As many contractors already have realized, obtaining commercial general liability insurance has become much more difficult recently. And it's become even more so for contractors who perform torch-applied work. To obtain coverage, such contractors now are required to follow "best industry practices," including having all torch applicators become certified through a new NRCA/Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) Certified Roofing Torch Applicator (CERTA) training program.
The best practices include completing a daily checklist for all torching jobs; implementing pre-job planning, such as identifying and protecting combustible roof components, reviewing hazardous conditions with building owners, and addressing all possible fire traps and hidden hazards, among other things; adhering to safety precautions regarding torch use; and post-job activities, such as instituting a minimum two-hour fire watch by properly trained and dedicated personnel.
To help contractors train workers in proper, safe torch use, NRCA has updated MRCA's CERTA program to meet the new insurance requirements for torching work. During the one-day class for trainers, attendees will learn how to teach the new interactive CERTA program effectively and certify roofing workers. The program's information is delivered through classroom and hands-on training supported by video instruction and a student manual.
Certification requirements include successful completion of the training program and examination. NRCA is the certifying body, develops course curriculum with MRCA, administers the examination and maintains all certification records. To be certified, a roofing worker must receive training from an accredited trainer. There are no exceptions.