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Roof Deck and Mold Disclaimer Contract Provisions

Posted By Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law WSRCA Legal Counsel, Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Roofing contractors often face issues associated with the existing roof deck. In steep slope construction, these issues range from deficiencies/defects in the roof system caused by undulations in the roof deck to unanticipated moisture content. Similarly, on low slope, deficiencies in the deck may cause ponding water or in the case of certain materials, result in the retention of water. This provision is designed to limit a roofing contractor’s liability to only the top surface area of the roof deck with regard to moisture content as well as address unknown or latent defects caused by structural deck issues.


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Cheat Sheet for Employee COVID-19 Exposure

Posted By Trent Cotney, WSRCA Legal Counsel, Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
 

 



There are 3 situations in which the CDC recommends that employees quarantine:

  1. Employee tests positive
  2. Employee exhibits or reports the symptoms (but has not tested positive)
  3. Employee has been “exposed” to someone who was COVID-19 positive or symptomatic at the time of the employee’s exposure


1. Employee tests positive

The CDC recommends:

A. Employee self-isolate until the following criteria are met (2 different categories of COVID-positive employees):

  1.  
    1. Employee with symptoms (plus a positive test) must self-isolate until the following three criteria are all met: (1) 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared; (2) employee has gone 24 hours with no fever without using fever-reducing medications; and (3) employee’s other COVID-19 symptoms are improving.
    2. Employee without symptoms must simply self-isolate for 10 days.

B. Employer should clean the area, tools, equipment, etc., that the employee used.

C. Employer should determine whether any other employees were exposed to the sick employees (exposure = within 6 feet for 15+ minutes); if so, employer should notify those other employees of their potential exposure (without identifying the sick employee) and follow the protocols set forth for #3 below (exposed employees).


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5 Tips For Working Safely in the Summer Heat

Posted By WSRCA, Tuesday, September 1, 2020

 

Knowing how to work safely in hot weather can help prevent heat stress injuries and heat stroke. Below are 5 tips for working safely in the summer heat:
 

1. Appreciate the Risks
The official start of Summer – and with it, ferocious heat – was on June 20th. Construction workers, especially roofers, are uniquely susceptible to heat-related injuries due to the nature of the trade. Excessive heat can cause severe injury and even death.

2. Plan for heat-related hazards and supervise closely
Management should implement plans and procedures for work in high heat environments and clearly delegate duties to on-site supervisors. Namely, someone on each construction site should be trained and designated to: (1) identify heat hazards, (2) recognize symptoms of heat illness, (3) administer first aid; and (4) activate emergency services when necessary.

3. Take special care to protect new workers
Approximately 50% of heat-related deaths occur on employees’ first day. New workers must acclimate to the heat before they can take on a full workload. Use the 20% Rule: new and returning workers should only work 20% of their first day, and an additional 20% each day thereafter. During their first two weeks, workers must take more frequent and longer breaks and be closely monitored for signs of heat illness.


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Western States Roofing Contractors Association

356 Digital Drive
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(800)725-0333 Toll Free
www.WSRCA.com
www.WesternRoofingExpo.com


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Update on Recent Activity by ASTM Roofing & Waterproofing Groups

Posted By WSRCA, Thursday, August 20, 2020

 

 

This is an update on recent activity by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and specifically by the ASTM Committee D08. ASTM is an international organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.  ASTM’s membership includes manufacturers, academics, consultants, and users.  ASTM Committee D08 focuses on roofing and waterproofing and promotes knowledge, research, and development of consensus standards related to materials and roofing and waterproofing systems. The July 2015 Technical Information Letter No. 20150-01 further explains the work that ASTM does related to roofing and waterproofing application standards and the importance of following these standards to achieve the expected roofing and waterproofing performance. The update below summarizes the recent activity by ASTM Committee D08 at the bi-annual meeting that occurred in December 2019. 



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Western States Roofing Contractors Association

356 Digital Drive
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(800)725-0333 Toll Free
www.WSRCA.com
www.WesternRoofingExpo.com


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ROOF TALK: Roofing Contractors Keep Working in Peak Season Despits Sharp Spikes in Temperature, COVID-19

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 10, 2020

Courtesy of: RoofingContractor.com

Art Aisner & Chris Gray

 

Roofing contractors looking for any semblance of a “normal” summer season just can’t seem to catch a break. Just as they geared up for a busy summer after a spring slowdown spurred by the coronavirus outbreak, spikes in the potentially-deadly disease threatened a second wave of shutdowns in states with robust construction markets. 

Almost half of the country was adding cases at rates above their spring peaks by mid-July, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Nevada and Texas. As of Aug. 10, the U.S. saw roughly 5 million cases — adding 54,590 cases from the previous day — and 161,284 deaths. In Florida alone, health officials reported the highest daily increase of COVID-19 deaths, seeing 9,194 new cases and 132 more deaths as of July 14.

Along with those increases, roofers also dealt with record heat. Triple digits were not uncommon in parts of the Deep South and Southwest, and high humidity in many areas made it worse. At one point last month, more than 70 million Americans from the shores of the Gulf Coast to the hills of the Mid-Atlantic were under excessive heat advisories. August is also shaping up to be hotter than average on both coasts.

When protecting workers during the heat, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests the following:

•  Water, rest, shade. Workers should drink water every 15 minutes and take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

•  Check the heat index. A rule of thumb is that workers need extra protection when the heat index is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

•  Know the symptoms. Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include fatigue, thirst, heavy sweating, slurred speech, dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness and seizures.

 

Heat vs. COVID-19 Protection

The issue many roofing contractors are running into stems from trying to adhere to standard heat protocols while protecting against COVID-19 with face masks. In some states, wearing a mask is mandatory to help prevent the spread of the virus. Mandatory face coverings can be anything from a bandana to a cloth mask, though contractors can also utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks and respirators.

Studies have shown that, even when wearing PPE, people experienced raised body temperatures and feel warmer.

“You can’t really make the guys that are working on the roof wear masks because it’s so hot outside, and they’re drenched in sweat and they’re already breathing hard,” said Will Miller, owner of Priority Roofing in Dallas. “It’s like putting a mask on a marathon runner — that can make them pass out more than anything.”

COVID-19 is also hampering water intake, as contractors hesitate to frequently remove face masks to take a drink. Some employers are even eliminating communal aspects like water stations to maintain social distancing.

This puts contractors in a tough bind, forcing them to choose between protecting against the heat versus COVID-19. Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law, said his offices have experienced a notable increase in calls related to heat illness over the past month. He’s recommending roofers do their best to be compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols, but definitely mandate water breaks.

“Heat is an absolute killer,” he said. “What we surmised… is that these places that require mandatory masks, there’s a lot of crew people that are wearing these masks, and they may not be the proper types of masks, they may not be breathable. They’re increasing the ambient heat that is blowing back in your face.”

 

Contractors Supporting Their Communities

Despite these difficulties, roofing contractors are thinking outside of the box, both in business practices and in giving back to their communities.

Shamrock Roofing and Construction in Lenexa, Kan., expanded its “Roof 4 a Hero” contest to active first responders, meaning police, fire, EMT or healthcare workers could be entered to win a free roof.

“This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, we have opened this opportunity up to first responders, who now more than ever are putting their lives on the line every day to serve our communities,” said Garen Armstrong, president of Shamrock Roofing.

In Warren, Maine, Horch Roofing dedicated $200 from every residential asphalt or metal roofing contract signed in June and July to the Good Shepherd Food Bank to bring food security to families. They hit and exceeded their $10,000 goal in July.

“We believe strongly in working with local organizations to end hunger and with the need growing daily, we felt that Good Shepherd, with its reach across the state, was the best way to get food to where it is needed the most,” said Horch President Peter Horch.

 

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

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Design Considerations Related to White and Light-Colored Membrane Low-Slope Roofs

Posted By WSRCA, Thursday, August 6, 2020

 

Design Considerations Related to White and
Light-Colored Membrane Low-Slope Roofs

 


INTRODUCTION

Many jurisdictions require (and some recommend) the use of white and light-colored roof membranes (i.e., Cool Roofs) that meet specific solar reflectance and thermal emittance values. These Cool Roofs help reduce urban heat island effects and overall heat gain within the building, which equate to overall energy savings by reducing cooling costs during the summer months. A large amount of documentation exists showing the benefits of Cool Roofs for specific climatic conditions. However, an unanticipated result of using a Cool Roof is that there have been occurrences of condensation forming under the roof membrane leading to, in some instances, deterioration of wood deck substrates. The previously submitted WSRCA Technical Bulletin 2019 LSII-1 – Potential Condensation for White and Light-Colored Roof Membranes  outlines a thorough analysis and potential consequences of using Cool Roofs in some climates and for some building occupancy types.
 
This technical bulletin relates the previously submitted information in terms of good design practice. We provide a brief explanation of the evolution and benefits of Cool Roofs, issues that WSRCA members have observed (including conditions that can increase moisture vapor accumulation under Cool Roofs), and design considerations to prevent these conditions from occurring in the future.

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Western States Roofing Contractors Association

356 Digital Drive
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(800)725-0333 Toll Free
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www.WesternRoofingExpo.com


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WSRCA ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: JOEL VIERA, CAE

Posted By WSRCA, Monday, August 3, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020

The Western States Roofing Contractors Association is proud to announce the appointment of Joel Viera, CAE, to serve as the association’s Executive Director. “We are very much looking forward to having Joel lead the next chapter for WSRCA,” said Leo Ibarra, President of the WSRCA Board. “Joel is very deserving of the position and has everyone’s full support. We know how big a part he has played in the success of the Association over the years,” added Mike Wakerling, WSRCA Board of Director.
 
Joel will begin his role as Executive Director at WSRCA on August 1, 2020. Joel has 19 years of knowledge and experience with WSRCA, where he recently served as the Director of Expo and Events. In his 19 years at WSRCA, Joel has a well-rounded resume within the organization. He has been Trade Show Coordinator, Director of Member Services, Director of the Davis Memorial Foundation Fundraising Events, and Director of the Western Roofing Expo. “I know with Joel’s experience in the trenches he will offer a new perspective on things and has the right attitude to lead WSRCA into the future for many years,” said Andy Clarke, WSRCA Board of Director.
 
In May of 2019, Joel became a Certified Association Executive (CAE) through the
American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The CAE credential is a marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment. Joel also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Jose State University. During his free time, Joel volunteers his time coaching youth sports and giving back to his community.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to become the Executive Director of WSRCA. It is my dream job,” said Joel Viera, “I am looking forward to bringing energy and enthusiasm, a fresh perspective, and my passion and love for the association to the dedicated team of staff and volunteers at Western States. Together, we will continue to build upon WSRCA’s successful history of connecting and educating the roofing community.”


Western States Roofing Contractors Association
 356 Digital Drive
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(800)725-0333 Toll Free
www.WSRCA.com
www.WesternRoofingExpo.com

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WSRCA MOURNS THE LOSS OF BOB PORTER

Posted By Western States RCA, Friday, June 5, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robert L. Porter, WSRCA’s 19th President. Bob battled MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) for the past 20 months and sadly succumbed to the illness last Friday night, May 29, at his residence in Broomfield, Colorado. Bob was a legend and an icon to the western roofing community. He had a sense of humor and love of life that made him a joy to be with.

 
Bob was born on January 24, 1949 in Greeley, Colorado. He graduated from Greeley Central High School, class of 1967. Following graduation, he attended the University of Northern Colorado earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts. While attending college, Bob married his high school sweetheart Sharon in 1968. They celebrated over 51 years of marriage.
 
After college, Bob worked at Douglass Roofing in Greeley. In 1987, he and Mark Gustafson successfully opened Front Range Roofing Systems Inc. Upon his retirement in 2001, Bob and Sharon moved to The Villages in Florida. It is there where he pursued his passion for golf and enjoyed the benefits of retirement. They returned to Colorado in 2012 to be closer to family.
 
Bob was a member of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association, serving on the Board of Directors beginning in 1979. He served as the association President in 1990-1991. He was inducted into the WSRCA Hall of Fame, the association’s highest honor, in 2007. He continued his love for the roofing community after his retirement by becoming Chairman of the Trustees for the Davis Memorial Foundation from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, he was awarded the WSRCA Outstanding Service Award for his dedication and service to the Davis Memorial Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $525,000 in scholarships to students from the roofing and waterproofing industry.
 
Bob was a dedicated Christian man and supportive member of the Trinity Lutheran Church. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, unconditional loving father, and supportive friend. His loving personality and contagious smile will be missed dearly by all those he touched. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; two daughters, Julie and Kimberly; two grandchildren, Hunter and Marly; two brothers, Richard and Gary; two nephews and one niece.
 
Bob will be lovingly remembered by so many people who had been honored to know him. Let us keep Bob’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers as they go through most difficult times. Bob will be terribly missed by his friends at the Western States Roofing Contractors Association and the roofing community. May Bob Rest in Peace.
 
In lieu of flowers, funeral donations may be sent to Saint Jude’s Hospital for Children in Robert L. Porter’s name.
 



 “I had the great pleasure of working with and getting to know Bob while he was the Chairman of Davis Foundation. He was kind enough to ask me to follow him as the Chairman after he retired. I learned a lot from Bob during that time and I am proud to carry on his legacy. Without Bob’s years at the helm of the Foundation it would not have become what it is today. For those of you that were lucky enough to have known Bob you know that he was a really great guy. He was funny, kind, smart and compassionate. He loved to play golf and I had the privilege of playing numerous rounds with Bob. He always had a smile on his face and was never bashful about kicking my butt but oddly enough I felt good about it afterwards!! Bob did capture the Holy Grail of golf a few years back when he scored a Hole In One. Bob has moved on to a better place and is whole once again. He will be missed but his legacy will live on. Thank you, Bob, for sharing your life with us!!”
-Chuck Chapman
Tecta America Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

WSRCA President 2008-2010
 
“We purchased Front Range Roofing Systems, from Bob and Gus (Mark Gustafson) July 24, 2001.  We only worked together for just over a year, once the purchase was complete, Bob moved on to other interests, he did however change my life forever, in two huge ways: Selling the company to us, he and Gus carried the majority of the note and it allowed us to build what we have today, Thank you Bob!! WSRCA – when I first got on the Board and he was Chair of Davis (the only time we were really face-to-face after the sale), he made sure I got to meet everyone on the Board and positioned me to be a participant from day one – those introductions and relationships I have at WSRCA, is what makes it great – Thanks Bob!!  Most importantly his willingness to give back to industry, struck me in a way that I still carry today – Thank you Bob!!!”
-Michael Trotter
Front Range Roofing, Greeley, CO

WSRCA Board Member
 
“Bob gave a lot to the industry, to WSRCA, and the Davis Memorial Foundation. He served on the Board for many years and then served as President of WSRCA in 1990-1991. After he sold his business and retired, he continued to serve by being on the Davis Memorial Foundation for many years and serving as Chairman of the Foundation. Not many would give of their time when they have retired but Bob did since he believed in what the Foundation stood for and wanted to see it succeed. Bob was a good man who always had a smile and enjoyed being around people. WSRCA and the Davis Memorial Foundation have benefitted from his contributions.”
-Frank Lawson, Jr.
The Lawson Roofing Company, San Francisco, CA

WSRCA President 1985-1986
 
“I was fortunate to associate with and get to know Bob Porter who was truly one of the nicest men and possibly the nicest man I have ever known. He had a great sense of humor, he seemed always be sharing a smile, he was the true definition of a gentleman and a great leader who was easy to follow. I simply cannot imagine Bob in sickness and in a diminished capacity, he always seemed bigger than life with unbounded energy and zest for whatever he was involved in. He will be greatly missed and although I grieve his passing from this life, I am relieved that he is no longer suffering.”
-Dan Cornwell
CC&L Roofing, Portland, OR

WSRCA President 2004-2005
 
“I will miss Bob's smile and laugh which seemed to be with him at all times. He travelled far to give back so freely to the industry. Great person and role model for many, including myself.  I pray for comfort for his family and friends.”
-Travis Nelson
Brown Roofing Co., The Dalles, OR

WSRCA President 2011-2012
 
“Bob Porter and his family ushered me into my initial service on the Board of Directors for the Western States Roofing Contractors Association 20+ years ago. Like a true fellow roofing industry family member, he provided me with his wisdom and guidance. I will never forget this, and Bob will always be a part of my life. I will miss him dearly. Rest in Peace, Bob.”
-Kyle King
James King Roofing, Lynnwood, WA

WSRCA President 2002-2003
 
“My deepest condolences to Sharon and their family. Bob and Sharon’s love of family, our industry, and the Davis Memorial Foundation are a testament to many. When Bob left the hospital for hospice at home a few weeks ago, I could only think of all the laughter and fun spirited energy when selling Davis Auction tickets at Expo relentlessly! A true gentleman and contributor to WSRCA and Davis! I am better for having known Bob the past 25 years. He was a very straight forward and professional customer, an industry friend, a fellow Davis Trustee and most importantly a valued personal friend with whom I have many joyous memories.”
-Keith Sanders
GAF, Parsippany, NJ

Davis Memorial Foundation Former Trustee
 
“Bob was a wonderful, helpful, and always friendly person.  He was on the board when I purchased Western Roofing in 1984 and championed to help continue the association between the magazine and WSRCA.  He was a real mentor to me, keeping me up to date on the industry… he did not have to, that is just the way he was, always helpful, with a positive attitude and a smile.  I will never forget Bob’s warm smile, his laughter, and his dedication to the industry.  I feel I’m a better person for having known him.”
-Marc Dodson
Western Roofing Magazine, Reno, NV

Davis Memorial Foundation Former Trustee

 



Sincerely,

Western States Roofing Contractors Association

356 Digital Drive  Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Local: 650-938-5441  Toll Free: 800-725-0333

Web: WSRCA.com

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Brace Yourselves, Coronavirus’ Impact on the Roofing Industry Will be Felt

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, March 16, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Brace Yourselves, Coronavirus’ Impact on the Roofing Industry Will be Felt

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney - Cotney Construction Law, LLP | WSRCA Legal Advisor; RoofingContractor.com

 

With almost 3,500 cases in the U.S. and more than 175,000 worldwide, the novel coronavirus (referred to in the medical community as COVID-19) has quickly become a global threat, not only to individual safety and health, but also to economies and businesses. Originating in Wuhan City, China in December 2019, the virus has rapidly spread to over 100 countries around the world. As more cases are confirmed by the day, the U.S. roofing industry is already experiencing the effects, and must brace itself for the challenges to come.

 

Preventative Measures for Employers

As COVID-19 continues to spread, it’s crucial for employers to implement safety protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus among employees. Given the relatively low number of cases confirmed in the United States compared to the rest of the world, most American workers are not considered to be at significant risk of contracting the virus at the time of publication. Nevertheless, employers need to be aware of procedures for navigating the health and well-being of their employees while ensuring employee’s rights are not being violated. Given the lack of experience the American workforce has dealing with large-scale pandemics like COVID-19, there is very little case law or statutory authority for employers to rely on in these situations.

Luckily, OSHA has recently taken the opportunity to remind employers that existing OSHA standards apply to protecting their workers from the coronavirus, including, in particular, OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment standards, 29 C.F.R. 1910 Subpart 1, and the General Duty Clause, 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1). OSHA also noted that its Bloodborne Pathogens standard, 29 C.F.R. 1910.1030, is not directly applicable in regards to coronavirus protections because the virus is not transmitted through blood, but it does offer a framework that may help control some sources of the virus including exposure to bodily fluids.

OSHA has also created a webpage dedicated to providing employers information on the spread of COVID-19, the possible consequences it could have on the overall health of your employees and company, and on establishing standards and guidelines for preventing transmission should one of your employees become infected.

Another good resource for employers is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s advisory opinion on “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace," which offers guidance on the responsibility of employers amidst a public health crisis. The advisory opinion suggests that an employer’s ability to question an employee about their health — while generally prohibited — may be broader during a pandemic like COVID-19, citing examples where doing so may be appropriate. Some examples of these situations include requesting information from employees who return from travel about the locations they visited and any symptoms they may be experiencing resulting from such travel, requiring employees exhibiting flu-like symptoms to have their temperature taken prior to returning to the jobsite, and allowing employers to use their discretion in sending an employee home who exhibits flu-like symptoms on the jobsite.

However, these additional measures can only be taken when the employer, based on objective, factual information, determines that the employee poses a “direct threat” — or a significant risk of substantial harm — to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace. Additionally, despite more lenient restrictions, employers must be careful not to violate their employees’ rights under the ADA, FLSA or Title VII. Keep in mind that any information received by an employer as a result of these inquiries must remain confidential and an employer may not take adverse employment action (termination, demotion, etc.) on grounds that an employee is suspected of or is diagnosed with COVID-19. The purpose of these guidelines is solely to ensure the safety and health of your employees and business, rather than punish employees who may become infected.

 

Impact on Supply Chain

While the U.S. roofing industry has not yet been affected to the extent of some other countries, the impact of the virus on Chinese production has been devastating for global markets and construction supply chains. Mass public quarantines, curfews, and travel restrictions implemented to help fight the spread of the disease have crippled Chinese manufacturing and shipping sectors, among others. In the roofing industry in particular, the most drastic effects have been on the manufacture and supply of solar roofing systems, with production grinding to a halt in the most affected areas of mainland China — where 60%-70% of the world’s solar roofing panels are manufactured.

However, it’s not just solar roofing materials that are likely to see a decline in production due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Production of aluminum, plastic, slate, timber and rubber have all declined worldwide since the early weeks of the outbreak — mainly due to the lack of workforce and transportation stoppages plaguing much of Asia. One area that has been hit particularly hard by the virus is China’s Shandong Province, which is not only home to some of China’s largest aluminum manufacturers, but also produces more than 90% of the world’s collated roofing nails.

The most recent estimates suggest that manufacturing plants in the region are currently operating at just 30%, and some project the workforce shortages will continue for the foreseeable future. Some American roofing contractors have already implemented four to six week delays on projects due to this material shortage. It’s not a matter of if, but when the effects will hit your roofing business, how extensive they will be, and how long they will last.

Among the ramifications U.S. roofing companies can expect to begin feeling, if they haven’t already, include higher costs and price fluctuations, material shortages, logistics breakdowns, order cancellations, and extended delays in product fulfillment and shipping. All of that ultimately leads to slower project completion times and potential legal squabbles with both suppliers and project owners down the road. Roofers are urged to begin preparing for these effects now by evaluating their own supply chains from end to end to pinpoint vulnerabilities, identifying potential alternative supply sources, preparing for costs to soar, and making sure they have adequate provisions in their contracts to protect themselves from the increased costs, supply chain delays and interruptions due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

 

Force Majeure Clauses

One of the ways contractors can seek to protect themselves is by including a “force majeure” clause in their contracts. It’s a provision that allocates the risk of performance if performance is delayed indefinitely or stopped completely due to circumstances outside of a party’s control that makes performance impossible, inadvisable, commercially impractical, or illegal. It also provides notice to the parties of the types of events that would cause a project to be suspended or that would excuse performance.

The purpose of the provision is to relieve a party impacted by the force majeure by extending, temporarily suspending or terminating the contract due to unexpected and unavoidable events such as “acts of God,” including severe weather events, earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires. It also covers certain man-made events like riots, wars, terrorist attacks, explosions, labor strikes, and scarcity of energy supplies. To be classified as a force majeure event, the event must be beyond the control of the contracting parties, it cannot be anticipated, foreseeable, or expected, and the event must be unavoidable.

Without a force majeure clause in place, in some jurisdictions, both the owner and contractor would share the risk, but in many others, the risk falls on the shoulders of the contractor. Thus, anything that cannot be anticipated while drafting the contract and factors that could impede progress should be negotiated between the parties and addressed via a force majeure clause.

When seeking to limit exposure, contractors must be specific and clear in their contract language when defining the scope and effect of a force majeure clause to protect themselves from unexpected liabilities. The following elements should be addressed in a force majeure clause:

  • What events are considered force majeure?
  • Who is responsible for suspending performance?
  • Who is allowed to invoke the clause?
  • Which contractual obligations are covered by the clause?
  • How is the inability to perform determined?
  • What happens if the event continues for an extended time period?

For companies that already have force majeure clauses in their standard contracts, it would still be wise to review those provisions to make sure they provide clear, comprehensive, and adequate protections for the company and consider whether terms such as “widespread epidemic,” “pandemic,” and/or “public health emergency” should be added. Courts will often interpret the clause based on what is specifically listed in the contract. Contractors should also review the terms of their existing force majeure clauses in preparation for potentially needing to invoke them for coronavirus-related issues, as many times force majeure clauses contain requirements, such as providing written notice within a certain timeframe and mitigating some of the damages caused by non-performance.

 

Price Acceleration Provisions

In light of the wide-ranging and potentially long-lasting effects posed by the coronavirus epidemic on construction supply chains worldwide — and specifically, overseas suppliers of roofing materials — contractors should also consider adding terms to their contracts to protect themselves from labor and material price increases in the form of a price acceleration provision. A price acceleration provision generally provides that the roofing contractor may adjust the contract price to reflect the revised actual cost of the labor and materials. Assuming the contractor is using its own labor force, there may not be a significant enough increase in labor costs to warrant an adjustment of the contract. As a result, the price acceleration clause is usually limited to increases in materials over the course of a project.

Price acceleration provisions typically require the contractor to provide the prime contractor or owner with evidence supporting the claim for additional compensation through documentation of the cost increase. Price acceleration clauses also sometimes contain a termination for convenience provision that may allow the contractor to escape a contract if the cost of materials has increased exponentially or the materials themselves have become difficult or impossible to find. This last component is generally disfavored and often removed from the contract by prime contractors and owners because of the uneasiness they have with the idea of a termination for convenience.

Nevertheless, it’s still a worthwhile option to propose in order to provide the contractor with the utmost protection caused by substantial unexpected increases in the price and availability of materials. Below is an example of a standard price acceleration provision that contractors should consider adding to their contracts:

If there is an increase in the actual cost of the labor or materials charged to the Contractor in excess of 5% subsequent to making this Agreement, the price set forth in this Agreement shall be increased without the need for a written change order or amendment to the contract to reflect the price increase and additional direct cost to the Contractor. Contractor will submit written documentation of the increased charges to the Prime Contractor/Owner upon request. As an additional remedy, if the actual cost of any line item increases more than 10% subsequent to the making of this Agreement, Contractor, at its sole discretion, may terminate the contract for convenience.

A roofing contractor may find it difficult to include a price acceleration clause in its contract with a prime contractor because both the owner and the prime contractor are looking for fixed prices prior to the start of the construction. In that situation, the roofing contractor may want to consider buying and storing materials prior to the start of construction to avoid the increases in prices that are expected to occur once the full force of the coronavirus-related disruption to China’s roofing industry supply chains begins to be felt in earnest in the U.S.

Roofing contractors may also want to request a deposit to purchase the requested materials depending on the nature of the job.  To the extent that a subcontractor adds a price acceleration provision to their contract, the subcontractor should consider requesting that the prime contractor also add a similar provision in its contract to allow the prime contractor to seek additional funds from the owner for any labor or price acceleration that occurs.

 

Conscientious Bidding

Roofing contractors should also be cautious and use common sense when providing firm bids for contracts for projects that may not begin construction for several months from the time the proposal is submitted. Under these circumstances, the contractor faces additional exposure for any increases in the costs of labor and materials caused by the negative impacts of the coronavirus on the roofing industry following the bid process. Therefore, estimating those jobs thoughtfully, appropriately, and perhaps more conservatively can potentially make or break a roofing contractor. At least for the time being while the extent of the repercussions of the coronavirus on the market are not yet known, and for many months to come until the epidemic is under control and global supply chains and economies begin to normalize.

Since there is no current vaccine for the coronavirus and the number of infected individuals continues to rise every day, no one can say how long it will take for the virus to be contained and the economy to normalize. So now’s the time for roofing contractors to take steps to mitigate their risks and protect themselves from the wide-ranging and potentially calamitous effects that are expected to continue hitting the U.S. construction industry once the aftershocks from the virus’ impact on China’s manufacturing and supply lines make their way here in full force. 

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Cotney Construction Law will be hosting a webinar on the Coronavirus to go over the specific contract provisions you need to combat COVID-19. OSHA policies and dealing with employees from an HR perspective will also be discussed.

Part II will discuss legal issues with growing your business, how to scale up and scale down quickly and effectively and the Standard Operating Procedures needed to dominate the industry.

Featuring Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law and John Kenney, COO of Cotney Construction Law. If you are a Cotney subscription member, you will receive complimentary access.

WSRCA Members can use discount code "WSRCA10" to receive a $10 discount on registration.


 

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

 

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Coronavirus Update (COVID-19) and the Western Roofing Expo 2020

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Friday, March 13, 2020

WSRCA has been monitoring the developments related to Coronavirus.  The preparation for the Western Roofing Expo 2020, while still some months away, continues to move forward.  We are watching developments governing restrictions to travel, gathering of large groups, etc.


The leadership of WSRCA takes very seriously the safety and health of its members, and the attendees, and exhibitors at our Expo.  As such, we have a contingency plan in place, with timelines, to help mitigate any disruption to the Expo that may be caused as a result of cancellations due to government or Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) edict.

Please stay tuned for further developments on this issue.  Until notified, the Western Roofing Expo, Paris-Las Vegas on June 7 – 9, 2020, remains open for business. 

Thanks for your consideration.

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Western States Roofing Contractors Association

356 Digital Drive  Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Local: 650-938-5441  Toll Free: 800-725-0333

Web: WSRCA.com

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State of the Industry - Report & Survey

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Courtesy of: RoofingContractor.com

 

The start of the New Year also marked the beginning of a new decade in roofing, and for the most part, roofing contractors from across the United States are feeling optimistic about the state of the industry, according to RC’s exclusive annual survey.

As we have for the past dozen years, RC and Clear Seas Research — the survey and research arm of RC’s parent company, BNP Media — reached out to roofing professionals across the country to collect their perspectives on the residential and commercial markets in 2019, and to gauge their prospects for the year ahead.

The annual RC State of the Industry research study aims to identify current issues and emerging trends in both the commercial and residential sectors by asking the men and women dedicated to the profession. This online research initiative also focused on capturing the industry perspective on 2019’s successes and challenges, while keeping an eye on the years to come.

This exclusive study took a deep dive into the residential and commercial sides of the North American roofing industry, as roofing contractors shared with us their business experiences in 2019. For this research initiative, roofing contractors were defined as those working for companies generating more than 50% of their overall annual revenue from commercial or residential projects — whether that be in roof replacement, repair or new construction.

These contractors are predominately male (86%), with a median age of 50, representing mostly residential roofing companies. The majority of them in both residential (64%) and commercial (46%) indicated they were in corporate management or executive company leadership. The data showed the companies these roofers represent were mostly from the South (38%), followed by the Midwest (27%), the Northeast (18%) and West (17%). The median reported revenue for 2019 among all responding roofing contractors is between $1 million and $1.9 million.

Each respondent received a $15 individual incentive to participate.

Sales Forecast

It’s difficult to measure the health of any industry without monitoring sales, which is where this year’s survey began. More than two-thirds of all respondents indicated an increase in 2019 sales from the previous year, and an even higher proportion said they expect growth in 2020 and the next three years.

Overall, roofing contractors in both residential and commercial sectors overwhelmingly agreed that sales were likely going to increase and they were consistent with each other. Roughly 78% of commercial roofers said total sales volumes will increase in 2020, and 82% anticipated sales growth through 2022.

About 75% of residential roofers said sales will grow in 2020, and 78% anticipate that trend to climb steadily over the next three years.

The healthy surge in sales is impacting roofing contractors in certain markets irrespective of size.

Brent Zimmerman, owner of Champion Roofing in Altoona, Penn., reported $1.1 million revenue in 2018, with 20 full-time employees. The family-owned and operated company finished 2019 on target with a projected revenue of $2.5 million and added two crews and two salesmen.

“This is an amazing accomplishment. Just proves that hard work pays off!” said Zimmerman, who said he launched a roof repair team, increased local advertising and zeroed in on customer referrals last year. “We’re a fast growing company. We’ve expanded into nine more counties, doubled all of our SEO efforts, AdWords and TV advertising.”

Coming off consecutive record revenue years in 2017 and 2018 — largely due to storm work, Wortham Bros. Inc. in Dallas experienced a slight dip last year with less destructive weather incidents. However, the company’s 200 employees still generated more than $29.5 million by actively growing market share in the new construction and roof replacement spaces.

“Roofing contractors that rely on Mother Nature to produce revenue will be very inconsistent unless they chase storms. Wortham, on the other hand, has a revenue stream if the hailstorms hit or not,” said Co-owner Jacob Wortham. “So our warranty actually means something. We won’t close our doors or move away just because a storm doesn’t hit.”    

The survey data suggests there’s even more optimism on the commercial side of the industry. Commercial roofing demand in the U.S. is expected to grow by at least 1.6% per year over the next several years, with a value as high as $8 billion.

Those projections have Timothy Dunlap, president and CEO of CentiMark Corp., feeling confident about the next decade, and that the top roofer on RC’s 2019 Top 100 Roofing Contractors List ($670 million) remains on course to become the first billion-dollar roofing company in the country.

“We were fortunate to experience continued sales and revenue growth across the entire organization,” said Dunlap, who credited increasing customer share with repeat clients and organic growth of new business for the continued year-over-year revenue gains.

“We believe that 6-7% increases allow for healthy and sustainable growth to offer comprehensive services for our customers and provide best-in-class quality roofing,” he added.

As far as products are concerned, nearly three-quarters (69%) of residential roofers said they currently install single-ply roofing systems, and 44% said they expect to see single-ply sales to grow in 2020.

Steep slope asphalt shingles continue to dominate the market, as expected, but manufacturers are paying close attention to demands for higher performance, extended or enhanced warranties and eye-catching products.

“Without a doubt, amid widespread increases in extreme weather across the continent, performance products are really driving the market right now,” said Scott Campbell, IKO Industry’s vice president of sales for the West. “The development of performance products that can withstand high-wind and high-impact weather events is an emerging trend for the industry. At the same time, customers’ desire for curb appeal has not diminished, driving demand for a shingle that demonstrates high impact and wind resistance without sacrificing its visual aesthetic.”

The same number of residential roofers (69%) said they now incorporate metal roofing into their service offerings, and 62% said they expect metal sales to grow this year. Another 39% of respondents indicated coatings sales should also grow this year.

In commercial roofing circles, 71% said single-ply sales will increase this year, and 67% singled out metal as a leading product category for growth. Coatings sales (52%), steep slope asphalt shingles (50%) and low slope asphalt (49%) rounded out the top five.

 

Workers Wanted

The roofing industry’s workforce woes continued throughout 2019 and show no concrete signs of slowing down this year.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) estimates there are roughly 40,000 roofing-related positions that could be filled to meet demand, but nowhere near that amount of viable candidates to fill them.

According to the survey results, 65% of all roofing contractors found the lack of qualified workers to be the industry’s biggest challenge. Commercial roofers appeared to feel more of an impact, as 72% said it was their top concern, compared to 62% of residential roofers. More than half of both residential and commercial roofers identified lowball pricing and bidding wars as the next greatest challenge, followed by price increases of building materials (38%), rising healthcare and insurance costs (34%) and government regulations (21%).

The shortage is also having an impact on how companies define their employees. The majority of residential contractors said more than half of all field labor is performed by full-time employees while and 37% is done by subcontractors. About 12% of work is completed by part-time workers, the data showed.

The contrast is starker on the commercial side, where 72% of work is performed by full-time workers, and 23% is completed by subs.

Overall, about 60% of all respondents said their use of subs was consistent with 2018, but 33% said they saw an increase. The reasons varied, with cost, heavy workload, specialized projects and lack of qualified full-time workers at the top of the list. 

Efforts are underway to try and stall or reverse the trend (see ProCertification Update column on page 76) but they take time to implement and yield results. To their credit, roofing contractors aren’t sitting idly by. The vast majority of survey respondents said they rely on referrals from other current or former employees (73%), followed by referrals from family members (66%). Online job postings, social media recruitment and traditional newspaper advertising rounded out the list.

In order to retain employees, 62% said they incentivize with bonuses and increased wages. Another 28% said they provide benefits, and 10% identified creating a friendly work environment and ensuring enough available work as top retention tools. Providing training rounded out the top five at just 8%.

When it comes to training, 86% of all respondents said they provide in-house and on-the-job training, but less than half (48%) have a formal in-house training program. Specific to safety, more than half of all companies that responded hold weekly safety meetings, while two-thirds provide training at least once a month. About 70% of companies provide all safety equipment, while 10% indicated all safety tools are the worker’s responsibility.

Overall, the data showed roughly 44% of contractors rely on manufacturer training and another 26% utilize training from professional roofing associations and organizations.

Those numbers should get stronger as the workforce shortage forces manufacturers to focus on boosting not just the quality of their products, but overall customer engagement.

“Across the country, we’re seeing increased interest in products that can make roofing crews more efficient,” said Mike Jost, COO of ABC Supply Co. Inc. “The labor shortage is still a concern, so products and systems that can get jobs done faster or require less labor are becoming more popular.” 

 

Playing Politics

Efforts to improve the overall perception of roofing — both within and outside the industry — are also gaining momentum. Regional and national certification efforts, like the NRCA’s ProCertification, are underway and growing. Organizers of Roofing Day III — the industry’s largest national fly-in lobbying effort — are expecting a large turnout in Washington, D.C. on April 21-22.

Participants will be advocating for progress on key industry issues like immigration reform, funding for career and technical education programs, and innovations in energy-efficient technology.

NRCA CEO Reid Ribble, a former congressman from Wisconsin, is also planning to maximize election-year interest in politics by declaring a “month of action” this August. He said the NRCA plans to invite every lawmaker on Capitol Hill to a roofing company in their district while on the campaign trail.

While much of nation’s focus will be trained on the presidential race, roofing contractors should pay attention to congressional races that could impact more of their day-to-day operations, said longtime roofing industry lobbyist Craig Brightup. He said Republicans are poised to add seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, though gaining a majority is a stretch. So too is the likelihood of Democrats flipping control in the U.S. Senate, he said.

While there’s bipartisan support for career and technical education, the volatile nature of the relationship between congress and the Trump administration will continue to hamper a deal on immigration. That could change with expected rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court later this year, as well as any dramatic changeover at the White House.

“We won’t know until Nov. 3, but if there is (a change in presidential power), it would have a major impact on the roofing industry,” Brightup explained. “The roofing industry should focus on which candidates have the most realistic platforms for economic growth and which special interest groups are supporting them.”

Regardless of the outcome in November, all of the roofing industry’s efforts combined are beginning to make a difference.

“The roofing industry has always been a great place to earn a living and build a career, but it appears that we are getting better at projecting a positive image,” Jost said. “We’re doing this by spending more time and resources on marketing and by investing in technologies that will be attractive to the workforce in 2020. This gives us hope that we’ll be able to attract even more qualified candidates into our industry.”

 

Talking Technology

Of all the technology available to contractors, cloud services and computing are the most used in the industry, followed by drones and on-the-job mobile devices or wearables. More specifically, the software that respondents currently use the most are estimating (55%), followed by enterprise or accounting (46%) and aerial measurement (44%).

This is a contrast to last year’s results, which showed drones being the most currently used technology. Members of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of roofing professionals striving to find and promote technology solutions in the industry, believe this is a sign that companies are leaning toward increased project management and inter-company communication.

 

“Building envelope measurement is widely used, drone services are now common, but the true value is when all of these tools to connect with each other,” said Anna Anderson, RT3 board member. “True value comes when integrations are available through open application programming interfaces.”

Only 26% of respondents said they currently use drones. However, nearly a third (30%) said they plan on adding drones to their repertoire in 2020, making it the most wanted technology in the survey. Another 7% said they plan to adopt drone technology in the next three to five years.

Respondents use drones on an average of one-third of their projects. When using drones, they use them primarily for taking before-and-after photos and videos (94%), followed by capturing marketing photos and videos (81%). Other uses include inspections (67%), gathering measurements (44%), and thermal inspections (29%).

“We are seeing the use of aerial imagery not only become adopted throughout the entire roofing industry, but the number of uses and benefits are really bringing value,” said Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing in Bonita Springs, Fla., and RT3 board member. “As this technology is just now reaching critical mass, it’s likely more innovation will continue to revolutionize the industry.”

In following last year’s trends, 56% of contractors said they don’t plan on adopting virtual or augmented reality technology, but 10% said they plan on bringing it into the fold within the next two years. This is due to roofers realizing they can use it both for marketing and training purposes.

“A specific technology that excites us is augmented reality headsets and communication apps,” said Tom Whitaker, president of Harness Software and RT3 board member. “These represent the best opportunity to leverage the experience of older workers to train and manage a new generation.”

One area that is slowly gaining traction is artificial intelligence (AI). As contractors continue to collect data using various software and CRMs, that data can be put to good use. That data, when plugged into AI, can be used for project planning, risk management, quality control, and even suggest potential clients. More than half said they don’t plan on using AI, but 12% said they’ll likely add it to their business in the next year or two.

Conversely, roofers aren’t as ready to adopt robot technology. Almost three-fourths (70%) of respondents said they have no plans to use robots in their business model, which is up from last year’s 67%. Biometrics is another area the majority of roofers have shied away from with only 6% currently using technology like fingerprint and retinal access, while 65% said they have no intentions of using it.

Overall, technology will continue to remain an integral part of the industry, and those that embrace it can expect to see continued success into the future despite battling a labor shortage.

“The reduction of an available workforce requires roofing companies to become more efficient, therefore streamlining rooftop administrative and labor processes is top priority,” said Steve Little, president of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing in Dallas. “In the end, this is still a ‘people’ business and taking care of your ‘people’ results in a sustainable business.”

 

Conclusion

Survey data shows there’s a lot for roofing contractors in either residential or commercial markets to look forward to this year, and a few years beyond. Fears of an economic slowdown, costs of materials, new regulations and the uncertainty with immigration policy are keeping even the most optimistic roofing professionals guarded when trying to describe what the roofing industry will look like a decade from now.

With technological innovation on the rise, and the total number of skilled workers still on the decline, 2020 may be a critical year for roofing contractors of all sizes as they anticipate changing weather patterns, political turmoil and some correction in market conditions.

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The information contained within this article is comes from: Clear Seas Research 2019 Roofing Contractor State of the Industry Report. A total of roughly 22,000 roofing professionals were invited to participate in the research which fielded from Oct. 24-31, 2019 through Clear
Seas Research. The full report includes the responses from 197 U.S. roofing contractors. To purchase your copy of this report please visit:


www.clearseasreasearch.com/reports/industries/aec.

 


LEGAL DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

 

 

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Roofing Ranks 4th Among Most Dangerous Jobs in U.S.

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, January 27, 2020

Courtesy of: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA.gov

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There were 5,250 fatal job-related injuries in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a slight increase from the previous year. While no job is completely free of risk, most jobs are relatively safe. Yet there are quite a few professions that are far more dangerous, and where the risk of dying is more than 10 times higher compared to the average American occupation.

Roofing came in fourth among the 25 most dangerous jobs in the country, due to a higher rate of fatal injuries and risks from falling and working outside in hot weather.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that roofing is one of four professions in which the annual rate of fatal incidents was 50 or more for every 100,000 full-time employees.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for over 3,500 fatalities between 2003 and 2013. Falls from roofs accounted for nearly 1,200, or 34%, of the fall deaths during that period. Roofers encounter many hazards on the job, including hazards associated with working at heights and from ladders, power tools, electricity, noise, hazardous substances, and extreme temperatures. Unless these hazards are controlled by the employer, roofers risk serious injury, illness and death. To protect workers on roofing jobs, employers must identify the hazards present and take steps to address them.

OSHA Standards Top 10 Frequently Cited During Inspections of Roofing Contractors (NAICS 238160) Rank by Number of Citations Issued Categories Standard:

1. Duty to have fall protection 1926.501

2. Ladder safety 1926.1053

3. Fall protection training requirements 1926.503

4. Eye and face protection 1926.102

5. General scaffold requirements 1926.451

6. General safety and health provisions 1926.20

7. Head protection 1926.100

8. Hand and Power Tools 1926.502

9. Ladder training requirements 1926.1060

10. Hazard Communication 1926.59 which refers to 1910.1200

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 these laws were put into place “To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health...”

For additional guidance on what OSHA requires for protecting roofing workers, click here.

 

- Western States Roofing Contractors Association

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All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

 

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Roofing Contractors: The FAA Wants to Track Your Drone

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, January 13, 2020

Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine

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On Dec. 31, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published “The Remote ID Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).” According to a posting on the FAA website, www.faa.gov, “The Remote Identification proposed rule provides a framework for remote identification of all UAS (unmanned aerial systems) operating in the airspace of the United States. The rule would facilitate the collection and storage of certain data such as identity, location, and altitude regarding an unmanned aircraft and its control station.”

The publication of the NPRM started the clock on a 60-day period for public comments. I’m not going to get into all the details, which are numerous, but will simply share with you that I’m concerned about this new remote identification rule as it relates to roofing contractors operating UAS (also referred to as drones).

While the FAA cites safety and security as the key motivations for establishing new rules for small unmanned aircraft operating in the nation’s airspace, they’re lacking in hard data to demonstrate that there’s a problem. I do know for a fact, however, that using UAS for making measurements and roof inspections is far, far safer than climbing ladders and walking roofs.

The new rules, which are also said to be needed to enable “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) flights and unmanned aerial delivery services, will make it very difficult for small individual operators, such as your roofing business, to operate a UAS. It will require an Internet connection to your UAS and that UAS will have to be equipped to transmit its location (geo-location, altitude, etc.) to the FAA or its authorized agents.

In my opinion, making rules for the emerging uses for BVLOS shouldn’t require remote identification for virtually everything flying in the commercial realm and most everything in the world of the remote-controlled hobbyist. BVLOS operations will likely, at least for the foreseeable future, be dominated by large companies delivering goods as well as medical and public safety interests.

The equipment required to support the proposed remote ID would likely not be onerous for these large operators, but would make it difficult and expensive for operators of one or a very small fleet of UAS. The idea of drone-delivered goods is intriguing, but roofing contractors are operating UAS to make their work safer today.

Should the FAA move forward with their proposal after the 60-day comment period, it will take three years for it to go into effect. This would supposedly allow enough time for UAS manufacturers to gear up to install new equipment that will provide the interface required to remotely identify your UAS.

You may wish to read up on the proposal and submit your comments to the FAA. There are several ways to do this, but you must act by March 2, 2020. Start by going online to www.faa.gov and do a search on “UAS Remote Identification.” I submitted my comments online and I urge others in the roofing industry to do likewise. My comments, along with the others, may be found online at regulations.gov.

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

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Contractors Counsel: Does California’s New “Gig Worker” Law Affect the Construction Industry?

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 21, 2019

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law

The foundation of California’s immense economy is based upon three industries: entertainment, technology and tourism. These industries heavily rely on “gig workers,”, individuals who provide paid services to multiple companies simultaneously and who have traditionally been classified as independent contractors. This structure is very similar to the model used in the construction industry. As California modifies the state employment regulations, construction contractors are wondering how the new “gig worker” law affects their day-to-day business operations and, more importantly, their bottom-line. The change will affect millions of workers statewide, but the good news is the law will likely have little effect on the construction industry right now. While the legislation, Assembly Bill No. 5 (“AB 5”), narrows the definition of “independent contractor”, subcontractors in the construction industry are exempt.

AB 5 seeks to stop the misclassification of workers and grant more individuals eligibility for standard employment benefits such as union memberships, health insurance and an hourly wage. AB 5 exempts specified occupations from application of the new definition and regulation. There are a wide range of exempt occupations such as licensed insurance agents, registered securities dealers, real estate licensees, and those performing work pursuant to a subcontract in the construction industry. It is important to note that this exemption does not apply to subcontractors providing construction trucking services, and those individuals have a separate set of regulations under the law. AB 5 establishes that the exempt individuals performing work pursuant to subcontracts in the construction industry are governed by S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 (“Borello”). Borello provides an eleven-factor balancing test which weighs the totality of the circumstances and was the test used in California prior to AB 5.

In addition to requiring the Borello test, AB 5 establishes seven additional requirements. The seven requirements are: (1) the subcontract is in writing, (2) the subcontractor is licensed by the Contractors State License Board and the work is within the scope of that license, (3) if the subcontractor is domiciled in a jurisdiction that requires the subcontractor to have a business license or business tax registration, the subcontractor meets the requirement, (4) the subcontractor maintains a business location separate from the contractor’s business location, (5) the subcontractor has the authority to hire and fire other individuals to provide or assist in providing the services, (6) the subcontractor assumes financial responsibility for errors or omissions in labor or services as evidenced by insurance, legally authorized indemnity obligations, performance bonds, or warranties relating to the labor or services being provided, and (7) the subcontractor is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature of the work performed. If the contractor demonstrates that all seven are met, then the individual will be considered an independent contractor.

As other states decide whether or not to follow California’s lead, AB 5 will have an impact nationally. It is too soon to tell how this will impact the national construction industry long term, but for now, it is safe to say that AB 5’s current effect on the construction industry is minor and your company should continue its business as usual.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general education information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

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Beacon Roofing Supply Announces 'Beacon of Hope' Contest Finalists

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 7, 2019

Voting open now through Nov. 1 to reward Veteran homeowners. 

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 Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (Nasdaq: BECN) (“Beacon”) today revealed the 10 finalists in its first annual Beacon of Hope contest, a nationwide contest awarding deserving Veteran homeowners with new roofs. The public can vote for their favorite finalists now through November 1, 2019. Five winners will receive new roofs from Beacon, and five runners-up will receive $1,000 to help complete necessary repairs.

“We received dozens of stories about Veterans facing hardships including financial issues, unemployment, health-related issues and so many more,” said Jamie Samide, Beacon’s Vice President of Marketing. “Beacon of Hope was created to give back to our Veterans who could use some assistance with a basic necessity: a safe place to live. We hope the public is inspired by their stories and will help us in our efforts to provide these Vets with a ‘Beacon of Hope’.”

The Beacon of Hope contest finalists include (in alphabetical order):

  1.  Lori Lee A. – Turner Falls, MA

  2. Galen A. – North Port, FL 

  3. Donald A. – Redford, MI 

  4. John B. – Albuquerque, NM 

  5. Madison B. – Woodbury, MN 

  6. Betty F. – Suffolk, VA 

  7. Robert H. – Bremerton, WA 

  8. Rodney O. – Plant City, FL 

  9. Michael S. – Overland Park, KS 

  10. Ralph S. - Church Hill, TN  

Beacon will announce the winners and runners-up on Veterans Day. To learn more about the Beacon of Hope contest and read the official contest rules, visit http://go.becn.com/beaconofhope.

 

About Beacon Roofing Supply 

Founded in 1928, Beacon Roofing Supply is the largest publicly traded distributor of residential and commercial roofing materials and complementary building products in North America, operating over 500 branches throughout all 50 states in the U.S. and 6 provinces in Canada. Beacon serves an extensive base of over 100,000 customers, utilizing its vast branch network and diverse service offerings to provide high-quality products and support throughout the entire business lifecycle. Beacon also offers its own private label brand, TRI-BUILT, and has a proprietary digital account management suite, Beacon Pro+, which allows customers to manage their businesses online. A Fortune 500 company, Beacon’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol BECN.

To learn more about Beacon and its brands, please visit www.becn.com

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

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