Four roofing companies—Carlisle, Gardner-Gibson, Maryland Paper and Mid-States Asphalt—have formed the Asphalt Underlayment Council (AUC), a new industry association developed to cultivate the long-term success of underlayment products for building envelope applications for both residential and commercial structures.
“With the introduction of new types of roofing underlayment products, it was felt that an industry group was needed to monitor, administer and contribute to product standards,” noted AUC Executive Director Michelle Miller.
Because standards and requirements for roof repair, reroofing, roof recovering and replacement often lack clarification within the definition of underlayment, AUC’s inaugural technical committee will focus on code classifications and industry regulations.
“The pathways to code compliance vary depending on the product type,” said John Woestman, AUC’s technical director. “The continuous influx of newly designed products and ever-evolving regulations requires a strong knowledge base with deep understanding of the codes prevalent in this industry.”
Bringing regulatory issues to light through educational initiatives and industry outreach will be accomplished through raising awareness and advocacy. AUC will actively assist in the development of building codes to ensure the high performance of roofing systems in the future.
“We will work directly with installers and contractors who may not be aware of the various product categories that are occurring in the underlayment industry,” said Robert Almon, AUC Interim Executive Council member. “Understanding the nuances of underlayment as well as discerning codes and comprehending code compliance are vital. With our combined historical experience, AUC is in a prime position to ensure all the issues surrounding underlayment are addressed through a range of resources from an engaged council, committees and membership to a vibrant website that will be launched soon, growing media outreach, literature development and ongoing educational opportunities.”
The group welcomes roofing underlayment firms to join AUC to work to make these important initiatives viable and sustainable. To learn more about the Asphalt Underlayment Council or to ask about membership, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 686-2243.
While driving to work recently, I heard a news story on the radio: An unlicensed roofer was charged with causing a fire at a local apartment complex. When I arrived at the office, I Googled “fires caused by roofers.” The results included stories from across the nation:
Roofing crew blamed for a Chicago strip-mall fire.
Roofer’s torch likely cause of huge Arizona construction-site blaze.
Roofer’s blowtorch sparks a six-alarm fire in Hamilton Township, N.J.
Obviously, using an open-flame torch to install torch-down roofing systems can pose a fire risk. Torch-down roofing is a type of roofing that consists of layers of modified bitumen adhered to layers of fiberglass with a flame torch. Torch-down roofing is used only for flat or low-slope roofs.
This process is popular with many contractors, mainly because of its ease of installation and its adaptability. With this system, the modified bitumen can bond tightly to metal flashings while the rubbery additives in the asphalt allow the roofing to expand and contract when other roofing systems may crack. In addition, roofers like torch-down roofing because it is easy to apply.
Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous!
It is easy to make a mistake with the torch that could result in disaster. Consider roofers that are torching down a roof and accidentally overheat something in the attic—insulation, for instance. They end their work for the day, not noticing the smoke coming out of soffit vents. Before long, that smoldering material in the attic heats up and starts a fire that quickly spreads throughout the dry, hot attic and, often, to the rest of the structure.
Regulations and Best Practices
OSHA has developed standards that can help prevent these types of fires. Here are some of OSHA’s fire-protection and -prevention rules from the construction and general industry standards:
A fire extinguisher must be immediately accessible for all torch-down operations.
A fire extinguisher is needed within 50 feet of anywhere where more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the job site.
No one on a job site can be more than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher at all times.
There must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 square feet of work area.
All flammable or combustible debris must be located well away from flammable liquids or gases.
Combustible scrap and debris must be removed regularly during the course of a job.
Piles of scrap and debris must be kept at least 10 feet from any building.
A fire watch person should be posted to immediately address any possible smolders or flare-ups.
The fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day. While the actions spelled out in these construction regulations are mandatory, roofing professionals should be aware that these are minimum requirements.
Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Is Making a Difference By Embracing Community Service
Courtesy of: Roofing Magazine, Chris King
If the name Antis Roofing & Waterproofing sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it in the trade press quite a bit lately. The Irvine, California-based company received several awards at the 130th National Roofing Contractors Association Convention, including first place in the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award, which honors NRCA contractor members for charitable works. Two Antis Roofing employees, Narciso Alarcon and Manuel Cortez, received Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards from the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, and Alarcon was also named the Best of the Best by the Alliance and Professional Roofing magazine.
In March, the company’s founder and CEO, Charles Antis, was elected to the board of directors for the NRCA. Later that month, he was honored by Alzheimer’s Orange County for his volunteer work on behalf of that organization and his company’s community service projects. In April, Antis was named to the board of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.
For Charles Antis and everyone else at the company, it’s been a whirlwind year. “Someone was joking that it’s like Academy Award season,” Antis says. “I don’t want to get too caught up in it, but this may never happen again, so I want to enjoy every moment of it. I want to make sure my team enjoys every moment of it. It’s been really nice to be recognized for stuff that we think is important because it shows us that other people think it’s important, too. And there was a period where maybe it didn’t feel that way. It feels like it’s working and we’re making a difference, and that’s why it feels pretty awesome today.”
Filling a Niche
For Antis, the company’s community service projects are inextricably linked to its purpose and mission as a company. He says it just took him a while to realize that fact.
Founded in 1989, Antis Roofing has 90 employees and specializes exclusively in work for homeowners associations. Most of the roofing work involves clay tile, but it also does a lot of asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs, and single-ply systems—primarily PVC. “Our only focus is HOA,” say Antis. “Our company services approximately 1,200 HOAs that average 200 units each. That’s 240,000 individual homeowners that could call us at any one time, so that’s a challenge.”
The demanding HOA market keeps the business running on all cylinders, notes Antis.“Because we were focused on this super-high customer care market, we developed some really great qualities as a business,” he notes. “For example, we photograph virtually everything we touch, everything we see, everything we do. We upload about 6,000 images per day because that’s what it takes to protect all of our stakeholders, from our material suppliers to our manufacturers to the individual homeowners association board members and homeowners. We memorialize everything that occurs with photographs and notes in our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, much like a property manager would.”
In the drive to improve his company, Antis asked himself a lot of questions, including basic questions about what motivates him and the true purpose of his company. “Somewhere along the line we discovered that our purpose is to keep families safe and dry,” he says. “That’s what helped lead us to our philanthropy. It brought us back to the community.”
Finding a Passion
Antis believes the company’s community service efforts help employees find their passion and make a connection with the community. “Our philanthropy is tied to our central theme,” he notes. “We believe everybody deserves an opportunity to live in safe, dry home and have a happy family there.”
The first board Antis joined was for Habitat for Humanity in Orange County, which embraces the same goal. He also serves on NRCA committees and will begin serving on the NRCA board for the same reason. “I’m able to give back in a way that lifts me, my people, my stakeholders and my industry,” he says. “I’m also on the board of Ronald McDonald House, which is again giving people a safe, dry place to live while they visit their sick children in the hospital. All of these board memberships that I do are focused on keeping families safe and dry, which is the central mission of Antis Roofing.”
The company has worked with Habitat for Humanity since 2009, and it also helps other nonprofit organizations by repairing, maintaining and replacing their roofs at no charge through the Antis Foundation “This year we are keeping 15 different nonprofits dry,” he says. “In fact, we have two complete re-roofs we are setting up this summer for the Boy Scouts of America and America Family Housing.”
Everyone at the company has found community service projects personally rewarding, notes Antis. It’s also helped the business grow and thrive. “We’ve discovered that the more we give, the more we grow, the more money we make, and the more we can give,” he says. “We are in this awesome little cycle where we have purpose in our work. We understand that there is something magical happening right now, and we just have a hard time saying no when somebody has a leaky roof.”
Antis believes his purpose in life is to ignite passion in others to create social change. “We believe that we can bring that passion out in every worker in our company and all of our stakeholders. We have this crazy philosophy around here that we are changing the world, and because of that, we are changing the world. And that’s freaking awesome.”
Common Financial Mistakes Roofing Contractors Make
As a contractor, you call all the plays, make all the decisions and drive the business.
Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine, Monroe Porter
It’s funny how some things have changed in the last 40 years regarding contractors but much hasn’t. When I started consulting in 1976, the biggest single problem contractors had was not knowing their numbers and having poor financial information. That’s still true today. The vast majority of contractors who join our networking groups have a poor understanding of where they make and lose money. In many cases, some simple evaluations quickly identify weak areas. Dependent on the business’s size, the contractor can suddenly make 30-75k more profit per year. Here are some of the more common financial mistakes we see contractors making.
Poor Financial Records
Many small to mid-size contractors let their accountants keep all their financial records off-site. They’re processing payroll, making tax deposits, etc. but the contractor’s on-site records aren’t updated or usable on a monthly basis. I always chuckle when I ask a contractor how they’re doing and the reply is, “Not sure, haven’t gotten my books back from my accountant.” Accounting is merely scorekeeping. It would be absurd to ask the basketball coach at halftime how the team is doing and have him reply, “I’m not sure, I have to talk to the scorekeeper.” As a contractor, you call all the plays, make all the decisions and drive the business, and you need good financial information to make those decisions.
Failure to Close Out Monthly Financials
Bookkeepers see the financials as balanced when the checkbook balances. The month is balanced when all jobs are closed and jobs in progress are calculated. It’s not uncommon for a contractor to show huge month-to-month swings regarding profitability. Usually this is a sign of poor monthly closeouts. A quick check on this is to compare your raw cost of field labor to total sales. If your labor normally runs about 25 percent of sales and this month it’s 50 percent of sales, you either have big losses or sales that weren’t billed into this month. If your labor is normally 25 percent and this month it’s 10 percent, you either have a big winning job or, more likely, last month’s sales carried over into this month.
Poor Wealth Distribution
Even financially successful contractors make mistakes. Too many contractors fail to diversify and build financial wealth outside the business. Even if you have a nice business facility that’s valuable, it’s still real estate that’s tied to the business. Many contractors believe they’ll sell their business and use the money for retirement; rarely is this the case. Even if you sell your business, you’ll probably have to help finance the sale, particularly if it’s to internal employees or family members. You also face the challenge of getting your equity out of the business. The bigger the business, the larger the equity, the greater the challenge.
Try to maximize retirement and build wealth outside the business. Consider hiring a certified financial planner to help you diversify your wealth. When hiring a financial planner, always ask how they’re paid for their services. Some stock brokers and insurance agents claim to be financial planners but are biased toward their own products.
Confusing Cash with Profits
Cash can be an emotional and misleading indicator of business success. When we were kids, having cash let us go to the movies or buy something — thereby making us feel good. Cash shortages in the business creates stress as we have to make payroll and having cash makes us feel safe. Unfortunately, cash isn’t a good measurement of profits.
For example, when business slows in the fall, you might have lots of cash as you’re collecting money for jobs you just finished and don’t have as much money going out on new jobs. Cash is flowing in but the business might actually be unprofitable that month. The opposite happens in the spring, when you’re outlaying cash to start work and haven’t gotten paid for it yet. Cash is a little like pulling a trailer. It will follow you and come in just fine as long as you’re charging enough, getting jobs done on time and working for people who will pay you.
Cash is a business tool that helps keep the wheels of the business oiled. It’s not a profit measurement. With this in mind, make sure all your financial statements are run accrual and not in cash. If your accountant does your taxes in cash, that’s okay but don’t use cash statements to evaluate your business profitability. Cash statements don’t include bills you haven’t paid and accounts receivable. In others words, it doesn’t include what you owe others and what others owe you, so cash results can be very misleading. Most accounting software has a simple button to push that offers the option of running a cash versus an accrual statement.
These are just a few of the financial problems contractors encounter. If you’d like to discuss your own situation, please feel free to reach me via the contact information below. There’s no charge to answer a few questions over the phone.
More homeowners are selecting metal rooﬁng because it provides enhanced protection and service life.
Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine, Jim Hoff
Metal is one of the most sustainable roofing materials, and now it’s becoming one of the most popular. Within the last few years, residential metal roofing systems have reached and exceeded double-digit market share. According to information released by the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) in 2016, metal roofing systems have grown from around four percent of all residential roofing in 1998 to over 11 percent by 2015. Based on this data, the MRA estimated that over 750,000 U.S. homeowners chose to install a metal roof in 2015, making metal roofing second only to asphalt shingles in residential applications.
The MRA estimate was based on an annual survey conducted by Dodge Data and Analytics, which measures the percent of homeowners who purchased building products in a given year. Questions about metal roofing were included in the survey, and the results helped reveal which type of metal systems homeowners preferred and what motivated them to select metal roofing.
The most popular style of metal roofing consisted of the traditional vertical ribbed panel systems accounting for 71 percent of all sales, followed by a variety of proprietary metal shingle/shake/tiles accounting for 22 percent. The top reasons homeowners provided in the study for why they chose a metal roof included:
Longevity (26 percent)
Strength/Protection (22 percent)
Attractiveness (15 percent)
Good investment value (15 percent)
All in all, the survey suggests that more and more homeowners are selecting metal roofing because it provides enhanced protection and service life while increasing the value of their property.
FlashCo® Recognized as One of the Best Places to Work in the North Bay
Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — FlashCo Manufacturing, Inc. was recently named one of the 100 best places to work in the North Bay by the North Bay Business Journal. FlashCo was recognized as an exceptional employer with excellent workplace practices.
“FlashCo has been growing at a steady pace,” says FlashCo President Greg Morrow. “That growth and success can be directly attributed to our employees. We’re a team, spread out throughout the country dedicated to the principle that we can save the contractor time. We’ve worked hard to develop a company culture around our core values of integrity, respect, customer satisfaction and can-do attitude.”
The North Bay Business Journal makes their best places to work selections based on employer nominations and employee surveys. The employee surveys include questions related to employer credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. The 100 winners were chosen from over 8,100 employee surveys submitted. FlashCo is one of 21 first-time winners in the annual survey.
“Our employees and their success are the backbone of our company,” said Morrow. “While some employees come here with experience, others receive training on the job, giving them a marketable, in-demand skill that can lead to a life-long career supporting the roofing industry.”
OSHA Issues Interim Guidelines for Silica Standard Enforcement for Roofing Contractors
Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its official interim enforcement guidelines for the newly-implemented silica standard.
The key provision of the rule with the greatest potential impact to roofing contractors is the reduction of the allowable exposure limit from 250 to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over a traditional eight-hour shift. The standard was approved last year but implementation was delayed until last September while the agency developed guidelines for enforcement of the controversial changes.
A lawsuit filed last year by seven national trade associations to block the rule was recently dismissed. The guidelines are designed for OSHA inspectors to follow, but are noteworthy for roofing contractors because they cover everything from exposure assessments to methods of compliance including the medical surveillance provisions. It also lays out possible penalties for failing to comply.
A full list of the guidelines is available on the OSHA website (www.osha.gov).
KPost Roofing & Waterproofing Continues to Thrive Working Almost Exclusively in the Dallas Market
Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine
If roofing is indeed a team sport, then few — if any — commercial roofing contractors around the United States embrace the philosophy quite like the team at KPost Roofing & Waterproofing in Dallas. It starts with President Steve Little, who prefers the title of head coach, and it trickles down through the company’s organizational structure, which he prefers to describe in football terms.
“We’re made of three separate units: the offense, which is our sales team; the defense, which is our field leadership and crew; and the special teams, which is our administration,” Little described. “We built the company up like a football team because we knew that if we operated like a football team, that within that team we could train, manage and excel in our skillsets.”
The process, which evolved since CEO Keith Post, Little and CFO Jayne Williams set out to mold their own company in one of the most robust construction markets in the country in 2003, is working. KPost’s 430 employees tallied a company-record $63 million in revenue last year, an increase of roughly 30 percent from the previous year and good for 19th on RC ’s Top 100 list for 2017.
That success, coupled with the scope, safety record and quality of KPost’s work, laid the groundwork for its selection as RC ’s Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year for 2017.
The continued growth and industry accolades certainly exceeded the expectations the trio had when the doors opened. Little said the initial game plan was to build a company that could generate $10 million in revenue and sustain about 100 employees within the first three years. However, early success fueled their drive, and there seemed no sense in stopping any momentum the company was building.
In football terms, that meant protecting their home turf and clearing the field by proactively organizing a plan that challenged obstacles that could get in the way of reaching the goal line. Little said they did it by stepping out of the way and letting the offense, defense and special teams find their own ways to excel independently, while still keeping the team’s long-term success in mind.
“We’re deeply honored to receive this reward and humbled,” he said. “We have tremendous people, and try to give back at every opportunity. This demonstrates that when you give, it comes back to you ten-fold.”
A Solar Spray Foam Roof installed by San Francisco Bay Area Contractor, Wedge Roofing was selected as "Best in the Nation" by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA). The SPFA announced the winners of the 2017 Spray Foam Industry Excellence Awards at their 12th annual Awards Gala in Palm Springs. For the third consecutive year, Wedge Roofing won the First Place Award for Best Spray Foam Roof Nationwide under 40,000 sq. ft.
In this national competition, industry leading spray foam roofing projects from across the country were judged independently by a panel of experts, based on Value for Money, Speed of Delivery, Environmental Sustainability, Innovation, Best Practices, Problem Solving, and Risk Mitigation.
The award-winning solar spray foam roof system converted reroofing capital outlay into income generation for The Mission, a non-denominational house of worship located in Vacaville, California.
Custom designed by Wedge Roofing, this roofing project combines the benefits of a High-Performance Insulating Spray Foam Roof with the cooling effect of a Reflective Roof Coating and the energy generation of a rooftop solar system, resulting in an energy-efficient roof system that will pay for itself in utility savings.
The high-end Accella Brand Premium Spray Foam Products Roof installed by Wedge was paired with an equally high-end 163kW Photovoltaic System from Westhaven Solarfor a seamless roof installation and solar system integration. The pairing means both systems work at peak efficiency, the solar system safely and securely implemented over the energy-efficient SPF roofing system.
Greeley Roofing Company Donates Roof To OUR LADY OF PEACE Catholic Church
Front Range Roofing Systems Replace Aging Roof At No Cost
by: Andrea North, Greeley Tribune
When Greg Farris told Aracely Garcia his roofing company would replace her church's roof for free, she thought her English had failed her.
"I wasn't sure if I was listening and understanding OK. because my first language is not English," Garcia said. " I thought to myself, 'Maybe I misunderstood.'
But indeed, Front Range Roofing Systems had offered to replace the aging roof of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 1311 3rd St. Garcia, the church's finance director, noticed last winter the church's roof could not hold snow without leaking. Recently, Garcia visited Front Range Roofing Systems for a quote to replace it, bracing for the answer. Farris evaluated the flat commercial roof and estimated $45,000.
But Farris had a better idea.
Some of his employees attend the church, so he felt that donating the roof was a good way to give back to them and the community. Plus, he was celebrating the company's 30th year in business.
"It's in the lower income part of town, so we thought it would be something good to give back," Farris said. "They're our neighbors, so I feel like it's a good, neighborly thing to do."
Front Range employees donated their labor, and the manufacturing company they work with, Carlisle SynTec Systems, donated the materials. Farris used the job as a training opportunity and had almost 50 employees install the church's roof. The job was complete in a few hours Thursday.
Garcia said she was very grateful.
"Without even asking them, they offered to do that for us and for our community," she said.
Our Labor Problems Have Been Decades in the Making
by: Marc Dodson, Editor: Western Roofing Magazine
We've painted ourselves into a corner. For decades, parents and teachers have been pounding the idea into young, impressionable minds that everyone has to go to college, that everyone needs a college education in today's world. This is simply not true. Less than a third of the jobs in the U.S. require some form of higher education. Instead of inspiring more kids to pursue college, we've succeeded in creating a generation of young people who are ashamed to take a job where they work with their hands. We've managed to create a situation where jobs have to be outsourced to countries halfway across the world because no one is willing to do the work in our own country. What we've succeeded in doing is creating a shortage of workers in the construction, restaurant, and hotel industry, among others. Since these jobs can't be outsourced, the workers come across our boarders, legally or illegally, to do the hands-on work that we've conditioned our sons and daughters to avoid like the plague. And we wonder why we have an immigration problem. It's our own doing.
I'm not the first person to make this observation. This rising problem has been talked about for years. Attracting workers into the construction industry has nothing to do with wages. Construction industry jobs are some of the highest paying hourly jobs in the country. Even the local McDonald's has an almost-perpetual sign in the window, seeking employees with a starting pay several dollars higher than the minimum wage. Not bad pay for being able to mumble, "You want fries with that?"
It's not a lack of pay that's turning young people away from the construction industry, rather it's the shame our educational system has conditioned them to feel for performing physical labor. You think I'm exaggerating? In recent years, many high schools have cut back or eliminated funding for shop and auto mechanic classes. Many say it's to save money but most are openly honest and say it was not the right message they want to send to our youth. The message they want to send is to study hard and go to college. Apparently getting dirty under your fingernails is no longer considered a noble profession.
by: Eddie Garcia, Territory Sales Manager, Roofmaster Products Company
A customer of mine recently mentioned a story about a contractor who was performing a torch down job on a commercial roof. The foreman and his crew were closing the site, and before leaving for the day, the foreman performed a visual and touch check on the deck to make sure it was cool and not a fire risk. Later that night, however, the foreman received a frantic call from the building owner because the building was engulfed in flames.
One thought immediately popped into my head. Did the foreman walk the whole roof? Maybe the foreman only checked the immediate areas where the torches were being used. Something can accidentally begin to overheat at the end of the day, and workers packing up may not notice a small fire that can quickly turn into a big disaster after hours.
There are several regulations that OSHA has in place that help reduce the likelihood of a fire hazard, including: a fire extinguisher must be accessible for all torch-down operations; a fire extinguisher is needed 50' of anywhere where more than five gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or five pounds of flammable gas are being used on a jobsite; no one on the jobsite can be more than 100' from a fire extinguisher at all times; there must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 sq. ft. of a work area; a fire watch person should be posted to immeadiately address any possible smolders or flare-ups; and the fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day.
Per torch-down OSHA requirements for working with torches, at a minimum roofing professionals should have proper fire extinguishers and an infrared thermometer to scan the deck for hot spots that are undetectable to the human eye.
Contractors and foreman should take caution when it comes to torch-down roofs and be sure to thoroughly inspect all areas of the roof before shutting down for the day. Additionally, with the help of tools, such as an infrared thermometer, roofing professionals can assure that their jobsite is safe for the evening or weekend.
OSHA REGULATIONS - A SHORTER LEASH FOR OSHA & OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES
The President Has Signed an Executive Order Demanding OSHA Update Its Policies
by: Marc Dodson, Editor: Western Roofing Magazine - Sept/Oct 2017
I realize that most roofing contractors would choose having a Brazilian waxing administered by a blind, sadistic nun rather than being bestowed the honor of a visit from OSHA. Well, that favorite political department, along with several other agencies, is being put on a shorter leash. It's no secret that when a new administration takes over the White House, they push their own political views and agendas, and adjust federal agency policies accordingly. OSHA, it seems, is always at the forefront and one of the first agencies to be put in the crosshairs. Right now that's good news for roofing contractors.
According to the Department of Labor's Updated Agenda from July, the Trump administration has signed an executive order demanding OSHA update its policies. They state that by amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty. Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 require agencies, including OSHA, to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and to enforce regulatory reform initiatives. As a step in the right direction, the first five months of this administration produced quantifiable annualized cost savings estimated at $22 million, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs due to rules finalized during the last five months of fiscal year 2016.
The Department of Labor went on to state that the agenda represents ongoing progress toward the goals of more effective and less burdensome regulations that include the following developements: agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 agenda; agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long term, 282, and inactive, 109, allowing for further careful review; and economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50% less than Fall 2016. For the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of inactive rules, providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered.
An additional executive order signed by President Trump in January requires that federal agencies cut two regulations for every new one that is proposed. This is one order that should be applauded by every United States business owner who has ever felt buried by government regulations. President Trump also struck down the Volks rule, a regulation that allowed OSHA to issue citations for inadequate injury and illness recordkeeping for 5 1/2 years. This will revert the recordkeeping rule to the six-month statute of limitations.
A written construction contract is a very important document that is overlooked by too many contractors. A contract is the best tool with respect to proving what was agreed upon, especially in the case of a dispute. There is no one-stop construction contract for all projects. What is required and what should be included in a contract will depend on the type of work performed, who the client is, what the amount of the contract is, the parties to the contract, if the contractor has been disciplined, etc.
What works for one project or with one contractor, may not work for another. Given the numerous types of projects and contracts available (home improvement, service and repair, new residential construction, commercial, and residential under $500, as well as subcontract or master subcontract agreements between contractors), the initial decision a contractor needs to make is what type of contract should be used on a particular project. Please visit our website www.agrlaw.com for additional information required on contracts.
After determining the type of contract needed, it becomes easy to determine the legally required clauses for that contract. The next determination would be the remaining contract clauses or terms to be incorporated into the contract. The essential terms to any construction contract will include: the names of the parties, the parties addressed, the jobsite address and description, scope of work, contract price, time for performance, and time for payment.
The remaining contract terms can be broken down into a couple of categories. First, those terms required by insurance carriers in the event of a claim, or required to be incorporated by the contract documents. Most insurance policies require upper-tier contractors to have a written contract with their subcontractor that includes indemnity provisions, which basically shift the defense of every claim and coverage for the claim to the subcontractor, regardless of fault. Insurance clauses typically include a requirement to name the contractor and owner as additional insureds, and to bear the risk of loss during construction. Most direct/prime contracts will require that the subcontracts have the same warranty terms as in the prime contract so that the owner is protected.
Next are the contract terms that are helpful or necessary to govern in the event of a dispute. These clauses can include clauses governing delay, requiring mediation or arbitration, imposing the right to attorney's fees in a dispute, termination for convenience or cause, increase in material costs, retention, and reservation of rights to name a few. The dispute resolution clause could turn out to be one of the most important clauses in the contract, should a dispute arise because it could save time and money in the long run having the dispute procedures laid out rather than having to go through court to argue how to dispute the matter. Construction contracts purchased from a professional and knowledgeable source (trade Association or builders' exchanges) or even directly from a construction attorney are your best bet to make sure that you have a contract that works for you and your business.
The Heat of Summer Does Not Mean Relaxing on Safety
by: Eddie Garcia, Territory Sales Manager, Roofmaster Products Company
Tear-off can certainly be one of the more dangerous aspects of roofing. Whether it be commercial, using power equipment, or residential, using hand tools, crew safety certainly must be given priority #1. Falling off or through the roof is probably the main concern, but cuts and lacerations, abrasions, dust inhalation, and hazmat materials must also be added to the equation. All crewmembers need to be outfitted properly with protective clothing, gloves, shoes, etc. Sometimes during the hot summer months it is very easy and likely that this area becomes relaxed for obvious reasons. However discomforting, reasonable attempts must be made to make sure the crews wear protective clothing. Safety shoes should be worn even if athletic shoes are cheaper and more comfortable to wear. Athletic shoes do not provide proper protection, especially with nails protruding up through the roof deck. Remember to have first aid kits nearby for those minor cuts, burns, and abrasions. All crewmembers should know where the first aid kit is located.
Along with a great pair of heavy duty leather gloves, a dust mask should also be common equipment for all crewmembers. OSHA is aiming its sights on dust problems. Cutting of concrete and clay tiles and the dust they generate is becoming a heavy issue of safety and the lung ailments they potentially cause. Tear off disturbs years of airborne dust and dirt buildup to be inhaled by every crewmember on the jobsite. Hard (safety) hats may also be required on many commercial projects. Check with the general or roofing contractor to know what specific additional equipment may be required for the project.
Personal fall arrest kits may also be required. Know what the local and state OSHA regulations require for the specific tear off situation. For instance, in California, higher than 20' is usually automatic for requiring personal fall arrest, but in other states it may be as low as 7'. Parapet walls less than 2' have on requirement while great than 2' requires another safety measure.
Perimeter warning systems on some commercial projects may be required to section off certain hazardous areas. This system only allows a worker to get within less than 7' of the roof edge. Otherwise a fall arrest system may be required or full guardrail (fence) system may be necessary. Be prepared to nail plywood sheets over stairways, skylight holes, and any other openings in the roof deck surface to protect workers from falling through.
For high commercial projects, be sure to safely discard tear-off materials through the use of trash hoppers and chutes. Do not just throw material off the roof edge. Damage to property and injury to workers below can be costly in additional repairs or medical expenses. Use caution tape or perimeter warning systems to partition off dangerous areas around and below the affected work areas. Have a methodical plan for removing material from both the roof and jobsite that cuts down costs, but does not sacrifice worker safety.
And remember the drinking water. All OSHA regulations require that employers have adequate quantities of water on hand, up to 8-10 quarts per worker, to provide proper hydration, for workers, especially during hot summer days. Tear-off is dirty, dusty hard work. Clean, drinkable water is just as necessary to workers as all their other safety gear.