Official publication of the Northeast Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contactors Association, Inc.

March 20, 2015   Volume 03-15-14     on the web @www.nefrsa.com


 

…March Meeting Notice…

Are you an unwitting polluter of your jobsite, work yard, or home?  Come find out on Tuesday, March 24th at the Ramada Inn Mandarin when our special guests will be Heather Hahn & Marc Lovallo, both Environmental Specialists with the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation.  If you have questions about volatile organic compounds, lead, asbestos, disposal techniques, construction site or storm water runoff, bring them all.  Hospitality is from 5:30 until 6:15, dinner from 6:15 until 7:00, with our business meeting & speakers commencing at 7:00. 

 

The evening’s dinner will be pork madeira, with vegetable, tossed salad, & cheesecake.  Cost for members is $20.00 and non-members $25.00.  To assure proper food count & seating, please RSVP to Shay at Sunniland Corp. 448-0623

 

Fresh from the SHOW…I’m writing this just having returned from the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show after my final booth slot and full of nervous energy.  It’s Saturday evening and my final two shifts were smokers, almost a non-stop flow of people past the booth.  I would like to name George W. ‘Scooter’ Ferber, new member from Amelia Roofing as this year’s IRON MAN.  Over the four day event he put in a whopping 28 hours.  Ken Moody & Don Hickman (who had a booth in the Gainesville Home Show at the same time) put in 6 hours each, Tonya Steele put in four, and Lincoln & Trinity Register (who were headed the next evening to Washington DC for his brothers planned engagement & time in the snow) & Jerry Rowe put in 3 hours each.  Thanks to Vinnie Marino for helping transport & set-up our booth, producing, & securing our printed matter (the brochures we ran out of Sunday morning).  It was wonderful to meet the people of Jacksonville, some old customers, and friends in a non-pressured environment where they were free to ask all the questions they wanted (and some took free advantage of it).  We owe so much to these individuals who gave up there time to advance the goals of the Assn. and educating the public in the wise practice of utilizing licensed contractors.  Special thanks go out to David Neese and his sweetie who provided the coffee that kept me going.

And then the fight started… My wife woke up during the night to find that I was not in the bed.  She put on her dressing gown and goes downstairs to look and found me sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee.  I was in deep thought just staring at the wall.  She watched as I wiped a tear from my eye and took a sip of coffee.  'What's the matter, dear?' she whispered.  'Why are you down here at this time of night?'  I looked up from my coffee: I am just remembering when we first met 20 years ago and started dating. You were only 16.  Do you remember back then?'... I said.  My wife was touched to tears thinking that I was so caring & sensitive.  'Yes, I do honey', she replied.  I paused.  The words were not coming easily…  'Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my Rambler?'  'Yes, I remember!' said my wife, lowering herself into a chair beside me.  I continued. 'Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?'  'I remember that too' she replied softly.  I wiped another tear from my cheek and said, 'I would have been released today'.  And then the fight…

 

Another Blonde Yoke… A blonde man spies a letter lying on his doormat.  It says on the envelope "DO NOT BEND ".  He spends the next 2 hours trying to figure out how to pick it up.

 

Employee Manuals as a Defense Against OSHA Citations… The single most common way for OSHA to cite a construction company for lapses in safety occurs when inspectors ask crew members complicated, convoluted, and highly technical questions regarding safety regulations.  A crucial weapon a contractor has when defending against an OSHA inspection is a detailed and up to date employee manual.  However, having a copy of such a manual in the file is not enough.  Physically having the manual on job sites is the key element to remember.  Every employee on every job should have their field safety manual available for reference at all times.  To ensure that crews are abiding by such a policy, we always recommend that a field manual be present in every truck that is used by an employee or brought to a work site.  Having the manual onsite allows crew members who are approached by OSHA inspectors to quickly refer to his or her manual during any interview or job site walk through.  It is also imperative that the manual contain the most up to date regulations and be reprinted every time OSHA changes their policies and codes.  

 

When crews have copies of their manual on job sites, they can simply inform the inspector that when issues with safety arise, they immediately refer to their field manual, which is with them at all times.  Furthermore, it is highly recommended that each and every employee sign and date a sworn statement that they received a copy of the company safety manual as soon as they were hired.  These types of documents should be filed at the home office and can be incredibly helpful when defending a citation against OSHA.  Source: Trent Cotney  

 

The DOL and Employee Misclassifications… The Department of Labor recently came out and said they plan to continue to challenge the misclassification of employees as independent contractors or exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The DOL said it will use all means necessary to combat independent contractors such as litigation, amicus briefs and cooperation with state agencies as effective tools when dealing with these violations.  The DOL said it targets a variety of industries looking for violators, but the Department put a strong emphasis on construction workers, as an area where they continue to find numerous misclassified employees. So if any Association member plans to enter into a subcontractor or independent contractor relationship with anyone, we strongly encourage you to seek legal advice before doing so.  It could cost you dearly in the end!

 

Yes I am a senior citizen… A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.  'Is it true,' she wanted to know, 'that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?'  'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her.  There was a moment of silence.  Before the senior lady replied, I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'.

 

News, Blues, & Other Things… According to Duval County Building Department Inspection Division, the number of ‘destructive’ roof-in-progress inspections is way down in part to the form requesting same was released last month.  People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don't.  The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered.  Only in America...could we have the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.  Stomach acid (HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!  In 2011, the Small Business Administration estimated the total cost of compliance with all federal regulations throughout the nation was $1.75 trillion annually.  In 2013, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a market-oriented think tank, estimated the nationwide cost at $1.9 trillion.  The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

 

Just around the corner… March 24th, Tuesday at ABC Supply Jacksonville S’side hot dog & hamburger lunch with the ABC racecar (did you know that racecar spelled backwards is racecar?).  April 18th, Saturday at the Orange Park Country Club (by popular command), 8:30 shotgun start,  The NEFRSA Memorial Golf Tournament, $65.00 (no price increase) includes cart, green fees, bucket of balls, hot dog & hamburger luncheon with the awards ceremony.  Information to follow by announcements.  April 21st, Tuesday in Jacksonville, two free hours of continuing education are offered by the State.  One hour on worker’s comp and workplace safety are being offered.  Check it out at bocseminars@myfloridacfo.com.  These hours are also available through webinars at the same site.  May 7, Thursday, NRCA is holding a FREE fall protection training course at FRSA’s training center in Orlando.  June 30th, Tuesday, the Fifth Edition of the Florida Building Code is expected to go into effect (hopefully!). Until the code has been approved by the Florida Building Commission, the 2010 edition of the code is still in use.   July 16-18, Thursday thru Saturday sees the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Expo, taking place, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. For more info, go to www.floridaroof.com


Tax Credit Schleps Into Bill…A tax credit for Energy Star roofing products installed in 2014 was recently added to a bill that was passed. So, the good news is the fact that the tax credit is now available for homeowners that installed an energy star rated roof in 2014.  The bad news is that the bill was not passed until 2015, so the industry could not promote the tax credit as a way to generate new business during 2014. Also, at this time, the tax credit is not available for roofs installed in 2015.  Whether or not that changes is in the hands of our politicians.


OSHA Updates BLS Reports Decline in Workplace Injuries and Illnesses…The Bureau of Labor Statistics published their annual report on workplace injuries and illnesses, which stated that three million workers sustained nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2013.  Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, issued a statement on the report. "We are encouraged that the rates continue to decline over the past few years, even during this period of healthy economic growth when we would expect the rate of injuries to rise.  The decrease in the injury rate is a product of tireless work by those employers, unions, worker advocates and occupational safety and health professionals all coupled with the efforts of federal and state government organizations that make worker safety and health a high priority each and every day  We cannot ignore those three million workers.  The severity of their injuries and illnesses varies widely; some are amputees, some suffer back injuries, while others have to struggle for each breath.  Work injuries can instantly pull the rug out from a family striving for a good middle-class life," Michaels said.


Stress Kills or Yoga & the Perfect Pose…If you can start the day without caffeine, if you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, if you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, if you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, if you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, if you can take criticism and blame without resentment, if you can conquer tension without medical help, if you can relax without alcohol, if you can sleep without the aid of drugs, Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!


A New Scam…We’ve received news from a member who was caught in a scam so new that neither the FBI, the Division of Corporations, nor local law enforcement had heard about it.  Our member, let’s call him Joe, stumbled across this scam by accident.  He was at the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registering a new truck.  The DMV employee informed him that according to SunBiz, the company belonged to another individual with the same last name at a different location and that he could not register the truck since he was not the company owner.  A seemingly honest mistake for someone with a common last name, but this member had an unusual last name and knew of no other company in the state with the same name.  He left and went home to investigate the incident in more detail.  Joe visited the SunBiz website (www.SunBiz.org), the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporation’s site.  There he saw that someone had changed the information for his company with a new contact person and address.  Joe then contacted the Division of Corporations (DOC) to notify them of the fraudulent act.  DOC walked Joe through the process of changing HIS company information back and paying another $61 to do so.  Joe inquired as to why passwords weren’t set up and noted how easily someone could go onto SunBiz.org and change the information without any documentation or verification process for a secure login.  Joe shared his experience with others and someone suggested that he contact his bank to make sure his accounts were secure.  Joe called the bank and after going back and forth with them for over an hour, finally went down to the bank in person.  The bank also used SunBiz to verify the corporation information and told him the same scam artist had changed his bank account information and that new debit cards had been sent.  The bank neglected to contact Joe to see if the change in information was accurate and he received no subsequent notification from them.  Joe quickly closed the account and opened another one.  The bank told him not to use debit cards that are connected directly to his bank account, but rather credit cards, where you have the chance to dispute transactions and your bank account can’t be accessed. 


Joe filed complaints with the Department of Corporations (SunBiz), the FBI, the State’s Attorney’s office (who had yet to begin investigating the issue) and local law enforcement.  Joe asked that we pass along this information to fellow members so that they are aware.  Go to www.SunBiz.org and check your company listing.  At the bottom of their page, there is a ”Customer Satisfaction Survey“ – click on that link and request some type of password or secured login be required to change records.   

      

The Federal Trade Commission publishes two guides that are helpful in these circumstances: Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business and Taking Charge: What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen.  Source: FRSA

 

If you don’t succeed at first… None of his classmates liked him cause of his stupidity, especially his teacher, who was always yelling at him, "You’re driving me mad Tyrone."  One day Tyrone’s mom came to school to check on how he was doing.  The teacher told his mom honestly, that her son was simply a disaster, getting very low marks, and never had she seen such a dumb boy in her entire teaching career.  The mom was shocked at the feedback and withdrew her son from school and moved out of Detroit, relocating to Cleveland.


25 years later, the teacher was diagnosed with an incurable cardio disease.  All the doctors strongly advised her to have heart surgery, which only one surgeon could perform.  Left with no other options, the teacher decided to have the operation, which was successful.  When she opened her eyes after the surgery she saw a handsome doctor smiling down at her.  She wanted to thank him, but could not talk.  Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something but eventually died.  The doctor was shocked and was trying to work out what went wrong, when he turned around he saw our friend Tyrone, working as a cleaner in the clinic, who had unplugged the oxygen equipment in order to connect his vacuum cleaner!  Don't tell me you thought Tyrone became a heart-surgeon?

 

Illinois Contractor Faces More Than $287,000 in Lead Paint Fines… OSHA issued four willful, one serious and two repeat violations to Era Valdivia Contractors Inc. after an inspection found workers were continued…exposed to dangerous lead hazards while sandblasting the steel structure of the Francisco Avenue Bridge in Blue Island, Ill.  Lead exposure can cause damage to the central nervous, urinary, blood and reproductive systems. The company faces proposed fines of $287,440.  "OSHA's investigation found that Era Valdivia Contractors had performed tests that indicated dangerous lead exposure in the early stages of the project.  The company made a conscious decision not to protect its workers," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Era Valdivia Contractors failed to follow the law and its company policy, putting everyone at risk."  OSHA initiated the inspection under its National Emphasis Program for Lead after observing employees working with lead without personal protective equipment.  Willful violations include failing to provide personal protective clothing, clean changing areas and hygiene facilities, such as showers and hand-washing facilities, to prevent lead from traveling home.  OSHA also issued a serious violation for failing to provide written notice to an employee who was overexposed to lead. A great reminder to sign up for 4-Hour Lead Recertification seminar if you were certified in the first wave of licensing!


A Golf Lesson…(In honor of the upcoming golf tournament….) A father, son and grandson went to the country club for their weekly round of golf. Just as they reached the first tee, a beautiful young blonde woman carrying her bag of clubs approached them.  She explained that the Doug who brought her to the club for a round of golf had an emergency that called him away and asked the trio whether she could join them.  Naturally, the guys all agreed.  Smiling, the blonde thanked them and said, 'Look, fellows, I work in a topless bar as a dancer, so nothing shocks me anymore.  If any of you want to smoke cigars, have a beer, bet, swear, tell off-color stories or do anything that you normally do when playing a round together, go ahead. But, I enjoy playing golf, consider myself pretty good at it, so don't try to coach me on how to play my shots.'  With that the guys agreed to relax and invited her to drive first. All eyes were fastened on her shapely behind as she bent to place her ball on the tee. She then took her driver and hit the ball 270 yards down the middle, right in front of the green.


The father's mouth was agape.  'That was beautiful,' he said.  The blonde put her driver away and said, 'I really didn't get into it, and I faded it a little.'  After the three guys hit their drives and their second shots, the blonde took out an eight iron and lofted the ball within five feet of the hole.  The son said, 'Damn, lady, you played that perfectly.'  The blonde frowned and said, 'It was a little weak, but even an easy seven would have been too much club.  I've left a tricky little putt.'  She then tapped in the five-footer for a birdie.  Having the honors, she drove first on the second hole, knocked the heck out of the ball, and it landed nearly 300 yards away smack in the middle of the fairway.  For the rest of the round the statuesque blonde continued to amaze the guys, quietly and methodically shooting for par or less on every hole.


When they arrived at the 18th green, the blonde was three under par, and had a very nasty 12-foot putt on an undulating green for a par.  She turned to the three guys and said, 'I really want to thank you all for not acting like a bunch of chauvinists and telling me what club to use or how to play a shot, but I need this putt for a 69 and I'd really like to break 70 on this course.  If any one of you can tell me how to make par on this hole I'll take him back to my apartment, pour some 35-year-old Single Malt Scotch, fix him a steak dinner and then show him a very good time the rest of the night.'  The yuppie son jumped at the thought! He strolled across the green, carefully eyeing the line of the putt and finally said, 'Honey, aim about 6 inches to the right of the hole and hit it firm. It will get over that little hump and break right into the cup.'  The father knelt down and sighted the putt using his putter as a plumb.  'Don't listen to the kid, darlin', you want to hit it softly 10 inches to the right and let it run left down that little hogback, so it falls into the cup.'  The old gray-haired grandfather

 

Employee Manuals as a Defense Against OSHA Citations… The single most common way for OSHA to cite a construction company for lapses in safety occurs when inspectors ask crew members complicated, convoluted, and highly technical questions regarding safety regulations.  A crucial weapon a contractor has when defending against an OSHA inspection is a detailed and up to date employee manual.  However, having a copy of such a manual in the file is not enough.  Physically having the manual on job sites is the key element to remember.  Every employee on every job should have their field safety manual available for reference at all times.  To ensure that crews are abiding by such a policy, we always recommend that a field manual be present in every truck that is used by an employee or brought to a work site.  Having the manual onsite allows crew members who are approached by OSHA inspectors to quickly refer to his or her manual during any interview or job site walk through.  It is also imperative that the manual contain the most up to date regulations and be reprinted every time OSHA changes their policies and codes.  


When crews have copies of their manual on job sites, they can simply inform the inspector that when issues with safety arise, they immediately refer to their field manual, which is with them at all times.  Furthermore, it is highly recommended that each and every employee sign and date a sworn statement that they received a copy of the company safety manual as soon as they were hired.  These types of documents should be filed at the home office and can be incredibly helpful when defending a citation against OSHA.  Source: Trent Cotney  

 

The DOL and Employee Misclassifications… The Department of Labor recently came out and said they plan to continue to challenge the misclassification of employees as independent contractors or exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The DOL said it will use all means necessary to combat independent contractors such as litigation, amicus briefs and cooperation with state agencies as effective tools when dealing with these violations.  The DOL said it targets a variety of industries looking for violators, but the Department put a strong emphasis on construction workers, as an area where they continue to find numerous misclassified employees. So if any Association member plans to enter into a subcontractor or independent contractor relationship with anyone, we strongly encourage you to seek legal advice before doing so.  It could cost you dearly in the end!


Yes I am a senior citizen… A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.  'Is it true,' she wanted to know, 'that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?'  'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her.  There was a moment of silence.  Before the senior lady replied, I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'.


News, Blues, & Other Things… According to Duval County Building Department Inspection Division, the number of ‘destructive’ roof-in-progress inspections is way down in part to the form requesting same was released last month.  People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don't.  The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered.  Only in America...could we have the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.  Stomach acid (HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!  In 2011, the Small Business Administration estimated the total cost of compliance with all federal regulations throughout the nation was $1.75 trillion annually.  In 2013, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a market-oriented think tank, estimated the nationwide cost at $1.9 trillion. 


The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary.





back to top of page