Why do insurance companies continually short homeowners on claim estimates when obvious damage is in clear site?Read More
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
OSHA fines were increased in August of 2016, jumping 78% over 1990 levels. We are starting to see the increases on contractors fined for violations after August of last year. In March a contractor from Massachusetts received fines totaling $159,343. Luis Quindi from Lowell, Massachusetts received 3 Serious, 2 Willful and 3 Repeat violations. The OSHA standards violated are Subpart M (Duty to have fall protection) Subpart X (Ladders) and Subpart L (Scaffolding).The list published on the OSHA website follows. The first table shows the violations. The second table has a link to the OSHA citation and the standard cited.
This information is often viewed by underwriters who work for insurance companies, general contractors who hire subtrades and sometimes consumers looking to check out their contractor. In any case this public listing, will not help a contractor looking for General Liability and Workmens Compensation Insurance. If he can get WC his rate will be sky high.
In this picture from a jobsite on Beacon St. in Newton, Mass you can see workers have no fall protection on scaffolding 12-16 feet above the ground. Also they are using framing lumber for planks, have a man made basket on the lull and no guard rails in the opening.
To keep your workers safe OSHA requires that contractors provide fall protection training before they are exposed to fall hazards. Remember that OSHA also holds General Contractors responsible for the safety of their subcontractors. It is wise to make sure all sub trades work safe on your projects as OSHA can fine the unsafe subcontractor with you the General Contractor.
OSHA will continue its' targeted focus and enforcement on residential contractors in 2017. Injuries, deaths, fines, little or no safety training and lack of OSHA required safety programs still plaque the residential construction industry. In response OSHA, has renewed ongoing Local Emphasis Programs designed to instruct OSHA inspectors to prioritize audits on residential job sites targeting builders, remodelers and trades. In addition, there are numerous other OSHA changes aimed at exposing prime contractor employers who do not provide safety training and programs to protect their employees and require that sub-contractors work safe on their job sites.Read More
OSHA fines increased by 78% on August 1 and they are hitting contractors' where it hurts; their wallets. We are seeing an increase in Serious fines and an alarming amount of Willful and Repeat penalties. Serious fines have increased from up to $7,000.00 to $12,471.00 Willful and Repeat fines have increased from up to $70,000.00 to $124,600.00. Some businesses will never recover form these fines.Read More
In 2015 a Boston area remodeler was approached by a homeowner who was the recipient of a low ball insurance claim estimate. The first offer from the insurance company was $40,000.00. After the remodeler took our Insurance Claim Workshop and used the tools learned in the class, the claim was settled for the right scope of work and price of $Read More
When do you get paid for change orders on your remodeling projects, before you do them or after they are completed?Read More
Looming OSHA fine increases will hit residential contractors more than any other sector. On 8/1/2016 OSHA fines will increase 78%. Top Serious fines go from $7,000 to $12,471 and Willful and Repeat fines increase from $70,000 to $125,000. OSHA will continue to focus on industries that year after year lead the nation in injuries, deaths and non-compliance.
As the date approaches we are getting calls from contractors concerned about the new increase in OSHA fines. Most of the inquiries are from companies who do not have safety program and are not up to date on training their personnel especially on fall protection. In true contractor fashion, a government announcement that penalties and fines are increasing is causing companies to pay attention and act now. Inquiries include requests for Safety Manuals, OSHA 10 and 30 Certification training, Fall Protection training and advise on where to get started.
Pro-active versus Reactive
I remember 2010 when the EPA RRP Rule said contractors would be fined $37,500 per violation if they did not get certified by 4/22/2010. Thousand of contractors sought and obtained training because of the fear of being fined. This reactive approach is very common with residential contractors. I suspect that we will see a similar response on OSHA training and compliance over the course of the next 6 months.Read More
On July 19th, 2016 the Mass BBRS will be voting on adopting the 2015 Energy Code and in true Massachusetts fashion adding some state specific amendments. In the proposed new code they are also considering that new structures be constructed ready for solar panels and electric vehicles. The effective date is still not known but it could be as soon as 8/1/2016.Read More
While most of us were enjoying the Fourth of July weekend, OSHA provided some fireworks of their own by announcing their new fine and penalty structure. Fines will increase a whopping 78% above the 1990 fine levels for those who do not follow the OSHA standards, train and protect their workers and fail to have safety programs.Read More
Many contractors are confused about the different types of OSHA training they must provide for their employees. For example last week I was contacted by a contractor who was cited and fined for failure to provide fall protection training and equipment for his employees. In addition his subcontractor roofer/framer was fined on the same site.Read More