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The AIA-A201 requires that contractors take reasonable precautions to prevent damage, injury, or loss to work, materials and equipment. It also requires contractors to comply with laws and ordinances concerning safety. When hurricanes threaten, equipment must be secured and materials should be removed from the project site whenever possible. The costs of demobilization and remobilizing can be significant. Moreover, progress along the critical path may cease temporarily.
Construction owners and operators face new requirements under rules that took effect on February 26, 2017. Since 1992, United States EPA regulations have required that operators of construction activity that involves more than one acre must control stormwater leaving the construction site through use of a Construction General Permit (CGP) and a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
Most subcontractors doing business in Florida have their construction lien rights down to an exact routine. The subcontract is signed, materials are ordered, and a notice to owner is sent. On most projects, the subcontractor never has to exercise its lien rights.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, OSHA issued a request for comments concerning a number of rules that, if changed, will have wide-ranging impacts on employers in all sectors, but most especially on employers in the construction sector.
As a result of Louisiana’s continuing budget woes, Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration has conducted a review of the economic impact and effectiveness of the state’s generous economic development incentives.
A variety of statutory changes relating to the construction industry took effect on July 1 as the result of the unanimous passage of House Bill 535. Section 20 of the Bill imposes new requirements relating to monitored alarm systems in residential and commercial settings.
On July 1, 2016 House Bill 535 will become effective. It was unanimously approved by the House and Senate, signed by the Governor, and significantly affects many facets of the Construction Industry.
On March 25, 2016, OSHA published new rules that will impact the way employers handle silica exposure in the workplace. One rule covers General Industry and Maritime and the other covers Construction. Both rules go into effect 90 days after publication- June 23, 2016.
Landowners, lenders, contractors and title agents should familiarize themselves with the new requirements. Land title surveys are performed for a number of reasons by land owners, purchasers and lenders. The surveys generally: confirm the validity of the legal description of the property; identify the relationship of the property to adjoining properties; confirm the relationship of the recorded description of the property lines to the measured description of the property lines; identify the location of buildings and other improvements; and identify the location of easements or rights set out in recorded documents and by an inspection of the property which may reveal matters not of record.
On September 15, 2015, we wrote an OSHA Bulletin that summarized a memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General Yates. On December 17, 2015, Yates issued another memorandum that will impact all employers and that relates to “Prosecution of Worker Safety Violations.”
This is a follow-up to our July 24, 2015 bulletin regarding OSHA’s new Confined Spaces in Construction Standard. OSHA has announced that it will, again, delay the enforcement of this new standard – which provides construction workers with protections similar to those found in the manufacturing and general industry – until January 8, 2016.
OSHA critics often complain that the maximum allowed penalties have not changed since 1990 when the penalties were set at $7,000 (other than serious and serious) and $70,000 (repeat or willful). The “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015” will both cause a dramatic increase in those amounts and will result in those amounts being indexed to the Consumer Price Index.
Although Congress has remained cautious of taking any action to ease the American-imposed embargo on the majority of business interactions with Cuba, President Obama’s administration continues to push forward with the implementation of additional revisions to ease sanctions and potentially secure economic opportunities for both countries.
Historically, there are few criminal convictions for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the majority of those violations were related to dishonesty during OSHA inspections and interviews. Though criminal prosecutions under the Act are relatively few, OSHA’s Field Operations Manual states “the Area Director, in coordination with the Regional Solicitor of Labor, shall carefully evaluate all willful cases involving employee deaths to determine whether they may involve criminal violations of Section 17(e) of the Act.”
The Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 1455 which addresses defect and design claims relative to condominiums and condominium associations. Among the key issues are a series of new steps that must be accomplished before a lawsuit is filed.
Court rules that actions that disproportionally affect minority groups can support lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that certain actions that adversely affect minorities in poor neighborhoods violate the Fair Housing Act (FHA), even if there is no proof that discrimination was intentional.
On July 9, 2015, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of its Confined Spaces in Construction standard which becomes effective August 3, 2015.

Construction Subcontracting: A Comprehensive Practical and Legal Guide, co-author of chapter: Adams and Reese attorney Jim Dickson, book published by the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry. The book discusses numerous issues that arise between the many parties in a typical construction project from the perspective of a subcontractor or a party dealing with subcontractors. Dickson’s chapter focuses on payment issues under contract terms, statutory rights and practical considerations.

OSHA has been busy the first four months of 2014. The following are six items of particular interest to those in or affiliated with the construction industry.
Florida’s Condominium Statutes provide unit owners with express statutory warranties from a Project Developer and Contractors that perform construction services. See F.S. 713.203. Such warranties have been the source of much litigation in Florida over construction defects.
"Condominium Warranties Do Not Apply to some Florida Projects Built for Rental Housing," published on Martindale.com, author: Adams and Reese attorney Jim Dickson, February 26, 2014.
On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court released its much-anticipated decision in the case of Ewing Construction Company v. Amerisure Insurance Company.
On August 23, 2013, OSHA released proposed new rules that will impact the way employers handle silica exposure in the workplace. These proposed changes carry a potential cost of compliance that may well run in the tens of thousands of dollars for even small to midsize companies. Indeed, most current PPE practices, e.g., respirators, will be deemed insufficient under these new rules and will require significant and expensive changes as set forth below.
A Federal Appeals Court held that Mississippi’s Stop Notice Statute is Unconstitutional. Owners and general contractors are applauding a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Noatex Corp. v. King Construction, et al., Slip Op. 12-60385, Dkt. No. 00512403459 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013). Subcontractors, on the other hand, lost one of their only options to ensure they get paid when an owner or general contractor does not pay (or pay on time).
Owners and general contractors are applauding a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Noatex Corp. v. King Construction, et al., Slip Op. 12-60385, Dkt. No. 00512403459 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013). Subcontractors, on the other hand, lost one of their only options to ensure they get paid when an owner or general contractor does not pay (or pay on time).
"Federal Grants: A Strategic Approach for Project Funding" - Published in the Alabama Municipal Journal, September 2013, Author: C. Britton Bonner, attorney, Adams and Reese
P3s are contractual agreements formed between a Florida public agency and a private sector entity. The law creates a process for greater private sector participation in the delivery and financing of public building and infrastructure projects. P3 agreements will provide for shared skills, assets, resources, risks, and rewards by both private and public sectors for the delivery of a service or to create a facility for public use. "The signing of this legislation further ensures that Florida is a pro-business state, and that we will not stop until every Florida family has the opportunity to live their version of the American dream," said Florida Governor Rick Scott.
On April 24, 2013, Governor Scott signed into law Senate Bill 286 that  redefined the term “Design Professional” in Section 558..002, Florida Statutes, to add geologists to the definition along with architects, interior designers, landscape architects, engineers, and surveyors. Moreover, and more importantly, the Bill created Section 558.0035 that specifies conditions under which a design professional employed by a business entity may not be held individually liable for damages resulting from negligence occurring within the course and scope of a professional services contract.