Roofing Alliance Funds Mississippi State Virtual Reality Safety Research

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) celebrating its 25th year, is funding a research program through Mississippi State University (MSU) for virtual reality and safety research. A team from MSU is working with a Roofing Alliance task force to develop a virtual reality training module that will help the roofing industry focus on ladder safety and overall assessment of rooftop safety.

Roofing Alliance task force members have been holding virtual meetings with the Mississippi State University team as the project progresses. The first steps were to identify topics for the virtual reality module(s) being developed. Two main areas were selected: ladder safety and an overall assessment of rooftop safety. The programs are aimed at new hires and entry-level workers with no prior experience. Participants using VR will experience what it feels like to climb a relatively tall ladder and understand some of the key concepts of ladder safety. The task team has also worked with MSU to develop a BIM model strategy for the research and deliverables.

“It’s intended to be part of a new hire’s onboard training before they actually go up on the roof,” stated Josh Kelly, task force chair. “We provided faculty with some elements that are to be included such as assessing the jobsite for best ladder location, selecting which ladder to use based on building height and weight rating, inspecting the ladder, setting it up and securing it.”

The funding request was submitted by Dr. Saeed Rokooei, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University. The proposal named “Evaluating the Efficacy of Virtual Reality Technology for Improving the Roofing Construction Workers’ Safety” was approved for funding in April of 2020.

For more information on how to submit funding requests, current funding projects or the Roofing Alliance 25th Anniversary contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingalliance.net or visit www.roofingalliance.net.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Annual Adjustments to OSHA Civil Penalties

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced adjustments to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under the Act, agencies are required to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties, and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15 of each year.

OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $13,494 per violation to $13,653 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $134,937 per violation to $136,532 per violation.

Visit the OSHA Penalties page for more information. The Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 2021 final rule is effective January 15, 2021, and the increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after January 15, 2021.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

MCA Winter Meeting To Be Held Virtually, February 2-4

The Metal Construction Association’s 2021 Winter Meeting will be virtual this year on February 2- 4. The meeting is one of the metal industry’s most valuable opportunities to network with leaders in metal construction and obtain important industry and technical updates. The event is sponsored by ATAS International, Inc., Roof Hugger, Triangle Fastener and Tuschall Engineering. GSSI Sealants is sponsoring the meeting’s general session.

Key sessions at the conference include an opening general session, with a panel discussion on the state of the economy and industry expectations for the coming year. Other sessions include: the fundamentals of rainscreen design, with a Q&A session on the growing use of rainscreens across the metal industry; the annual awards presentation, where member companies are recognized for projects exhibiting excellence and achievement for the industry; and the NFPA 285 engineering judgments, where changes to the flame-propagation test for exterior wall assemblies will be examined, and what those changes mean to businesses and the industry as a whole. Along with additional council meetings and other presentations, MCA has included time in the schedule to network with other industry professionals. 

“Our members know the value of our meetings,” said Jeff Henry, MCA’s executive director. “The success of our previous virtual meeting answered the question, ‘Can we make the virtual format work?’ Now we’ve asked ourselves, ‘How do we make the Winter Meeting even better?’ To achieve that, we’ve built more time into discussions in council and committee meetings, so members have the opportunity to play an active role in the decision making and advocacy efforts that can benefit their company.”

 The meeting is open to all industry professionals. This is an opportunity for non-members to take part in the discussions and learn about news and emerging trends in the industry and recognize the benefits of joining MCA.

For more information and the complete schedule of events, visit https://www.metalconstruction.org/winter-meeting-2021.

RIMA International Welcomes New Board Members for 2021

The Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association International (RIMA-I) held their annual elections in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the following Directors being elected to serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021:

Directors:

Mark Lovan, Echo Tape www.echotape.com

Mike Boulding, Resisto (Division of Soprema) www.ayr-foil.com

These new Directors will join the current Board including:

President: Sergio Luconi, Prodex www.prodex.com

Vice President: Bill Lippy, Fi-Foil; Company www.fifoil.com

Secretary/Treasurer: Ralph Dale, Dunmore Corporation www.dunmore.com

Director: Dan Russell, Innovative Insulation www.radiantbarrier.com

Director: Monty Millspaugh, Reflectix, Inc. www.reflectixinc.com

Director Bobby Byrd, RoyOMartin www.royomartin.com

Past President: Doug Kinninger, Fi-Foil Company www.fifoil.com .

For more information, visit  www.rimainternational.org.  

MRA Revamps Contractor Membership Program, Strengthening Local Market Support and Benefits

As the metal roofing market in the U.S. and Canada continues to grow, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has revamped its contractor membership program to provide more member support and greater benefit for its participating metal roofing contractors.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the MRA will offer a new co-op marketing program for its Silver and Gold level contractor members, giving them the opportunity to earn up to 100 percent of their annual membership dues by pursuing a wide variety of qualified marketing and promotional options in their local market.

“Our efforts to educate and inform homeowners about the many advantages of quality metal roofing have helped grow the overall market,” said Renee Ramey, MRA Executive Director. “However, for our contractors, it’s clear that the biggest impact we can have is to help support them right in their own local market. Our new membership program is designed to do just that, while also allowing them to tap into the power and leading industry resources available through the MRA.”

In addition to new co-op opportunities available for Silver and Gold contractor members, MRA will eliminate its Bronze level membership option beginning Jan. 31, 2021. Current Bronze level contractor members can upgrade to a Silver or Gold membership immediately or take advantage of a free six-month Silver-level trial option. More details and information can be found by contacting the MRA at support@metalroofing.com.

The latest changes to MRA’s contractor membership program come on the heels of other benefits announced earlier in the fall, which include greater digital exposure, lead and prospect support and expanded promotional opportunities for Silver and Gold contractor members.

“From our manufacturer members to our contractors, the MRA represents and stands for quality residential metal roofing,” said Ramey. “We believe these new membership benefits are a win-win to help our dedicated contractors build their business locally, while also collectively contributing to the industry’s overall growth and future success.”

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com.

NRCA Releases Updated Roof Coatings Guide

The National Roofing Contractors Association has released NRCA Guidelines for the Application of Roof Coatings. The new guide updates the 2015 guide and serves as a reference for roof coating designers and installers.

The guide provides technical information about the application of various types of roof coating systems, preparations necessary for their successful performance and quality control guidelines for on-site evaluation. Also included are best practice guidelines for the application of common roof coatings to various types of roof surfaces, such as membrane roof systems or existing coating systems.

 The guide has been reorganized to more closely follow the chronological order of events surrounding the roof coating process, and terms and definitions have been modified, added or removed to better capture the wide range of applications currently available for roof coatings. Step-by-step guidance on some quality control and quality assurance procedures also have been added.

 Hard copies of NRCA Guidelines for the Application of Roof Coatings are available at nrca.net/shop. NRCA members can download the guide for free in electronic format.

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2020 Injury and Illness Data

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the agency will begin collecting calendar year 2020 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2021. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2021.

Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA for more information and a link to the Injury Tracking Application.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Applications Due by January 28

The Roofing Alliance announced the deadline for Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Applications for the 2021-22 academic year is January 28, 2021. 

The Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program began in 1986 to fund education for employees, their spouses and their dependent children of NRCA contractor and supplier members who plan to pursue careers in the roofing or construction industries. The program is named for Melvin Kruger, a former NRCA president, a former Roofing Alliance president and CEO of L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga. who is recognized not only as a great industry leader, but also as a person who has devoted much of his life to the cause of education.

A maximum of 10 recipients will each receive a $5,000 award that is renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study if they meet eligibility requirements. Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic record; potential to succeed; leadership and participation in school and community activities; honors; work experience; a statement of career goals and aspirations; and an outside appraisal.

The named $5,000 scholarships awarded through the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program are: Beacon Roofing Supply Inc.; Dan Cohen; Firestone Building Products (two scholarships); Fred Good; William A. Good; Jim and Suzanne MacKimm; Melvin Kruger; and OMG Roofing Products Inc. (two scholarships). 

In its second year, the Accredited Career Technical Education Scholarship is also available to help fund students pursuing an education at a vocational or technical trade school. It is designed to help those who are seeking a professional career inside the roofing industry including but not limited to roof system and sheet metal installers/fabricators, crane and equipment operators, foremen and superintendents, warehouse and inventory specialists, and other roofing trade specialties. This Accredited Career Technical Education scholarship is not designed for those careers that require a four-year undergraduate degree. There will be a maximum of five recipients who will be eligible to receive a $1,000 award that is not renewable, but winners are eligible to apply again the following year. Reid and DeaNa Ribble provided named scholarships for the Accredited Career Technical Education opportunity.

To learn more about the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program or to download the application, please visit www.roofingalliance.net or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@nrca.net. Applications must be postmarked by 3 p.m. (CST) no later than January 28, 2021. 

For more information about Roofing Alliance initiatives, visit www.roofingalliance.net

U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Members to Serve on Committee For Improving Construction Workers’ Safety and Health

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. The 15-member group advises the Secretary of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on developing standards and policies affecting the construction industry.

OSHA is seeking nominations for 14 members with experience and expertise in construction-related safety and health issues to fill five employee, five employer, two state safety and health agency, and two public representative vacancies. The members generally serve two-year staggered terms, except the representative designated by the Department of Health and Human Services and appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who serves indefinitely.

Nominations may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, by mail, or facsimile. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 8, 2021.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

RIMA International Partners With ASTM International to Verify Reflective Products

The Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association International (RIMA-I) has joined with ASTM International and their certification team and SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) to manage the RIMA-I voluntary product Verification Program. It was a logical partnership considering the program verifies reflective products meet ASTM standards and codes. Once a product has been approved, the verified product will bear the ASTM/RIMA-I Verification mark, along with a unique code identifying each product’s country, company and product category.

RIMA-I launched the program in 2009 with the goal of emphasizing the importance of proper product testing and to help those purchasing product to know the product they’re choosing meets or exceeds ASTM standards. The structure of the program will remain the same under SEI’s management. There are five product categories: reflective insulation, radiant barrier, interior radiation control coatings (IRCCs) and radiant barrier sheathing. A third-party independent testing and inspection laboratory will determine whether a product’s physical properties comply with the appropriate standards. In order for a company to obtain approval on a category of products, all items within that category must be evaluated and deemed in compliance with current test standards. Technical data sheets, as well as websites containing test information, are cross-checked for accuracy. At this time, verification is only available for products sold/purchased in the United States; however, this program is slated to expand to include other countries in the future. Membership in RIMA International is required; and there is a special progressive membership offer available for new members.

For more information, visit http://rimainternational.org/members/join/.