OSHA to hold virtual safety stand-down Sept. 14-18
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s seventh annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be a virtual event held Sept. 14-18. The event was postponed from its original May dates because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, OSHA, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health encourage employers and workers to participate virtually or with social distancing measures on job sites. OSHA, CPWR and NIOSH are working to develop activities and materials to facilitate safe stand-downs, such as videos and webinars that can be viewed from anywhere and easy-to-share infographics.
To access new materials and resources as they become available, go to stopconstructionfalls.com.
FTC sues companies for deceptive insulation claims
The Federal Trade Commission sued several companies that sell paint products used as roof coatings, alleging the companies deceived consumers about their products’ insulation and energy-savings capabilities, according to www.ftc.gov.
In complaints filed in federal court, the FTC accused the companies of falsely overstating the R-value ratings of the coatings and making deceptive statements about heat flow and insulating power.
The FTC’s complaint against Superior Products International II Inc., Shawnee, Kan., and its officer, J.E. Pritchett, alleges the company markets its Super Therm® and Sunshield roof and wall coatings using deceptive energy-savings and R-value claims. The complaint states the defendants falsely claim the products provide energy savings of “between 40% and 70%” for consumers when applied to a building. The FTC also says the defendants are unable to substantiate the claim that the products have an R-value (or equivalency) of R-19 when the products actually have an R-value of less than one.
The FTC’s complaint against SuperTherm Inc., Williamson, Ariz., and its officers, Roberto and Susana Guerra, alleges the company markets its MultiCeramics Insulation coating using deceptive R-value claims, falsely stating the product provides the equivalent of R-19 insulation when it has an R-value of less than one.
The FTC’s complaint against SPM Thermo-Shield® Inc., Naples, Fla., and its officers George and Peter Spiska, alleges the company deceptively markets its Thermo-Shield Roof Coat as having an R-value of R-22 and says the product provides significant energy savings for consumers. The complaint states the R-value claim is false and the roof coating has an R-value of less than one. Additionally, the defendants cannot substantiate their energy-savings claims.
The FTC’s complaint against F & G International Group Holdings LLC, Collins, Ga., and FG International LLC, Collins, and their shared officer, J. Glenn Davis, alleges the companies market their FGI-4440 Insulation Coating using deceptive R-value claims such as the product provides “an equivalent R-value greater than 30” when FGI-4440 has an actual R-value of less than one. The FTC also alleges the defendants falsely claim testing supports their R-value claims.
Lumber shortage plagues the construction industry
There is a lumber shortage in the U.S., and it’s forcing contractors to make tough decisions regarding which jobs they can complete.
The problem started when the spread of COVID-19 forced a stop to lumber production and froze supply. At the same time, many nonessential businesses in all sectors across the U.S. were shut down, including lumber mills. And shipments from Canadian mills have been held up because the U.S.-Canada border closed, also a COVID-19-driven issue.
Similar to the toilet paper shortage a few months ago, the lack of pressure-treated lumber isn’t isolated to one region. According to a July 27 article in Erie Times-News, lumber mills are about four to six weeks behind in shipments while demand has increased. Compounding the issue, people working from home are committing to more home remodeling projects such as new decks and fences.
“We probably sold more lumber than we’ve sold in 15 years—at least a 50% increase from last year,” Dave Strano, general manager and owner of Ambridge Do-It Best Home Center, Ambridge, Pa., said in the article.
The lumber demand also is driving price increases. The price of lumber has risen 80% since mid-April to an average price of $627 per thousand board feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Karl Glessner of Stonycreek Builders in Somerset County, Pa., told Erie Times-News his company has been turning away three-quarters of potential business.
“It’s costing our wholesalers, and us, a lot of sales opportunity because we don’t have the material to sell,” he said.
According to Doug Brown, an employee at Hobbes Lumber and Hardware Inc., Edinboro, Pa., suppliers don’t know when supply levels will return to normal. He told Erie Times-News he expects the issue to continue through summer.
“Most of our suppliers are telling us after Labor Day,” he said.
Auburn University offers building construction doctoral program
Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., has announced it now offers a program for students to earn a doctoral degree in building construction—one of only seven such programs in the U.S, according to apnews.com.
Part of Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, the program officially started when the school’s fall semester began Aug. 17.
The university described the program as a research-based degree that emphasizes emerging and important areas of building construction. Students will take an average of three years to complete the program, which aligns with a degree in building sciences and requires 62 semester hours of graduate course work beyond a bachelor’s degree.
Register for NRCA’s virtual legal conference!
During the legal conference, NRCA will provide nine legal, technical and business education programs—three sessions per day. Attendees can take advantage of discounted prices with a conference bundle that offers 45% savings.
Participants will hear from Tray Batcher, Trent Cotney, Jacqueline Feliciano and Roscoe Green from Cotney Construction Law LLP, Tampa, Fla.; Stephen Phillips and Philip Siegel from Hendrick Phillips Salzman & Siegel P.C., Atlanta; and Mark Graham, NRCA’s vice president of technical services. NRCA member and nonmember CEOs, owners, chief operating officers, human resources professionals, safety directors, training directors, on-staff legal counsel, office managers and project managers are encouraged to participate in an interactive learning platform that is cost-effective and convenient to access from any device.
Additional information about this year’s virtual legal conference is available at nrca.net/legal.
2021 International Roofing Expo® rescheduled for April
After ongoing discussions with key stakeholders and with full support from NRCA, Irving, Texas-based Informa has rescheduled the International Roofing Expo from February to April 2021 amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The IRE now will be held April 14-16 in the same location—the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas—and NRCA’s 134th Annual Convention will be held April 12-16 in conjunction with the IRE. Exhibiting companies and attendees do not need to take any action regarding the new dates; everything automatically will transfer to April.
“We understand how important the International Roofing Expo is to the industry and the need to stay informed and connected,” says Ray Giovine, group director for Informa Markets and the IRE. “There is a lot of effort that goes into preparation of events, so we wanted to provide our exhibitors, speakers, attendees and partners with ample notice to adjust plans.”
Informa AllSecure will be adapted at the 2021 IRE in April; Informa AllSecure is Informa’s approach to ensuring the highest standards of safety, hygiene, cleanliness and quality for operating events.
Regarding hotel reservations, if you booked your room for IRE directly through the onPeak hotel-registration link, your reservation already has been canceled, and you should have received a confirmation. If you did not receive a confirmation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (855) 992-3353 or (312) 527-7300.
If you booked outside of the IRE show room block or with another hotel, you will need to cancel your reservation and rebook for IRE’s April dates; Informa encourages you to do so through onPeak, IRE’s official provider.
Updates will be posted on IRE’s website as soon as they become available. For more information, go to IRE’s COVID-19 resource page at theroofingexpo.com/en/attend/show-news/news-covid19.html.
If you have additional questions regarding Informa AllSecure, contact Meggan Spehar, IRE senior marketing manager, at email@example.com.