USGBC joins forces with American Chemistry Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and American Chemistry Council have agreed to partner to apply technical and science-based approaches to USGBC's LEED® green building certification program. USGBC and the American Chemistry Council will work within LEED's framework to incorporate safety, sustainability and life cycle-based approaches to LEED.

"Modern energy-efficiency gains, building safety advances and carbon footprint reductions would not be possible without the products of chemistry," says American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley. "By combining USGBC … with the scientific know-how of the [American Chemistry Council], we can develop a path to stronger, science-based standards that achieve measurable progress in sustainability."

OSHA and NIOSH seek to protect temporary workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have issued recommendations to help staffing agencies and employers better protect temporary workers from health hazards.

According to OSHA, it has received increasing reports of temporary workers injured while on the job. OSHA's and NIOSH's published recommendations focus on ensuring temporary workers receive the same amount of training and protection as full- and part-time permanent workers.

"Recognizing temporary workers are often new to the workplace to which they are sent, we believe these recommended practices will provide a strong foundation for host employers and staffing agencies to work together to provide a comprehensive program that protects the safety and health of all workers," says NIOSH Director John Howard.

The Recommended Practices document is available at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3735.pdf.

USGBC and building industry groups agree to align efforts

The International Code Council, ASHRAE Inc., The American Institute of Architects, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have signed a joint memorandum citing the groups will collaborate on the development of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, "Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," and the next version of the International Green Construction Code.

The agreement aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes, as well as align USGBC's LEED® green building certification program with the new code to ensure a streamlined set of regulatory options.

"This landmark agreement will leverage the unique strengths of each of the five partner organizations to deliver a coordinated, integrated suite of green building tools," says Brendan Owens, vice president of LEED and USGBC.

Five ways to spot a scam

Scam artists pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continue to prey on taxpayers. The callers usually say a taxpayer has a refund due and try to trick people into providing private information. In response, the IRS has issued the following five ways to identify a scam artist:

  • The IRS will never call you about taxes without first providing an official notice by mail.
  • The IRS will never demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • The IRS will never ask for your credit or debit card information over the phone.
  • The IRS does not threaten arrest for nonpayment.

If you believe you are a victim of an IRS scam, do the following:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. The IRS can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484 or www.tigta.gov.
  • If you've been targeted by a scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use its FTC Complaint Assistant at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Also, remember the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss personal tax issues. For more information about reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box


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