Construction

General Contractors: Important Licensing Considerations

09/26/2018Moss, Ashley G.

Businesses must become licensed before acting in a contractor’s capacity.  The ability to issue licenses serves an important function of protecting public safety by ensuring that contractors meet established minimum competency requirements.  When applying for licensure, important considerations include (a) where the work will be performed, (b) the type of work the contractor plans to… Read more »

Contractor Safety Continues to Improve, but Trends Continue

09/24/2018Lowenstein, Neil S.

Various aspects of construction are inherently unsafe. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) therefore continues to maintain focus on the construction industry in an ongoing effort to alleviate workplace incidents. Part of that efforts includes inspection and citation for workplace safety violations. For fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017),… Read more »

Another Blow To Construction Indemnity Agreements In Virginia

06/25/2018Ostroff, Gretchen M.

In Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut v. Lessard Design, Inc. (decided June 12, 2018), the Eastern District of Virginia invalidated an indemnity clause in a contract between an architect and a contractor on the basis it violated Va. Code § 11-4.1, which prohibits certain types of indemnity agreements in construction contracts. Lessard Design, Inc. (Lessard) contracted with… Read more »

Can an Architect Be Held Liable for Defects in Construction

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11/29/2017Golden, Sean M.

It is common on commercial construction projects for the owner to hire the architect to perform services during construction, in addition to designing the project.  Among other things, the architect’s construction phase services will typically consist of periodic observations and evaluations of the progress of the construction work.  An architect may be charged with observing… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 4)

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09/25/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART FOUR: Crisis Planning More Generally This is the fourth and last of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies. Authored by Attorney Neil S. Lowenstein, nlowenstein@vanblacklaw.com; 757-446-8672 There is no “one shoe fits all” for your company’s crisis planning, but the aspects above are all important parts of your company’s… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 3)

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09/20/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART THREE: Conducting Fatality Accident Investigations This is the third of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies.           Accident investigation should begin as soon as possible. Typically, companies will want to appoint an accident investigation team responsible, with full authority, to fully investigate the accident. Counsel should… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 2)

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09/18/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART TWO: Implementing Your Fatality Response Plan This is the second of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies. Besides dealing with those regulatory requirements, employers also have the practicalities of dealing with multiple other aspects of the incident. Generally, the first action is to address the incident itself, including providing… Read more »

Project Fatality: Now What? (Part 1)

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09/11/2017Lowenstein, Neil S.

PART ONE: Having a Fatality Response Plan This is the first of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies. Construction is inherently dangerous, and varying aspects of construction activities even more so. That specter of danger can, even with the best safety training, and best of both intentions and efforts… Read more »

Why Contract Relationships are Just as Important as the Terms of Contracts Themselves in a Construction Dispute

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08/02/2017Sieg, J. Brandon

If you are a contractor in Virginia, you may have heard of the “economic loss rule.”  This legal rule helps preserve a distinction between contract law and tort negligence.  Contract law upholds agreements made between parties, and Virginia courts value the terms of the parties’ agreement.  For example, if a project owner hires you to… Read more »

OSHA’s Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

04/04/2017Sterling, Michael L.

EFFECTIVE JUNE 23, 2017 FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. 29 C.F.R. section §1926.1153. The rule is comprised of two standards, one… Read more »