Florida roofing contractors are arrested in insurance scheme
Two roofing contractors are facing charges for an alleged roofing scheme that targeted homeowners’ insurance companies in southwest Florida after Hurricane Irma struck the area in 2017, according to nbc-2.com.
Brian Webb and Brandon Jourdan, who operated Webb Roofing & Construction LLC, Fort Myers, Fla., are accused of persuading homeowners in Lee and Collier counties to submit claims to their home insurance companies by promising rebates that would cover their deductibles. (Their company is not an NRCA member.) As part of the scheme, the men allegedly enticed homeowners to submit full roof replacement claims to their insurance companies related to damage allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma.
Webb and Jourdan are accused of telling their sales team to “solicit insured homeowners with a promise they can get them a new roof without paying the required homeowner’s deductible.” The sales team also reportedly was told to persuade homeowners to submit claims for “damaged” roofs related to Hurricane Irma for full roof replacements.
Employees had homeowners sign over their insurance claim rights and sign “advertising agreements” where they agreed to have signs placed in their yards, post positive reviews and give referrals in exchange for a rebate or a credit toward the deductible. Webb and Jourdan are facing nine felony counts of false and fraudulent insurance claims and could each face a maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison and a $45,000 fine.
Louisiana bill requires updated energy-efficiency codes
On June 22, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB 803 into law requiring the statewide adoption of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code® and the 2021 International Residential Code,® Chapter 11—Energy Efficiency, according to iccsafe.org. The Louisiana legislature previously had cleared the bill unanimously.
The bill will transfer responsibility of commercial energy code enforcement from state government to the local, municipal/parish governments and third-party providers, and the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council will add the IECC as part of statewide adopted codes.
To facilitate the code’s adoption, HB 803 also establishes the Energy Code Commission, which comprises 16 members and is responsible for reviewing and amending the 2021 editions of IRC Chapter 11 and IECC for residential, commercial and state-owned buildings. This temporary commission will review and consider amendments to the 2021 energy code provisions and dissolve upon the completion of the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council’s Administrative Rule process, completing the adoption of the 2021 IECC. The code’s ultimate statewide effective date is July 1, 2023.
The legislation comes as the Department of Energy is using a grant program to help implement updated energy codes. The Energy Code Implementation Program was established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in November 2021, which provides $225 million during the course of five years.
Louisiana roofing contractor faces penalties after worker’s fatal fall
A Louisiana roofing contractor faces penalties after ignoring federal safety inspectors’ February 2022 warnings that not complying with required fall-protection standards exposed workers to serious dangers, according to osha.gov. Premier South Roofing LLC, Baton Rouge, La., faces $249,323 in proposed penalties after Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determined a worker’s deadly fall could have been prevented if protective devices were used.
Premier South Roofing, which is not an NRCA member, is accused of exposing six employees to fall hazards by failing to ensure required fall protection was used April 2. Workers were repairing and replacing a roof system when a 22-year-old worker stepped on and fell about 30 feet through a skylight. The worker succumbed to injuries later at a hospital.
“Falls continue to be the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry and yet, employers like Premier South Roofing repeatedly failed to protect their workers from the risk of disabling injuries or worse,” says OSHA Area Director Roderic Chube. “Ensuring workers are trained on and use proper fall protection, as required by law, can prevent tragedies such as this from recurring.”
On Feb. 2, an OSHA inspector observed five Premier South Roofing employees working on a roof without adequate fall protection and initiated an inspection as part of the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Construction.
Following its most recent inspection, OSHA cited Premier South Roofing for two repeat violations for failing to provide fall protection and verify employee training. The company had 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.