As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

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.

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