Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Massachusetts Lead Paint Law Hearing-Audience Commentary

The testimony at the hearing conducted by the Division of Occupational Safety raised a lot of important issues and suggestions for the Massachusetts Lead Law.  Commentary included the following:

1.  Create a forum for dialogue where contractors can ask questions without fear of reprisal.
2.  How does a contractor handle a conflict between OSHA and the RRP Rule?
3.  Provide a means for looking up lead-paint certification online.
4. How will liability be allocated between subcontractors and contractors?
5. Why hasn't the huge rental-housing community been targeted?
6.  Is power-washing allowed under the MA law?
7.  It is important to allow access and training for apprentices and students under the age of 18.
8.  MA should lobby with insurance companies to include lead coverage in their policies.
9.  A task force of trade professionals should be created to address lead and other issues.
10.  This law is overly onerous for the small contractor.
11.  Contractors should not be put in the position where they are the ones educating homeowners about this law.
12.  Those with high lead levels should have to present their claims to a tribunal before filing suit.  If the contractor can show that he followed the lead-safe practices, then the suit should not be allowed to go forward.
13.  Most were in favor of Massachusetts taking over administration of the law.  Having the MA law in effect would prevent suits from being filed in federal court and would keep adjudication of construction and lead claims in Massachusetts courts.
14.  Finally, homeowners and contractors alike should be held accountable for trying to circumvent the law.