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SEPTEMBER 2017 RPA NEWS

IAPMO Technical Committee Meetings Second Step Toward Development of 2018 Uniform Solar/Hydronic and Swimming Pool Codes

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Oct. 24-25 will host Technical Committee Meetings toward the ANSI-accredited consensus development of the 2018 editions of the Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code (USEHC) and Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code (USPSHTC).

The technical committees, consisting of a broad coalition of industry experts — installers, inspection officials, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers — will consider public comments to amend the USEHC and USPSHTC in advance of the release of the 2018 editions.

The USPSHTC Technical Committee will meet via teleconference on Oct. 24 and consider the review of reference standards used in the swimming pool, spa, and hot tub industry.

The USPSHTC is a model code developed by IAPMO to govern the installation and inspection of both public and private swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs to ensure the safety of their operation.

The USEHC Technical Committee will consider solar, hydronics, and geothermal topics on Oct. 25 during its meeting at IAPMO World Headquarters West in Ontario, Calif., such as:

  • Insulation and fasteners provisions for radiant and heating cooling systems
  • Snow and ice melt system controls
  • Slab penetration tube and joint protection used in hydronic systems
  • Listing requirements for ground coupled and water source heat pumps
  • Certification of DX heat pumps
  • Testing of vertical boreholes
  • Heat transfer mediums for geothermal systems
  • Provisions for ground heat exchanger testing
  • Provisions for geothermal system start-up
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

The USEHC is a model code developed by IAPMO to govern the installation and inspection of solar energy and hydronics systems as a means of promoting the public's health, safety, and welfare.

For questions about the USPSHTC or USEHC, contact Enrique Gonzalez by phone at (909) 230-5535 or by email at enrique.gonzalez@iapmo.org.


Trade Commission Votes In Favor Of Suniva And SolarWorld

Despite a strong opposition campaign, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) handed co-petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld Americas a victory in their controversial Section 201 trade case on Friday.

All four designated commissioners voted affirmatively that crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells and modules have been imported into the U.S. in such quantities that it caused, or threatened to cause, serious injury to the domestic CSPV manufacturing industry. The unanimous decision moves the ITC’s global safeguard investigation from the injury phase to the remedy phase, and the commission will ultimately make a remedy recommendation to President Donald Trump. If the ITC had voted against the petition, the case would have ended. Now, Trump will have the final say.

[Read more at solarindustrymag.com]


RPA at AHR EXPO in Chicago – January 22 -24, 2018

The 2018 AHR Expo is nearing, and the RPA has space for a number of educational offerings from exhibiting members. RPA's Education Track at the 2017 AHR Expo earlier this year drew a record 337 attendees on a variety of radiant and hydronic-related topics. Next year's event, to be held at Chicago's McCormick Place, promises to be equally well-attended. Please contact Les Nelson at (909) 218-8112 if you will be exhibiting and have an educational track topic.

RPA Education Track

During next year’s AHR EXPO in Chicago, the RPA will again be sponsoring an education track through the kind contributions of several members. Four sessions are currently scheduled, although more may be added:

Design and Installation of Hydronic Snow and Ice Melting Systems to Optimize Performance and Efficiency – Lance MacNevin P.E., Plastics Pipe Institute
From congested cities with limited outdoor public spaces to aging populations in private homes, the safety, convenience and savings provided by hydronic Snow and Ice Melting systems are more beneficial than ever, especially as changing weather patterns increase snowfall in many regions. This introduction to hydronic snow and ice melting systems (SIM) includes discussion of benefits, applications, installation techniques, design considerations, control options, and estimating operating costs.

Are There Radiant-heated Windows in your Future, and What Effect will it have on the Overall Design of the Supporting Physical Plant? – Mark Eatherton, Chairman, Radiant Professionals Alliance Technical Committee
Radiant windows have been on the European market for 30 years. They are starting to make their way across the pond and will most probably be making an appearance on a job site near you. Find out what their applications are, how they work, and the net effect on sizing of physical plants supporting these buildings.

Radiant Cooling in the Windy City – Max Rohr, Academy Manager, REHAU
This seminar introduces radiant cooling as a technology for reducing operating costs and lowering carbon footprints while increasing occupant comfort in commercial applications. You will learn what radiant cooling is and what benefits it has to human comfort. Case studies will be presented that cover design considerations to effectively utilize radiant cooling technology, including an award winning project in Chicago.

Introducing BEST, the Building Efficiency System ToolGreg Cunniff, P.E., Taco Inc.
Walk through this demonstration of the free, interactive Building Efficiency System Tool™ (BEST) solves a long-standing industry issue of being able to accurately compare different types of HVAC systems, each of which are tested to different standards, and all of which are assigned various efficiency ratings (EER, IEER, SEER, COP, HSPF). BEST was created to better inform prospective builders, consulting engineers and design-build professionals about their selection options for HVAC systems during the early design process, and to make it free, fast, and easy to understand.


Radiant Living Magazine Digital Edition

To check out your September issue CLICK HERE

Your Radiant Living Must-Reads:


BOMA Magazine - September/October Digital Edition

The BOMA Magazine September/October digital issue is available. Click here to view the magazine: digital.boma.org/2017/September_October/


IAPMO/ASSE/ANSI 19210 Hydronic Installer Training and Certification

Register for an upcoming ASSE Standard 19210 Training and Certification class. RPA training to this standard shows that your knowledge of industry best practices, state of the art installation techniques, and compliance with applicable codes and standards has been tested and certified – helping you stand out in a competitive market.

Upcoming classes:

Legend Valve, Auburn Hills, MI October 24 - 26

Take your skills to the next level and demonstrate your knowledge to your customers!


NABCEP Adds Solar Heating System Inspector and PV System Inspector Certifications to its Industry-Leading Programs

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced the addition of Solar Heating System Inspector (SHSI) and Photovoltaic System Inspector (PVSI) Certifications to its industry-leading programs. Unlike many of NABCEP's other certifications, there are no specific pre-requisites for taking a NABCEP PV or Solar Heating System Inspector Exam, and the test can be taken online from anywhere that has a stable internet connection.

Inspectors play a critical role in ensuring quality renewable energy installations. These new credentials are meant to provide a mechanism for inspection professionals to demonstrate their knowledge of PV and Solar Heating systems.

NABCEP PV and Solar Heating System Inspector certifications are intended for individuals performing system inspections for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's), utilities, incentive programs, investors, and others involved in quality assurance and code compliance of PV and Solar Heating system installations.
To become a NABCEP System Inspector and maintain the credential, applicants must have knowledge of applicable codes and ordinances, be able to identify all system components and understand how to assess the safety and operation of a system. Interpretation of design plans and building documents, conducting on-site inspections, and reporting results will each be part of  System Inspector examinations.

For more information click here: www.nabcep.org/pv-and-solar-heating-system-inspector-certification-programs.

Service World Expo

At the RPA, we are always working on your behalf to bring ideas, meetings and resources to help you improve your business.

  1. As an affiliate partner with Service Roundtable, we can make a special offer to each of you to attend Service World Expo in Las Vegas on September 7 & 8 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. As an associate member, you are invited to a special party for Service Roundtable and Service Roundtable associate members. After all work and no play, is not the Vegas way. The attached flyer provides details on the party and all other work and play events at Service World Expo.
  2. The work begins on September 7th at a full-day conference followed on September 8th with another full day of innovative, fresh, exciting, profitable ideas and tips from both industry and non-industry speakers.
  3. This is the largest residential contractor focused conference in the industry meaning you have a chance to network and share great ideas with other like-minded contractors. Many past attendees say this is the best part because they form long-lasting relationships that can be business transforming.

For more details or go to www.serviceworldexpo.com for details and registration.


Attention RPA Members: If You Have Not Yet Done So, Start Taking Advantage of Your Service Roundtable Benefits.

RPA members now receive a FREE Associate Membership with Service Roundtable. Your free Associate Membership with Service Roundtable includes:

Cash rebates from over 100 participating vendors Free Marketing and Business tool downloads Discounted registration to Service Roundtable conferences and seminars

For more information about your Service Roundtable membership, please e-mail Amanda McCarty or call (877) 262-3341.


Follow the RPA on Social Media

Be sure to follow the RPA on our social media channels:

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/radiantprofessionalsalliance/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4379924
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Radiant_Panel 


As Always, we value your feedback. Please let us know what you would like to see in the monthly newsletters. Are they too long or too short for your liking? Any and all comments are welcome. Please send them to les.nelson@radiantpros.org.

Event Sponsors

Indefinite Leave. Can You Terminate?

Question: Our employee has tendonitis.  His condition has not seen any improvement, if anything he has experienced regression. To date we have conducted two ergonomic assessments. We made the recommended adjustments following both assessments. We have also accommodated the employee throughout his employment with modified duty and modified schedule as dictated by the employee's physician and the employee's feelings for what he can undertake day to day.  The employee’s work hours since December of 2016 have averaged 20.65 hours/week. Because of this reduction in work hours and the volume of work he is producing, we have hired a new full-time employee to handle what the employee has not been producing, as well as to meet the overall increased work load demands of our engineering department. We have three employees in this group and our work volume is such that we need all three to be productive 40 hours each week. However, we are not able to spread this out evenly and the other two engineers are having to work in excess of 40 hours to handle the volume that the employee is unable to produce. This employee sent an email today advising that "both of his hands are pretty messed up now, to the point that I cannot move them without being in a lot of pain. I cannot work anymore and I do not know if or when I will be able to. The medications I’ve been given are doing a bad job of dulling the pain, and it continues to get worse. I have a physical therapy appointment on Monday and a primary care appointment on Tuesday. I don’t know if they will help to get me back to work, and I don’t know when that will be." We are really struggling with how to move forward properly with this employee and would really appreciate some guidance here.

Response: It appears that the employer has taken reasonable and appropriate measures over the last few months to reasonably accommodate the subject employee, but he has now advised that he "cannot work anymore" and further that he does not "know if or when" he will ever be able to do so again. You indicate that he has advised the employer that he has an upcoming physical therapy appointment, but that he doesn't "know if they will help to [him] back to work, and [doesn't] know when that will be."

In some cases a full-time leave of absence can be a form of reasonable accommodation under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and employers need to consider this type of action in determining whether a qualified individual with a disability can be accommodated. That said, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made clear that employers do not have to grant indefinite leave as a reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. Indeed, the EEOC has expressly stated that "[a]lthough employers may have to grant extended medical leave as a reasonable accommodation, they have no obligation to provide leave of indefinite duration. Granting indefinite leave, like frequent and unpredictable requests for leave, can impose an undue hardship on an employer’s operations." See https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html and particularly question 21 (at example 38 the EEOC states that if an employee on leave "is unable to provide information on whether and when he could return to another job that he could perform," then "[t]he employer may terminate this worker because the ADA does not require the employer to provide indefinite leave.") Similar guidance is provided at question 44 at https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html where the EEOC further states that "[p]roviding leave to an employee who is unable to provide a fixed date of return is a form of reasonable accommodation. However, if an employer is able to show that the lack of a fixed return date causes an undue hardship, then it can deny the leave. In certain circumstances, undue hardship will derive from the disruption to the operations of the entity that occurs because the employer can neither plan for the employee's return nor permanently fill the position. If an employee cannot provide a fixed date of return, and an employer determines that it can grant such leave at that time without causing undue hardship, the employer has the right to require, as part of the interactive process, that the employee provide periodic updates on his/her condition and possible date of return. After receiving these updates, employers may reevaluate whether continued leave constitutes an undue hardship."

Thus, if the employer is able to accommodate the subject employee with leave that lacks a fixed date of return, it should do so. If, however, an employee is unable to state whether or when he will ever be able to return to work (and assuming no fixed date is offered after his next therapy appointment) and accommodating would visit an undue hardship upon the employer, the EEOC supports an employer in terminating the employment relationship.  If the latter situation is now upon the employer, as noted it can discharge the subject employee.  In letting him go, the employer should remind the employee of its efforts to provide reasonable accommodation over the last few months, and be candid with him as to the employer's inability to do so moving forward without undue hardship, in view of the indefinite nature of the leave now needed.

The employer should, however, ensure that the employee knows that he remains eligible for (although not guaranteed) reemployment should his condition improve to the point that he is able to work again. If this occurs and he is interested in returning to the workplace, he can and should let the employer know of this situation and then the employer should consider him for positions that are then available and within his capabilities, if there are any.  The employer is not required to establish a new job for this individual nor "bump" any current employees to create a vacancy for him if there is not an available position at the time the employee indicates he is interested and able to return to work.  If there is such a position, of course the employer consider him for rehire, but even in this scenario the employer is not required to give the employee preference over other candidates, especially any who may be objectively more or better qualified for whatever position is then open.  Indeed, the employer is entitled to hire the best qualified candidate for any available position, regardless of disability or prior-employment status.  That said, as noted, at the time of separation, the employee should be apprised that he is at least eligible to apply for rehire (though again should not be promised or guaranteed an offer), rather than advising him that he will not be considered for reemployment in the future at all, which can be construed as an unlawfully discriminatory decision in itself and can subject the employer to a potential claim down the road.


E.R.P.L. and F.E.P.N. Can Help Y-O-U
Until the mid-1980s, employment practices liability claims were not a significant exposure. Most insurance policies didn’t even include this exposure because many insurance companies viewed harassment and discrimination as intentional acts and therefore not in the public’s best interest to insure. However, since then, the number of employment-related claims has skyrocketed.

Do you feel as if you’re navigating through a "perfect storm" in the waters of employment-related practices liability (ERPL)? The challenging economy, fluctuating unemployment rates, and legislation have alerted savvy business owners to the importance of evaluating their employment practices exposure.

An ERPL policy provides coverage for a "claim" that is caused by an "insured event." A claim is a written demand or notice alleging damages, which is received by a business. An insured event occurs when an employee, former employee, or job applicant alleges harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, or varying degrees of these primary allegations.

Federated not only offers one of the finest ERPL policies in the insurance industry, we support our clients with their efforts to establish and maintain a productive, non-discriminatory workplace. To help reach this objective, clients have exclusive access to the Federated Employment Practices Network® (FEPN), powered by Enquiron®.

What is FEPN?

Through FEPN, our ERPL clients have access to the following complimentary services:

  • Online or toll-free direct access to independent employment law attorneys
  • An online employee handbook building tool designed to help document employment practices
  • Customizable HR risk management resources, including federal- and state-specific forms and posters
  • HR Express updates, including:

− Question and Case of the Month, based on popular topics
− HR alerts
− Webinars based on client interest and frequent claim topics

  • Unlimited access to online sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training for supervisors, and harassment prevention training for employees

With help from Federated and FEPN, our ERPL policyholders can develop a risk management program to both help prevent and protect against employment-related claims. Contact your Federated representative if you’re interested in learning more.

 

 

Join the RPA

More to offer than ever! Joining the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) is one of the best business moves you can make. If you're looking to grow, gain new customers, solve heating problems more quickly than ever before, tap into some of the brightest minds in the hydronic-heating business, and have a great time along the way, the RPA is for you.

Find out some of what we have waiting for you!

THANK YOU for supporting our industry initiatives with your ongoing support.

 

 
 
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