California Contractors Heat Injury Prevention

This may be known in the future as the Summer of Smoke. While some areas have been stricken with devastating fires, nearly all Californians experienced the fallout as ash and smoke blanket our state.

We have also literally ‘sweated out’ this last week in California and the West as temperatures reached highs well beyond 100 in many areas. My compliment to the Valley Builder’s Exchange and other organizations for their pro-active outreach to their members with a web link on the Department of Industrial Relations and Cal OSHA information on preventing heat related illness on the jobsite. While it’s cooling now, to paraphrase a Tennessee Williams title, ‘it’s a long, hot summer’ and it’s not over yet. I will post this on cutredtape.com should you need to link to the download at Valley Builder’s Exchange. (http://www.valleybx.com/flyer/vbeheat%20stress%20fly)

Q: I am the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on our license and will be traveling extensively during the next year. My corporation’s President (who is not the qualifying individual) wants to work on several contracts even while I am physically away. If we iron out some “hold-harmless” agreement in the event of something going wrong and he agrees to take on the liability for any unforeseen problem, is it possible this would shield me from potential misdemeanors? To clarify– I don’t expect anything to go wrong, I am just not comfortable being held responsible for something that I was not overseeing, Thank you and I greatly appreciate your column.

A: It’s your decision whether you want to remain as the Qualifier on this license. As RMO, the CSLB would STILL consider you responsible for the company’s day-to-day construction activities, even with a “hold-harmless” agreement. In other words, I do not believe this will shield you from potential disciplinary actions by the State or other legal authorities.

I suggest that the President or another individual take over as the RMO (or RME) until you return. This would involve filing an application with the CSLB and testing by the new qualifier. If you remain as RMO during this year period — regardless whether you iron-out a “hold-harmless” agreement — I recommend contacting an attorney to get his legal opinion.

Q: I was just wondering if you could help me to clarify a few things… First of all, is there a way to transfer a license to someone else? Here’s the situation… I am now in a “partnership” with my brother-in-law and would like to take some “time off” but do not want to lose the license nor the business. My concern is how I could ‘be away’ from the business but not lose the license?” Could I just transfer it over to my brother in law and give him the full rights to the license/business. How long does my brother in law have to be in partnership with me (under the same license #) in order for me to (attempt) the transfer to him? Thank you for your response.

A: If you leave this partnership license for any reason it will be cancelled. Your brother-in-law could apply for a continuance but only to complete jobs in progress (i.e. no new jobs). There is no way to transfer a partnership license under any circumstances. If your brother-in-law has the required four years experience, he can apply for his own license. Note, if you leave the license as a partnership and take some “time off’” you will still be responsible for all work performed.

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