OSHA Education and Training Requirements For Contractors

Many licensed contractors have been getting “on-the-job” training for years — some, since they were working on jobsites as young laborers. But what formal education and training are required for contractors? The short answer is that it differs slightly from state to state, but no one can escape OSHA.

Perhaps the best-known training requirements for contractors are those set forth in the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) and the regulations OSHA enables.

OSHA permits individual states to develop and enforce their own occupational safety and health plans, statutes, and enforcing agencies as long as the states meet federal requirements (29 U.S.C. § 667), so many contractors may be more familiar with their state’s occupational safety and health act than the federal. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jurisdictions with their own federally-approved plans governing both public and private employers are Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. (Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New York, New Jersey, and the Virgin Islands have plans that apply only to public employees.) State laws must be “at least as effective” and stringent as OSHA.

In most of these states, and in states that simply follow the federal OSHA requirements, construction-industry employee training is required to comply with the federal requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1926. California, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington have more stringent requirements than the federal rules.

What Training Does OSHA Require?

The Department of Labor’s regulations contained in 29 CFR 1910 and 29 CFR 1926 give employers numerous “accident prevention responsibilities.” These responsibilities specifically include the duty to train each “affected employee” in the manner the standards require. The regulations specifically require training for employees on topics including scaffolding, fall protection, steel erection, stairways and ladders, and cranes. Both federal and state courts interpret OSHA training requirements; state courts interpret them in states with their own laws but look to federal decisions for guidance.

Court decisions indicate that training requirements are interpreted broadly. For example, in 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit evaluated 29 CFR § 1926.21(b)(2)’s requirement for employers to instruct each employee in the “recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.” The case, Modern Continental Const. Co., Inc. v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, involved vertical rigging in a tight working space during an underground project involving submerging a section of highway. The operation resulted in a fatality. The court found that the employers’ duty “is not limited to training for hazards expressly identified by OSHA regulation” and that employers are obligated to instruct their employees in the recognition and avoidance of “those hazards of which a reasonably prudent employer would have been aware.” The court recognized that while the training does not have to eliminate hazards, the training must focus on avoiding and controlling dangerous conditions.

Furthermore, merely holding or sponsoring training courses may not be enough to comply with OSHA; the regulations require employers not only to ensure training but also to ensure that each affected employee has received and understood the training. The District of Columbia Circuit emphasized this requirement in Millard Refrigerated Services, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor. The Court upheld a citation against an Alabama company operating a refrigerated storage facility after an anhydrous ammonia leak even though the employer claimed it didn’t know that its employee didn’t understand the training and therefore wasn’t wearing a respirator.

Decisions like this make it incumbent upon employers to recognize and anticipate hazards and ensure that employees have the proper education and quality training to handle them.

Penalties for Training Violations

Employers’ duty to train is worded as a duty to its individual employees: “The employer must train each affected employee in the manner required by the standard, and each failure to train an employee may be considered a separate violation” [29 CFR 1926.20(f)(2)]. The statute and regulations do not explicitly state the penalty for failure to give required training; penalties will depend on the facts of each case. OSHA violations generally fall into one of four categories: willful, serious, repeated, or other-than-serious. According to the Department of Labor, the current maximum penalty is $13,260 per serious violation and $132,598 per willful or repeated violation.

Courts have upheld steep penalties for certain training violations, particularly for repeated failure to train employees. For example, in Capeway Roofing Systems, Inc. v. Chao, a roofing contractor was fined $6,000 for failing to train an employee on fall protection. (The Secretary of Labor also assessed other fines against the contractor for failure to comply with rules on fall protection, personal protective equipment, and other regulations.) The court reasoned that the fine for failure to train was appropriate, though relatively high, because it was a third “repeat” violation. Additionally, in some states, certain OSHA violations, especially willful and repeated violations, can subject employers to criminal liability.

About the author: Caroline Trautman is an attorney with Oak City Law, LLP, based in Durham, North Carolina. Questions about this article can be directed to her at caroline@oakcitylaw.com.

Author’s note: This article does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice on any particular scenario. For specific advice, consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

Storm Ventures Group Launches Virtual Reality Training System for Roofing Contractors

Storm Ventures Group (SVG) CEO Anthony Delmedico recently launched a virtual reality training platform for the construction and restoration industry. The SVG University (SVG U) Virtual Reality (VR) Goggles provide a 360-degree virtual reality environment and come pre-loaded with the SVG U VR Training App, VR Training Room and several VR industry-specific courses to help contractors recruit, onboard, and train employees. According to the company, SVG assists and educates roofing and restoration contractors in the $100 billion roofing and storm restoration industry as well as the $35 billion retail roofing and trades industries.

SVG U (VR) courses include scouting damaged areas; conducting roof and property inspections; swiftly identifying and monitoring targeted geographic areas after a storm to help property owners recover; how to identify roof damage and determine type of damage; business sales; industry protocols; educating property owners on damage, roofing options, warranties and materials. The SVG U VR Goggles allow construction and restoration company CEOs to save hundreds of hours in training time. Rain or shine, new hires can train indoors in a real-life virtual platform with a laser pointer and a set of goggles. Learn more at www.SalesTrainingVR.com or call 330-57-STORM. See the VR Goggles in action at https://youtu.be/S37HOHsvyrk.

“The SVG U Virtual Training Platform is absolutely amazing. Our team loves it! It’s engaging, exciting, and lifelike. We have successfully saved hundreds of hours of training alone, while also providing proven systems for our senior management. We have successfully scaled our company from $3 million to $9 million in one year by using the SVG U Virtual Training Platform,” said Nick Forsell, owner, Atlas Restoration.

 “One of the biggest challenges in our industry is recruiting and attracting new talent. The SVG U Virtual Reality goggles are great for helping roofing companies reach and attract new hires in the new millennia. We use them during job interviews, onboarding and training new hires, as well as at career fairs and job expos,” said Scott Riopelle, CEO, Interstate Roofing.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, construction is one of the least digitized sectors in the world, and construction productivity has remained flat for decades. As one of the world economy’s largest sectors employing over 7 percent of the world’s working age population with $10 trillion spent on construction-related goods and services every year, the traditional method of design-bid-build has made construction disjointed and siloed. Every construction site is different, presenting its own unique set of challenges and risks. This has made it difficult for the industry to streamline processes and increase productivity the way manufacturing and retail industries have done successfully.

“It’s no secret. The construction industry utilizes an amazing array of technology to improve job safety, performance, customer service enhancements, property and jobsite monitoring. The things we can do today at the touch of a button are incredible! But, the industry is seriously lagging. Previous underinvestment in technology has been the root cause of low productivity. Innovation is key, and digital technologies are gaining traction. There is not a single business owner today in any industry that can grow their business while trading time for money. Our Virtual Reality training does the work for them, and this is just the beginning!” said Anthony Delmedico, CEO and founder, Storm Ventures Group, SVG University, producer of the annual Win The Storm Conference and Tradeshow Expo, and author of the Win The Game book.

According to Connect & Construct, the top five trends in construction technology in 2019 include the internet of things, virtual reality, AI and machine learning, predictive analytics, and autonomous equipment. “The competitive landscape is ever changing, and our Virtual Reality training has filled a massive void in the market. Companies have two choices: evolve or dissolve. This is one of many tools and systems we’ve launched in our SVG University training platform to help construction companies scale,” said Delmedico.

For more information, visit www.StormVenturesGroup.com and www.SVGUniversity.com.

Western Colloid Announces New President

Western Colloid announced Greg Hlavaty as president. With a long history in the roofing industry focused on roof coatings, Hlavaty brings not only experience and knowledge to the position of president but also a commitment of excellence to the employees and customers of Western Colloid. In his previous position as general manager, he built the Western Colloid mission of helping contractors build their business through exceptional support and training. 

Western Colloid operates the largest fleet of tankers servicing the roofing and coating industry in the United States. This footing in bulk transportation service allows contractors to keep installation costs low and helps the environment by reducing the use of barrels and pails. They pride themselves on offering free field inspections, prompt delivery, and exceptional service overall.

Hlavaty, a licensed contractor since the early 1980s, served as president of the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association (RCMA) over the last year. His industry knowledge and leadership are well respected. As president of Roof Coating Manufacturers Association (RCMA), he serves on the Board of Directors and contributes his industry expertise to RCMA’s committees and task forces. Hlavaty also received the prestigious Martin A. Davis Industry Leadership Award in 2016. The award was presented by fellow RCMA Board member Helene Hardy Pierce, GAF, who recognized Hlavaty’s efforts in facilitating RCMA’s merger with the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute (RRCI).

Hlavaty’s commitment to helping contractors is well known. For contractors who have worked with Western Colloid over the years, it is clear that the company is focused on its contractors. The quality of the products combined with excellent training programs and customer support continues to create outstanding opportunities for roofing contractors.  

“We are focused on three very important areas, consultation, field support and training, Western Colloid’s employees work closely with contractors to provide exemplary support and training,” stated Hlavaty. “We send qualified agents to inspect the roof and prepare a specification designed to address the needs of that roof at no cost. The Western Colloid representatives assist the contractor while providing ongoing advice, hands-on training, bidding support and/or on-site demonstrations.  We have an amazing team that delivers world-class roofing systems. I am grateful to be able to help lead a company like Western Colloid.”

 For more information, visit www.WesternColloid.com

TAMKO Offering Exclusive Training for Pro Certified Contractors

TAMKO Building Products, Inc. is excited to offer new live webinar training exclusively for its Pro Certified Contractors. The training is available now and includes multiple webinars that cover business tools to help contractors increase and manage their business.

“We want success for our TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TAMKO, Stephen McNally. “These webinars introduce TAMKO Pros to technology and business resources that are available to help them achieve more with their roofing business.”

TAMKO’s 2018 webinar series began in March and the lineup includes topics such as: home industry trends, led by HomeAdvisor; the basics of social media for businesses, led by Digital Fusion; how financing jobs can increase your business revenue, led by GreenSky; and the importance of roof measurement technology and how to use it, led by EagleView Technologies. Webinar host companies and topics will vary monthly.

A goal of the TAMKO Pro Certified Contractor program is to help contractors grow their business and assist them with finding the tools and services to help along the way. As part of the program, contractors are also eligible for Pro Rewards where they can earn cash back for qualifying purchases.

For more information, visit TAMKOpro.com.

 

NRCA’s ProForeman Certificate Program Helps Field Leaders Become Excellent Foremen

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

When the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) debuted its ProForeman Certificate Program in 2014, Brian Draper, Superintendent at Queen City Roofing, Springfield, Mo., was the first to apply for the program.

Because he was the only participant from Queen City Roofing, Draper navigated the elements of the program completely on his own. He enjoyed the support of his boss, the company owner, Larry Stock, who is a big believer in training and education. It was no small undertaking for either of them.

The ProForeman Certificate Program is a robust, multi-faceted program aimed at helping field leaders become excellent foremen. It also enables them to become company ambassadors, as well as well-rounded and knowledgeable employees within the roofing industry as a whole. The six areas of emphasis are general education, roofing technology, construction/business practices, leadership, safety and training others.

Roofing Technology

The roofing technology portion of the certificate program required Draper to complete two programs about codes, write a recent job report and watch a technical issues webinar conducted by Mark Graham, NRCA’s vice president of technical services. The purpose of the codes programs is to expose field managers to their complexity and purpose rather than for participants to learn all the codes that affect roofing. Similarly the technical webinar is a snapshot of issues roofing contractors have to deal with every day. Each of these three programs help turn field managers, like Draper, into better-educated employees who can appreciate the complexities of their industry and, therefore, be better representatives of their companies and more understanding team members.

Draper’s recent job report discussed aspects of a TPO installation. He was required to anticipate methods, safety concerns and common problems, as well as share specific concerns for one job. Because he is a more experienced field manager, he was able to accurately demonstrate his knowledge and experience.

Construction/Business Practices

This segment of the certificate program is designed specifically to help field managers appreciate the roles and concerns of management. Draper reported aspects of these segments to be helpful to him and some others in the office. Three elements comprise this section—a webinar about customer service, a webinar about foreman daily planning and a company-based activity during which participants shadow several key management employees—from which participants learn the responsibilities and concerns of many office employees. For instance, a “daily huddles” webinar helps field managers appreciate the financial picture of the company, seen through the lenses of a job. It explains the impact a field manager’s leadership can have on a job and the company’s bottom line.

Leadership

ProForeman leadership components are the heart of the program. They are comprised of two day-long, in-person programs and two follow-up webinars. Each of these elements is aimed at teaching leadership awareness and skills.

NRCA’s premise is that most field managers already are excellent managers. They know what it takes to successfully install a roof system and are drive to achieve goals. Where roofing industry field managers often lack awareness is how to effectively influence the people who work for them.

Queen City Roofing is lightyears ahead of many companies. According to Draper, Stock is committed to creating an atmosphere in which people enjoy their jobs and want to come to work, and he wants people to be committed to customer service. To that end, being part of the ProForeman Certificate Program was not Draper’s first exposure to leadership concepts. He has been talking to the foremen at Queen City Roofing about concepts like this for some time. NRCA’s For Foremen Only programs, which are part of the certificate program under the leadership section, helped provide Draper with additional material to discuss with the company’s field leaders. Draper notes that over time he has seen foremen come to treat their crews differently, and he reports that hardly anyone manages by yelling anymore.

Safety

It was the position of NRCA legal counsel that no one should be able to earn the ProForeman certificate without having expertise in safety. To that end, there are more requirements in this section than any other. When the program first debuted, NRCA required a roofing-specific OSHA 10-hour card, which could be substituted by a non-specific 30-hour card. There was lots of confusion over the way this was worded, so the requirement was changed to simply require an OSHA 30-hour card. Although a roofing-specific 10-hour can still satisfy, the idea is that ProForeman certificate holders be “above and beyond” when it comes to safety.

Other elements in this section include a webinar about what it means to be a competent person, a fall-protection video and assessment, job-site inspections of current jobs and a full-day NRCA program about fall protection: Roofing Industry Fall Protection A to Z.

Draper successfully completed all the requirements. In a conversation with him, he stated that Queen City Roofing experienced a transformation in its safety culture four to five years ago. Since that time, leadership and safety have taken a front seat. Draper has embraced learning and training as a way to keep these things in front of the employees at Queen City Roofing.

Training Others

The final section of the certificate program focuses on helping field managers to become excellent trainers for their employees. Not many companies have someone skilled in being a trainer, though all foremen fill this role to some extent. The intent behind these elements is to help foremen be more comfortable in their role as teachers, which is a huge advantage to the individual and the company.

The three items Draper was required to complete in this section were the following:

  • Watch an online module about what it means to be an excellent trainer.
  • Record a video of himself doing a teaching demonstration, such as part of a safety talk (a participant who is a current authorized CERTA trainer does not need to do this exercise).
  • Teach an actual classroom training session.

The classroom training exercise is an opportunity to train new (or newer) field employees on the basics of roofing. The session includes classroom time, demonstration and hands-on activities. NRCA recognizes roofing involves a lot of on-the-job training but does not believe sending new employees up on to the roof right away to learn everything is the best approach. It often frustrates busy foremen, slows down crews that need to work around what they perceive to be dead weight, and tends to weed out workers who might be highly successful if they were provided with a more structured or methodical way of learning a new skill.

Draper reported this classroom training experience to be positive for him and those who participated in the class. Queen City Roofing celebrated participants’ completion by awarding certificates and making a splash of their successes. The company is committed to using this program with future new employees.

First of Many

Draper was the first person to complete the NRCA ProForeman Certificate Program and it helped solidify and improve his skills in many existing Queen City Roofing initiatives. In many ways, Draper was ahead of the curve, coming from a company with an existing commitment to leadership development and a thriving safety culture. It was NRCA’s pleasure to award the jointly held certificate to Draper and Queen City Roofing. NRCA mailed the certificate and, with it, some award items to Draper, such as a Carhartt vest and Thermos mug with the ProForeman logo. NRCA does not expect certificate holders to attend the International Roofing Expo, but finishers are recognized at the award ceremony by name and company.

Learn More
To learn more about the ProForeman certificate program, email Janice Davis at jdavis@nrca.netor Amy Staska at astaska@nrca.net.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Adds Three Members

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the addition of three members at the Governor level during 2016’s third quarter, adding $150,000 in funding for progressive research that contributes to the ongoing advancement of the roofing industry.

The alliance’s newest members are:

Through the generosity of its members, the alliance commits to the following:

  • Education and training—Develop programs and projects addressing current and future workplace issues, ensuring a qualified and trained workforce for the roofing industry.
  • Technology—Engage collaborative industry segments to embrace innovation and use technology.
  • Sustainability—Advocate environmentally sustainable design.
  • Philanthropy—Enrich the well-being of the roofing community through scholarships, charitable gifts and endowments.

Alliance membership is reserved to those who commit their pledged amount during a three- to five-year period. All members are entitled to participate in the task forces established to guide the alliance’s agenda and attend the semiannual meeting of the full alliance.

Soprema Inc. Opens New Offices and Training Center

SOPREMA Inc. has opened a training center and offices in Hayward, Calif. The Hayward facility, located approximately 45 minutes west of San Francisco, will be a shared space for customers of SOPREMA, RESISTO and the newly acquired Chem Link. The training center reaffirms the commitment SOPREMA has to providing education and training to the industry.

The facility stretches more than 8,800 square feet and will facilitate a number of educational programs, including AIA- and RCI-accredited continuing education courses and seminars, contractor training programs and industry events.

“We are proud to open a training center that will facilitate so many education tools for our customers, including contractors, architects and consultants,” said Tim Kersey, VP/GM. “The training facility features a classroom for offering continuing education credit courses and a hands-on training area supporting our contractor training program, as well as room for product demonstrations.”

The facility will host training on products and technologies from SOPREMA, RESISTO and Chem Link. The facility opening follows several recent SOPREMA expansion projects, including a recent manufacturing expansion at SOPREMA’s Gulfport, Miss., facility, encompassing manufacturing, product testing, distribution and training, and a ground breaking on the Wadsworth, Ohio, campus for a new PMMA/PMA resin facility.

In celebration of its establishment, SOPREMA held a grand opening event at the Hayward facility.

SOPREMA Expands Manufacturing Facility to Accelerate Services

SOPREMA expands its Gulfport, Mississippi manufacturing facility in an effort to increase product offerings and expedite production. The expansion comes as a solution to continued growth that the Gulfport operations team has experienced and will further accelerate service to the market.

The Gulfport facility completes a 21,250 square foot addition, with its location situated on SOPREMA’s campus which encompasses manufacturing, product testing, distribution and a training facility. The expansion is used for both additional product offering and warehouse of product and materials in various stages of the production process.

“The expansion is an opportunity to continue to support the SOPREMA growth initiatives as our business grows,” said Kent Furcron, Gulfport plant manager, SOPREMA. “We are proud that our facility is now able to produce more product and provide additional jobs in the region.”

Garland Company Opens Renovated Training Center

Recruits at the Garland Company will be the first to go through training in Garland’s renovated training center. After nearly 100 years in the Union-Miles neighborhood on East 91st Street in Cleveland, Garland has made another investment in the community – and an investment in their team of employees.

Garland purchased a 16,000 square feet building next door to their corporate headquarters in 2015 and began rennovations. Newly named The Soliday Center — in honor of one of Garland’s first salesmen and trainers — the renovated building serves as the training center for future Garland sales representatives and employees. With the 2,000 square feet training room at the heart of the structure, the building will also offer office space for Garland corporate employees and corporate events.

In the last century, Garland has purchased one dozen adjacent properties in Cleveland totaling more than $10.3 million in investments. In 2009, Garland received the Brownfield Cleanup of the Year award for their purchase and renovation of the former Baker Steel building on East 91st Street. With the addition of the new Soliday Center property, Garland now occupies approximately 200,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space on more than seven and a half acres.

“Our people are an asset. The culture that we build with our new employees is vital to our company’s success, and this new facility is a place to build that culture. This space is a great way to show our commitment to our people and our neighborhood,” Scott Craft, VP and general manager at the Garland Company.

Train Employees In-house about Low- and Steep-slope Roofing

NRCA’s Roof Application Training Program Package can help you train employees in-house at your convenience regarding the basics of low- and steep-slope roofing, as well as roofing equipment and setup and tear-off procedures and techniques. The package includes Roof Application Training Program: Foundations of Roofing and Roof Application Training Program: Equipment, Setup and Tear-off.

Roof Application Training Program: Foundations of Roofing includes roofing terminology, roof system components, company operations and roof safety.

Roof Application Training Program: Equipment, Setup and Tear-off offers information about safe and efficient roofing project setup and tear- off procedures and techniques; guidelines for setting up jobs for maximum efficiency; and tools and equipment used for low- and steep-slope roofing work, specifically for job setup and tear-off.

The DVD-based programs provide all the necessary tools to conduct effective training for your employees, including two-part DVD programs; instructors’ guides; and student hand-outs and exams, among other resources. The programs help new employees learn the basics and facilitate discussion with existing employees. The programs include English and Spanish training materials.

You can save by purchasing the package, which is $325 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Programs also can be purchased separately. For more information, visit NRCA’s website.