NRCA Launches Silica Webpage to Help Members Comply with OSHA’s New Silica Rule

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On Sept. 23, OSHA began enforcing its long-anticipated final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the workplace. To help its members comply with provisions of the new rule, NRCA has launched a silica web page.

Launched Sept. 16, the webpage will provide NRCA members with information designed to assist them in adapting to the silica rule’s new regulations including;

  • A PowerPoint presentation contractors can use to facilitate a training session on RCS as required by the rule.
  • Links to outside resources that may be useful for compliance assistance with equipment options, objective data compilations, industrial hygiene and laboratory needs, and plan development.
  • A sample of the required silica exposure control plan for members to edit to their company needs.
  • New Toolbox Talks targeted to roofing tasks that workers may perform.
  • A detailed summary of the RCS rule.

In roofing, workers can be exposed to RCS when performing tasks that involve abrasive action on concrete and clay roof tiles, concrete pavers, masonry and mortar joints may produce dust particles that, when inhaled, settle into deep portions of the lungs and cause damage.

“NRCA’s new silica webpage and additional initiatives should assist our members in easing burdens of the silica rule and decrease the risks associated with silica in the roofing industry,” says Harry Dietz, an NRCA director of enterprise risk management.

In addition to the new webpage, NRCA also has been working with the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, Tile Roofing Institute and many NRCA affiliates to conduct air sampling and testing of roofing materials to determine whether they contain crystalline silica and to what level.

NRCA members may access the new silica webpage at www.nrca.net/Silica-regulation-resources.

 

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NRCA Joins Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Encourages Roofing Industry to Observe National Suicide Prevention Week

suicide-logos5-finalAccording to a July 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the construction industry is one of the most at-risk industries for suicide, ranking No. 1 in the number of suicides and No. 2 in suicide rate – nearly four times the national average among the general population.

A July 2017 article published in Professional Roofing magazine states roofing contractors, similar to construction contractors in general, have a large portion of their workforce composed of males between the ages of 25 and 45, which are the most at-risk demographic for suicide death, according to the CDC.

Sept. 10-16 is National Suicide Prevention Week, which is meant to promote awareness of mental health and suicide typically a taboo topic. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention offers resources on its website, including published articles, FAQs, posters to display in the workplace, and information and tips regarding how to plan an education session or suicide prevention summit, among other resources.

As part of its commitment to safety in the roofing industry, NRCA has joined the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a group of key industry organizations that are committed to promoting the safety and well-being of construction workers. Established by the Construction Financial Management Association in 2016, the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s mission is “to provide and disseminate information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction with the goal of creating a zero-suicide industry.”

During National Suicide Prevention Week, NRCA encourages the roofing industry to visit the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and to share its messages aimed at building a zero-suicide industry at www.cfma.org/news/content.cfm?ItemNumber=4570&navItemNumber=4639

NRCA continues to push for reform of career and technical education federal policies

Professional Roofing’s August issue highlights NRCA’s continued efforts to reform career and technical education federal policies.

Roof Repair and Maintenance (5)In June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), legislation that would reform and reauthorize CTE programs operated under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

NRCA’s efforts to work with Congress to improve policy governing career and technical education (CTE) are highlighted in “Educating for the 21st Century,” an article published in Professional Roofing’s August issue.

The article states NRCA believes more effective CTE programs are vital to the long-term prosperity of the roofing industry. It is becoming increasingly difficult for contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other industry employers to find enough workers to fill job openings despite vigorous efforts to recruit new employees.

NRCA is urging Congress to improve and expand CTE programs to help meet the growing need for skilled applicants for well-paying roofing jobs. NRCA member companies provide career opportunities for those with the proper skills and work ethic. Reformed and expanded CTE programs can help provide students with the skills needed to pursue rewarding careers in the roofing industry.

In 2015, Congress began developing legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which authorizes and provides more than $1 billion in funding for CTE programs at secondary and post-secondary levels. Policies governing these programs have not been updated since 2006, and their effectiveness for meeting the current needs of employers is in question.

NRCA has worked with lawmakers to develop policies designed to improve and expand CTE opportunities to meet the challenging workforce development needs of our members. The goal is to provide new opportunities for employers to collaborate with educators at the state and local levels to develop CTE programs designed to achieve employers’ workforce objectives.

According the article, a reauthorized Perkins Act will provide maximum flexibility in the design of CTE programs to ensure they are truly effective for meeting rapidly changing economic demands. In addition, there is a need for expanded employer-sponsored internships, on-the-job training opportunities, new sector partnerships between employer and educational institutions, and more incentives for the development of industry recognized credentials.

In 2016, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) introduced the first iteration of H.R. 2353 which included policy recommendations developed by NRCA and allied groups. After passing the House, the Senate failed to take action on the legislation before adjourning at the end of 2016.

In 2017, at NRCA’s urging, the House renewed its efforts, and a revised bill was approved with strong bipartisan support in June. However, bipartisan differences in the Senate over education policy present an obstacle to Senate passage.

It is critical all NRCA members support this effort by contacting their senators in support of the bill. NRCA recognizes the importance of workforce development to its members and will continue working with lawmakers to pass the legislation. When implemented in the coming years, programs developed under the reforms in H.R. 2353 could be critical to enabling roofing industry employers to meet their workforce needs.

To read this article in its entirety visit http://www.professionalroofing.net/Articles/Education-for-the-21st-century–08-01-2017/4065/.

 

 

NRCA CEO Reid Ribble Makes Statement Urging the Roofing Industry to Tap Into Its Giving Spirit by Helping Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane HarveySince becoming NRCA’s CEO, I have frequently spoken about the tremendous generosity of the roofing industry and its willingness to donate time, money and resources to those in need.

As Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate residents of the Houston area, many in the roofing industry have been asking: “What can we do to help?”

There are many ways to help.

NRCA member SRS Distribution, McKinney, Texas and its SRS Raise the Roof Foundation has announced a two-week fundraising campaign dedicated to the direct relief and support for those affected by the hurricane. SRS will match 100 percent of all contributions received during this period, with all funds raised supporting relief organizations or, on a limited basis, directly to hurricane victims. Those who wish to donate may do so at  www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5RN4VQ75LDH2E.

In addition, NRCA member Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio, has alerted NRCA the San Antonio Food Bank is in immediate need of monetary donations to help feed the thousands of Houston’s residents who have fled to the hurricane. Contributions can be made at www.safoodbank.org.

NRCA and The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Helping Our Own program will each be making $1,000 contributions to both organizations.

There also are countless additional organizations that have established campaigns to support those in Hurricane Harvey’s path. Following are a few.

American Red Cross

Feeding Texas

Salvation Army

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas

Greater Houston Community Foundation

United Way of Greater Houston

There are countless additional charitable agencies across the U.S. that have established funds to aid those affected by this terrible hurricane. NRCA continues to closely watch the hurricane as it progresses, and will alert the roofing industry of additional fundraising plans.

Thank you in advance for your generosity to those affected by this devastating event.

Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors Raises $14,000 to Aid Families Affected by 2016 Wildfires

CHL_4265 copyOn April 21, members of the Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC) hosted a golf tournament in Gatlinburg, Tenn. to raise funds for Gatlinburg’s Mountain Tough Recovery Team (MTRT), a foundation set up through the East Tennessee Foundation to help families who lost homes in the wildfires that spread through the state in late 2016.

MTRT was created to aid and support families who were adversely affected by the fires on November 28, 2016, that burned 1,800 homes and caused $500 million in damage to the tourism industry.

“It’s important for TARC to support the businesses in Tennessee, especially in times of need,” says TARC past-president Robert Smith, Jr. “There are still families displaced by these fires and businesses yet to be rebuilt.”
In lieu of TARC’s Scholarship Fund, TARC held a special silent auction and reception after the golf tournament to raise funds for fire victims. Items auctioned included Gatlinburg weekend getaway packages donated by the Gatlinburg Visitors Bureau.

TARC exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 for the foundation, raising $14,000.

“The MTRT will utilize these funds to assist the fire survivors with various unmet needs from medical assistance, the replacement of items such as small appliances to be used for food preparation, and assistance with utility costs in temporary housing,” said MTRT board chair Ellen Wilhort.

“It was a touching experience,” Smith says. “To be able to be part of the rebuilding process in these people’s lives made the event worthwhile. We as an organization should be honored to have been able to lend a hand to those in need.”

Desperate times, desperate measures?

Column written by Ambika Puniani Bailey, NRCA’s vice president of communications and production as it appears in Professional Roofing magazine’s July issue.

Construction worker climbing ladderThe construction industry, indeed the entire U.S., is struggling to fill jobs as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent in April—the lowest it’s been since the Great Recession. (The federal government considers full U.S. employment to be 4.7 percent.)

Yes, employing immigrant labor is one option though hiring foreign workers places multiple paperwork burdens on employers plus other hurdles to clear, such as language barriers. Instead, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, more employers are actively recruiting and hiring those with criminal records.

In fact, according to Bloomberg BNA, a medium security prison in Sheridan, Ill., has been training inmates in carpentry and plumbing skills. And the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Council of State Governments Justice Center jointly agreed to help chamber members hire ex-offenders.

The numbers are astounding. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, there are between 14 million and 15.8 million working-age people with felony convictions and 70 million with an arrest or conviction record. And Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management reports 650,000 prisoners are set free annually in the U.S.

When asked about hiring those with criminal records, National Association of Home Builders CEO Gerald Howard told Bloomberg BNA: “We have a huge labor shortage. This has become a focus out of necessity.”Felons

As an added perk, employers that hire and retain ex-felons are offered a federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit. (The same tax credit applies to those who hire and retain veterans.) And research conducted by Northwestern University showed ex-offenders are no more likely to be fired than non-offenders after being hired. In addition, the research showed ex-offenders were much less likely to quit a job than non-offenders.

With a historically tight job market, you might need to get creative with your hiring policies. And as you explore your hiring options, keep in mind Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines and protections apply when hiring ex-offenders just as they would with any other job candidate.

 

Alliance Awards $55,000 Through 2017 Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program

The Alliance has announced the recipients of its 2017 Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, which include six new recipients and the renewal of five scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.

The Alliance awarded two new general scholarships to Nicolas Calvert, son of Edward Calvert, senior engineer, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., and Sophia McGuire, daughter of Mark McGuire, project manager, AAA Roofing Co., Indianapolis.

In addition, a new Firestone Scholarship has been awarded to Alyssa Merna, sales coordinator, Bloom Roofing System Inc., Brighton, Mich.

A new Beacon Roofing Supply Scholarship has also been awarded to Salvador Flores Garcia, son of Jose Flores Estrada, roofer, Alcal Arcade Contracting, Fremont, Calif.

A new OMG Roofing Products Inc. Scholarship has been awarded to Lillian McKenzie, daughter of Christopher McKenzie, salesman, Watts & Associates Roofing, Columbia, S.C.

The Alliance also renewed six Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, including three general scholarships to Jonah Manson, Solon, Iowa, attending Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Dannelly McKenzie, Columbia, S.C., attending Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; andDrury Poston, Thomson, Ga., attending Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.

In addition, a Firestone Scholarship was renewed for Jaclyn Harris, Mooresville, Ind., attending Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

A Dan Cohen Scholarship was renewed for Christian Cole, attending Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga.

A Fred Good Scholarship also was renewed for Ivy Rivas, Tujunga, Calif., attending University of California Davis, Davis, Calif.

Each recipient will receive a $5,000 award. Awards are renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study or until a bachelor’s degree is earned provided recipients renew annually and maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).

A total of $55,000 in scholarships was awarded for the 2017-18 school year–$30,000 for renewals and $25,000 for new recipients. To date, 122 students have received $735,000 in scholarship awards.