Photo courtesy of Barnhart Crane and Rigging Co.
More contractors are subcontracting prefabrication, and more who own shops are doing that work for others.

Prefabrication Survey

Fewer contractors have prefabrication shops now than three years ago, but modularized operations are gaining sophistication, and more firms are planning for prefabbed assemblies during design, says a 170-firm FMI survey to be issued in October.

The consultant says 81% of respondents own prefab facilities, compared to 90% in its 2010 survey, and the rate of firms with more than 11% of project work using modular assemblies dropped to 48% from 52%. But survey author Philip Warner says 35% of 2013 respondents are planning to use prefab during design, compared to just 11% in 2010.

More contractors are subcontracting prefabrication, and more who own shops are doing that work for others, FMI says. But it cautions that firms must ensure fab-shop profitability.

"They may not have enough work to keep the shop busy. They need to think more like manufacturers. It's not always an easy switch," says Warner. Ken Bush, senior vice president of The Truland Group Inc., sees multi-trade prefabrication in health-care work as a good example of productivity innovation "for the whole project rather than for [one trade's] scope of work only."

Movers and Shakers

URS Corp. has elevated Chief Operating Officer W.J. "Bill" Lingard to the added role of president. He succeeds Martin Koffel, who remains chairman and CEO. Lingard is the former CEO of Flint Energy Services Ltd., a Calgary, Alberta, oil-and-gas contractor that URS acquired in 2012.

Jack Cummiskey has joined Turner Construction Co. as vice president and manager of the Southeast Asia region for its Turner International unit. Based in Kuala Lumpur, he was principal of Hudson Medical Properties.

Sterling Construction Co. has named Peter Holland as CEO of Texas Sterling Construction Co., its largest unit. He replaces Doug Clements, who left to pursue other interests, the firm says. Holland was executive vice president of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction and president of its federal-services division.

In a planned shift, contractor Swinerton Inc. has elevated President Jeffrey Hoopes to CEO. Michael Re, the firm's former CEO, remains chairman through 2013.

The Roberts Co., a Winterville, N.C., mechanical-electrical contractor specializing in industrial markets, has hired R.M. "Monty" Glover as chief operating officer. He had been president of the construction division at The Shaw Group.

Morley Builders has named Charles Muttillo, a 28-year veteran and vice president of general contracting operations, as interim president to succeed President and CEO Mark Benjamin, 63, who died on Sept. 29 in the crash of his private plane at the Santa Monica, Calif., municipal airport.

Workers' Compensation

N.J. Seeks coverage cuts for opioid medications

Proposed legislation in the New Jersey Senate would restrict coverage of opioid drugs, used for pain relief, for workers'-compensation benefit recipients. The bill, proposed on Sept. 30, would require prescribing doctors to assess a patient's medical history and potential addiction, create a detailed treatment plan and inform the patient of potential risk before the prescription can be covered under state workers'-compensation plans.

The bill, based on 2010 restrictions enacted in Washington state that were the first of their kind, would allow an employer, insurance carrier or plan administrator to disqualify from its network a physician who fails to provide such documentation. According to recent research, prescribing opioids following injuries and surgeries increases the time that workers spend away from work and hikes the cost of U.S. workers'-comp programs.