Play It Safe OSHA's new Web page is full of information specifically related to the health and safety of people who work in the residential construction industry. Created with help from the NAHB, the Web page is designed to help employers and workers establish and maintain safer workplaces by detailing OSHA standards and the risks associated with residential construction. The site provides building industry professionals with information on topics such as electrical, fire, and power-tool safety and fall protection. Log on to www.osha.gov/SLTC/residential/index.html.
Pillar Awards Multifamily housing industry professionals are invited to enter the 2005 Pillars of the Industry Awards. The competition, sponsored by the NAHB, honors the “best of the best” in apartment and condominium design, development, marketing, and management. Pillars recognizes superior achievement in building, marketing, and individual excellence and presents awards such as “Multifamily Community of the Year” and “Multi-family Development Firm of the Year.” The contest is open to apartment owners and developers, property managers, architects, interior designers, and other industry folks. Awards will be presented during the 2005 NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Conference. Visit www.pillars.conference.com for details.
Health Care A new government report indicates that the number of Americans without health insurance is climbing, and the NAHB is calling on Congress to enact association health plan legislation to help alleviate the crisis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 45 million Americans—15 percent of the population—have no health insurance.
Approximately 60 percent of uninsured Americans are members of families headed by an employee of a small business. A proposed bill would allow small-business owners to join forces across state lines through membership in a trade association to leverage their size in order to negotiate lower insurance costs and more options so that employees would have access to quality, cost-effective health care.
Critical Rulings The NAHB is pleased with two conservation bills passed by the House Resources Committee. The ruling changes the critical habitat designation process, promotes species recovery, reduces litigation, and provides incentives for private landowners to enforce voluntary preservation methods.
Under the first bill, the Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must provide information to landowners on areas warranting heightened regulation and protection. The bill also established a timeline for assigning critical habitat. The second bill, the Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act of 2003, says thorough scientific and biological data must underlie all decisions made under the act.
The NAHB hopes the bills will encourage Congress to adopt legislation that creates a more balanced environmental agenda, one that supports species protection while accommodating the needs of surrounding communities.