Six Ways Non-Compliance with The RRP Rule Could Affect Your Business
Renovators should be aware that in addition to EPA or administering states, other individuals or entities may likely take advantage of the documentation requirements to hold renovators accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
Here is a partial list of possible time bombs for renovators who are not in compliance with the new RRP lead laws:
- Lawyers could use non-compliance with the RRP rule to demonstrate negligence by the renovator. Even if allegations of negligence have nothing to do with lead or the RRP rule, non-compliance with RRP documentation requirements will be easy to prove and will be an easy way for suing clients and their lawyers to argue that if negligent with RRP requirements, a contractor could also be negligent in other areas.
- Insurance companies could use a lack of compliance to deny coverage. Several insurance agents have told me that insurance companies will soon be requiring proof of RRP compliance, both for the GC as well as subs the GC uses, before renewing general liability and workers compensation policies. Insurance and the cost of a policy are all about risk. Renovators not in compliance with the RRP rule increase the risk insurers take when they write insurance policies
- Home owners could use lack of RRP compliance to avoid paying their renovator. Think of it as blackmail. If the renovator did not follow RRP requirements, their customers could avoid paying for services by threatening to report non-compliance. Think this is farfetched? One contractor told me he knows of another contractor who already had this happen to him.
- Employees could use non-compliance against employers. Whether an employee really is affected by lead or not, it will be very easy for employees to prove their employers put them at risk and or were negligent in protecting them on the job by simply referring to the worker protection training and methods taught to them during the required eight hour certified renovator training class.
- OSHA could use RRP paperwork to prove non-compliance with its Lead in Construction Standards. OSHA’s worker protection requirements related to lead are very specific. Information contained in the required RRP documentation, particularly the renovation checklist and non-certified worker training documentation, could easily be used to show workers were not adequately trained and or protected when working in contained work areas. A lack of the required documentation could also be used by OSHA to demonstrate negligence by the business.
- A renovator may want to store RRP documentation for a lot longer than the three years required by the RRP rule. In regards to lead poisoning, the statute of limitations for children doesn’t start until they are 18 years old. If a child, rather than their parents, decides to sue a renovator for lead poisoning, having the documentation to prove lead safe work practices will be an importance defense for the renovator. If the documentation is no longer in existence, or never existed to begin with, proving compliance will be difficult or impossible.