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Now more than ever it is very important to stay connected with our industry in order to receive critical information and updates regarding state and federal mandates on the Corona Virus.
PHCC of Massachusetts will continue to share updates with you as they become available. Here are some ideas shared by PHCC contractor members across the country on how to provide quality service to your customers while reducing some of the risk to both your employees and clients.
The notice below was distributed by Boston Inspectional Services on Friday, April 17, 2020.
BOSTON CONSTRUCTION SITE SAFETY
Due to the public health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19, the City of Boston will be implementing new protocols for essential construction work in the City of Boston. All essential construction sites must now submit a COVID-19 Safety Plan and a COVID-19 Safety Affidavit.
These policies go into effect on April 27th for all essential construction. This policy will expand to include all sites when it is deemed safe to restart construction in the City of Boston. Nothing in these new protocols changes what construction is currently allowable.
COVID-19 Safety Plan
This document will detail the job site practices that the contractor will follow to protect worker safety. Every contractor will be required to provide the City with this document when applying for a permit. If a job is already permitted, contractors must provide this document by April 27 or before work starts.
There are six key elements the City will be looking for in each plan:
1.) steps taken before shifts start to ensure workers are healthy;
2.) practices to ensure social distancing that can be achieved on the job site;
3.) materials provided to ensure job site hygiene;
4.) protocols for the use of personal protective equipment;
5.) communications and training practices to ensure everyone is informed; and
6.) procedures in case there is COVID-19 exposure on the job site.
To help with this, the City has provided a Safety Plan Worksheet (available here) for guidance.
COVID-19 Safety Affidavit
This affidavit (available here) attests that the contractor has created, provided to the City, and will implement its COVID-19 Safety Plan. It follows the same requirements as the Safety Plan. Failure to adhere to the policy may result in approval to work being revoked.
Questions about the updated policies are due by April 22, and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your partnership during this time.
Additional information on Mayor Walsh’s original order can be found at www.boston.gov. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Inspectional Services Department at 617-635-5300.
Patrick I. Brophy
Chief of Operations
We recently caught up with PHCC contractor member Williams Energy in Braintree to provide information on how their company continues to provide customers quality service while making every effort to minimize the risk for both their employees and the people they provide service to.
Ken Hinchey and Peter McCarriston both sent this information to me today and asked that I share it with PHCC contractor members. This is a document sent out to contractors in the Revere area regarding work in construction sites within the city. Even if you don't work in this area, I think there is some great information and guidelines for you and your employees to follow when working in the field.
The following information has been provided by the New Jersey PHCC regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. This program is being offered by the Small Business Administration and is designed to help keep employees of small businesses on the payroll through June 30, 2020.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. Under this program: • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount. • Loan payments will be deferred for six months. • If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination. Info provided by U.S. Small Business Administration. Read Full document and learn more by clicking the link below.
PHCC National Director of Legislative Affairs, Mark Valentini provided information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Please click on the videos below print out the flowchart to follow along.
The Board of Examiners of Plumbers & Gas Fitters will be holding a public meeting by telephone conference on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 9:00 am.
Topics of Discussion shall include:
The Agenda and call in information maybe accessed by clicking on the link below
The following information was provided by PHCC of Massachusetts industry partner FEDERATED INSURANCE
COVID-19 Pandemic Resources to Assist Employers Federated Insurance is committed to helping our clients navigate the newly announced mandates affecting business owners as a result of the spread of COVID-19. In collaboration with our friends at Enquiron®, we are providing you with three valuable documents designed to help provide information to organizations facing challenging employment issues during these uncertain times. Below you will find an Employer COVID-19 FAQs document, an overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and Important Rules for Employers to Know in the Wake of COVID-19.
Brent Trethewey, PHCC of Massachusetts marketing expert shared a helpful "Cheat Sheet" provided by a client of his in New York regarding the new federal Virus Relief Bill - Law 360
The following information was provided by Joe Cornetta. Joe is a Past President of the PHCC Chapter in Long Island New York and the incoming Secretary for our National Association.
PLUMBER'S CAN'T WORK FROM HOME
The 1920's poster states "The Plumber Protects the Health of The Nation."
Today, this statement is true more than ever. On March 19, 2020, President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security put forth a statement that identifies plumbers as essential critical infrastructure workers in guidance for response to COVID-19. Plumbers are more than familiar faces working around hazardous elements. Every day, we deal with carbon monoxide, natural gas, methane gas, propane gas, mold and numerous other dangerous toxins.
As the country works to develop a plan to deal with the pandemic, the plumber is once again a critical aspect in providing a service that is crucial to the public’s safety and health. Therefore, this question immediately arose: How can we service the needs of homeowners and not jeopardize the health of all?
The answer comes from the oldest trade association in the country, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC). PHCC is dedicated to the advancement and education of the plumbing and HVACR industry for both the health, safety, and comfort of society, as well as the protection of the environment. Planning began almost immediately, and within days the PHCC issued the first guidance for service techs working in residential homes:
Questions to Be Asked Before Entering A Home First is an inquiry of the client before dispatch of the service tech: • Is anyone in the home Sick? • Is anyone in the home experiencing respiratory distress or receiving oxygen? • Is anyone in the home recovering from medical issues and in a weakened state?
Responsibilities of the Service Tech: • There is to be no physical contact with the customer. Techs will greet customers with a warm smile instead of a handshake. • Service techs are given antiseptic hand wash and personal towels, as well as disposable hand wipes. They must wash their hands before they enter the home and again after the service is completed. • Protective gloves and work booties have been difficult to purchase, but when available they wear them when within the home. • Special awareness is given to touching doorknobs and handrails without protection. • Any service tech who is ill is required to stay home until fully recovered. • Any service tech who is caring for a sick family member will be required to stay home. • All service techs are required to practice respiratory etiquette (coughing or sneezing into tissues).
The necessity of working in residential homes is why the PHCC developed these guidelines. The protection of our service techs and the public is paramount. If any homeowners find themselves in need of a plumber or HVAC service, now or in the future, look for the nation's leaders, PHCC affiliated contractors.
PHCC Contractor Member Doug Dreyer provided the following information through the Massachusetts Home Builders Association:
HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF MASSACHUSETTS
Governor Issues Important Clarification on Construction Activities as Essential Services; Municipal Bans on Construction Activity Invalid: Governor baker released a letter (attached below) from his chief legal counsel to municipal chief executive officers providing guidance as to how his March 23, 2020 Executive Order (COVID-19 No. 13) intersects with municipal efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter states "the Order provides that all construction projects are to continue operations during the state of emergency, but to do so with allowance for social distancing protocols consistent with guidance provided from the Department of Public Health. "Local policies, regulations or directives that provide otherwise are in direct conflict with the Order and should be withdrawn".
PHCC Contractor Members Peter Leydon and Brad Piesco provided me with the following information with regards to working in the city of Boston during this period.
On March 25, 2020, Mayor Marty Walsh announced the he is extending his City of Boston order to pause on all non-essential construction project within the city of Boston.
This City of Boston order appears to be in direct conflict with EO COVID-19 No. 12 issued by the Governor as mentioned above.
PHCC of Massachusetts Associate Member PARTRUNNER recently reached out to see if they could offer any assistance to members during this difficult time.
PartRunner is offering what they call a "COVID-19 No-Contact Delivery Solution" to help any of our contractors move materials from any warehouse, job-site or office curb-side. Their service includes same-day deliveries, returns and vendor pickups. All materials are moved using proper safety measures and they are working with their team to to assure person-to-person interactions are reduced. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Yoshua Rozen at: email@example.com or 617-586-1189.
PATRICK O'BRIEN - HOME & LOCAL SERVICES - MINNESOTA
JUSTICE GRADOWITZ - HPS MECHANICAL - CALIFORNIA
DAVID LEROY - LEROY PLUMBING - PENNSYLVANIA
During these difficult and uncertain times it is more important than ever before for all of us to work together and support this industry. We are truly "ALL IN THIS TOGETHER". We at PHCC of Massachusetts hope you and your families stay healthy and safe.
For the latest information provided through the State of Massachusetts, please visit: www.mass.gov/coronavirus
Here is Exhibit A of the Executive Order issued by Governor Baker regarding critical workers:
Please visit this page for daily updates.