The residential construction industry landscape is quickly changing before contractors' eyes. Federal and State Regulation is descending upon us from every direction imaginable. Running a residential contracting business in today's climate requires new skills, strategies, training, both business and compliance that most residential remodelers and trades people have not had. Regulatory compliance training is a hard pill to swallow especially in this down economy. However the financial risks to the contractor's business are significant and can no longer be ignored.
RRP OSHA Insurance Contracts Employees/Subs
Are your ducks in a row to to comply with regualtory requirements of your state and federal agencies?
1. EPA RRP Lead Rule; are you up to speed on all the requirements new and old to work on pre 1978 properties?
2. OSHA; EHS Manual, Fall Protection Training, HazCom, OSHA 10, OSHA 30, Effective training programs, the right equipment to protect your workers, Personal Protective Equipment Training, First Aid, Job Hazard Assessments.
3. General Liability Insurance; the right endorsements in your policy, the right coverage limits for the risks you incur.
4. Errors and Omission and Professional Liability Coverage
5. Coverage for hazardous items like lead, mold, asbestos
6. Workmen's Compensation Coverage for your employees. Then proof that your subs have their own coverage.
7. Proper classification of your workers in line with the independent contractor rules of your state. EX: If you are a painting company you cannot use painting subs, you must make them employees and pay the appropriate taxes, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.
8. Your subs are up to speed with their OSHA safety programs before they work on your jobs.
9. The proper contracts to meet your states requirements. Contract language to protect your business.
10. Sub contractor agreements with all your subs.
11. Your marketing materials and methods meet federal and state consumer protection guidelines.
12. You are up to date on Continuing Education to maintain your builders license.
13. You properly with hold and pay federal and state taxes, unemployment insurance, social security and medfica.
In states like Massachusetts contractors are now routinely visited by the following agencies to ensure compliance;
Division of Insurance (DIA); workmens' compensation, general liability, misclassification of workers,
Department of Labor Standards (DOLS); RRP and Asbestos
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR); compliance with the Mass Home Improvement Law
OSHA; safety protocol for all workers on the job site. Workers are employees and subcontractors.
Local Building Officials; requiring proof of compliance with state laws prior to issuing permits. Stopping by jobs without permits.
Outside of the above we are witnessing a dramatic increase in anonymous and sometimes known contractors making calls to regulatory agencies to report illegal contracting activity. We are also witnessing calls form homeowners reporting contractors who are working without permits.
Contractors who continue to avoid bringing their business up to par with those who have already done so are running the risk of significant hassles and fines. Regulatory officials are quickly developing new ways of catching up with contractors who up until now have been able to operate in a quasi legal way. Last week OCABR set up a sting to catch non compliant contractors who advertise on Craig's List. Is this just the tip of the iceberg?
DIA is out in many neighborhoods looking for misclassified workers.
DOLS is visiting contractors and landlords shutting down jobs because the workers are not RRP certified.
OSHA is randomly stopping by residential jobs looking for proof of Fall Protection, EHS Manuals and training documentation.
With winter coming it is probably a good time that residential contractors consider minimizing their risk and start getting their ducks in a row.
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