COVID-19


The severe impact of COVID-19 can not be denied and is mandating changes in how we all do business. SMACNA remains committed to providing you with the information you need as you navigate the dynamic situations we all face. Stay alert on how COVID-19 is affecting our industry, your business, and you.

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs

These FAQs address the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), as recently amended by the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021.  These FAQs are based upon the information and guidance issued by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration as of April 6, 2021. We will continue to update these FAQs as we receive additional guidance from the SBA and the Treasury Department.    

Member Update Jun 10 2021

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OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard

This new emergency temporary standard has been put in place to protect healthcare workers from the coronavirus, while offering additional guidance to employers and workers in other industries to protect those who are still not vaccinated.

MEMBER UPDATE Jun 10 2021

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Vaccine Policies for Contractors

Many contractors have inquired about the best COVID-19 vaccination policy to adopt, what legal pitfalls might exist for mandatory versus “strongly-encouraged” policies. Learn about both your rights as an employer, employees’ rights, the role the union plays in negotiating mandated policies and OSHA guidelines in this important and timely presentation.

CHAPTER LEADERSHIP Jun 10 2021

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June Capitol Hill Update: Congressional Response to COVID-19, Agenda Highlights and More

Featured topics in this most recent Legislative Update include recent developments surrounding the Congressional response to COVID-19, with a strong focus on legislation that has been passed, and the current Congressional agenda leading up to and beyond the August recess.

Podcast

Let's Talk Shop, Episode 17: Chuck Gulledge on Leading Through a Pandemic

In Episode 17 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, chats with ASHRAE President Chuck Gulledge about his tenure as president during COVID and the opportunities he capitalized on to meet more members than he might have otherwise.

MEMBER UPDATE Jun 03 2021

Employers May Offer Vaccine Incentives

Updated EEOC guidelines note that EEO laws do not preclude employers from offering incentives to employees who voluntarily provide proof of a COVID vaccinations. Vaccination information must be kept confidential and remain in compliance with all federal disability laws and other protections against discrimination.

MEMBER UPDATE May 20 2021

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Updated Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The new CDC guidelines allow for fully vaccinated individuals to no longer wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by law or other rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidelines and policies.

Member Update May 20 2021

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New COVID-19 Workplace Antigen Testing

Antigen tests are an effective tool to help employers prevent the spread COVID-19 in the workplace. When used for screening employees in non-healthcare workplaces, antigen tests can detect current infection before an employee enters the workplace or returns to work.

Member Update May 06 2021

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CDC Updated Guidelines for Gatherings, Travel

The CDC has updated its guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, including new information on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as domestic and international travel.

Member Update Apr 29 2021

American Rescue Plan Expands Paid Leave

The American Rescue Plan Act expands the paid leave and paid family leave tax credit for employers with fewer than 500 employees as part of an effort to encourage workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Member Update Apr 15 2021

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Promoting Vaccination Among Small Construction Firms

Construction work — deemed essential during the ongoing pandemic — requires that work continues in-person, placing workers are at greater risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. i

Member Update Apr 08 2021

Episode #15: The Reopening of Schools and Buildings

In Episode 15 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, chats with Tony Kocurek, SMACNA National Secretary–Treasurer and president of Energy Balance and Integration in Albuquerque, about how testing and balancing is being used to improve indoor air quality.

Podcast Apr 08 2021

Let's Talk Shop, Episode 15: IAQ and the Reopening of Schools, Buildings and Offices

In Episode 15 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, chats with Tony Kocurek, SMACNA National Secretary–Treasurer and president of Energy Balance and Integration in Albuquerque, about how testing and balancing is being used to improve indoor air quality, as well as the role sheet metal contractors are playing in reopening schools, restaurants, offices and other businesses.

COVID-19 Apr 06 2021

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs by Topic

These FAQs address the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), as recently amended by the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021.  These FAQs are based upon the information and guidance issued by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration as of April 6, 2021.  We will continue to update these FAQs as we receive additional guidance from the SBA and the Treasury Department.   

Chapter Leadership Apr 01 2021

Tax Credits for Employers Who Voluntarily Provide E-PSL and E-FMLA Extended

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act extends tax credits originally enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) until September 30, 2021. 

Member Update Mar 25 2021

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CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others Once Fully Vaccinated

The CDC has released additional information on how individuals who are considered fully vaccinated can continue to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Member Update Mar 18 2021

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CDC Issues Guidance For Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The CDC has issued guidance for people who are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Member Update Mar 18 2021

What the ARPA Means for SMACNA Contractors

While nationwide coverage of the ARPA has focused on political differences, the important issues related to vaccines, and on unemployment and stimulus checks, SMACNA members should also be aware that there are extensive provisions in the law that will affect SMACNA contractors.

SMACNews Feb 28 2021

Capitol Hill Update: Budget Reconciliation, COVID Relief, Pension Reform Among Items Before Congress

The Senate is concentrating on Biden Administration Cabinet appointments, and the Senate and House both remain focused on producing a COVID-19 relief package that meet budget and reconciliation rules to avoid a Senate filibuster. 

Podcast Feb 04 2021

Let’s Talk Shop, Episode 13: How COVID Is Impacting Operations and Innovations for 2021

In Episode 13 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, talks with Kevin Ginley, VP of commercial sales at Majestic Steel, and Brennan Hall, senior HVAC project manager at Johns Manville on how their companies have adapted to stay competitive amid COVID-19, the impact of the “V-shaped recovery,” and the forecast for 2021.

OSHA & Regulatory Compliance

OSHA Increases Civil Penalties, Revises Site-Specific Targeting

DOL announced last week that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration civil penalty amounts for serious and “other-than-serious” safety violations have been adjusted based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

Contractor Operations Manual

Strategic Growth Amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented need to help mitigate the spread of the disease, creating huge areas of business growth opportunity for contractors. Properly designed and operating HVAC systems can help reduce the risks associated with virus transmission, and controlling airborne exposure to the virus is one way to mitigate the spread.

Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can help reduce airborne exposures. Several areas have been identified as opportunistic by leading contractors including Indoor Air Quality, Outside Air Ventilation, Upgrades to air filtration, Fire and Life Safety, TAB work, preventative maintenance and service contracts, and Equipment replacement.  

This publication explores the areas that industry-leading contractors see as significant strategic business opportunities as a result of COVID-19.

This document is free to members in the SMACNA Store.


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Letters and Testimony Dec 02 2020

SMACNA Encourages Congress to Ensure Small Businesses Can Deduct Eligible Expenses

In the approved CARES Act, the PPP was designed to help small businesses survive major liquidity shortfalls, retain employees, and withstand an unprecedented economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, IRS notice 2020-32 undermines the PPP and creates severe challenges for small businesses by stating that normally deductible business expenses will not be deductible if the business pays the expense with a PPP loan that is subsequently forgiven. SMACNA members strongly endorse efforts to reverse this misguided IRS interoperation of the CARES Act.

Letters and Testimony

SMACNA Endorses H.R. 7079, The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act

Though Congress included funds through expanded Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses, SMACNA is concerned that the countless unanticipated safety, sanitation and health protocols for construction sites and firms can burden recovery from the economic downturn created by COVID-19. This oversight would be corrected if Congress passes H.R. 7079, The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act.

Letters and Testimony

SMACNA Urges Senate to Support Small Business Paycheck Protection Program Reform Bills

Extending the loan forgiveness period for PPP loans would allow SMACNA businesses to use PPP loan funds to buy personal protective equipment for staff, and to pay for virus mitigation measures to comply with public health guidelines. Guidance is also sought for small business protections to keep workers connected to their jobs and to ease the financial burden on small businesses with regard to changing IRS guidelines.

COVID-19

CDC Updates Definition of Close Contact

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has modified its definition of what constitutes “close contact” with persons infected with COVID-19 and the potential elevated risk of contracting the virus.

Webinar Oct 13 2020

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How HVAC Systems Impact COVID-19 Transmission Based on Scientific Evidence

This EDGE Conference session outlined some of the latest research related to how HVAC systems can and should be modified to reduce the probability of COVID-19 transmission.

COVID-19

AIHA COVID 19 Guidance Document

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Construction Committee prepared this guidance to give construction employers a practical plan for protecting construction workers from COVID-19. 

COVID-19

COVID-19 Exposure Control Planning Tool

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend that companies develop a plan to protect their employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19

OSHA Issues Temporary Respiratory Enforcement Guidelines

This OSHA resource helps employers understand and comply with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard during COVID-19.

Technical Resources Sep 17 2020

HVAC COVID-19 Guidance

This technical resource bulletin includes SMACNA’s recommended Guidelines to open existing buildings with more specific emphasis on the building’s HVAC System.

Letters and Testimony

SMACNA Supports Bipartisan Reform Bills Allowing Deductible Expenses Related to PPP Loans - S. 3833

Though Congress included funds through expanded Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses, in a recent letter to the Senate, SMACNA expressed its deep concern that the definitions put forth by regulatory

Letters and Testimony

SMACNA Supports Bipartisan Small Business Paycheck Protection Program Reform Bills - S. 3833, S. 361

In a letter to the U.S. Senate, SMACNA expressed its deep concern that the definitions put forth by regulatory agencies interpreting the legislation surrounding Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to small businesses do not expressly include the legislation’s original intent of flexible Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) terms for borrowers and lenders.

SMACNews

Contractors Help Hospitals ‘Flip the Switch’ on COVID-19 Rooms

Across the country, sheet metal and air conditioning contractors are assisting health officials and hospitals as they flip the switch on their facilities to deal with surges of local coronavirus cases.

SMACNews

Code Inspections Amid COVID-19

For building inspectors, the novel coronavirus has made many of them rethink the way they approach building certifications, and even the way they interact with people on the jobsite.

COVID-19

Facial Coverings and Heat Stress

Contractors should evaluate facial covering polices very carefully and include heat stress assessments on all jobsites including identifying tasks and processes that would require mask use (when social distancing is not possible).

COVID-19

SMACNA COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan

SMACNA developed a plan template that contractors can use to develop or revise a COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan.  

Webcast Aug 07 2020

Pandemics and Productivity

This webcast breaks down the New Horizons Foundation report on Pandemics and Productivity in easy-to-understand pieces and explains how contractors can use the findings.

COVID-19

FDA Updates List of Hand Sanitizers Not to Use

The FDA is urging consumers not to use certain hand sanitizer products it deems ineffective (subpotent), or in some cases, potentially toxic.

COVID-19

OSHA: Encourage Employees to Wear Face Coverings

OSHA recently issued FAQs on cloth face coverings to address inaccurate claims that they cause unsafe oxygen or harmful carbon dioxide levels for the wearer.

COVID-19

CDC Issues Revised Guidance on Returning to Work After Isolation

In July, the CDC updated the criteria relating to when an employee may return to work. They issued their new criteria which applies to persons who have mild to moderate illness and are recovering at home.

Safety & Health

How Employers Can Help Reduce Opioid Use on the Job

According to recent research, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in opioid abuse fueled by stress and lack of access to prevention services and support groups due to restrictions on in-person meetings.

New Horizons Foundation Jul 16 2020

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Pandemics and Productivity: Quantifying the Impact

Before these findings were issued, no specific resource existed to help contractors quantify the cost impacts of lost productivity working under pandemic-driven protocols. The New Horizons Foundation and ELECTRI International, the National Electrical Contractors Association’s foundation, commissioned this report assessing the productivity impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19

OSHA Issues Guidance to Help Construction Workers Amid COVID-19

OSHA's new publication, #4045 - Guidance on Returning to Work, provides general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Contracts Bulletin Jun 17 2020

Contracts Bulletin: COVID-19 Contract Addenda - Considerations for the Subcontractor

Subcontractors, whether they hope to present their own COVID-19 addendum or have recently had a COVID-19 addendum included by a general contractor or owner, should consider this information before signing on the dotted line.

COVID-19

COVID-19 Awareness Training Course

To help the sheet metal and HVAC industry provide employees with information on COVID-19, SMACNA, SMART, iTi and SMOHIT have prepared a COVID-19 Awareness Course.

COVID-19

OSHA COVID-19 for Construction Website

OSHA's new COVID-19 for Construction webpage provides guidance for employers and workers regarding construction projects and activities.

COVID-19

Resources for International and Counterfeit Respirator Issues

NIOSH just released this summary of issues with foreign manufactured respirators. Facial coverings ("non-respirators") continue to be recommended by CDC for COVID-19 community spread prevention. This guidance pertains to respirators when they are used.

COVID-19

National Safety Council SAFER Return-to-Work Guidelines

The National Safety Council has published useful guidelines to support employers as they navigate their way through COVID-19 concerns.

May 14 2020

Let's Talk Shop, Episode 12: TAB contractors and their frontline fight against COVID-19

Host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, talks with Matt Sano, president of Fisher Balancing Company, a testing and air balancing contractor, and Jennifer Lohr, a technician with the company.