Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Future Environment Designs Has Published Its 2013 Future Focus Newsletter

Future Environment Designs has published our 2013 newsletter "Future Focus".  As usual the current newsletter will be part of our manuals and handed out in our classes.  If you don't want to wait until you take a class with us, you can find our newsletter at our website at: http://futureenvironmentdesigns.com/newsletter.html


Chrysotile Asbestos display at Thetford Mines Mineralogical & Mining Mueseum
In our current newsletter, the lead article is about "Asbestos In Current Building Materials".  We discuss how material safety data sheets (MSDS) and the new safety data sheets (SDS) cannot be used to determine if current building materials contain asbestos, especially when discussing foreign building materials.  We hope this newsletter acts as a warning to asbestos inspectors, facility directors, building managers, architects/engineers, and building owners, etc. in determining whether current and new building materials have asbestos.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

NYSDOL Responds To Call To Waive Fees

Several months ago, we called on Governor Mario Cuomo and the New York State Department of Labor to waive asbestos notification fees in response to the burden these fees created in response to Super Storm Sandy.  We received a response to our call.  Needless to say the response was not positive.  Visit our website at http://futureenvironmentdesigns.com/news.html to see the response letter. 

Sandy downed tree took out car

We are disappointed with the response and we feel Governor Cuomo and the NYSDOL, both should recognize the damage being done by this negative response.  Asbestos removals are going on without notification and without licensed contractors and trained workers.  In addition, only Suffolk County is determining if their are any asbestos problems, along with mold and lead (as reported in Newsday).  While Nassau County is ignoring the asbestos issue.  Its very sad to see the same issues that occurred during previous storms/hurricanes continue to be issues.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

What Out-of-State Employers with Employees Working in New York State Need to Know.

We received a recent newsletter from Dan Borgna at the Dale Group.  The newsletter discussed the Workers Compensation/Disability requirements for out-of-state contractors.  We found it very interesting with permission from Mr. Borgna of the Dale Group (Thank you for allowing us to reprint it) here is the newsletter post:  

 
If you have no office location in New York, but have employees on site in NY, this article is important to your business.

New York State workers' compensation insurance covers employees for work-related accidents, injuries or illness.   
As part of the 2007 Workers' Compensation Reform Legislation, all out-of-state employers with at least one employee working in New York State will be required to carry a full statutory New York State workers' compensation insurance policy. The workers' compensation insurance policy must be effective no later than the first day you have employees working in NY State.  

Misconception - "I have all states coverage listed in section 3.c of my home state workers compensation policy".
Reality- As part of the reform, having "all states" in section 3.c is no longer valid. "NY" must be specifically listed in section 3.a of the workers compensation declarations page or endorsement. 
Penalties - Failure to maintain this coverage can result in the following: 

1.     Failure to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance for more than 5 employees within a twelve month period is a class E felony and is punishable by a fine not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000.

2.     For 5 or less employees within a twelve month period, it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000.

3.     Subsequent convictions within a 5 year period shall constitute a class D felony and fines not less than $10,000 nor more than $50,000.

4.     Any employer who fails to maintain a workers' compensation policy when it is required or owes a fine or assessment to the Board may be issued a stop-work order, meaning the business must shut down all activity until the order is lifted.

5.     A penalty in the sum of $2,000 for each ten-day period of non-compliance or a sum not in excess of two times the cost of compensation for the period of such failure may be imposed 

DISABILITY BENEFITS INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
NY State statutory disability benefits (DB) insurance coverage is totally different from and is not included in NYS workers' compensation insurance coverage. Statutory NY State disability benefits insurance covers employees for off-the-job accident, injury or illness.
If you have one or more employees for 30 days in a calendar year, you are required to obtain NYS disability benefits insurance coverage. Such insurance must be effective no later than four weeks after the 30th day you have employees.  

Penalties under the Disability Benefits Law 

1.     Failure to carry Disability Benefits Insurance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, with increased monetary penalties for second and third or subsequent violations, and

2.     Where an employee of a non-insured employer is disabled due to an off-the-job injury or illness, the noninsured employer will be responsible for payment of the amount of benefits to which the employee is entitled or for payment of 1% of his/her payroll for the period of non-compliance, whichever is greater. And

3.     Where an employer fails to carry Disability Benefits Insurance, the Chair will impose a penalty not in excess of ½ of 1% of the employer's weekly payroll for the period of non-compliance and a further amount not in excess of $500 

Employees traveling through the State not stopping for deliveries, pick-ups, or other work are not deemed to have worked a day here. An employer that has reason to know that it will meet these criteria in the current year, even if it has not done so in the prior year, must obtain the required coverage.
For a complete description of the Form and Regulation, please visit the following link at the New York State Workers Compensation Board.

http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/forms/oc923.pdf 

If you are concerned that your company may not be compliant, please contact Dan Borgna at Dale Group (973)437-9664 or danb@dalegroup.com who will be happy to discuss the matter with you.
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