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WSRCA Informational Bulletin 2018-II-2: Static Electricity and Roofing Adhesive Fire Risk

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 6, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Greetings to Members of Western States Roofing Contractors Association:

 

Introduction:

WSRCA’s Industry Issues Committee is responding to reports from Member Contractors in the Western U.S. by preparing the following Information Bulletin regarding on-roof fires that have been caused by static electrical sparks during the application of single-ply membrane roofing using solvent-based adhesive.

 

Executive Summary:

Solvent-based adhesives may release fumes when their pails/containers are open and during application that can be a potential fire hazard during specific conditions and/or situations. A spark is all that is required, under certain conditions, to ignite such fumes. During dry outdoor ambient conditions, sparks can be caused by static electrical discharge. These three conditions can come together during a single-ply roofing installation and unexpectedly start a fire. Reports from the field indicate that this has been the case for more than one contractor recently, especially when weather conditions have been conducive to static electricity.

Reports from the field indicate that when relative humidity is very low, whether it be during cold, dry weather, or hot and dry weather, static electrical charges can build up during insulation roofing application. Most reports have involved steel roof decks and faced polyisocyanurate roof insulation and single-ply roofs. Static charges can be created when weather conditions are right and rigid foam insulation boards are slid or dragged across each other, when membrane sheets are moved over the installed insulation or over other thermoplastic roof membrane sheets, and just from walking on the insulation or insulated roof. If static charges have accumulated, spark(s) may occur when the metal bar of the adhesive roller or applicator handle touches the metal adhesive pail or container, or even when a worker’s skin or hand touches metal. Sometimes these sparks result in ignition of adhesive fumes and/or the adhesive itself during application. There are measures to be taken to help prevent the build-up of static charges, such as: by confirming that the existing building or building-under-construction is grounded, by taking care regarding how materials are moved and placed on the roof, wearing all cotton rather than synthetic clothing, walking carefully without shuffling, grounding equipment being used on the roof, just to name a few.

However, reports from the field where fires have occurred indicate that it is very important that the crew understand how to respond to and extinguish on-roof fires as soon as possible when they occur. It is also important for the contractor to be aware of the weather conditions that may ead to static build-up. Cold and dry winter weather is commonly associated with static build up, but if relative humidity is very low build up can also occur during hot, dry weather.

We note that this issue is not being discussed much in the roofing and waterproofing industry. However, please be aware that the issue of static-electric spark problems is mentioned by the manufacturers of adhesive application equipment, it is also referred to in OSHA bulletins, and has been mentioned in articles published in NRCA’s Professional Roofing magazine. Thorough descriptions of the problem as it relates to single-ply roofing, however, are lacking, and detailed solutions have not yet been presented.

Background Information:

This issue has come to our attention solely through reports from the field. To date, the information we have is mainly from three (3) different WSRCA Member Contractors working in the Western U.S. However, the popularity of insulated single-ply roof systems in the Western U.S. creates a growing potential for this problem to occur, and WSRCA wants to be sure it’s members are aware of the potential hazard and can then be better prepared to prevent the potential for fires on their projects, as well as be prepared to minimize the potential damage to persons, property and potential lack of calm-handling of the situation and/or potential injury to unaware roofing technicians.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE...!

Tags:  TECHNICAL 

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7 Legal Myths You and Your Advisors May Believe

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 30, 2018

By: Larry Oxenham, Senior Advisor, American Society for Asset Protection

 

There are many financial and legal myths that circulate through society. A belief in these myths may result in serious problems. In a commencement address at Yale University, President John F. Kennedy taught, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” Mark Twain echoed this thought when he said, “It isn’t what we don’t know that kills us, it’s everything we know that ain’t so.”

 

Myth 1: I Will Never Get Sued

If you own a business, you have exposure to many types of lawsuits even if you personally have done nothing wrong. For example, if someone injures themselves on your property (even if he/she were trespassing), you as the property owner would be liable for damages through what is called premise liability. Last year the average premise liability verdict was $2,001,754—and an award of $2.5 million or more was just as likely as an award of $50,000-$99,999.

Businesses also have exposure to employee liability. You could be sued for workplace accidents, negligent entrustment, wrongful termination, gender bias, racial bias, sexual orientation bias, religious bias, sexual harassment, and racial harassment. A lawsuit for any of these items could result in a multimillion dollar judgment. For example, one employee received an award of $86.7 million to compensate him for an accident at work that left him paralyzed (Miraglia v. H & L Holding Corp.).

Owning a business and not having protection against lawsuits, would be like living in an earthquake, hurricane, or flood zone and not purchasing the necessary insurance to protect your assets. Once the disaster hits, it is too late to buy insurance. Likewise, once a lawsuit hits, it is too late to set up the needed legal structures. You need to have them in place before the disaster hits. Once a lawsuit is filed against you, the transfer of assets to protective legal entities may be interpreted as “fraudulent conveyance” and can be unwound.

Therefore, it is essential to have the legal structures for lawsuit protection and prevention in place before you are sued. If you are not properly structured, it only takes one lawsuit to lose everything.

 

Myth 2: I Should Operate My Business as a Sole Proprietorship

Many attorneys and accountants recommend that their clients operate their business as a sole proprietorship because of the simplicity it presents when they file their tax returns. However, there are two major problems with operating as a sole proprietor. First, while a sole proprietorship allows a person to deduct most business expenses, there are tax deductions and reduction strategies that apply to S-Corps and C-Corps which cannot be used as a sole proprietor. The second major problem is that a sole proprietorship provides little protection against lawsuits. If your sole proprietorship is sued, all of your business and personal assets could be taken to satisfy the judgment. Even if you are sued personally as a result of a car accident or injury at your home, all of your business assets are at risk of being taken.

 

Myth 3: A Corporation Protects My Assets from Lawsuits

The corporation is a good management and tax reduction tool, but it is a poor lawsuit protection tool. If your corporation is sued, all of the assets (with equity) owned by your corporation can be taken to satisfy the judgment. The corporation does provide some protection of personal assets with what is called the “corporate veil.” The corporate veil is supposed to prevent a creditor from going after personal assets to satisfy a business debt. However, the corporate veil is often pierced, enabling your personal assets to be seized to satisfy a judgment against your business.

 

Myth 4: Asset Protection is Not Possible

We live in a very specialized world. For example, doctors specialize in a specific area of medicine (orthopedics, radiology, cardiology, etc.). There is no difference in the legal world. There are specialists for every part of our legal lives. There are attorneys who specialize in patents, family law, bankruptcy, personal injury, prosecution, estate planning, etc. Asset protection is a highly specialized area of law. A survey by the American Bar Association showed that less than one percent of attorneys claimed asset protection as their specialty. As a result, most attorneys and accountants are unfamiliar with the strategies and tools available to protect 100% of your business and personal assets from being seized in a lawsuit.

 

Myth 5: I Should Put My Assets in My Lower-Liability Spouse’s Name

One of the strategies recommended by less-than-experienced advisors, is to put assets in a lower-liability spouse’s name. This may provide a modest amount of protection in the event of a lawsuit, but there are four significant drawbacks to this strategy. First, it must be realized that courts carefully scrutinize conveyances between relatives and can invalidate the transfer of property regardless of when the conveyance took place. Second, your spouse may be declared an implied officer in your business and be named in a lawsuit. Third, your spouse could get sued personally. For example, if your spouse were involved in a car accident and someone was killed, a lawsuit would most likely follow; and every single asset in the spouse’s name would be at risk. Finally, having assets in your spouse’s name can cause serious problems in the event of a divorce.

 

Myth 6: I Only Need a Single Entity (LLC or Corporation)

Typically, a combination of entities will be the best course to take, rather than the use of one corporation or LLC. Most advisors are unaware of how to gain the best tax advantages and ensure 100% asset protection through the use of multiple entities. To ensure your assets are protected, you must separate your safe and risky assets into separate legal entities. The strategy of using multiple entities will minimize taxes and protect 100% of your assets.

 

Myth 7: Liability Insurance Will Protect Me Against Lawsuits

You may feel you are protected from lawsuits because you have liability insurance; however, insurance is like a hospital gown—you only think you are covered. Liability insurance does provide some protection against lawsuits, but it is limited in its coverage. Juries often will award judgments in excess of liability insurance coverage. Exclusions in your policy may also result in your insurance company denying coverage and leaving you liable. As judgments have increased over the years, some advisors simply tell professionals to get more liability insurance. This is problematic, as larger policies are costly and often serve as homing beacons for trial attorneys, who look for the deepest pockets in which to reach.

 

Conclusion

The authors of the book The Millionaire Next Door did an extensive study of millionaires to find the determining factors that resulted in a high net worth. The research concluded that hiring high-grade financial advisors was directly related to the propensity to accumulate wealth. An attorney who specializes in asset protection is one high-grade advisor business owners need. An asset protection attorney will ensure you avoid the myths in this article and will ensure your assets are properly structure for lawsuit protection, tax reduction, and estate planning.

 

Larry Oxenham is presenting “What Every Insurance Agent Needs to Know about Lawsuit Prevent, Tax Reduction, and Estate Planning Strategies” on Tuesday, October 17th from 8:45 to 10:45 am at the IIABSC's Annual Convention at the Marriott Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach. 

Tags:  LEGAL 

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Never Sign an OSHA Witness Statement

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 23, 2018

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law

Tel: 866.303.5868 | Email: tcotney@cotneycl.com

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Never Sign an OSHA Witness Statement

During any OSHA inspection, the Compliance Safety and Health Officer (“CSHO”) will more than likely take witness testimony from crew members that are on site. This CSHO will hand-write the interview answers and ask the employee to sign the witness statement. Most employers and employees do not understand their rights during an OSHA inspection and do not know that they are not required to sign witness statements. This article explores OSHA’s interviewing process, the use of witness statements by OSHA, and suggests alternatives to signing a witness statement.

 

Everyone has the right to counsel.

First and foremost, it should be noted that any member of management, including officers, directors, and owners have the right to have counsel present during any OSHA interview. In addition, any supervisory employee is also considered part of management, and therefore has the ability to have counsel present during the interviews. When OSHA inspects a job site, supervisory employees such as crew leaders, foremen, superintendents, and/or project managers should assert their right to have counsel present before giving any testimony to OSHA. In other words, the supervisor should state their name, position and assert the right to counsel. This will give the individual an opportunity to discuss the alleged violations with management and counsel prior to being interviewed. It will also allow management and counsel to be present during the interviews. Generally, these interviews occur at counsel’s office or OSHA’s area office rather than the job site, thereby limiting exposure to additional potential violations.

With regard to crew member interviews, management and counsel for management generally cannot be present during non-supervisory employee interviews. However, if the employee requests that counsel be present for the interview, OSHA must allow counsel to be present.

 

What will OSHA ask?

During the interviews, OSHA will ask a variety of questions regarding safety training and job site specific acts or omissions. For example, common safety training questions include how to properly tie off, use personal protective equipment (“PPE”), properly install anchor points, properly tie off ladders, knowledge about hydration and water breaks, knowledge regarding risks associated with swing radius, inhalation of chemicals and/or silica, as well as other potential hazards.

The job site specific questions will focus on the who, where, when, what, and how. In particular, employees will be asked questions regarding training they received and commands they received on the date of the incident. For example, the CSHO will ask whether employees were instructed to tie off on the date of the inspection, whether supervisory employees inspected the crew members during construction, and the reason(s) why employees were not tied off (even if they were). OSHA often asks whether employees were not wearing fall protection because they were told to complete work at an accelerated pace or to meet certain schedule obligations. If an employee answers in the affirmative, it could be damaging to the employer.

 

Written witness statement.

While the testimony is being taken, the CSHO will be drafting a witness statement, which generally contains self-serving declarations for purposes of prosecuting the employer. No one is required to sign a witness statement.  Both supervisory and non-supervisory employees can refuse to sign witness statements. This leaves the CSHO with only his or her own notes, which can still be used as evidence, or the CSHO can still contact the local Area Office and ask that it issue a subpoena requiring that the employee’s testimony be taken under oath. This delay in obtaining testimony may be beneficial for the employer because it will allow the employee to have the opportunity to think about his or her answers and be in a better mindset for purposes of providing testimony. It also gives the employee the chance to speak with counsel and/or management if he or she wishes to do so.

Obviously, regardless of when testimony is provided, all employees must always tell the truth. However, even a slight postponement in giving testimony can provide an employee with enough time to properly collect his or her thoughts, and ensure that he or she gives truthful testimony, while remaining alert enough to detect and avoid the onslaught of “Gotcha!” questions OSHA loves throwing at unsuspecting witnesses.

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Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational 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.

Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law, is an advocate for the roofing industry, General Counsel of Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC), and several other local roofing associations. For more information, contact the author at 866.303.5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com.

Tags:  LEGAL  SAFETY 

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Why Online Reviews Are So Important For Roofers

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 23, 2018

Courtesy of WSRCA Member: Broadly.com

As a roofing company, you are always looking for more ways to get more customers. Marketing for roofers can seem like a daunting task, especially when you are a one-man operation or your company doesn’t have a marketing person.

A lot of contractors across the Western United States will tell you that word of mouth marketing leads to some of the best customers. Now with the power of the internet, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

This is the reason why getting online reviews can be such an important part of a roofers marketing strategy.

Below are tips on how to ask for online reviews and how to handle those reviews. If you have questions or need help managing reviews we are happy to show you a demo of our online review software.

Online Reviews For Roofers

Infographic by Broadly.com - Online Reviews for Construction

Tags:  BUSINESS 

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PARTY WHO PARTICIPATES IN ARBITRATION CANNOT THEREAFTER BACK OUT

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 16, 2018

By Kenneth S. Grossbart
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

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The subject of Arbitration has been discussed by me in previous articles. This article again addresses the concept of Arbitration but with a twist.

Arbitration is an alternative form of resolving disputes. It is an alternative to the filing of a lawsuit and proceeding with your case through the court system. Arbitration is a very popular form of dispute resolution and oftentimes is faster and cheaper than going through the court system.

Arbitration is a consensual process which means in order for the parties to arbitrate a dispute all parties must consent to having the matter arbitrated. Oftentimes that consent comes in the form of an Arbitration Clause that is contained in the contract between the parties. In this set of facts, Company A signed an Advertising Insertion Order with Company B. The Order included an agreement to arbitrate all disputes. During the course of the relationship between Company A and Company B, Company A accumulated an unpaid balance with Company B. Company A filed a Demand for Arbitration seeking damages in the amount of the unpaid balance. Company B agreed that they signed the Order but claimed that the Order was unenforceable because Company A’s products were fraudulent. Regardless of the claims of Company B, Company B voluntarily participated in the Arbitration and in fact asked the Arbitrator to issue an Order requiring one of the parties to post a Bond. Company B later rescinded its participation in the Arbitration proceedings when the Arbitrator declined to issue the Order. The Arbitrator ultimately found for Company A and the trial court confirmed the Arbitration Award. Company B challenged the Arbitrator’s jurisdiction arguing that he did not consent to arbitrate the dispute.

The matter was reviewed and ruled upon by the appellate court. The appellate court confirmed the lower court’s ruling finding that the parties did in fact consent to Arbitration. The appellate court found that Company B’s conduct and participation in the Arbitration showed that he clearly and unmistakably consented to Arbitration. First Company B did not object to Arbitration, they willingly participated in the Arbitration proceedings, availed themselves of the Arbitrator’s authority when asked to have the Arbitrator rule upon the posting of a Bond and thereafter tried to rescind his voluntarily participation after the Arbitrator denied the request. Thus the court found that Company B’s actions constituted clear and unmistakable evidence that he consented to the Arbitration proceedings.

The take away from this set of facts is that if you challenge the jurisdiction of an Arbitration Tribunal, it must be done at the beginning of your case. You cannot temporarily participate in the Arbitration proceedings and then at some point in time when you don’t like how the Arbitration is proceeding attempt to back out. Courts will consider your participation to constitute a clear and unmistakable evidence of your consent to arbitrate.

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Kenneth Grossbart is recognized as one of the foremost authorities in California construction law. Over the past 35 years, Ken has become a respected speaker on Mechanic’s Liens and other construction related issues. Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman provides this information as a service to its friends & clients and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. This document is of a general nature and is not a substitute for legal advice. Since laws change frequently, contact an attorney before using this information. Ken Grossbart can be reached at Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman: (818) 760-2000 or by E-Mail at , or at ksg@agrlaw.com

June / July ‘18

www.agrlaw.com

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

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Reefer and Roofers – The Impact of Legalization of Marijuana

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, July 9, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney — Cotney Construction Law

 Tel: 866.303.5868 | Email: tcotney@cotneycl.com

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 Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, it is becoming apparent that Marijuana is here to stay.  While many states have legalized Marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, what is unclear are the potential liabilities for an employer whose employees are actively using the drug, particularly at work.  Questions arise such as can you require that your employees don’t use marijuana at all?  Due to the inherent dangers involved in the roofing industry, an employer has real and justified reasons for not wanting his or her employees to be under the influence while on the job.  Unlike alcohol, testing for marijuana has a way to go and as more and more states legalize the drug, the issues already present will only be further complicated.

Currently 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized either recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. During the 2016 election cycle, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Vermont is the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through state legislature and the law went into effect on July 1, 2018.

While certain states allow recreational and medicinal marijuana use, the drug is still illegal at the federal level. This divergence between state and federal law creates a variety of unique issues for employers.  Due to marijuana being illegal at the federal level, those working under a government contract or for a federal employer are prohibited from using marijuana in any way (even if it is for medicinal purposes). This prohibition extends to both on site use as well as off-site/at-home use. Accordingly, under federal law, the roofer employer has the ability to fire an employee for failing a drug test under the aforementioned federal work conditions.

If you’re an employer working under a federal contract, then the law is quite clear. Handling marijuana usage for roofers on private and state projects, however, is quite hazy (no pun intended). Two of the biggest issues still up in the air include: employees arriving to the job under the influence of marijuana, and zero-tolerance drug policies.  A number of other state courts have upheld employers’ right to continue to implement zero-tolerance policies. This results in employers likely being able to continue to enforce their zero-tolerance drug policies.

Since marijuana use impairs an individual’s motor functions, employers who have employees who operate machinery, vehicles, or other type of equipment will certainly not want them doing so under the influence of marijuana. Further, there is not presently a method for testing whether an individual is currently under the influence of marijuana. Drug tests simply show that the individual has used marijuana within the past 30 days (the length varies by different testing methods). These are further reasons to continue to drug test employees and enforce zero-tolerance policies when it comes to on-site safety.

While other state courts have upheld an employer’s right to discipline employees for failing a drug test for marijuana use, employers should still be wary of how courts will respond to the implementation of both recreational and medicinal marijuana laws. Further, state legislatures and other administrations have stated they will continue to provide updates and guidance on how marijuana laws will affect roofing employers/employees.

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Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational 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.

Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law, is an advocate for the roofing industry, General Counsel of Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC), and several other local roofing associations. For more information, contact the author at 866.303.5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com.

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

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COTNEY CONSTRUCTION LAW ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERS

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Friday, June 29, 2018

Cotney Construction Law (CCL),a leading national law firm for construction, specialty trades, and OSHA law,is pleased to announce that Daniel Auerbach, Virgil Tray Batcher, Hilary Morgan, and Anthony Tilton have been named partners of the firm.

 

(Left-to-Right) Dan Auerbach, Virgil Tray Bather, Hilary Morgan, Anthony Tilton

 

“Each of these attorneys epitomizes the diverse talent our firm offers,” said Trent Cotney, CEO of CCL. “Not only have they demonstrated superb legal capabilities, but they have also shown that they are committed to both their clients and the construction industry as a whole.”

Daniel Auerbach’s practice areas encompass construction litigation and various transactional matters. Specifically, Dan focuses on contract review and drafting, contract negotiation, bond & lien law, building code violation defense, construction defense litigation, OSHA defense, bid protests, and contractor licensing defense. He currently serves as General Counsel for the Space Coast Licensed Roofers Association and the Treasure Coast Roofing and Sheet Metal Association.

Virgil Tray Batcher joined Cotney Construction Law in 2012 and represents clients in all aspects of construction law including lien law, bond law, construction defect litigation, OSHA defense, and licensing. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Tray worked in the construction industry as an estimator for a multi-million dollar structural contracting company. He currently serves as General Counsel for the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association.

Hilary Morgan focuses her practice on all aspects of construction law, including lien law, surety bond law, litigation, arbitration, construction defects, contract review and drafting, delay claims, bid protests, design professional liability, corporate law, and administrative law. Hilary serves on Associated Builders and Contractors National Young Professional Committee and is currently General Counsel for National Women in Roofing.

Anthony Tilton practices in all areas of construction law. He works primarily on matters relating to OSHA and licensing defense. This includes the management and development of safety and health strategies. Anthony is also a Certified Building Contractor and has been involved in the industry his whole life – he has done framing, floor installation, remodels, site supervision, and served as safety officer for various construction companies. Anthony is General Counsel for the Tile Roofing Institute.

 

About Cotney Construction Law

 

Cotney Construction Law is a national law firm that provides representation for general, roofing, HVAC and specialty contractors. Experienced in the representation of businesses and professionals in construction disputes and transactions, Cotney is a well-known advisor and legal counsel in the construction industry. The firm’s practice areas include construction law, litigation, arbitration, contract review & drafting, immigration, employment, OSHA defense, licensing defense, bid protests, lien law, bond law and alternative dispute resolution. The firm has Florida offices in Tampa,Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as locations in Denver, Grand Rapids, Houston, Mobile, and Nashville. For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.

Tags:  MEMBERS IN THE NEWS 

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OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Thursday, June 28, 2018

Courtesy of: OSHA.gov

 

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2016, there were 370 fatal falls to a lower level out of 991 construction fatalities (BLS data). These deaths are preventable.

Since 2012, OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) - Construction Sector on the Fall Prevention Campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented.

 

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

 

PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.

 

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job.  For more information on fall prevention, and keeping your employees safe on the job, visit the WSRCA MOBILE SAFETY SOLUTIONS website.

 

Tags:  SAFETY 

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WESTERN ROOFING EXPO 2018: SPECIAL RECAP

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Thousands Gather in Las Vegas for 44th Annual Convention and Trade Show 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — It was back to fabulous Las Vegas and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino for the Western States Roofing Contractors Association’s (WSRCAWestern Roofing Expo 2018. Known for bringing all the elements of the roofing and waterproofing industry together, the Western Roofing Expo experienced a record-breaking turnout over the duration of three days in Las Vegas. 

According to registration statistics - 4,039 convention-goers converged for the 2018 show, setting the highest attendance figure in the Expo’s 44-year history! Roofing professionals from throughout the West were on hand to experience action-filled events including the annual sporting tournaments, welcome party and auction, exhibit floor, live product demonstrations, and live shingling competition called The Roofing Games™. There was a great overall sense of industry camaraderie this year, and many of the people we talked to called it the best Western Roofing Expo they’ve ever attended. 

Davis Memorial Foundation

Founded in 1997 in memory of Larry and Mary Davis, the Foundation's mission is to support higher education, particularly as it relates to the development of a well-educated construction industry. Scholarship awards are granted every year to high school, undergraduate and graduate students throughout the country. To raise money and awareness for these scholarships, events like the Welcome Party & Lively-Silent Auction, and annual Golf & Sporting Clays Tournaments have been established by the Foundation. 2018 Scholarship Winners The requirements for these scholarships aren’t easy.

Applicants must submit letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors, official transcripts from High Schools or Universities, and a Q&A written application to be considered eligible. For the 2018 academic year, the Davis Memorial Foundation awarded (20) $5,000 scholarships in 2018 to the following outstanding students for a grand total of $100,000!

Jordan Fatemi (Mira Costa High School), Riley Govan (Pomona High School), Lauren Barker (Oregon State University), Roman Goff (Trinity High School), Sarah Mason (Lake Oswego High School), Taylor Fatemi (Mira Costa High School), Blake Norrid (Texas A&M University), Branden Clark (Brigham Young University), Ivy Rivas (UC Davis), Jonah Dionne (Rocklin High School), Koby Ramage (Redwood High School), Maria Vielma (University of New Mexico), Salvador Garcia (UC Berkeley), Spencer Winkle (Cal State University San Bernadino), Tess Robinson (San Juan College), Ashley Moore(Orange Coast College), Beverly Pittman (Columbia College), Cassandra Gascon (Hemet High School), Pedro Negron III (Fullerton College), and Ryland Phillips (Arizona Connections College). Congratulations to all for your hard work and commitment to higher education – the Davis Memorial Foundation wishes you all the best of luck in your bright futures!

Golf & Sporting Clays Tournaments

The annual Golf Tournament was held bright and early at in southern Las Vegas at the Revere Golf Club. 104 participants came out to play the challenging Lexington Course at the club. Across the valley, the annual Sporting Clays Tournament was also held concurrently at the Pro Gun Club in Boulder City. The course was maxed out with 72 participants, who also had a great time on the challenging desert terrain and windy conditions. A very special thank you to our Tournament Title Sponsor: Beacon Roofing Supply/Allied Building Products - and all of the other prize donators and participants who help make the Davis Memorial Foundation’s tournaments a yearly success.

Welcome Party & Lively-Silent Auction

Later that evening hundreds gathered back at the Paris Hotel & Casino, as Foundation Chairman Chuck Chapman and fellow Trustee Bill Baley emceed the Welcome Party and Lively-Silent Auction, sponsored by GAF. Fantastic donated items such as hunting trips, vacations, electronic merchandise, jewelry, and of course, roofing-related products were all on display for attendees to bid on. The night was a huge success, raising $65,302 in a matter of hours, and this amazing support could not have been achieved without the generous support from members like you! A special thanks to Davis Memorial Foundation Trustees Heidi Ellsworth, Greg Bloom, Travis Nelson and Tom Papas for making the Lively-Silent Auction such a success. Also — a big shout out to Hans Matheus of Eagle Roofing Products for his hard work and dedication becoming the 2018 ‘Wrangler of the Year’. Hans brought in 17 new WSRCA Members to the Association, and was recognized for his efforts with the one-of-a-kind custom made belt buckle. On behalf of the entire Davis Memorial Foundation, its Trustees and Staff – and most importantly the scholarship recipients – thank you for your continued support!

Seminars & Trade Show Floor

Every year, the WSRCA puts on a diverse educational program designed to keep roofing contractors ‘in-the-know’ on vital roofing topics affecting the industry. On both Monday and Tuesday, the seminar portion of the Western Roofing Expo was held prior to the opening of the floor. As you can see, all seminars were very well attended this year. For the opening of the trade show floor on Monday, current WSRCA President Don Fry, along with incoming President Tom Asbury, were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Once open, the trade show remained a bustling center of activity until the final closing hours. The exhibit hall featured over 200 local, regional, and national companies displaying their latest products and services, many available only in the Western market. The vast majority of the exhibitors were extremely pleased with the outstanding attendee turnout…and as you can see, the exhibit hall was packed!

Annual Luncheon with Entertainer - Roy Firestone

Winding down the convention on Tuesday June 12th, multi-talented entertainer Roy Firestone made a guest appearance at the Annual Luncheon, sponsored by Malarkey Roofing Products. He showcased his amazing vocal skills with his song and impersonation routines. He was quite the entertainer, and it made for a relaxed atmosphere heading into the final portion of the Expo.

WSRCA Board Member of the Year

Immediately following the luncheon entertainment, WSRCA presented its annual awards. Board Member of the Year went to Steve Nash - Waterproofing Associates in recognition of his tireless work last year improving the Association. A huge congratulations to Steve, and thank you for all that you do for Western States!

The Roofing Games™ 2018

As the trade show floor began its final events of the year that Tuesday, Western States Roofing Contractors Association and Malarkey Roofing Products once again hosted the shingling competition known as The Roofing Games™. Participants competed against one another in a timed installation of a Malarkey® roofing system on a small wooden deck — and were judged on accuracy, aesthetics, workmanship, and of course - speed. Nate Holland of Holland Roofing in Anchorage AK was the 2018 winner with a time of 2:04. To all the participants, fans in the crowd, and especially Malarkey Roofing Products - thank you for making this such a fun event!

Thank You!

From everyone here at Western States and the Davis Memorial Foundation - the entire Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Associate Advisory, Trustees and Staff – we would like to thank you for your continued support and for making the Western Roofing Expo THE premier roofing event in the West. Next year, the Western Roofing Expo 2019 will once again be hosted at the Paris Las Vegas from June 9-11. Mark your calendars now, and we’ll see you next summer!

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Information Bulletin 2018-LSI3: Roof-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, June 18, 2018

 

 

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Greetings to Members of Western States Roofing Contractors Association:

Executive Summary:
As the roof-mounted photovoltaics (PV) industry continues to expand with new products and attachment systems routinely getting introduced as the next best thing, it is imperative that roofing industry associations, such as the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) take a leading position and remain keenly involved to provide clear direction and recommendations for proper integration of PV systems with various roofing assemblies. WSRCA believes coordinated collaboration between the roofing and solar photovoltaic industries is paramount for shared success.

Within the collaborative environment, one of the main questions to ask as a PV system is first being considered is: "What is the condition of the existing roof system"? It may not be appropriate to install a PV system unless the anticipated life expectancies of the systems are coordinated with installation of a new roof system or a new roof covering (e.g., shingles, membrane, tile, etc.) as well. You do not want to install a new photovoltaic system over an old roofing system, only to realize a few years later that a new roof is needed and the PV system must be dismantled and removed in order to reroof. The warranty status of, and the remaining service life of an existing roof membrane system, and new Building Code requirements also need to be evaluated early in the PV system design process.

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A VIEW FROM THE HILL - POLITICAL NEWS: Regulatory & Tax Reform Update

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, May 21, 2018

Regulatory and Tax Reform Update

By: Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group LLC

When President Trump took office, he signed Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 to cut federal regulations.  EO 13771 says no new rules can be issued without cutting two existing regulations, and EO 13777 put White House monitors in the agencies to enforce deregulation efforts.  As a result, the 2017 Federal Register contained 61,308 pages of regulatory actions, which is the lowest count since 1993 and a 36% drop from 95,894 pages in 2016, the highest level ever recorded.

Unfortunately, one of the rules finalized under President Obama that went into effect under President Trump is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) silica rule.  However, the federal government’s Spring Regulatory Agenda was released in May and an OSHA entry announces it will publish a Request for Information (RFI) to revise the construction silica standard’s Table 1 engineering controls.  

Though publication of the RFI in the Federal Register is probably a few months down the road, OSHA’s commitment to do an RFI could ultimately lead to a reopening of the rule.  This positive development is a result of negotiations with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, which is also working with OSHA to develop a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the rule’s complex set of requirements. 

OSHA also appears not to be aggressively enforcing the rule while negotiations are ongoing, at least in Fed-OSHA states, and hopefully President Trump’s pick to head the agency, Scott Mugno, will soon be confirmed by the Senate in order to be involved in the RFI before it’s published.

On the tax reform front, it bears repeating that IRC Sec. 179’s new expensing provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are a big victory for the roofing industry and WSRCA members.  In fact, WSRCA members can have their cake and eat it, too!   

Sec. 179 allows businesses to purchase needed equipment and write-off the full amount, or a major portion of it, on their taxes for that year.  Qualifying property includes certain vehicles and virtually all construction equipment and machinery.  But, an even bigger breakthrough for the roofing industry and its customers is that Sec. 179 qualified property now includes improvements to nonresidential roofs!

The new limit on the total amount of Sec. 179 property a business can purchase each year before the deduction is totally phased-out is $2.5 million, and the annual limit for the deduction is now $1 million.  As such, a roofing contractor can use Sec. 179 to buy qualifying business equipment and then sell a commercial roof to a property owner who can write-off up to $1 million in the year the roof is purchased.  And the $1 million annual deduction and $2.5 million maximum business investment limits are permanent and indexed for annual inflation starting in 2019.

Also, don’t forget the IRC Sec. 168(k) Bonus Depreciation Deduction, which has been raised to 100 percent for qualifying property.  This generally covers property with a depreciable tax life of 20 years or less and the IRS is expected to clarify eligibility for full bonus depreciation in June.

The Western Roofing Expo will also take place in June, and I look forward to seeing you at the Legislative Luncheon on Monday, June 11, where I’ll be joined once again by NRCA CEO Reid Ribble to discuss these and other industry issues. 

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

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WSRCA Informational & Alert Bulletin 2018-1W: Changes in ASTM Waterproofing Standards May Affect Contractors

Posted By WSRCA, Monday, April 30, 2018

Relatively significant developments within the industry’s waterproofing standards may potentially affect Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) Member Contractors, as well as Member Designers of waterproofing systems, and perhaps some of our Manufacturer Members. Over the last decade or so ASTM’s Waterproofing Subcommittee D08.22 has made some rather significant advances in publishing several new standards. ASTM has also made changes to a number of existing waterproofing and waterproofing-related standards.

WSRCA members should be aware that if an ASTM standard is referenced in a project specification, the Contractor under contract for that work is typically required to comply with the requirements of the standard. It is also important to note that if current or future Codes governing a project reference an ASTM standard the design, materials, applications, and testing is to comply with the requirements of that standard. If an ASTM standard is referenced in the documents governing your project you are accountable for knowing the standard and performing construction according to the requirements of the referenced standard(s).

Some of the new standards, and changes to existing standards, if referenced by Project documents or amended into your state or locally adopted Code, could impact waterproofing contractors in ways that not everyone may be aware.

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Travel Time Compensation

Posted By Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law, LLP, Friday, April 27, 2018
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018

Almost all your employees travel for their job, whether it is to your office, to a jobsite, to make sales, etc. Therefore, it is important that as the employer, you understand what travel time is compensable – meaning, when must travel time be paid time and count toward overtime.

Travel between home and work is not compensable, as long as it is within the “normal commuting area.” This is true whether the employee works at a fixed location (e.g., office) or different jobsites. If you require employees to report at a meeting place to receive instructions or pick up tools, travel between the meeting place and the jobsite is compensable. Travel between jobsites during the workday is compensable. When determining if travel time is compensable, it makes no difference if the employee is driving a company vehicle or a personal vehicle.

There are many strategies for reducing the payroll cost of travel time. For instance, you can pay employees a lower payrate for drive time than worksite time. You can also institute a written policy establishing a broad scope of what is considered the employee’s “normal commuting area” and limiting paid travel time to drivers rather than passengers. Moreover, some of your employees (e.g., outside sales) may be exempt from certain wages laws and not entitled to paid travel time. It is important to consult with a labor and employment attorney to reduce your payroll expenses and protect against potential wage and hour liability.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational 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. Regulations and laws may vary depending on your location. Consult with a licensed attorney in your area if you wish to obtain legal advice and/or counsel for a particular legal issue.

About the Author: Benjamin Briggs is an attorney in the Tampa office of Cotney Construction Law.  He specializes in labor and employment matters. Cotney Construction Law advocates for the roofing industry, serves as General Counsel of FRSA, TARC, RT3, TRI, and NWIR. For more information, contact the author at 866-303-5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com

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ROOFING EDUCATION CONFERENCE

Posted By WSRCA, Tuesday, April 17, 2018



Western Roofing Expo 2018


Roofing Education Conference

WSRCA knows that you as a roofing or waterproofing contractor need to stay on top of the latest technical developments in the industry — and that's no easy feat! OSHA compliance, product issues, and best business practices are just a few of today's concerns. WSRCA has put together an amazing line-up of premium educational workshops for you - the roofing contractor - to succeed in today's competitive business environment. Earn CEU's, educate your company, and get a leg up on thecompetition!


Presented by: the Western States Roofing Contractors Association

ONLINE REGISTRATION SPONSORS


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Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL  SAFETY  TECHNICAL 

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Good News for the H-2B Guest Worker Program

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, April 9, 2018

As relayed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there’s good news for contractors that use the H-2B seasonal worker program in the omnibus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, H.R. 1625) that was signed by the President last week: (The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.)
 
The omnibus bill contains H-2B language that gives the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) the discretion to raise the H-2B cap for the remainder of FY18.  This language mirrors language that the Chamber and other business coalitions succeeded in obtaining in the FY17 omnibus bill.  As in the FY17 bill, the DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Labor Secretary, could allow for a total of 129,547 H-2B workers in the U.S. for this fiscal year.  Business coalitions including the Chamber will work with DHS to help implement this desperately-needed cap relief more quickly than last year and hopefully DHS will also provide more than 15,000 additional visas to H-2B employers this fiscal year.
 
In addition to the H-2B cap relief provisions, the omnibus appropriations bill provides other meaningful provisions that impact H-2B employers: 

  • The bill still prevents the executive branch from enforcing the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee provisions that were included in the 2015 Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by the Obama Administration. 
  • The ability of H-2B employers to use private wage surveys for the purpose of meeting the program’s requirements is maintained, and;
  • The bill continues to provide H-2B workers with a 10 month work season.


Fiscal Year 2018 ends Sept. 30 and contractors who use the H-2B program are encouraged to be prepared to utilize the higher cap as soon as it’s implemented.

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