Congress may be deadlocked on nearly all issues, but that isn't stopping the voting public, particularly roofing contractors, from sharing their opinions.
During NRCA's Fall Committee Meetings and Legislative Conference in October, Pete Korellis, president and owner of Korellis Roofing, Hammond, Ind., testified on behalf of NRCA at a hearing held by the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Korellis went before the subcommittee to discuss NRCA's concerns with the new fall-protection rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). Former NRCA President and current Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) also participated in the hearing.
Korellis outlined NRCA's numerous concerns with OSHA's directive, which became effective Sept. 16. The directive effectively eliminates the use of slide guards as a fall-protection option in residential roofing.
Korellis told the committee: "I have deep concerns the new rules issued by OSHA will put my workers at greater risk of injury and also make it much more difficult for me to operate my company."
Korellis urged Congress to seek a legislative remedy if OSHA remains unwilling to work with NRCA to resolve issues of concern to roofing contractors.
As Professional Roofing has reported, NRCA has told OSHA the agency's regulatory action will hinder workplace safety and urged OSHA officials to delay enforcement of the directive while it works with the roofing industry to resolve the many concerns of roofing contractors. After the hearing, OSHA agreed to meet with NRCA again to discuss the directive.
"This was an amazing experience," Korellis says. "I will never forget it."
To read Korellis' full testimony from the hearing, log on to www.professionalroofing.net.
Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's senior director of communications.
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