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This weekly newsletter keeps safety professionals 'in the know' with important OSHA, NECA and safety-related industry information.


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ECmag.com features updated content, product information , fully navigable editorial archives , and more. If you're looking for information to help your business in the electrical industry, visit ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR's online editorial resource. Learn More


ELECTRI International

ELECTRI International works to help electrical contractors meet today's demands and tomorrow's challenges by funding, conducting, coordinating and transforming research results into meaningful, useful educational and consulting programs. Learn more

Latest News:

NECA Legal Alert
As the country and our NECA contractors get back to work in stops and starts (or continue along as essential), there are a number of novel issues that need to be addressed by employers. A few areas of concern are the sick leave and testing issues associated with the pandemic.
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New DOL tool for determining FFCRA eligibility
Do the requirements and benefits provided for in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to you? This tool will quickly walk you through a handful of options to determine your eligibility as an employee for paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave, or your obligations as an employer to provide paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave.
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U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Employers of Important Protections for Working Safely in Summer Heat
Throughout much of the U.S., high temperatures and humidity in the summer season can create hot and hazardous working conditions, both outdoors and indoors. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers of their duty to protect employees from the risks and dangers of heat exposure.
NECA 2020 National Award Winners and New Academy Fellows
NECA has named the following esteemed group of leaders in the electrical construction industry as 2020 national award recipients. They will be honored during the NECA 2020 Live for their outstanding contributions.
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Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – Revisions to the Third and Sixth Interim Final Rules
On April 2, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) posted on its website an interim final rule relating to the implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act) (published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2020).
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SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020
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NECA Announces Plans for 2020 Convention and Trade Show
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) today announced the 2020 Convention and Trade Show will take place entirely online October 5–7, featuring brand-new virtual experiences. McCormick Place in Chicago, the planned site for the 2020 Convention, informed NECA that it does not have approval at this time to hold the event, and the association is adjusting accordingly.
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U.S. Department of Labor Statement on D.C. Circuit Court Ruling
Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Loren Sweatt issued the following statement regarding today’s D.C. Circuit Court ruling in In re: “American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, No. 20-1158:”
U.S. Department of Labor Schedules Advisory Committee On Construction Safety and Health Meeting
The meeting will include an update on key OSHA initiatives from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. The ACCSH will consider and make recommendations for updating the Powered Industrial Trucks standards and the Hazard Communication Standard.
NEW ANALYSIS FINDS COMPOSITE PLANS WOULD HAVE FARED BETTER DURING THE CORONAVIRUS THAN TRADITIONAL MULTI-EMPLOYER RETIREMENT PLANS
A new study released today finds that composite retirement plans would have fared better during the coronavirus pandemic and related market declines than traditional defined-benefit multi-employer plans, allowing participants to receive higher benefits and attracting more employer participants. The study makes it clear that employees and employers stand to benefit once Congress authorizes the use of composite plans.
NECA Observes National Safety Month Along with the National Safety Council
June is National Safety Month observed annually by the National Safety Council. NSC is the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, National Safety Month focuses on saving lives and preventing injuries, from the workplace to anyplace.
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA Issues Guidance to Help Construction Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a webpage with coronavirus-related guidance for construction employers and workers. The guidance includes recommended actions to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
NECA Announces 2020 Recipients for the NECA Recognition of Safety Achievement Programs for Safety Excellence and Zero Injury
NECA’s Recognition of Safety Achievement program is an elite safety recognition focused on recognizing thriving companies that excel in multiple areas of their safety and health programs. Member companies that consistently have OSHA recordable injury and fatality rates at levels lower than the industry standard, and implement internal company safety practices above and beyond basic compliance will receive the recognition.
Updated Workplace COVID-19 Resources
Included is a list of general COVID-19 resources grouped by an agency and additional industry-specific COVID-19 resources grouped by industry. It is intended as a resource and is not comprehensive.
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McDonald Electrical Powers Boston Healthcare for the Homeless COVID-19 Temporary Medical Facilities in Boston and Cambridge
In response to Greater Boston’s critical healthcare needs during the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald Electrical Corp. (MEC), based in Hingham, MA, working in tandem with general contractor, Suffolk Construction, provided fast turnaround electrical installations required in the set-up of temporary medical isolation tent facilities for Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) in Boston and Cambridge.
CMCC Notice
While in the past contractors were personally responsible for certifying the strength of their cybersecurity protocols that would hold sensitive information associated with DOD projects, the new regulations instituted by the CMMC will require third-party certification (authorized by the CMMC Accreditation Body) of a contractor’s compliance.
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New credits fund employers for Coronavirus-related paid leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides tax credits to reimburse employers for the costs of providing paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave to employees unable to work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These credits are refundable. That means if the amount of the credit exceeds the amount of tax owed, the remainder is refunded to the business or organization.
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Stop Use Alert: DBI-SALA Delta & Exofit XP Arc Flash Harnesses
As part of 3M Fall Protections continued commitment to producing high-quality safety and personal protective equipment, they conduct periodic testing of products. Recent testing of specific DBI-SALA® Delta™ & Exofit XP™ Arc Flash harnesses have returned negative test results on some units.
NECA Summarizes the OSHA Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019
OSHA certifies COVID-19 is a recordable illness in all industries if the standard criteria are present1, but the agency now formally acknowledges “in many instances it remains difficult to determine whether a COVID-19 illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced potential exposure both in and out of the workplace.”
NECA Supports the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) “Re-open, Renew and Revitalize” Campaign
NECA recognizes and supports TCC’s recent grassroots campaign. The campaign conveys that reopening, renewing and revitalizing the economy starts with passage of a robust, multi-year transportation bill that creates jobs and keeps goods and services moving to their destinations - now and for decades to come.
ELECTRI International Releases COVID-19 Construction Productivity Report
ELECTRI International released Pandemics and Construction Productivity: Quantifying the Impact, a critical report on the impact of COVID-19 on cost and schedule in the construction industry. The report evaluates activity from January 6, 2020, to May 8, 2020, tracking pandemic mitigation activity, benchmarking productivity and assessing the impact on businesses and projects.
NECA Supports Joint Statement Urging SBA Guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness
Today, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the S Corporation Association (S-CORP) and four other small business advocates issued a statement in response to the lack of clear and consistent guidance from the Department of the Treasury’s and Small Business Administration’s (SBA) on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
OSHA's Ten Steps all workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to COVID-19
OSHA's “Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus” poster is now available in 13 languages.
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NECA Endorses MCAA Change Order Publication
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has given its full endorsement to the 2020 edition of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) publication Change Orders, Productivity, Overtime—A Primer for the Construction Industry.
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U.S. Department of Treasury Grants NECA-Supported Extension of PPP Safe Harbor Deadline
The Treasury Department issued additional guidance (#43 on FAQ) on the Paycheck Protection Program. The Treasury department postponed the Safe Harbor repayment deadline to May 14, 2020, as requested by NECA.
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U.S. Department of Labor Offers New Video and Poster On Proper Workplace Use of Respirators
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new video and poster for employers and workers on how to properly wear and remove a respirator. The video and poster – in English and Spanish – demonstrate and describe seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator.
Live Online BIM Software Training Now Available
NECA is excited to announce live, instructor-led online training on Revit and Navisworks software solutions! Throughout the month of May, NECA will be offering online classes on the most popular BIM solutions developed especially for electrical contractors, for our members at a substantial discount. Normally hundreds of dollars each, our partner Sanveo, is offering these half and full day courses for just $39.00 each!
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One Week Left to Get 50% off State CEUs
With approvals from 33 states, these on-demand code classes are available for 50% off for a limited time. Register by May 3rd to take advantage of this special offer.
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Reminder: One Week Left to Get 50% off State CEUs
With approvals from 33 states, these on-demand code classes are available for 50% off for a limited time. Register by April 26th to take advantage of this special offer.
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Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer's Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
In light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, OSHA understands that some employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing health emergency. Business closures and other restrictions and limitations may also preclude employee participation in training even when trainers are available. In other situations, access to medical testing facilities may be limited or suspended.
NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION CEO DAVID LONG ISSUES STATEMENT ON FORMATION OF GREAT AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIVAL INDUSTRY GROUPS
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Electrical Contractors Association, David Long, issued a statement on being named to the Great American Economic Revival Industry Group for Construction/Labor/Workforce.
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U.S. Department of Labor Announces OSHA Interim Enforcement Response Plan to Protect Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced an interim enforcement response plan for the coronavirus pandemic. The response plan provides instructions and guidance to OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports.
GSA Issues Order to Accept E-Signatures for Surety Bonds During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The U.S. General Services Administration has issued an order to accept e-signatures for surety bonds to allow infrastructure projects to move forward.
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Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter Donates to Fight COVID-19
The Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter, NECA has donated to 20 health care facilities, systems, or foundations throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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NECA Launches NEW Educational Advancement Program With Institutions of Higher Learning
NECA is excited to announce the launch of the NECA Educational Advancement Resource Network (EARN), an initiative designed to facilitate relationships and learning between individuals in electrical construction firms and institutions of higher education.
NECA Releases New Guidelines on Social Distancing on Construction Sites
With many construction sites remaining operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely important to maintain compliance with all social distancing guidelines and requirements. NECA developed recommendations that are specific to construction projects that continue to be operational. While these are fairly comprehensive, they are not all-inclusive. The needs of each site can vary. State or other local requirements can be more restrictive and would take precedent.
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Slow the Spread of COVID-19 with Proper Cleaning of Electrical PPE
Due to the cross-contamination challenges impacting our industry caused by COVID-19, Enespro has updated our Care and Maintenance Guidelines for Electrical PPE, incorporating important CDC guidelines and references to ASTM F496.
Procedure Suggestions for Chapters dealing with Postponements and Cancellations
Meeting planning in the face of COVID-19 can be very stressful. None of us are in control and no one can predict what is going to happen moving forward. The most important thing is to be patient. Do not make rash decisions, weigh all of your options and contact NECA National Staff if you need absolutely anything. If you can, try and look at meetings 30 days at a time because the news is changing daily and this can make a difference with your contract clauses.
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U.S. Treasury Department Issues Guidance Clarifying Qualifications for Paycheck Protection Program
NECA is pleased to report that the U.S. Treasury Department released new guidance on April 7, 2020, clarifying that companies with under 500 employees do qualify for loans under the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This change comes after association staff raised concerns with Congressional leaders and officials at the Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury.
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Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard
This Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) is intended to help small businesses comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respiratory Protection standard (63 FR 1152; January 8, 1998). OSHA’s goal for this document is to provide small entities with a comprehensive step-by-step guide complete with checklists and commonly asked questions that will aid both employees and employers in small businesses with a better understanding of OSHA’s respiratory protection standard.
Upcoming Webinars For Week of 04/06/20
During these unprecedented times, a positive outlook can help us maintain personal and professional duties. NECA has launched a schedule of webinars and more than 100 online educational courses.
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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance for Respiratory Protection During N95 Shortage Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim enforcement guidance to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs). This is the latest step to ensure availability of respirators. More information at the USDOL website.
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NECA and CFMA Co-Host Cash Flow Amid COVID-19 Webinar Next Tuesday, 4/14
More contractors go bankrupt due to cash flow than they do because of profitability. Given the unprecedented events of COVID-19, the construction industry is particularly prone to major cash flow issues that could easily bankrupt your business. During this webinar session we will address critical cash flow considerations. This webinar is co-hosted by NECA and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). The presenter is Michael McLin, Managing Director at Maxim Consulting Group responsible for leading several service line teams within the firm.
Survey of Executive Orders Related to COVID-19 and Impact on Construction Activities
Our nation’s goernors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, governors are taking action to limit the spread of this disease. This new resource for NECA Chapters and Contractors outlines actions taken by governors and state and territorial leaders to date.
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SBA and Treasury Begin Effort to Distribute $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital
Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.
NECA Infectious Control Policy (ICP) Template
NECA developed an Infectious Control Policy (ICP) Template for use by NECA members. This template can be customized for each company and is intended to be incorporated into contractors current safety policies as needed. This Infectious Control Policy serves multiple purposes including bloodborne pathogens, HIV, COVID-19, SARS, H1N1, EBOLA, and so forth.
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Safe.Right.Fast: Track the Health, Safety and Availability of Your Workforce
During the COVID-19 outbreak, stay ahead of standard care with this risk management application. Safe.Right.Fast has developed an app that enables your Safety, HR and Executive team to track and manage the health, safety and availability of your workforce. Document the many actions you are taking to keep your workforce safe and strategize long term business plans with this cutting edge tool.
NECA Develops Hazard Risk Assessment Checklist Form
NECA has developed a COVID-19 Hazard Risk Assessment Checklist Form tool for use by NECA members. This form provides the general elements for performing an appropriate COVID-19 related risk assessment and more importantly, documenting it. The form also provides information on hand washing protocols and how to deal with COVID Symptoms. The checklist provides general information and details specific to concerns associated with COVID-19.
Take EICA Survey and Be Entered to Win a $100 Gift Card
Electrical Industry Certifications Association (EICA) has been working towards adding another industry specific certification in 2020 and needs your help. EICA is needing qualified/experienced signal persons and rigger persons to take part in a verification survey that will be used to construct the test blueprint for the rigger/signal person certification. Please visit the link below and take part in the verification survey to help create an industry specific rigger/signal certification.
NECA Overview: Understanding Contract Rights Related to Construction Impacts from the COVID-19 Pandemic
NECA and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP have prepared this information sheet to help your company better understand its contract rights and obligations as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance is designed to help contractors and their in-house counsel in the process of reviewing provisions addressing delays, force majeure, change order rights and termination