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Official Magazine for the New Jersey Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Winter 2020 • Volume 16 Number 1



Contents Winter 2020 • Volume 16 Number 1

New Jersey PHCC

189 East Bergen Place Red Bank, NJ 07701 P: (800) 652-7422 F: (609) 987-0511 director@nj-phcc.org

Local Area Meetings

Essex CountyPHCC 1st Wednesday Monthly Located at Tierney’s Copperhouse 4 Little Falls Road, Fairfield, NJ Mercer County PHCC 1st Tuesday Monthly Located at Tessara’s 812 Route 33, Hamilton, NJ

President’s Message.....................................3 Mental Health in the Workplace.....................4 Learn the Lingo, Remove the Mystery, ............. 8 Gain Some Confidence Religion and the Workplace......................... 10 Defining the Lead Edge of Leadership.......... 13 How the Secure Act Could Change Your........ 14 Retirement Planning

2020 Executive Committee PRESIDENT


John Heine Heine Plumbing & Heating 270 Sparta Ave., Suite 104 Sparta, NJ 07871 (973) 383-0392

Susan Perlstein-Tavares Frank Perlstein & Son, Inc. 815 S Broad St. Trenton, NJ 08611-1903 (609) 393-4877

PRESIDENT ELECT Stephen Dzieminski Stephen Dzieminski Plumbing 702 President Ave. Lawrence Township, NJ 08648-4429

VICE PRESIDENT Kevin Tindall Tindall & Ranson 880 Alexander Rd. Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 897-9770

FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related....... 16 to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


(609) 394-5106 (fax) TREASURER Ken Alexander Alexander Plumbing, Heating & Cooling 743 Alexander Rd., Unit 10 Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 987-2424 (609) 987-9797 (fax)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Urizzo 189 East Bergen Place Red Bank, NJ 07701 (609) 987-0500 (609) 987-0511 (fax) director@nj-phcc.org

Alexis Kierce, Publications Manager 717-238-5751 x119 alexis@thinkgraphtech.com For Advertising Information: Jen Smith, Account Manager 717-238-5751 x124 jen@thinkgraphtech.com

An exclusive publication of the NJ PHCC. The NJ Contractor is published four times a year by Graphtech. Editorial Offices: 189 East Bergen Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701. With the exception of official association announcements, the statements of fact and opinion that are made herein are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not reflect the opinion or philosophy of the officers or the membership of the NJ PHCC. Materials may not be reproduced without written permission from the NJ PHCC headquarters.

Winter 2020


President’s Message Dear Members, I’m hoping this finds you all well and minimally impacted by current events. We will still be up and running as our staff will be working from home. The best method to contact us right now is email. We are still taking orders for code books and will ship them, but supplies may be limited. While on the topic, a few misprints and errors have been noted in the 2018 and 2021 editions. Errata may be downloaded at IAPMO’s website www.iapmo.org/nspc. You may contact them at nspc@iapmo.org. As you may already know, the PA/NJ trade show and convention has been postponed. We are looking to reschedule for late summer or early fall. When available, updated information will be on the NJPHCC website. The Legislative Conference scheduled for May 19–20 has been cancelled —­the first time in history. The Association and the Board of Directors will be conducting business via conference calls and emails. We are being proactive in keeping the NSPC as the model code. NJ-PHCC is partnering with our Union brothers, New Jersey Mechanical and IAPMO as well as reaching out to Legislators. We will keep you posted. Our online Apprenticeship Academy remains open for enrollment —­it’s a good platform right now during this crisis. Keep yourselves informed as to CDC guidelines and follow them closely. Remember the old adage: “The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation”. Contact our office or me if you have any questions or need assistance. I wish you and your families well — stay safe! John Heine, President New Jersey PHCC

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mployers today are routinely confronted with employee medical issues that impact the workplace. Despite the ever-increasing focus on issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and their state and local counterparts, one employee medical issue that has received scant attention is mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 43.8 million people experience mental illness in a given year. Approximately 10 million will experience a “serious mental illness” that substantially limits one or more major life activities. It costs the U.S. economy over $100 billion each year and can take a heavy toll on the person afflicted as well as on their family and friends. In many cases co-workers and the employer are also directly impacted. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the position that a mental health condition does not have to be significant or permanent to qualify as a “disability” under the ADA. If the condition is limiting, it likely qualifies. As in the case of medical issues in general, many states have enacted regulations specifically regarding mental disabilities that are similar to those under the ADA.


NJ Contractor • NJ PHCC

Mental Health Conditions While distinct mental health conditions number in the hundreds, among the most common mental health impairments or disabilities that employers may confront are the following: Bipolar disorder; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Panic disorder; Borderline personality disorder; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Schizophrenia; and Major depression. It is reported that major depression is the largest cause of disability in the United States. In California, which defines mental disabilities more broadly than the ADA, emotional illnesses and intellectual learning disabilities are included. This means that such conditions as ADHD and dyslexia would qualify as mental disabilities under California law. The same is likely true in other states with employee-friendly laws that have defined “mental illness” for disability purposes. Virtually all the conditions classified as mental illness may or do have symptoms that could impact an employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their job. In many cases the illness manifests itself in conduct, behavior, or performance issues that affects their coworkers as well. Because such mental health impairments are almost always protected disabilities under the ADA and similar state laws, an employer must proceed cautiously in attempting to address these issues when they arise. Medical privacy rules similarly require discretion in addressing employee mental health conditions.

Inquiries to Employees TThe EEOC has stringent standards regarding what and when an employer may ask an employee about information regarding an employee’s medical (mental) health. The four circumstances under which an employer may ask questions of an employee regarding a medical condition are the following: 1. After a job offer has been made and if all applicants in a job category are asked for the same medical information; 2. When an employee has requested a reasonable accommodation; 3. When the employer is engaging in affirmative action regarding persons with disabilities; and 4. When the employer has objective evidence that an employee is unable to perform their job or poses a safety risk because of their condition. Employers sometimes become aware that an employee may be suffering from a mental impairment or disability that is affecting the workplace through reports from fellow employees. In most cases some problem behavior or incident triggers a concern among co-workers that something is amiss with the employee. A major change in

personality, such as from happy to moody, confrontational or argumentative behavior and similar uncharacteristic conduct may be signs of a problem. On some occasions the employee’s supervisor may become aware of a problem when having to respond to complaints about an incident involving the employee. The possibility that a supervisor or manager may encounter an employee mental health condition in the workplace underscores the need for the issue to be addressed in their employment issues training. Most companies seek to educate supervisors and managers regarding the appropriate response to ADA issues. Basic information on the proper response to an employee mental condition should be a part of work training. The appropriate response to a potential mental health issue is to carefully gather as much information as possible while maintaining appropriate confidentiality and medical privacy. A human resources representative or appropriate member of management, working in conjunction with the plant nurse or a medical practitioner, should confidentially interview witnesses to the abnormal conduct. These are not issues that should be permitted to become part of the shop talk. Once confirming information in the form of objective evidence of the questionable conduct is obtained, the employer may question the employee regarding the condition, if any, that is causing the problem behavior. Employers can request disability information only if it is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Therefore, there must be a reasonable basis to believe that the condition causes the employee to be unqualified for the job, requires a reasonable accommodation, or poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other employees. Given the sensitive nature of the issues, these types of discussions should occur in private, preferably including the medical review officer, plant nurse or safety professional if possible. It is quite common for the employee to deny that there is a problem. The employer must nonetheless proceed without being confrontational. It is possible that mere questions about what could be causing the employee’s behavior could trigger the problem conduct.

Permissible Action If it is determined that the employee’s medical (mental) condition is limiting the employee’s ability to properly perform his/her job or creating disruptions or safety issues in the workplace, especially if the employee denies there is an issue, the employer may require a fitness for duty examination. The examination must be “job related and consistent with business necessity”. A fitness for duty exam would also be appropriate if it appears that the employee’s mental condition could pose a danger to the employee

Winter 2020


The ultimate goal and concern should be the well-being of the employee. If medically supervised leave, even for an extended period would enable the employee to improve and possibly return to work, it could be the best course of action.”

or co-workers. It is precisely in these circumstances that an established relationship with a medical clinic that is familiar with industrial medicine, and your specific jobs is most useful. The medical professional conducting the exam should have available the employee’s job description or at a minimum, the essential job functions. The employee’s personal physician or medical provider should be consulted for any input that may help in performing the assessment. If the exam does not totally disqualify the employee from employment, potential reasonable accommodations should be discussed with the employee in conjunction with the medical professionals involved. If the employee does not have an on-going relationship with a personal physician or proper medical provider, referral to an Employee Assistance Program might be appropriate. When the interactive process to address the potential reasonable accommodations for the condition occurs, it should focus solely on the limitations on the ability to perform the job created by the mental condition and what accommodations might be available. In some cases, prescription of medication or the modification of an existing medication regimen may be sufficient. Such action would obviously involve the employee’s treating health care professional. In some cases, a job transfer, flexible scheduling, or modified break schedules, or some similar accommodation that does not create an undue hardship would permit the employee to continue working without symptomatic behavior. There are some mental conditions that cause an employee to pose a threat of physical harm to fellow employees. Such behavior is sometimes manifested when a person suffers from a borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. If the employee is not capable of performing the essential functions of their job without


NJ Contractor • NJ PHCC

posing a threat to the safety of themselves or others, even with reasonable accommodations, the employer may have no choice but to terminate the employee. Taking such action should be rare and only come after all possible reasonable accommodations have been considered and found unfeasible. Involvement of the medical professionals would be critical before reaching a termination decision. A combination of leave along with a regimen of appropriate medication are often the types of reasonable accommodations recommended by the treating physicians before a termination decision is needed. The ultimate goal and concern should be the well-being of the employee. If medically supervised leave, even for an extended period would enable the employee to improve and possibly return to work, it could be the best course of action.

Conclusion Each year employers are confronted with an increasing number of interactions where the ADA and/or FMLA are implicated. It is likely that some may involve cases of employee mental illness. The best course of action for employers is to be cautious and patient all times in addressing mental health issues in the workplace. The issues are highly personal and can be complex. Richard D. Alaniz is a partner at Alaniz Law & Associates, a labor and employment firm based in Houston. He has been at the forefront of labor and employment law for over forty years, including stints with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Rick is a prolific writer on labor and employment law and conducts frequent seminars to client companies and trade associations across the country. Questions about this article, or requests to subscribe to receive Rick’s monthly articles, can be addressed to Rick at (281) 833-2200 or ralaniz@alaniz-law.com.

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LEARN the Lingo, REMOVE the Mystery, GAIN Some Confidence

s a business owner, there’s so much more to know about insurance than premiums (payments in exchange for coverage), losses (incidents that cause financial harm), claims (requests to pay for a loss), and deductibles (the value that an insured party must pay before an insurer will begin paying). It can be an intimidating piece of the business puzzle. But learning the basics — and a few not-so-basics — can remove some of the mystery and help you become a well-informed consumer. Risk: The possibility of a loss occurring. Risk Management: Identifying potential hazards and taking action to reduce the likelihood that they will cause a loss. Liability: 1. A legal obligation to pay for damages caused by an insured party to someone else. 2. A type of insurance that pays for those losses. Certificate of Insurance: A document that shows proof of coverage present in an insurance policy. Certificates verify coverages, limits of insurance, and policy effective and expiration dates, among other facts about a policy. Underwriting: The process of analyzing risk to determine the insurability prior to taking on the risk. Workers Compensation: Insurance that helps cover the costs connected to a work-related injury.


NJ Contractor • NJ PHCC

Workers Compensation Experience Modifier: A number that, based on the frequency and severity of previous losses, affects a business’ workers compensation premiums. Endorsement: A page in an insurance policy that either adds, changes, or removes insurance coverage. • Additional Insured Endorsement: Adds coverage for a person or organization to the policy that would not have automatically been covered. • Primary and Non-Contributory Endorsement: States that the policy must pay before other insurance for the additional insured. • Waiver of Subrogation Endorsement: An endorsement that restricts an insurance carrier from recovering the damages paid on a claim from a negligent party listed in the endorsement. Aggregate Limit: The maximum amount that will be paid by an insurance company during the annual policy period for a particular coverage.

Per-Project Aggregate: The general liability aggregate limit will apply separately to designated construction projects. Umbrella: A policy that provides additional limits of liability in case a claim exceeds the established policy limits of the primary liability policy. While these terms are just a small fraction of what there is to know in the insurance industry, they will help you form a foundation of knowledge you can use as you navigate the complexities of running — and protecting — your business. This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all risk of loss. The information herein may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2019 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.


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t is difficult to deny that there has been an ever-increasing secularization of our society. Despite this significant trend, employers today are still being confronted with issues related to their employees’ religious beliefs. The issues arise in a variety of contexts. Among the most common have been issues related to conflicts between an employer’s dress code and the religious clothing or articles required to be worn by observers of certain religions. There have been numerous cases involving the hijab or khimar (head scarf) worn by women of the Muslim faith. Conflicts between an employee’s work schedule and their religious obligations sometimes still arise as well. The daily prayer obligations of Muslim employees have also been an issue with which employers have struggled. The entry of immigrants from Islamic countries into the workforce has precipitated this issue which few employers have previously faced. In addition, issues have arisen as a result of employee proselytizing and religious expression in the workplace itself, sometimes presenting employers with difficult decisions.

Employer Obligation — Reasonable Accommodation Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state human rights laws impose a duty on covered employers to reasonably accommodate the sincerely-held religious beliefs of their employees and job applicants, unless it would create an undue hardship. Because religious issues are not a common workplace problem, managers and supervisors are sometimes unaware of their legal obligations. The accommodation required is similar to that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA). Once an employee requests a religious accommodation, the employer must engage in the interactive process to try to find a reasonable


NJ Contractor • NJ PHCC

accommodation that does not create an undue hardship on the operation. The employer need not accept the employee’s preferred accommodation. Additionally, the employer may deny the request if accommodating it would create an undue hardship. In the area of religious accommodation, unlike reasonable accommodation under the ADAAA, “undue hardship” is defined as something “more than a de minimis cost”. It is a substantially lower threshold for finding “undue hardship”. Virtually all courts have applied this lower standard since the Supreme Court first ruled on it in 1977.

Work Schedules and Religious Observances The conflict between an employee’s work schedule and their religious observances most frequently arise over the need to attend Sabbath Day services. The courts have generally found lawful employers’ rejection of employees’ requested schedule or shift changes that involve involuntary scheduling of other employees to accommodate their weekend Sabbath obligations. Title VII does not require an employer to discriminate against some employees in order to enable others to observe their Sabbath. Schedule changes, the use of voluntary substitutes, shift swapping, and changes of job assignments have all been considered acceptable reasonable accommodations. Employers sometimes argue that the employee was hired knowing that their work schedule might conflict with their Sabbath. In such circumstances, they argue, there should be no obligation to consider reasonable accommodation, and some may even operate in that manner. That argument has consistently been rejected by the courts. Any time an employee requests an accommodation for religious purposes, the employer must consider reasonable accommodation. In most cases they are able to find a solution that satisfies the needs of both without unduly impacting the operation or other employees.

Personal Appearance Title VII also requires reasonable accommodation of dress and grooming requirements that reflect religious beliefs. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an Abercrombie and Fitch sales job applicant who had been denied the job because, as a Muslim woman, she was required to wear a hijab (headscarf). The company had taken the position that her hijab, which she had not worn to her job interview, violated the company’s “look” policy. Understandably, not long after this case Abercrombie & Fitch adopted a much less restrictive dress code and changed the job titles of its sales personnel from “models” to “brand representatives”. Courts across the country have generally been consistent in requiring employers to permit wearing of the hijab in a variety of employment settings. The dress requirements of adherents of the Sikh religion have also posed workplace conflicts. They are required to wear five articles of faith as part of their beliefs. Most employers have been able to accommodate the wearing of turbans by Sikh men, except in circumstances where workplace safety could be compromised. In several cases the issue involved whether Sikhs should be permitted to carry in the workplace the small ceremonial sword known as a “kirpan”. It is another of the five articles of faith of Sikhism. It is carried in a sheath and worn under

the clothing. The courts here too have generally accepted the wearing of the kirpan irrespective of the employment setting, finding that it did not constitute a prohibited “weapon”.

Prayer Breaks in the Workplace The issue of prayer in the workplace has sometimes arisen in cases where Muslim employees on a production line have insisted upon time to pray outside of regular break times. The Muslim faith’s requirement of five daily prayers at specific times of the day, such as pre-dawn and sunset, can pose a serious conflict with production line operations. Praying on the scheduled breaks is sometimes considered insufficient by some Muslim employees. The issue has, in some cases, been exacerbated during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when daily prayer is a critical part of the religious observance. The Courts have found employer’s liable where reasonable accommodation wasn’t considered and employees were disciplined or terminated for taking unscheduled time to pray. These situations are best handled on a case-by-case basis. Permitting 2 or 3 employees to leave the production line for a few minutes to pray may be possible without a significant disruption. However, if a large group of Muslim production line workers were to insist upon additional breaks to pray, the loss of productivity and impact on other employees would very likely be considered an undue hardship. Employers with Muslim employees need to have an established procedure in place to address the need to pray well in advance of the issue arising in their workplace.

Conclusion The issue of employees’ obligations to observe their sincerely held religious beliefs can arise in many forms. Approaching such issues on a case-by-case basis with the understanding that some effort must be made to reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious beliefs should result in solutions that satisfy both the employee and the employer. Richard D. Alaniz is a partner at Alaniz Law & Associates, a labor and employment firm based in Houston. He has been at the forefront of labor and employment law for over forty years, including stints with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Rick is a prolific writer on labor and employment law and conducts frequent seminars to client companies and trade associations across the country. Questions about this article, or requests to subscribe to receive Rick’s monthly articles, can be addressed to Rick at (281) 833-2200 or ralaniz@alaniz-law.com.

Winter 2020


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Defining the Lead Edge of Leadership BY MARK BRESLIN


f you’ve been following the BSI newsletters over the course of 2019, you have heard my soapbox on: • The skilled labor shortage • Why it’s important to mentor and train up-and-coming leaders • Your foremen want and need professional training • The major benefits of taking time to teach in the high pressure environment of the construction industry • And, prioritize your people above everything else

To sum it all up for the year, being on the leading edge can provide significant advantage for business. So what are you doing to define your business’s leading edge, and what are you going to do differently for 2020? Visit the Breslin Blog to read more about these topics.

My advice to the construction industry: We need a major paradigm shift to be innovative and appealing as an industry into the future; we need to change the mindset of construction from “blue-collar” to “professional.”

My advice to you: If you want to make money and grow your company — leadership needs to lead and you need to build your people. Invest in training, invest in field leadership, invest in your people. Build your training program & create a culture of learning and mentorship. It will come back to you in the way of productivity and profit tenfold.

Get ready to be on the Lead Edge for 2020 Prioritze Your Field Leadership

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12/18/14 10:46 AM


How the


Could Change Your Retirement Planning


y now, you may have heard about the new SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act. Passed at the end of 2019, this legislation contains a number of provisions intended to

help strengthen your retirement security. Here are some of the changes that may impact your situation, either now or in the future.


NJ Contractor • NJ PHCC

• In 2020, the age at which required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts must be taken has been increased from 70½ to 72. The failure to comply with the required minimum distribution requirements could result in a 50 percent penalty. • The maximum age for contributions to a traditional IRA (previously 70½) has been repealed. As a general rule, individuals may continue to contribute to traditional IRAs as long as they are still working and have earned income. • “Stretch IRAs,” which allowed the beneficiary of an inherited account to take distributions over their life expectancy (and spread tax liability over time) have largely been eliminated. New rules govern the timeline under which beneficiaries must withdraw the balance of an inherited IRA or 401(k) plan — in most cases, 10 years. However, certain exceptions may apply to your unique circumstances.

• Small-business owners with up to 100 employees may be eligible for a tax credit for starting a retirement plan, such as a SEP or SIMPLE plan. Additional credits may be available if the plan includes automatic enrollment. • Other changes in the law may allow parents to take penalty-free withdrawals of up to $5,000 (per parent) from a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA, upon the birth or adoption of a child. If you want to learn more about the SECURE Act and how it may apply to you or your business’s situation, contact your accountant or attorney for additional information. This article is for general information and risk prevention recommendations only and should not be considered legal, coverage, financial, tax, or medical advice. The information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state. There is no guarantee following these recommendations will help reduce or eliminate losses. The information is accurate as of its publication date and is subject to change. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. All rights reserved.






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Winter 2020



FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


cammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following: Fake CDC Emails. Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received. Phishing Emails. Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to: • Charitable contributions • General financial relief • Airline carrier refunds • Fake cures and vaccines • Fake testing kits


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Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment. Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves. More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh. You can also find information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, www.fda.gov, and the Environmental Protection Agency website, www. epa.gov. Report counterfeit products at www.ic3.gov and to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at iprcenter.gov. If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, the CDC has posted extensive guidance and information that is updated frequently. The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 are www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov. You may also consult your primary care physician for guidance. The FBI is reminding you to always use good cyber hygiene and security measures. By remembering the

following tips, you can protect yourself and help stop criminal activity: • Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize. • Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall. • Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser. • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a “.gov” ends in “.com” instead). If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. This article was published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Alert Number 1-032020-PSA. Questions regarding the PSA should be directed to your local FBI Field Office. Local field office locations: www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field.

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Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) The novel coronavirus (officially called COVID-19) is believed to spread from person-to-person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus is also believed to spread by people touching a surface or object and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or possibly the eyes. Employers and workers should follow these general practices to help prevent exposure to coronavirus:    

Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Employers of workers with potential occupational exposures to coronavirus should follow these practices:   

Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed. Evaluate the risk of exposure. Select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure, including physical barriers to control the spread of the virus; social distancing; and appropriate personal protective equipment, hygiene, and cleaning supplies.

For the latest information on the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus webpage.

OSHA issues alerts to draw attention to worker safety and health issues and solutions.


1-800-321-OSHA (6742)


OSHA 3989-03 2020

For interim guidance and other resources on protecting workers from coronavirus, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.

Profile for Graphtech

NJ PHCC Winter 2020  

NJ PHCC Winter 2020