During the weekly Virtual Lunch with the President, Cindy Cepko welcomed Rob Matuga, NAHB Assistant Vice President for Labor, Safety, and Health, for a discussion with PBA members on safety compliance in a COVID environment.

While Rob said that we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a possibility of facing a roadblock in the homebuilding industry with a new ruling from OSHA that is coming.

“This is a broad-based ruling that could impact everything from manufacturing, construction, and even an office environment,” Rob said. “The frustrating thing is that this is an emergency rule that would be put into effect without the influence or control from those who it would regulate.”

Details have not been released yet, however, members can be assured that NAHB is monitoring the situation. If and when OHSA issues its emergency rule, NAHB will put out suggestions for members to make sure they comply. In addition, NAHB will be examining what the impacts are and what possible legal action needs to be initiated on behalf of the industry.

In the meantime, Rob stressed the importance of members continuing to do what they are doing, including maintaining all required written documentation of their compliance with OSHA rules and CDC guidelines.

PBA members should pay particular attention to updates sent by NAHB to stay on top of requirements.

This past year has been dominated by COVID, but Rob took some time to talk about other issues that members should make priorities. The new administration is requiring extra safety measures in the OSHA Top 10. Special emphasis is being placed on ladder safety and avoiding falls. March is Ladder Safety Month. NAHB is offering a free webinar on Ladder Safety Use on March 31 at 2:00 p.m. To learn more and register for the event, visit the event page here.

Don’t forget the importance of PPE and don’t stop with face masks. Obviously, protective gear for the head and face/eyes is essential and can save lives – not to mention money for your business.

And we cannot forget the well-being of workers. In the time of COVID, the opioid use and suicide rates are greater than ever. For resources on combating and treating opioid use, visit the NAHB resource page here. Tools for preventing suicide and maintaining worker well-being can be found here.

It is essential to have a well-written safety program for your business. NAHB offers a model safety toolbox on their website. This is available to all members AND non-members. For more information, visit the toolbox here.

In conclusion, Rob reminds PBA members that in addition to taking care of your employees, your business’ reputation is at stake. Take care of your workers to avoid jeopardizing all that you have worked for over the years.

Want to learn more?  Be sure to take part in the weekly Virtual Lunch with the President sessions – every Wednesday at noon. Access information can be found in each week’s edition of Trade Secrets or by visiting the PBA President’s Blog.