• The Mechanical Contractors Association of America recently released the latest in its supervisor safety training series - Reduce the Risk: Pre-Task Safety and Health Planning for Supervisors. By watching the MCAA DVD, viewers will learn how to identify potentially hazardous tasks; conduct task hazard analyses; and implement corresponding safe work procedures.

    MCAA members and local affiliated associations will receive a free copy of the DVD in their regular membership mailing. Nonmembers can order the DVD and other safety-related materials through MCAA’s online store.

  • The U.S. will have its warmest winter in five years, which will reduce demand for natural gas, according to forecaster MDA Federal, as reported on Bloomberg.com. From December to February, the U.S. will experience 2,515 heating-degree days, according to Travis Hartman, meteorologist with MDA Federal’s EarthSat Energy Weather in Rockville, Md. That compares with 2,767 heating-degree days a year earlier and a 10-year average of 2,577.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy announced that the Interstate Renewable Energy Council will serve as the national administrator for the Solar Instructor Training Network to help ensure the development of a national solar training infrastructure that can meet the employment needs of a rapidly growing domestic solar industry. IREC will receive up to $4.5 million of funding over five years to administer the program. Through the work of the training network, the DOE expects more than 1,400 instructors will be trained across the nation, creating the capacity to train thousands of workers for the solar installation industry.

    Visit www.eere.energy.gov/solar/instructor_training_network.html for further information.

  • According to a recent omnibus survey commissioned by InSinkErator, the majority of Americans (70 percent) say that having access to cold, filtered water in the home is important. But the online survey, conducted by Impulse Research, found that the design of their filtered water source is important too, with nearly half of those polled indicating they’d like it to fit in with their kitchen décor.

    Michelle Gross, marketing manager for water products at InSinkErator, said nearly 80 percent of Americans have some method to filter water in their home. But as popularity for filtration systems increases, homeowners care about how their filtration systems look.

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