National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is battling government overreach again, this time firm in the belief that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring companies with more than 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing.
On Nov. 15, NAHB filed a petition for review of the ETS in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 10 days after OSHA published the ETS in the Federal Register. The petition includes NAHB’s stance that OSHA failed to demonstrate a grave danger from exposure to COVID-19 in a construction work environment and that the ETS is reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect construction workers.
Should this rule survive legal challenges from NAHB and other groups and take effect, NAHB offers a toolkit that addresses common questions about the ETS and helps builders and contractors comply with ETS requirements.
It’s important to note that NAHB is not opposed to COVID-19 vaccinations. In fact, NAHB worked with members of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition to organize the COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction this past April. As part of that effort, NAHB compiled resources that home builders, remodelers, and other members can share with workers and trade partners to learn more about the effectiveness of the vaccine and its availability in their area.
This issue may evolve quickly over the coming weeks. Consult NAHB’s toolkit, and the vaccination week page, for resources and updates.
Surveys Show Record Construction Trades Shortages
Home builders and remodelers are experiencing unprecedented labor shortages, according to two recent surveys conducted by NAHB.
At least 90% of single-family builders responding to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) survey in October reported a shortage of subcontractors in each of the three categories of carpenters: framing crews, rough, and finish, and 80% to 85% reported shortages of subcontractors in six other trades. These figures are showing the worst labor shortage in the history of the HMI.
In the third-quarter 2021 NAHB/Royal Building Products Remodeling Market Index (RMI), more than 55% of remodelers reported shortages in all 16 trades measured. At least 90% of remodelers reported a shortage of subcontractors in four trades: rough carpenters, finish carpenters, framing crews, and concrete workers. Overall, more than 80% of remodelers reported shortages of trades in 11 of the 16 categories measured.