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IECRM Member Forum Recap: Hear From Your Peers

IECRM Member Forum Recap: Hear From Your Peers
Hosted by IECRM Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Latest COVID Impacts, Materials Access, New Apprenticeship Requirements SB20-120 Rulemaking

IECRM is honored to provide our members with value-rich forums that pertain to our industry. Below you will find a bulleted recap of the discussion and helpful links to resources.

Watch the VIDEO RECORDING of this week’s forum: Hear From Your Peers.

Upcoming Safety Forum: Wednesday, May 26 – Temp Worker Safety with Contractors. Register now to join the upcoming live discussion.   

If you have any questions to ask of our subject matter experts or suggestions for future Member Forums, please contact IECRM CEO Marilyn Akers Stansbury at marilyn@iecrm.org or 303.853.4886.

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS

 

 

Forum Recap

Recent Changes and the Latest Need-to-Know COVID Updates

  • Governor’s Executive Order and Mask Changes-this order is in conflict with what OSHA has put out and what CDC recommends.  
  • If you have 10 or more unvaccinated people, masks must be worn at all times.  If you have 80% that are vaccinated in the workplace, you don’t have to wear masks.  
  • The new Executive Order doesn’t address social distancing at all. 
  • You are permitted to ask employees if they have been vaccinated and ask for proof. 
    • Information is still to be maintained confidentially.  
    • You CANNOT ask why they are not vaccinated.  
    • Recommendation – don’t keep copies of the vaccination cards.  Only collect yes/no, and date of vaccination.  Being debated, if employers collect copies of vaccine cards, is that something that OSHA would require you to keep for 30 years as with other OSHA recordkeeping requirements?
    • QUESTION:  What if people come into your workplace and how does that fall into the privacy guidelines?  
      • The 80% would include customers that come in.  You can ask, but that can become an issue.  
    • QUESTION:  Can we require vaccinations?  
      • Yes, you are permitted to have a mandatory policy.  Keep in mind that you must have exceptions for religious or disability exemptions.
    • QUESTION:  What information can we reveal without violating HIPAA?  

 

  • Disclosing the percentage of vaccinated employees is NOT a privacy violation.  

 

  • Do not, however,  give away who is NOT vaccinated.
  • Be careful not to treat people differently based on vaccination status.  This could lead to legal ramifications: Whistleblower and/or Retaliation Claims.

 

 

    • QUESTION:  Can clients require that crews are vaccinated?  
      • Right now it is legal to have that contractual requirement.  It may potentially change.
    • QUESTION:  At what point can you require employees to return to the office if they don’t feel safe due to COVID?  
      • Unless that person has a medical reason that they need to stay home, employers can require that they return. 

 

  • Talk with them about their concerns, reassure them of what you are doing to make the workplace safe.  

 

  • It is up to the person to decide if they want to come back to work or find a new job.  
  • Make sure you are consistent with work-from-home policies. It needs to be equitable.

 

 

  • Recommended – Don’t be too eager to remove masks in the workplace. From a legal standpoint, follow the most protective guidance (CDC, OSHA) to have the least amount of risk.
  • NOTE:  OSHA on April 26th submitted their proposed Emergency Temporary Standard.   The White House has been holding meetings regarding this proposed temporary standard.   If they put out the ETS, you will have to enforce that. OSHA’s order would supersede the Governor’s order.

Relevant Links:

Scroll down to Section K.  Provides guidance on if employers mandate, supporting the notion that you can mandate.


Implementation of Senate Bill 20-120 – Apprentice Examinations And Professional Licenses:  Requirements for Registered Apprentices

  • Legislation was passed in Colorado in 2020 that requires apprentices who have reached their 8000 OJT hours to test for their license.  Argument in support of this change was that being an apprentice shouldn’t be a long-time career; it should be seen as a training path to a licensed occupation.
  • While IECRM agrees with that sentiment, the association actively opposed its passage and believes it is still not a good bill as it creates a disincentive not encouragement.  IECRM began a fast-track program in response to this new requirement to allow those apprentices who just need their education to test.
  • Per contractor discussion, what are some of the things seen as challenges with this new law?  
    • Language barriers-individuals are extremely talented in the field and have the skills, but the test is still intimidating to those who have the barriers. (Spanish, Russian, Croatian, Swahili).  This August, IECRM will offer its first first-year Spanish class with the understanding that ESL students will still need English language development for safety and industry success. 
    • We have quite a few apprentices who have their hours but haven’t wanted to pursue their JW licenses.  Some only go to RW.  Some are saying they don’t want to take the test, willing to be fired or leave the industry completely. 
    • Administratively, they won’t be able to register them as an apprentice if they have met the requirements for licensing.  It’s important to ask your Master Electricians to testify regarding this legislation at the upcoming State Electrical Board permanent rulemaking hearing on May 26, 2021 (register to testify). 
    • You can’t be a licensed apprentice for more than six years without these new requirements being imposed.  IECRM will continue to advocate to make this bill “less bad” by proposing future modifications for aspects of the bill that create unintended consequences.
    • Apprentices have to be registered to be able to be on a job site.   DORA says you can be an RW and a registered apprentice.  There needs to be an exemption for RW licensed electricians.  They should be able to work on commercial sites without having to register/unregister with DORA.  Exemptions for RW is a request for amending.
  • Suggestions of ways to potentially amend the bill:
    • A new class of license could be developed, something like an installers license, or a lesser class between apprentice and journeyman.
    • Allow apprentices to take the Residential Wireman exam to RW Licensed if they don’t wish to be a JW.  If they are licensed, they should be able to work on commercial sites without having to be registered with DORA.

The State Electrical Board Permanent Rulemaking Hearing for the Board to consider adopting:

Revisions to Rule 1.3, to implement Colorado Senate Bill 20-120 (Concerning new requirements for registered apprentices) will be held VIA WEBINAR ONLY on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 11:30 A.M. (MDT). Please let Marilyn know if you have any questions, concerns, or plans to testify. 

To attend the hearing via webcast, please register using the link below: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1112114643883209997

To testify for the hearing please register in advance via this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWU9samAHhF-CDDKy_YyAebkTgyGPtUtMSIlmJlmW3OK2ptA/viewform?gxids=7628

Construction Materials Access and Manufacturing Delays
What in the world is happening with pricing, availability?  What is the solution? How long will this shortage last?  

  • A lot of what is driving the shortage is labor shortage which impacts every aspect of resources.  They can’t get people to come to work.
  • Freight Issues
    • The biggest problem they are having is that they can’t get containers and then can’t get them onto freight liners from overseas.  
    • Domestic Trucking – high demand, labor shortage.  
    • Daily reports with updates of distribution status are being sent out.
  • Supply chain issues – raw materials and supplies from overseas (PVC, copper, steel, etc.)
  • Compounding the problem is that demand is up dramatically.  Additionally, they are seeing panic buying.  This is leading to extended lead times for delivery on things that are normally in stock and available.  
  • Dramatic and unprecedented price increases for manufacturers.  Some are on their 3rd or 4th price increases in 2021.
  • Some manufacturers are rationing their supplies to try to prevent panic buying.  Some are putting two week holds on any new orders in an attempt to let their plant get caught up on backlog.
  • It is widespread and is happening in every industry.  
  • Per a presentation by Economist Anirban Basu, the Colorado economy is predicted to take off in September because the stimulus and unemployment will fall off and more people will go back to work when kids return fulltime to in person school. 
  • In normal times, we would ask for communication on what is most critical for expediting orders.  That is not possible right now. First in, first out.  
  • Recommend having good communication with the GCs about your needs.
  • Best thing to do is to communicate with distributors.
  • There are also ongoing production issues that are recovering from natural disasters as well (ie: Texas deep-freeze).
  • Whenever possible plan ahead to know what you need, even more so than you may be doing already in your business. 

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