The Association was notified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) approved certain changes to construction supervisor license continuing education requirements. These changes will become effective on January 1, 2018.
The current continuing education requirement is to complete the following amount of hours over a two year period.
Construction Supervisors License (CS) – 12 Hours
Construction Supervisors License (1-2 Family Dwellings) (CSFA) – 10 Hours
Construction Supervisor Specialty License (CSSL) – 6 Hours
Now there are requirements for these licenses regarding the amount of hours that must be spent on specific topical categories such as:
Code Review – 4 hours for CS and CSFA; 2 hours for CSSL
Workplace Safety – 1 hour for all
Business Practices – 1 hour for all
Energy – 1 hour for all
Lead Safe Practices – 1 hour for 1st renewal
In addition, there are new restrictions on the amount of training that each license category may take online. Now CS and CSFA licensees may only take a maximum of 6 hours of online continuing education for credit. CSSL may complete all 6 hours of their training online if they wish. However, online courses are also required to administer pop quizzes every 30 minutes and a final exam to ensure that attendees are paying attention and active on the seminar.
For more information on MA CSL and continuing education credits, please contact the Association office, or visit the Mass.gov webpage here.
Several of our attendees told us that they would be interested in learning how to access their score. Anyone can easily look up a publicly accessible database with their Safety Measurement System (SMS) Score by navigating to THIS WEBSITE and entering in the name or DOT# of the business they are looking for.
However, this is not as detailed as the information that is accessible by logging into the SMS itself. Owners and employees can log into the SMS HERE.
For companies that have not created a FMCSA account, you can create one HERE. To create an account, you will need your USDOT # as well as a FMCSA issues PIN to establish your online account.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Association office at 781-849-0555 and don’t forget a copy of the webinar is available in the members section if you need a refresher!
3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety) has received field reports of broken end-posts (also known as Lead Energy Absorbing Posts, or “LEAP posts”) used in roof-mounted EvolutionTM Horizontal Lifeline Systems. 3M has launched a global Stop Use – Field Service Action to address this situation. The same Evolution end-posts are also used in Free Standing Counterweight Anchor systems. There have been no reports of fall-related injuries associated with this condition.
The NERCA Board of Directors met to review the Association’s past year and begin planning for the future. In attendance at the meeting were President Louis Silver, 1st Vice President Bradley Sontz, 2nd Vice President Steve Harvey, Immediate Past President Chris Sears, Treasurer Brian Hurley, and NERCA Staff Members Thomas J. Gunning and Patsy Sweeney.
The various Committees met and dissected the 2017 Convention and other NERCA events. By taking a critical eye to the 2107 Convention, the Membership Committee hopes to build upon its success and ensure that the 2018 Convention is even better attended and valuable to our members.
The Safety and Education Committee looked at the NERCA training schedule to try and identify additional ways that the Association can add value to our members and increase interactions between them.
In addition, the Committee reviewed the recruitment of new membership and retention of current membership. We hope to continually grow our membership and hope to use past trends and data to identify which recruitment strategies are most successful. We look forward to another productive and successful year thanks to the dedication of our leadership and all those who contribute their time and effort to make the most of our Association.
Given the increasing focus on safety, you would expect OSHA had a busy year. However, continuing an ongoing trend, OSHA inspections dropped to the lowest level in 20 years. This marks the 4th consecutive year that inspections have fallen.
In the Northeast, inspections of construction contractors have fallen by more than 30% over the last 5 years from about 6,800 to about 4,700 total.
The graph above illustrates the Northeast average compared to the average with its three biggest states. These declines in the Northeast make up about a third of the overall decrease in construction inspections nationwide.
The OSHA budget peaked in 2012, but was down by about 3% in 2016. OSHA has cited budget cuts as causing the decrease in inspections. However they have found citations 5% more often than in 2015. In addition, appeals of OSHA citations were roughly equivalent in 2015 and 2016 at around 9%. NERCA recommends our members always seek a legal safety consultant before settling a case with OSHA.
Donald Trump has selected Andy Puzder to serve as his Secretary of Labor. The CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s is an interesting selection by Trump who had toyed with appointing Victoria Lipnic, the current head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a former Workforce Policy Counsel to the House.
Puzder is an interesting man, he attended Kent State, but dropped out in 1970 following the Kent State Shootings. In his own words, “I spent the next three years attending concerts and marching on Washington”. After moving to Cleveland he graduated college and got his law degree. As a young corporate lawyer he helped rescue Carl Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. from financial troubles. Years later, when CKE Restaurants fell into more financial difficulties after purchasing Hardee’s, Puzder was named CEO by the Board and tasked with turning it around.
Mr. Puzder has not been without controversy during his tenure. Franchisees overseen by CKE have been targeted by DOL in the past. Hardee’s Food Systems was found in violation of wage laws and ordered to give back pay to a group of 456 workers in 2006 and 2007. This money was owed for overtime on hourly employees. It is perhaps unsurprising then that Puzder has signaled that he opposes the Obama Overtime Rule which has already been blocked by the courts, and is most likely dead on arrival in a Trump Administration.
In addition, advocates calling for an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage will find Puzder opposes large raises of the minimum wage. $15 per hour will be out of the question because Pudzer opposed the Obama Administration attempt to raise it to $10.10 from the current $7.25. When asked about the effect of raising the minimum wage, Mr. Puzder said it could lead to increased automation because machines are, “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”
The effect of a business executive running the labor department will be interesting to watch. Like Mr. Puzder, the Secretary of Labor has traditionally been a loyal supporter of the president, but unlike Mr. Puzder, most former Secretaries of Labor were career bureaucrats not as well versed in the corporate and financial worlds.