Risk Management

  • President Steve Stroder gives an example of how SCORE helped reduce accidents at one of his company’s facilities.
  • Collectively, the industry can raise the bar on safety through the SCORE program.
  • The goal of SCORE is to provide industry best practices and generate data to help CMs track and manage their facility, following the belief that, if you measure something, improvement will follow. 
  • The beginning of the year is a great time to ensure your forklift drivers are up-to-date on their training.
  • For several years, OSHA has been pursuing more stringent regulations for the collection and disposal of “combustible dust,” including sawdust.
  • Hearing conservation is a very serious concern, and one that can affect the component manufacturing industry.
  • Be proactive and develop a plan to strategize how you might deal with a truss collapse and the subsequent investigation.
  • Information is critical; visit the site, take lots of photos and document as much as you can.
  • Remember that the only company looking out for your company’s best interests is your own. Take action with this in mind, and ultimately, it will save everyone money and time.
  • Not stating a SOW can also subject a CM to the prospect of increased claims and liability. 
  • A manufacturer should strongly consider developing a SOW template that can be used in its bids or proposals and as an addendum or attachment to the customer contracts it signs.
  • Only scaffold-grade lumber should be used for erecting scaffolds.
  • Scaffold-grade lumber meets strength criteria determined by the grading rules set by a recognized lumber grading agency or independent lumber inspection agency and meet the minimum requirements of OSHA standard 29 CFR 1926.
  • The characteristics required for scaffold-grade lumber, such as number and size of knots, slope of grain and juvenile wood, are higher and more stringent than those for construction lumber.

As of June 16, OSHA intends to begin enforcing residential fall protection guidelines first put in place in 1994. The change comes from a 2010 decision to lift a set of interim guidelines OSHA imposed in December 1995.

So much has changed in just a few short years for component manufacturers supplying single and multi-family residential construction projects. It’s no surprise that the legal landscape we face while operating our businesses in this volatile market has changed as well. As you refocus to take advantage of opportunities as the housing market recovers, I encourage you to consider these legal trends.

We received a lot of positive feedback from readers about an article in the April issue regarding a component manufacturer’s product defect negligence lawsuit. While this is not the industry’s first escape from a negligence or breach of warranty finding as a result of proper risk management procedures, it’s a very timely lesson for us. As SBCA Legal Counsel Kent Pagel explains in Important Legal Trends for 2011, the building industry is in another litigious cycle. Many of you pointed to the moral of the story: That the value of providing SBCA Jobsite Packages with all component orders cannot be overstated.