Contractors must have plans for protection from possible second round of COVID-19 | Attorneys: Expect owners to want more flexibility in construction contracts post-pandemic | Mechanics liens on the rise as projects, payments delayed
May 27, 2020
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Parts of the country are cautiously opening up after pandemic lockdowns, but a second wave of the coronavirus is possible in the coming months. A CPA explores how construction companies can prepare for that possibility with safety protocols; job site technology; remote work; and legal, insurance and financial protection.
Experiences with the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on construction projects likely will lead owners to seek more flexibility in contracts, according to attorneys. That means construction firms are likely to see more cost-plus and integrated project delivery contracts, the attorneys said.
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The number of mechanics liens filed through March has risen 40% since January because of pandemic-related shutdowns, according to a survey. Only about half of respondents indicated they were paid within 30 days of sending an invoice.
An executive order revises the Buy American Act to heighten the domestic content requirement for steel and iron end products, as well as increase the domestic price preference for qualifying end products. Contractors should review their components and the rules in light of the changes, an attorney writes. For additional background, see the article NASBP published on this topic in its 2020 spring issue of its magazine.
Filing construction liens in Mississippi is a relatively streamlined process compared with neighboring states, an attorney writes. Contractors do not have to serve any notices before starting work, and they have 90 days to file a lien claim after furnishing materials or labor, and an additional 180 days to file a lawsuit, although that time frame is 90 days if the owner contests the lien.
NASBP Blog: May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Together we can STAND up for suicide prevention
It's important to raise awareness of the mental health issues facing construction workers and offer services to those who need them. The CDC reports the suicide rate for construction workers as 49.4 per 100,000, almost four times the national average and five times all other construction fatalities combined. Eleni Reed, Head of Sustainability for Lendlease Americas, and Michelle Walker, Vice President of Finance and Administration for Phoenix-based construction contractor SSC Underground, describe their companies' efforts to prevent suicide. Both executives, who are active in the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP), discuss problems and solutions for the construction industry and the free (through May 29) web-based training. Get involved with the Alliance, and start by taking the pledge to STAND up for suicide prevention. Read more. NASBP is a stakeholder in CIASP, which offers resources and tools to help create a zero-suicide industry.
New NASBP Surety Story video! Create something great with surety bonds
The latest NASBP Surety Story video, "We're All Building Something," shows that we all want to protect what matters and accomplish what's important, especially in this turbulent time. Surety bonds "reduce the risk, bringing stability in times of uncertainty ... guaranteeing the building of your life." The video debuted at NASBP's Virtual Event: Bonding with Bandwidth on May 20. Check out all the Surety Story videos at NASBP's Be Guaranteed To Succeed site.
New episode of "Let's Get Surety" showcases SBA's bonding guarantee program
NASBP's podcast "Let's Get Surety" is back with a new episode! In "A Closer Look at the SBA's Bonding Guarantee Program," host Kat Shamapande and co-host Mark McCallum chat with guest Peter Gibbs, Director, Office of Surety Guarantees at the US Small Business Administration. He shares insights into the SBA's bonding assistance program and how the program is helping contractors. He shares some history of the program, news of exciting updates, and outlines both Plan A and Plan B. Gibbs also describes how support for the program through the participation of surety bond producers and surety companies has helped the program grow! Access these and other "Let's Get Surety" episodes from any of these systems: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or SuretyLearn. Be guaranteed to succeed!
Small unmanned aircraft systems can capture valuable data from dense, urban construction sites and perform safety inspections in hard-to-reach places, but the Federal Aviation Administration's ban on nighttime operation limits the technology's potential, an attorney writes. "The confluence of sophisticated technology and a need to make exceptions to otherwise appropriate limitations could create the right temperature to introduce [small unmanned aircraft systems] to city construction sites," she writes.
Founded in 1942, NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP producers specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds.