The Patrick and Murray administration from Massachusetts just announced a new program for Massachusetts citizens. The program is a free web based tool that will allow homeowners and businesses to verify workmen's compensation for Massachusetts contractors and other businesses.
One of the major complaints from general contractors we hear everyday is that some subs still refuse to carry workmen's compensation on their labor. In addition this will allow homeowners to verify that contractors who claim they are fully insured are truly insured.
Here is a brief excerpt from the Massachusetts Department of Labor website;
Patrick - Murray Administration Launches Free Web Based Tool
Will help Public Verify if Businesses have Workers Compensation Insurance Policy
While the POC application is not designed to detect fraud, it may also assist EOLWD’s Department of Industrial Accidents’ investigations in determining whether fraud exists.
Employers are required by law in Massachusetts to carry workers compensation insurance to assist workers in the event that they are injured on the job. While the vast majority of Massachusetts businesses carry a policy, those who are not in compliance shift the burden onto those business that do. As a result, over $53 million has been paid out of the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund over the past 10 years to pay for injury claims of workers who were employed by businesses that were not in compliance. DIA works closely with businesses through payment plans and more aggressive enforcement measures to make sure they are compliant.
The regulatory landscape in Massachusetts is changing the playing field
Mass is closing many of the loop holes that underground contractors take advantage of to keep their costs lower than companies who follow the rules. Contractors are now required to obtain their Mass RRP Lead Safe Contractor License to work on pre 1978 properties. DIA is agressively working with other members of the underground task force visiting job sites. In addition OSHA is combing the neighborhoods looking for violations. OSHA is asking contractors for their customized safety manuals. In June OSHA will be asking contractors to see a written fall protection program per the recent fall protection directive in December. You may recall in a former post that OSHA has named the residential construction industry as one of their target industries for enforcement.
Many contractors who play by the rules are telling us they would like to at least see regulators evenly enforce regulations by shutting down or penalizing illegaly operating contractors. The enforcement programs above may actually lead to a more level playing field here in Massacusetts. Time will tell.......
Training Programs For Contractors
To help contractors meet these new challenges I am developing training solutions specifically for residential contractors to guide you through this regulatory maize. In addition to our business and RRP coaching services we have workshops and programs to help contractors meet OSHA requirements. More too come...
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