ICI/INDOT Statewide Meeting Wrap-Up

The ICI/INDOT Statewide Joint Cooperative Committee met on May 3. Co-Chair Todd Fredrick introduced INDOT’s Director of Materials Management and Construction John Leckie, who has stepped in to fill the vacant co-chair spot left by the recently retired Mark Miller.

ICI’s Calvin Lee summarized ICI/INDOT Work Zone Task Group’s recent efforts for early industry input on work-in-progress contracts, increased law enforcement hours and consideration for Interstate Highway Congestion Policy exceptions. The committee continued discussion of greater emphasis on partnering best practices for inclusion in pre-construction meeting agendas, and INDOT’s capacity to track change order, progress estimate and purchase order processing. Mr. Leckie is currently reviewing INDOT’s capabilities for tracking change orders and progress estimates, but is not optimistic about purchase orders.

See the minutes to review discussion of new committee topics: 1) Grade correction related pay items for resurfacing work; 2) communication between IDEM, INDOT and contractors; 3) storm water quality; and 4) Owners and Contractors Protective Liability coverage. INDOT announced plans to begin requiring electronic payroll reporting in July 2017. Open forum topics included an inquiry from industry about availability of DBE bid files (DBE.BIN) prior to lettings and the required trainee to journeyman ratio.

Please contact Dan Osborn to discuss current topics or new developing issues.

What a Pain in the Knee

Every year, the construction industry accounts for nearly 1.8 million injuries that result from physical strain, and approximately 40 percent of all worker compensation claims involve medical treatment for these injuries. Knee injuries account for a sizable number of reported incidences. Like many injuries, once you injure your knee, you have increased the chances for knee pain later in life.

A survey in the Journal of Civil Engineering and Management revealed 90 percent of all construction workers suffer pain, and 89 percent continue to work right through the pain. When it comes to an injury, suffering is not the best approach to healing. Being knowledgeable about various types of knee injuries and knowing how to deal with them is a much better approach.

Ligament Sprains

Ligaments are bands of strong tissue that stabilize the knee joint. Overstretching can cause the ligament fiber to tear and bleed into the surrounding tissues, causing pain, swelling and a feeling of ‘giving way.’ Severe tears may require surgery.

Cartilage Tears

Cartilage also helps stabilize and protect the knee joint. Pressure from twisting and turning during weight-bearing activities may tear the cartilage, causing pain, swelling and locking of the knee joint.

Tendon Strains

Tendons are cord-like bands that connect muscle to bone. The patellar tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the tibia (shin). Patellar tendonitis or ‘jumper’s knee’ is inflammation of the patellar tendon. This is an overuse injury commonly caused by repeated jumping.

Patello-Femoral Syndrome

Excessive friction between the surface of the patello-femoral joint (kneecap) and the femur (thigh) can result in knee pain.

So what can you do once you’ve injured your knee? Treatment depends on your specific injury, and what your doctor has to say. Mild to moderate injuries will often heal on their own, given time. To speed the following, you can:

  • Give your knee a rest for a few days and avoid intense activity.
  • Ice your knee for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day, for the first two or three days following an injury to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compress your knee using an elastic bandage, straps or sleeves to add support or reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your knee on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down in order to reduce swelling.
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil®, Aleve® or Motrin® to help with pain and swelling. These drugs can have side effects and should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them.