Excuse Me Sir But You Smell by Mike Lenk - VP of Sales

“First we kill All the Lawyers”-William Shakespeare may have been on to something, but 2 of my best friends and my favorite cousin may not be too happy.

Installing floor and wall coatings today has become increasingly more difficult for several reasons: more competition (some goo, most not so much), higher pricing from suppliers, more demands from these same suppliers to settle your account quicker, less quality labor to draw from and the list goes on and on.

One of the most common mistakes I see contractors making today is not fully understanding their Contractor Liability Insurance policy. Not only what IS covered but much more importantly what is not covered!

Very few contractors will purchase a very important rider to their policy(S) that cover pollution.

If you use products that contain solvent or other products that can cause harm to surrounding humans this could be a huge problem. Not only for the people who breath these fumes, but any animals and of course your labor force (I know they should be classified as people too).

My advice:

1. No what the contents of the product or products you will be using. Do they contain solvents exempt or otherwise? Are there any V.O.C.’s emitted during installation or curing?

2. Study the products MSDS’s sheets and have them easily available if someone complains, ALL States are considered to be Right to Know what is being used. It is your responsibility to have this information handy.

3. Check with your insurance agent to see what your coverage is for “air pollution”, as this is what you are creating.

There have been contractors who have been sued for killing rare birds while installing a garage floor that was top coated with a CRU urethane. Contractors sued for cleaning their tools with MEK near a venting area where elderly patients were staying and caused apparent respiratory distress in a nursing home. A contractor in Texas installed a 1 day garage using a MMA product and killed the family dog, who was pregnant And I personally spent several months in litigation back in my contracting days defending the mistakes my staff made. My thoughts was this should be covered as a “malpractice” of my trade, but ended up being excluded as “SORRY NO COVERAGE YOU DID NOT ELECT THE POLLUTION COVERAGE RIDER”. LLL

Keep your entire MSDS catalog in EVERY work vehicle. Make sure your Foreman understands what products being used have in them and what PPE (personal protective equipment) is required for your staff.


Read More