Cordless Concrete Nailer

Cordless Concrete Nailer

TOWSON, Md — DEWALT launched the new 20V MAX* Cordless Concrete Nailer (DCN890), an operationally gas-free nailer designed for use in concrete and steel applications. Running on a DEWALT 20V MAX* battery, this tool eliminates the need for fuel cells and provides a consistent, powerful alternative that operates on the user’s existing battery platform. The nailer is ideal for commercial framing and tracking, mechanical and electrical installations, and both insulation surface prep applications.

As a fully-electric tool, the 20V MAX* Cordless Concrete Nailer resolves several frustrations identified in gas concrete nailers. The inconvenience of maintaining and storing fuel cells on the jobsite is now eliminated and the fully-electric tool has a wider operable temperature and altitude range. Additionally, the fully-electric design also makes the tool highly consistent and easily serviceable.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Metal Roofing System Is the Answer for Rocky Mountain Home Retrofit

Metal Roofing System Is the Answer for Rocky Mountain Home Retrofit

When it came time to replace the roof on this Colorado

When it came time to replace the roof on this Colorado custom home, the owner wanted a roof system that would look good and stand up to the elements. He chose the Riva Classic Copper Shingle from Vail Metal Systems. Photos: Vail Metal Systems

When the owner of a home situated in the Rocky Mountains was faced with replacing his 10,000-square-foot roof, he had a daunting set of criteria. He wanted a roof that would last longer and look better than the wood shake roof he had in place. He also wanted a roof that would be fire resistant, and one that would stand up to the elements in this harsh environment, as the home was situated high above the ski areas of Vail and Aspen in Colorado.

The elevation of this home is almost 10,000 feet, and snow loads are a major concern, as are high winds and exposure to ultraviolet rays. The homeowner needed a durable roof system that was designed for the Rocky Mountains, one that would add value to his investment.

He found the answer in Vail Metal Roof Systems. The product was originally developed in the Vail area more than 20 years ago by David Plath and his partners at Plath Construction for just these sorts of issues. “At the time, the roofs in Vail were failing in 15 to 20 years,” Plath remembers. “Maintenance cost were a huge, chronic problem for all types of roofing except cedar shakes. Clay tile was breaking at catastrophic rates. Copper standing seam roofs were being destroyed by sliding snow and ice dropping from upper roofs.”

Once installed, the copper panels

Once installed, the copper panels have an exposure that is 32 inches wide by 11 inches tall. Panels are held in place with clips that are fastened to the substrate, allowing for expansion and contraction. Photos: Vail Metal Systems

Plath’s goal was to develop a metal shingle product that was efficient to install, needed little or no maintenance, and could be priced competitively with standing seam metal roof systems. He came up with a metal shingle concept comprised of a folded panel 37.125 inches long and 13.5 inches wide, designed to look like four individual shingles side by side. When the product is installed, the exposure is 32 inches wide by 11 inches tall.

“I chose the metal shingle design because of its long history, with evidence of copper shingle roofs lasting centuries,” Plath recalls. “The copper shingle design was first tested in the winter of 1994. Our design didn’t invent metal shingle roofing, of course, but we did find a way to create a product with four metal shingles per panel. They were indistinguishable from custom, handmade metal shingles made by master craftsman.”

The Riva Series metal shingle has developed a history of meeting the needs of area homeowners since its invention, according to Plath. The company offers the product in copper and zinc, as well as steel and aluminum substrates pre-painted with PVDF coating systems in a variety of solid colors and print-coated patterns. “The durability of the roof system has been proven over many years with hundreds of installations, and we have a track record second to none in meeting these types of vigorous needs,” he says.

Replacing the Roof

For the Rocky Mountain retrofit project, the Riva Classic Copper Shingle was chosen. The original roof system had an insulation value of R-39, and the goal was to keep the house well insulated while installing the new roof system. This required a highly trained installer for the new roof, and no one had more experience than Plath Construction, the company originally co-founded by David Plath and now run by current owners Alberto Ortega and Francisco Castillo.

Ortega and Castillo worked in conjunction with Schaeffer Hyde Construction, the general contractor on the home when it was originally built. Rob Faucett of Schaeffer Hyde Construction was the project manager on the roof replacement project.

Photos: Vail Metal Systems

Photos: Vail Metal Systems

After the old roof was removed, the Vail Metal Roof system was installed. A layer of Grace Ice and Water Guard was applied to the deck, and new copper flashings and metal panels were installed per the manufacturer’s specifications. Clips were used to fasten the panels to the substrate and still allow for expansion and contraction. On this project, ridge vents were installed to control moisture buildup from the interior of the building.

The home was built with natural stone in a gorgeous landscape, and the homeowner wanted a roof system that would blend well with these architectural elements and make a strong statement as it stood up to the tough conditions. He found the right answer in the Riva Classic Copper Shingle, and he is pleased with the aesthetics and the performance of the roof, according to Plath.

At one time the product was licensed to another company, but Plath was recently thrilled to announce he is personally involved with Vail metal shingles once again as the owner of Vail Metal Systems. “Our customers love the product,” Plath says, “We have testimonials unlike anything I’ve ever heard throughout my career. It’s been my dream to manufacture this product and make it available to the industry, and relaunching Vail Metal Systems is the perfect retirement plan for a guy that doesn’t know when to slow down.”

TEAM

General Contractor: Shaeffer Hyde Construction, Avon, Colo., Shaefferhyde.com
Roofing Contractor: Plath Construction Inc., Eagle, Colo., Plathroofing.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Vail Metal Systems, VailMetal.com

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:00:01 +0000

Western Specialty Contractors Branches Serve as Staging Locations for Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Services

Western Specialty Contractors Branches Serve as Staging Locations for Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Services

ST. LOUIS — Losing a structure or building to an unforeseen natural disaster, such as flooding or the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas, can be devastating to the owner and its tenants.

The decision to move forward with repairs may not come quickly, but when it does, facility managers and owners should work with a specialty contractor experienced in disaster recovery to get the job done correctly and efficiently.  Western Specialty Contractors’ branch offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Houston and San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Fla. have been helping companies recover from natural disasters on the Gulf Coast for over 50 years.

“Bringing a building or structure back to life in the case of a natural disaster takes a certain level of experience and skill,” said Chester Scott, branch manager of Western’s Atlanta branch. “Special skills are needed to properly assess the damage, develop a recovery plan and initiate the restoration or take steps to mitigate further loss.”

Disaster recovery services provided by Western Specialty Contractors include:

  • Building exterior stabilization
  • Emergency building enclosure
  • Roofing repair and replacement
  • Window boarding, repair and replacement
  • Interior demolition
  • General clean up
  • Masonry and concrete repair
  • Historic restoration

When Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Western Specialty Contractors was there to help.

South Shore Harbour Marina features one of the largest boat slips near the New Orleans Lakefront Airport overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. Hurricane Katrina left the covered slips unusable and virtually unrecognizable. Western crews worked to remove any remaining damaged panels and purlins and completely replaced the outer skin of the slips (approximately 30,000 square feet) with interlocking Berridge Zee-Lock panels. Western also replaced the guard house that overlooked the harbor with a new modular version and made renovations to the public restroom and oil containment facilities, which all suffered severe wind and flood damage during the hurricane.

That same year, Western Specialty Contractors came to the rescue of Florida-based Ardaman & Associates after they noticed some leaking windows in their building, resulting from the recent hurricane activity.

Western crews came out and surveyed the building before making a recommendation to re-seal all of the glass-to-glass, metal-to-glass and metal-to-concrete window joints throughout the entire building. The result was a watertight building and a happy owner.

For more information, visit westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0000

New Roof and Building Upgrades Provide Security for Florida Day Care Center

New Roof and Building Upgrades Provide Security for Florida Day Care Center

The Joseph Caleb Center

The Joseph Caleb Center received a building envelope upgrade that included a new modified bitumen roof for the low-slope sections and a new standing seam metal roof on steep-slope sections at the perimeter. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

The Joseph Caleb Center in Miami caters to a very young clientele, but the building housing the early childhood education center was definitely showing its age. The existing roof was failing, the concrete walls were cracked, and the window seals were broken. The restoration project was a complicated one, with several roof and wall systems that had to be tied in together. Luckily, that’s just the type of project Errol Portuondo likes. Portuondo is the owner of Florida Building & Supply in Miami, which focuses primarily on commercial restoration and re-roofing projects. The company restored the building, topping it with a new self-adhered, modified bitumen roof system and crowning it with a standing seam metal roof around the perimeter.

“We handle the whole envelope,” Portuondo notes. “That’s what sets us apart. That’s our niche. We like to go into these projects that have four, five, six items—the kind of projects other companies avoid. Most people like to handle the easy stuff—get in and get out. We like to tackle the harder type projects that require a lot of thinking.”

Complicated Scope of Work

The project required a roof system that was Energy Star rated and would comply with South Florida’s requirements for high velocity hurricane zones. Furthermore, the building would remain open during the roofing installation process, so the roof system could not give off any fumes or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A self-adhered modified bitumen roof system from Polyglass USA Inc. was chosen for the flat roof sections because of its high reflectivity, durability, and ease of installation, as well as the lack of any odor.

The existing roof consisted of a mechanically attached modified system surrounded by a standing seam metal roof. Florida Building & Supply first removed the metal roof system, as it partially covered the flat roof. After the steep-slope sections were dried in with 30-pound felt and Englert MetalMan HT self-adhered underlayment, crews began to tear off the old modified system. Everything was removed down to the lightweight insulating concrete (LWIC) that had been installed over the metal deck.

The day care center

The day care center was open during the restoration project, so the safety plan included moving the children’s playground during the roof installation. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

The specification called for adhering polyiso insulation directly to the lightweight with OlyBond 500 adhesive from OMG Roofing Products, so making sure the LWIC was in good shape was crucial. Core samples were taken of the roof and subjected to a series of adhesion and compression tests required by the county. “We passed all of the tests and got all of the approvals regarding the lightweight, and we installed the insulation and the Polyglass system on top of that,” Portuondo says. “We like using that system because it is easy to install and allows us to salvage the lightweight. It also gives you really great uplift resistance.”

Crews installed tapered polyiso insulation manufactured by Hunter Panels to a custom-designed layout provided by ABC Supply Co. Insulation ranged in thickness from more than 5 inches to a minimum of 1 ½ inches. After the existing roof system was removed, Portuondo realized that the deck could not be penetrated without potentially damaging the structure, affecting the placement of emergency overflows. “Some of the existing buildings weren’t designed like they are today, so you have to work with the existing drains and make sure you can take care of the water through emergency overflows if any drains should get clogged,” he says.

After the insulation was installed, the 20,000-square-foot low-slope section was ready for the Polyglass three-ply, self-adhered modified bitumen roof system. Elastoflex SA V, a self-adhered SBS modified bitumen membrane, was used for the base and interply sheets. The surface layer consisted of Polyfresko G SA, a white, self-adhered APP modified bitumen cap sheet manufactured with CURE Technology, a thin-film technology designed to improve the membrane’s durability, UV and stain resistance, and granule adhesion.

“What we like about the self-adhered system is that you can move on the roof quick and clean,” Portuondo says. “Sometimes the intake of the mechanical units is up on the roof, and with a hot asphalt application, you have to be careful with any fumes. That’s not a consideration with the self-adhered system. It’s very clean and very fast, especially if you are about to get a rainstorm. You can get a barrier installed very quickly on the roof as opposed to hot asphalt or a torch system.”

Details, Details

Once the new low-slope roof was installed, work began on the new standing seam metal roof manufactured by Englert. Tying in the metal roof with the modified roof was relatively easy, according to Portuondo, but other details were more problematic.

The last steps included perimeter metal trim and gutters. “We work closely with the manufacturers based on their inspection process and when there are certain details,” notes Portuondo. “In this specific project, there were a lot of details.”

Waterproofing the skylights

Waterproofing the skylights was tricky, as the glass extended under the metal roof and ended just a few inches from the new modified bitumen roof system. In these sections, Polyflash 2C, an odor free, fluid-applied flashing system from Polyglass, was used. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

Florida Building & Supply also handled repairing and painting the perimeter of the building. Hairline fractures in the concrete block walls were repaired with epoxy injections prior to painting. Crews also re-caulked and waterproofed all of the windows and skylights, including glass walls that extended under the metal roof at the top and ended at the bottom just a few inches from the modified roof system.

“That tie-in was very difficult because by the time you ended your base flashings for the modified, you were right at the glazing,” Portuondo says. “For those areas, the only solution was the Polyglass Polyflash 2C kit.” Polyflash 2C is an odor free, fluid-applied flashing system that is UV-stable.

Setting up the plan of attack in advance was crucial, notes Portuondo, but with any older building, you have to be ready to adapt as the job progresses. “You don’t really know structurally what you’re going to run into until you start to tear off,” he says. “Sometimes what you find under the roof turns out to be different than you expected, and you have to make changes in the field.”

Safety is always the top concern for both employees and members of the public, notes Portuondo. “We moved the playground area and set up a safety perimeter fence,” he explains. “We made sure the children would not be harmed while we were installing the roof, so that was a logistical problem.”

The company is used to overcoming logistical problems. “Our forte is re-roofing existing buildings, and so they are always active,” he says. “We strive to do quality work and stay on top of everything. We’ve just been doing this for so long that we know what we’re doing.”

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 17:00:05 +0000

Ribble: Roofing Contractor Certification Program Would Transform Roofing Industry

Ribble: Roofing Contractor Certification Program Would Transform Roofing Industry

A certification program for roofing contractors scheduled to launch early next year has the potential to transform the roofing industry in United States forever, said Reid Ribble, CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

The initiative, which begins with trainer instruction later this month, will be designed to elevate the industry to the level of other trade professions with existing national standards and protocols, like electricians and plumbers.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 15:40:00 +0000

Snowstorm in the Gym

Snowstorm in the Gym

I was recently introduced to Mike Pickel, co-founder of Texas Traditions Roofing in Georgetown, Texas. We were busy preparing case studies for our education issue, so I asked him if he’d worked on any interesting school projects lately. He replied, “Well, I did just get a call about a snowstorm in the gym.”

It took a second to wrap my head around that statement. A snowstorm. In the gym. In July. In Texas.

Now, that got my attention. I must admit, that wasn’t at all what I was thinking about when I asked about projects for our education issue. Our case studies usually put the spotlight on marquee projects like the new basketball arena at Ole Miss or the new indoor football practice facility at Liberty University covered in this issue. We were also following stories about a metal roof on a new construction project in Texas, a large hot-mopped modified bitumen re-roofing project in New Jersey, and a solar installation on a school in North Carolina.

But a snowstorm in the gym—I had to hear more about that. Talking with Mike Pickel reminded me that trophy projects are one thing, but there are a lot of less glamorous but no less important tasks that can make up the typical day in the life of a roofing contractor.

Texas Traditions had helped out at Summit Christian Academy in Cedar Park, Texas, before, solving some tricky leaks in the mechanical wells over the classrooms that had puzzled other contractors for years. “They started saying we were miracle workers,” Pickel recalls. “I said, ‘No, we’re just roofers, ma’am.’ But they just loved us from that day forward.”

So, it was natural that school administrators called Texas Traditions when an unusual problem revealed itself in the gym. “They called us and said, ‘We’ve got a problem out here. We don’t know what’s going on. It looks like it’s snowing in the gym.’”

Pickel doubted it was a roof leak, but he went out and took a look. “It did look just like snow,” he says.

Luckily, Pickel had seen this once before. Years ago, he had a residential customer with the same problem—army ants. “Sure enough, army ants were up there just eating away at that iso, and it was falling down like snow through any crevices or cracks.”

Working with the private school to handle small problems is just part of the job, notes Pickel. So is helping administrators manage their budget to prepare for necessary re-roofing projects. “In some cases, we have to patch these roofs and nurse them along until they have the money for a roof replacement,” he says. “You do what you have to do to help a client. So, now we’re a pest control guy as well.”

Replacing a roof is something building owners might do just once in their lives, so explaining what’s involved is critical, notes Pickel. “You’ve got to educate the owner,” he says. “You’ve got to go out and craft a custom solution for each client. That’s what we tell our residential roof advisors all the time: Stop selling and listen to the client. That’s key for us. We excel at listening to the client and problem solving.”

Listen to clients and come up with a plan to meet their specific needs. That’s great advice no matter what line of work you’re in.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 17:10:51 +0000

Take a Proactive Approach When it Comes to Fleet Management

Take a Proactive Approach When it Comes to Fleet Management

RCS Influencer Brian Pratt says that contractors can reduce insurance costs by implementing a fleet management program.

Many roofing professionals continue to be impacted by an increase in automobile insurance costs due to a substantial rise in the frequency and severity of auto claims. Severe losses can expose the assets of a roofing company if they are not properly managed. We have seen firsthand that a relatively low-impact (typically rear-end accidents) auto claims reach six and even seven figure ranges. The main contributor to auto claims is distracted driving.

With 27 years of experience in the roofing industry we have developed some proven strategies to help roofing professionals reduce their cost of risk over time. One of these strategies is fleet risk management program implementation.

We have assisted many of our roofing clients with an aggressive and pro-active approach to auto accident mitigation. Our fleet management program begins with pre-employment testing (gauging the personality of a prospective employee’s driving habits and potential for injuries, which could also impact work comp), implementing a written and formal fleet management program, scheduling of driver awareness training, implementing a fleet accountability program, and formalized post-accident claims handling process for cost effective claims closure.

The formal fleet management program consists of monitoring the use of company vehicles (if vehicles are allowed to be taken home) and the use of personal vehicles (if employees use their own vehicle during company time) during business hours. The fleet accountability program consists of monitoring company vehicles through a third party (1-800- How’s my driving).

We also have assisted some of our roofing clients exploring programs that help prevent distracted driving, which can help with the reduction of auto and work comp claims. A cell phone can be shut down while in the driver’s seat, eliminating the use of phones for email, texts, etc., while the company vehicle is on or in motion Also, many of our roofing clients have implemented GPS tracking systems in their vehicles to help increase their productivity, control fuel cost and increase safety and risk management while monitoring the use of the company vehicles speed and braking habits.

If you would like to learn more about fleet safety and risk management programs please contact me at 407-493-2121

Brian Pratt is a regional manager for Roofing Risk Advisors, a Division of Furman Insurance. See his full bio here.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 10:55:19 +0000

Students Take the Lead on Roof Restoration Project

Students Take the Lead on Roof Restoration Project

NTEC Systems applied a high-solids silicone coating

NTEC Systems applied a high-solids silicone coating. The system was chosen because it would extend the life of the existing roof and cut utility costs for the building. The system was approved for a 20-year warranty.
Photos: NTEC Systems

Thomas Portaro is the owner of NTEC Systems, a company headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., that specializes in roof restoration projects. Portaro owns the company, but on a recent project on the campus of Georgia Tech, it was definitely the college students who were in charge.

Portaro was contacted by students who were researching different roof systems as part of a class project. Members of the class had been tasked to come up with ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on the school’s Atlanta campus.

Students were exploring all sorts of environmentally friendly building systems, including LED lighting and HVAC equipment. One group of students explored various building envelope modifications, eventually narrowing their focus to the roof system.

“This particular group of students showed the school and their professors how they were going to reduce carbon emissions and the energy footprint of the O. Lamar Allen Sustainable Education Building by doing a roof restoration,” Portaro said.

Photos: NTEC Systems

Photos: NTEC Systems

Portaro, a Georgia Tech graduate, was contacted by the group to provide some insights on the potential benefits of coatings. “I was asked to come down to the campus and give a brief lecture on the values of roof restorations, the types of coatings I was familiar with, how they were applied, and how they could restore this particular roof.

The building was built in 1998, and its roof was the original modified bitumen system. When students learned how a cool roof system would extend the life of the roof and save on utility costs for the building, they not only presented their findings to their professors but officials at the university. The school ultimately decided to fund the project.

NTEC Systems completed the installation of a high-solids silicone roof coating manufactured by GE. “The students pioneered all of this,” Portaro says. “This is an amazing group of kids. To be invited back to my alma mater and to execute this project really hit a chord with me. The project really worked out well, and it was really cool because I got a check from Georgia Tech. Think about all of the money I’ve paid them over the years. It was nice to get a little bit of that money back.”

Practical Application

One key concern for the university was achieving a 20-year warranty, so the first step was to ensure that the existing roof was compatible with the system. “One of the big value adds of GE Performance Coatings is that their tech side is very strong,” Portaro notes. “GE has great specifications, and they make it pretty simple for me as an engineer to go up and evaluate a roof and make sure it meets certain criteria. You have to evaluate each roof to ensure it meets the criteria for a restoration.”

“A great phrase—and I forget who coined it—is, ‘We do roof restorations, not roof resurrections,’” Portaro continues. “The existing roof has to be in a restorable condition.”

Georgia Tech funded a roof restoratio

Georgia Tech funded a roof restoration for the O. Lamar Allen Sustainable Education Building after a student project detailed the energy-saving benefits of a cool roof coating.
Photos: NTEC Systems

Infrared analysis was conducted to ensure the roof system was dry. Some minor repairs were needed, but overall the modified roof was in good shape. It was cleaned with pressure washer and primed with an asphalt bleed-blocker from GE Performance Coatings. NTEC crews then spray-applied two coats of GE Enduris 3502 high-solids silicone roof coating to a minimum thickness of 40 mils when dry. The system forms a monolithic coating that is self-flashing. “We detailed it all out, the inspectors inspected it, and at the end of the day it was all done, the 20-year warranty was in place, and everyone was happy,” Portaro says.

He points out that the GE silicone coatings rarely require a primer. “This is the only type of roof that requires a primer, and the only reason it does is that asphalts tend to bleed through silicones and can tobacco-stain them,” he notes. “It’s aesthetics—that’s it. The GE system is one of our ‘tried and trues’ in part because for 99 percent of the roofs we do, it’s a primerless system. So, we save that step, which saves us time and ultimately saves the owner money.”

NTEC Systems excels at large, high-volume jobs, and the company is always looking for tools to make it more productive. “We are highly automated here,” Portaro says. “That’s our strength. It’s what we do. We have the ability to do a ton of square footage in a short period of time because we have the latest and greatest machinery. We’ve actually created our own method of going from ground to roof and getting coatings spray applied.”

The company has modified some industrial machinery to move large volumes of high-solids silicone under control, according to Portaro. “Now, it’s not robotics,” he explains. “It still takes artistry. It still takes an expert pulling the trigger. We have guys that are very talented, and now the machinery is keeping up. We can do four or five times as much work in a day as we used to do just a few years ago. Our production levels have blown up.”

A Learning Experience

Photos: NTEC Systems

Photos: NTEC Systems

One of the challenges on this project was taking the time to use the application as a teaching tool. “The students were there the entire time,” Portaro remembers. “We were surrounded by some of the smartest people in the world. I’ve never had so many managers on a project in my life. These students brought a passion to the building industry like you’ve never seen before. They believe they are going to change the world, and they probably will.”

Portaro also shared his passion for environmentally friendly roof systems. The students apparently took that message to heart. “These kids are something special,” he says. “They went to Washington, D.C., to present this project to the Congress of the United States. These kids weren’t happy with just affecting one building on the campus of Georgia Tech. They wanted to share the story. This project got national recognition. I was really proud of these kids, who I met for the first time on this project. My hat’s off to them.”

Portaro has installed a lot of cool roofs, but the Georgia Tech project was special. “This was certainly the coolest project I’ve ever done,” he says.

Published at Fri, 29 Sep 2017 20:00:41 +0000

Top Labor and Employment Issues Facing Today’s Metal Construction Industry at METALCON 2017

Top Labor and Employment Issues Facing Today’s Metal Construction Industry at METALCON 2017

NEWTON, Mass. — Featured speaker and Labor Attorney, John Cruickshank of Alaniz Schraeder Linker Farris Mayes LLP, will explore current labor and employment policy issues confronting the metal construction industry, and the overall construction industry, at METALCON on Oct. 18 and 19, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.        

With a whole host of labor and employment issues facing the industry, Cruickshank says the biggest headache for management today is handling the increase in disabled and injured workers seeking accommodation and light-duty.  “More and more employees are showing up to work with medical conditions, which affect their ability to perform their jobs,” he said.  “Some conditions, such as many forms of cancer, qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act; other conditions, such as many sports injuries, do not.  We have to determine which employees to accommodate and how, and if we accommodate, do we offer light duty or different positions?” 

“No employer wants to be in the position of having to create jobs, but if we offer employees light-duty work, we have to consider both their safety and the safety of others, as well as our obligation to then offer similar light-duty accommodations to others,” said Cruickshank.  “And then, add the further complexity of employees on workmen’s comp wanting to come back early into light-duty positions; it can create a lot of problems.” 

In addition, Cruickshank will cover essential labor practices for your business including having the proper employment complaint, reporting and investigatory procedures, and ensuring all office staff is fully covered.  “Without a written and effective complaint procedure, you risk losing important affirmative defenses in any lawsuit,” he said. 

Other essentials include proper document retention — knowing how long to hold on to documents and when to get rid of them. “Understand when you are no longer required to keep something and then think about whether you should,” said Cruickshank, which all depends on the type of record and the state you are operating in. 

Furthermore, he will present approaches to better employment discipline and how to use discipline more effectively.  “We don’t want to fire people,” he said.  “We want to focus on education and deterrence, rather than enforcement and termination.  Firing and then having to hire and train a replacement person is a loss for everyone.  Employees need to be well informed and coached on key policies.”

Regarding immigration reform, Cruickshank believes that while DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) gets all the headlines, it is the steps towards mandatory electronic employment verification and reductions in all forms of immigration that will have the greatest impact on contractors.  “Expect a shortage of labor, which will drive pressure on wages and retention, as well as new methods of innovation and automation; however, automation brings its own unique set of hiring challenges,” he said.

Cruickshank will also discuss important state-specific issues, including changes to the minimum wage and new paid sick leave requirements, which affect certain contractors.  “The Federal Government is not increasing the minimum wage, but the states are doing it for them,” he said.  “You need to know where your state is going on minimum wage and adjust your budget accordingly.” 

Finally, there will be plenty of time for questions and answers on all of the topics presented, along with any other labor and employment concerns of those in the metal construction industry. 

To learn more, visit www.metalcon.com.

Published at Fri, 29 Sep 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Trent Cotney P.A. Construction Law Group Offers Hurricane Support Legal Help Line

Trent Cotney P.A. Construction Law Group Offers Hurricane Support Legal Help Line

TAMPA. Fla. — Trent Cotney P.A. Construction Law Group, a leading national law firm for construction, specialty trades and OSHA law, is offering a free, legal help line to help contractors in hurricane stricken areas with legal questions or needs. Contractors can call 1-866-303-5868 for legal advice concerning hurricane restoration efforts.

“We are receiving a number of calls daily asking how to handle warranties, claims and legal situations created from the recent storms,” said Trent Cotney, president of the firm.  “Our law firm started in Florida and our offices survived Irma as it hit Tampa.  It is time for all of us to help each other.  We know there are a lot of questions that contractors have concerning legal issues after the storms.  Warranties and claims are on the top of the list along with normal safety and legal concerns.  We want to help.”

Trent Cotney construction law firm is made up over 15 lawyers who specialize in construction law, safety, employment, immigration and building code expertise.  The firm has been an integral part of the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractor Associations on state and local levels. “On a volunteer basis, we have provided general counsel for the roofing contractor and HVAC associations of Florida for many years. The contractors of Florida have the highest integrity and will be the ones to get our state functioning again,” continued Cotney. “I want to be sure that our construction industry has the legal support they need so they can do their jobs for the citizens of Florida and Texas.”

Licensed contractors (where applicable) from hurricane affected areas can immediately call 866-303-5868 help line for advice and additional information regarding the free consultation.

For more information, visit www.trentcotney.com.

Published at Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000