Labor and Industry August 2016 News

  August 2016
Below is a recap of recent news from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. DLI oversees the state's programs for apprenticeship, construction codes and licensing, occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, and workers' compensation.
Owens Corning becomes first business to register 
a program through the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative
Representatives from Owens Corning, DLI and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development visited the company's Minneapolis plant July 28, 2016, to commemorate the registration of an apprenticeship program through the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative.
In October 2015, Minnesota was awarded a $5 million grant through the U.S. Department of Labor as part of its American Apprenticeship Initiative to expand registered apprenticeship as a workforce development tool in high-growth industries. Throughout the next four years, Minnesota will engage more than 100 employers to develop registered apprenticeship programs that train more than 1,000 employees. 
Owens Corning, which makes roofing products (shingles and accessories) and insulation, became the first business to develop and register an apprenticeship program with DLI under the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative. Owens Corning's employee, Brandon Carlsen (pictured above), will apprentice as a maintenance mechanic. As part of his related instruction at Hennepin Technical College, Carlsen will study courses such as pneumatic components, advanced programmable logic controllers and fluid power technology. His on-the-job training will require him to learn preventive and corrective maintenance, troubleshooting as well as pipefitting and plumbing components (welding, fabrication, brazing, soldering and other jointing processes).
AWAIR Act change effective Aug. 1
Change lengthens timeline for updating list of employers that must comply

An amendment to the A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act became effective Aug. 1. The amendment lengthens the timeline for updating Minnesota OSHA's AWAIR list -- indicating which Minnesota employers must comply -- from every two years to every five years. The change was passed by the Minnesota Legislature during the 2016 session.
The AWAIR Act, established in 1990, requires a covered employer to establish a written workplace accident and injury program that promotes safe and healtful working conditions and is based on clearly stated goals and objectives for meeting those goals. The list is compiled based on the most recently available estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, which is conducted by the Department of Labor and Industry in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Poster pin
Minnesota's minimum wage increased Aug. 1, free poster available online
Minnesota's large employer minimum-wage rates rose to $9.50 an hour on Aug. 1, 2016. This was the state's third of three annual minimum-wage increases put into law in 2014. In January 2018, the rates will be annually indexed to inflation.
Minnesota's new minimum-wage poster is available online and ready to print at The poster's minimum-wage rates are effective Aug. 1, 2016. Minnesota law requires employers to display the poster in a physical location where employees can easily see it. There is no cost for the poster.
Storm damage? Do your homework before hiring a contractor
Whether a remodel or clean-up, DLI has resources for consumers

The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reminds homeowners to do their homework before hiring a building contractor after a storm ... or anytime.
"There are many companies in Minnesota that specialize in repairing roofs, siding and windows resulting from storm damage. Most of these contractors are reputable and licensed," said Ken Peterson, DLI commissioner. "However, after storms, unscrupulous operators may try to take advantage of storm victims."
After neighborhoods experience a wind or hail storm, homeowners may find salespeople for these companies going door-to-door soliciting repair work.
New edition of Safety Lines sent to subscribers

A new edition of Safety Lines -- the quarterly newsletter of Minnesota OSHA -- was recently sent to subscribers.
Stories in the new edition include:
  • Legislative, rulemaking updates
  • Something brewing over coffee?
  • Department thanks employers for participating in injury, illness survey
  • Free introductory-level recordkeeping training offered Oct. 21
  • Minnesota OSHA answers frequently asked questions
  • Controlling hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
  • MNOSHA Compliance signs safety, health partnerships
  • And more ...

View the new edition of Safety Lines.

Injury, fatality investigation summaries available
Minnesota OSHA Compliance has investigated 11 fatalities since Oct. 1, 2015, the beginning of the current federal-fiscal-year.
Workplace fatality and serious-injury investigation summaries are available each month from Minnesota OSHA Compliance. The reports contain basic information about the business involved, a description of the event and the outcome of the investigation.
The summaries, plus other helpful workplace safety and health information from Minnesota OSHA, are online at
New edition of Apprenticeship Works sent to subscribers

Apprenticeship Works newsletterA new edition of Apprenticeship Works -- the quarterly newsletter of Apprenticeship Minnesota -- was recently sent to subscribers.
Stories in the new edition include:
  • Apprenticeships expanding in health care, manufacturing and transportation industries
  • Apprentices compete at National Craft Championship
  • LEAP grant available soon, sign-up for more information
  • Longtime Duluth Pipe Trades Coordinator retires
  • And more ...

View the new edition of  Apprenticeship Works.

2016 fall seminar will feature plan review, conservation code

DLI's Construction Codes and Licensing Division has scheduled its fall seminar -- Residential Plan Review and Minnesota Rule 1311 Work Area Method -- for seven locations throughout Minnesota beginning in September.
The morning portion of the day-long course will includes details about performing residential plan review including determining if plans, specifications, calculations and design of single-family dwellings comply with the Minnesota Residential Code. The afternoon portion will provide an overview and comparison of all Minnesota Existing Building Conservation Code compliance methods.
Grant opportunity:  Partner with DLI to expand apprenticeship
The U.S. Department of Labor announced this summer another competitive grant to expand registered apprenticeship. To apply for this grant opportunity, Apprenticeship Minnesota at DLI is looking to partner with three to five registered apprenticeship programs to support expansion efforts that provide apprenticeship opportunities to women, veterans and people of color.
The deadline to submit a letter of interest about the grant is Aug. 15, 2016.
PIPELINE Project receives State Government Innovation Award
DLI Commissioner Ken Peterson speaks during the Minnesota State Government Innovation Awards ceremony.
The Minnesota PIPELINE Project was awarded a 2016 State Government Innovation Award recognizing "the great work of state government entities." The award was provided by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Nonprofit Leadership Center.
The goal of DLI's Minnesota PIPELINE Project is to integrate and expand the dual-training and registered apprenticeship system in Minnesota through industry-based, employer-driven, work-based learning. Dual-training programs offer employment, education and training to deliver industry-required skills today for the high-demand, high-wage occupations of tomorrow.
"Labor and Industry is committed to ensuring equitable, healthy and safe work and living environments in Minnesota. Through outreach, education and compliance efforts, we strive to improve the quality of life for Minnesota workers and their families."
-- DLI Commissioner Ken Peterson
Contact DLI