. For more information on silica hazards and OSHA’s standard, visit the Silica Final Rule webpage.

Twitter Update
The OSHA-NAWIC alliance has a Twitter account: @NAWIC_Alliance. We’ve been tweeting for a few weeks now and would love to share with you. Please go to your twitter page and follow us! We are linked with almost all our OSHA Construction Alliance Roundtable partners, so you’ll get a wide variety of safety topics to use and share with your companies and colleagues.

Fisher Phillips Web Exclusive: The ABC’s Of AEDs
Early in October, our colleague, Howard Mavity posted this blog on AED’s. We think it’s an important issue, so much so that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strongly encourages AEDs and provides a page dedicated to the devices on its website, but does not require them in the workplace.

Seeking Members to Support Committee
The OSHA/NAWIC Alliance is actively seeking new members to support the committee from each region. Please contact committee co-chairs Kathi Dobson, (, Schelle Wood, ( or your region’s Director if you are interested.



By Leah Curran, Safety Chair

What You Can Do to Avoid the Flu

Who is Most Vulnerable to the Flu? During most flu seasons, people over age 65 comprise 60 percent of the cases of flu in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children from birth to age 4 represented the second-highest hospitalization rate.

A Flu Epidemic Every Year
Flu season occurs in the fall and winter, peaking between late November and early March, and it's an epidemic every year. The makeup of flu viruses can change from year to year, making it difficult to predict. There can also be several strands of the flu virus each year

Flu spreads through droplets when people sneeze or cough, and on surfaces. People are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to a week after. When you don't feel well, it's best to take care of yourself and co-workers by staying home. And don't go back to work (or school) for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.

What Can You do to Stay Healthy?

• The CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months get an annual flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine becomes available. October is the ideal time to get vaccinated, but it's never too late.
• If you don't like needles, ask your doctor if a nasal flu spray is available.
• Avoid being around sick people if possible.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
• Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with the inside of your arm rather than your hand.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated.

Stay Informed
In addition to the precautions above, it is important to stay informed, especially during the annual flu season. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available. Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.

The Most Dangerous Time to Drive

As we 'Fall back' to shorter days, take extra care on the road. Fatigue, lack of light, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than during any other time of day. In fact, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night, according to National Safety Council research.

A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60 percent of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37 percent, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13 percent say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4 percent say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving.

The reasons are many—shift work, la ck of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders—and it doesn't only happen on lengthy trips.

These staggering numbers are backed up by a report by NHTSA that 100,000 police-reported crashes are a result of driver fatigue. Most crashes or near misses happen at the times you would expect drivers to be tired: 4 to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., according to NSF.

The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice:

• Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
• Don't drive if you've been awake for 24 hours or more.
• Stop every two hours to rest.
• Pull over and take a nap if you're drowsy.
• Travel during times you are normally awake.


Every year when Daylight Saving Time ends, many people find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver.

Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.
What should you do to combat darkness?

• Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they're clean.
• Dim your dashboard.
• Look away from oncoming lights.
• If you wear glasses, make sure they're anti-reflective.
• Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks.
• Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time.

Compromised Night Vision
Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions. As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult, according to the American Optometric Association. Some older drivers also may have compromised vision due to cataracts and degenerative eye diseases.

The AOA recommends older drivers:

• Have annual vision exams.
• Reduce speed.
• Take a driving course; even experienced drivers can benefit from a refresher course, and some of the rules have probably changed.
• Minimize distractions, like talking with passengers or listening to the radio.
• Check with your doctor about side effects of prescription drugs.
• Limit driving to daytime hours if necessary.

Rush Hour
Evening rush hour (between 4 and 7 p.m. weekdays) is a dangerous time to drive due to crowded roadways and drivers eager to get home after work. In winter, it's dark during rush hour, compounding an already dangerous driving situation.

How can you make it home safely during rush hour?

• Don't be an impatient driver; slow down.
• Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane.
• Even though the route may be familiar, don't go on autopilot; stay alert.
• In unfamiliar areas, consult a map before you go and memorize your route.
• Don't touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting.

Impaired Drivers
Nearly 30 people die every day in crashes that involve a driver impaired by alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drivers impaired by prescription medicines and other drugs increase that number significantly. Impaired drivers are most frequently on the road after dark—particularly between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends.
While drunk driving has declined by about one-third since 2007, the number of drivers under the influence of drugs has increased. Between 2013 and 2014, 22 percent of drivers tested positive for a drug that would cause impairment, according to a roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA also found that the prevalence of THC (found in marijuana) among drivers on weekend nights increased 48 percent since 2007, from 8.6 percent of drivers to 12.6 percent. Many states have not yet updated their impaired driving laws to address this growing problem.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive
While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous.

More than 35,500 people were killed in car crashes in 2013. By taking some extra precautions, we can all contribute to reducing these

Stay Engaged with this Free Webinar!
Occupational Health and Safety is offering a free webinar, “Executing a Confined Space Rescue,” Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Register today.

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