Construction

Trump “Strengthens” Buy-American Act:

02/25/2019Ostroff, Gretchen M.

On January 31, 2019, the President signed another Executive Order which purportedly “strengthen[s] Buy-American principles” for federally-funded infrastructure projects.  This Executive Order was not President Trump’s first effort at creating a preference for American-made goods.  Just four days into office, he signed a Presidential Memorandum aimed at requiring “materials and equipment produced in the United… Read more »

Mediation: What Is It And Why Do It?

01/22/2019Lowenstein, Neil S.

Mediation is often confused with arbitration. They have similarities, including that both are overseen by third-party neutrals that do not have financial stakes in the outcomes. The key difference is that while arbitration results in the neutral evaluating the outcome (which typically is binding, but by agreement can be non-binding), while in mediation the third-party… Read more »

Final Crane Operator Certification Requirements

12/10/2018Sterling, Michael L.

On November 9, 2018 OSHA issued a final rule revising the Crane Operator Certification Requirements. The final rule is effective on December 10, 2018, except for certain evaluation and documentation requirements that are effective February 7, 2019. Under the final rule, employers are required to train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate… Read more »

General Contractors: Important Licensing Considerations

09/26/2018Moss, Ashley G.

Businesses must become licensed before acting in a contractor’s capacity.  The ability to issue licenses serves an important function of protecting public safety by ensuring that contractors meet established minimum competency requirements.  When applying for licensure, important considerations include (a) where the work will be performed, (b) the type of work the contractor plans to… Read more »

Contractor Safety Continues to Improve, but Trends Continue

09/24/2018Lowenstein, Neil S.

Various aspects of construction are inherently unsafe. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) therefore continues to maintain focus on the construction industry in an ongoing effort to alleviate workplace incidents. Part of that efforts includes inspection and citation for workplace safety violations. For fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017),… Read more »

Another Blow To Construction Indemnity Agreements In Virginia

06/25/2018Ostroff, Gretchen M.

In Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut v. Lessard Design, Inc. (decided June 12, 2018), the Eastern District of Virginia invalidated an indemnity clause in a contract between an architect and a contractor on the basis it violated Va. Code § 11-4.1, which prohibits certain types of indemnity agreements in construction contracts. Lessard Design, Inc. (Lessard) contracted with… Read more »

Can an Architect Be Held Liable for Defects in Construction

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11/29/2017Golden, Sean M.

It is common on commercial construction projects for the owner to hire the architect to perform services during construction, in addition to designing the project.  Among other things, the architect’s construction phase services will typically consist of periodic observations and evaluations of the progress of the construction work.  An architect may be charged with observing… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 4)

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09/25/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART FOUR: Crisis Planning More Generally This is the fourth and last of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies. Authored by Attorney Neil S. Lowenstein, nlowenstein@vanblacklaw.com; 757-446-8672 There is no “one shoe fits all” for your company’s crisis planning, but the aspects above are all important parts of your company’s… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 3)

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09/20/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART THREE: Conducting Fatality Accident Investigations This is the third of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies.           Accident investigation should begin as soon as possible. Typically, companies will want to appoint an accident investigation team responsible, with full authority, to fully investigate the accident. Counsel should… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 2)

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09/18/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART TWO: Implementing Your Fatality Response Plan This is the second of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies. Besides dealing with those regulatory requirements, employers also have the practicalities of dealing with multiple other aspects of the incident. Generally, the first action is to address the incident itself, including providing… Read more »