HEAT Danger on the Job, Qualifiers & “A” Scope of Work

We ‘heat’ up the discussion with contractors as a warning reminder to stay cool on the job this summer. Another contractor is concerned about what happens if his Qualifier gets thrown ‘under the bus’. A general gets advice on ‘covering’ his base, and more on the statewide crackdown on the economic ‘underground’…

Q:  I am President of this company and as we discussed, we intend on using “Bob” to be our qualifying person for our CA contractor’s license.  That being said, what happens if “Bob” gets hit by a bus or leaves the company for any reason?  What is the typical protocol for companies in dealing with this issue?  Look forward to your response.

A:  The State of CA has a procedure in place should your qualifying individual (in this case “Bob”) leave or be unable to continue as your Qualifier for any reason.  The Contractors Board will give a company 90 days to replace this individual, during which time the license remains in good standing as if the Qualifier were still there.

Q: We are bidding a public works project for new construction.  The question came up: Can an “A” License contractor install exterior fire service items or does it require a “C-16” license?  What research I found, I don’t see where the “C-16” license is necessary because I hold an “A” general license, but I want to make sure I’m covered.

A:  Your covered!  General Engineering (“A”) contractors can self-perform the installation of exterior fire service items like water mains, fire hydrants, and other related fixed works requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill.

WARNING!  It’s the time of year when temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees.  The summer sun is more direct and radiant heat from the sun and ground (concrete, asphalt, etc.) can take its toll on construction workers. MOST IMPORTANTLY, know the symptoms of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

As most readers know, it’s recommended that you try to perform the heaviest work first thing in the morning when heat exposure is less.  Use mechanical equipment whenever possible to eliminate or reduce manual labor in the heat.  Schedule frequent rest breaks in a cool spot or shade; have plenty of drinking water available (i.e. stay hydrated), and stay away from caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Finally, take precautions to protect your skin (hat, long sleeve clothing, etc.), eyes (sunglasses), and use sunscreen.


Dubbed, “Operation Underground”, investigators from the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), Department of Insurance (CDI), Employment Development Department (EDD) and county District Attorneys’ offices partnered for a series of sweeps at suspected illegal construction sites on June 20 and 21, 2012.  Sweeps were conducted in 11 counties, where over 100 enforcement actions were issued for, among other things: failure to carry Worker’s Compensation insurance; under-reporting the number of workers to obtain cheaper insurance premiums; and cash payments to avoid payroll withholding taxes.

“Participants in the state’s underground economy are harmful to everyone,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Anyone who neglects their responsibility to comply with state contracting, insurance, and payroll requirements drives up premiums. At the same time, legitimate licensed contractors struggle because illegal operators underbid them.”

According to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, “Operation Underground is a result of the partnership under the Joint Enforcement Strike Force to aggressively combat the underground economy”. Jones stated, “Legitimate businesses that play by the rules are often forced to close their doors because illegal businesses are cheating the system.”