Tuesday, July 26, 2016

IICRC Continuing Education Units at Zack Academy

IICRC Continuing Education Units
We are often asked how many IICRC Continuing Education Units (CEUs) each one of our courses is worth. Since this varies by class, we have put together a list of the eligible courses we offer and the corresponding number of IICRC Continuing Education Units. Below we have included a small snippet of the list:

IICRC Course IICRC Continuing Education Hours
IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) 14
IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) 14
IICRC Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) 14
IICRC Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) 14
IICRC Odor Control Technician (OCT) 7
Certified Mold Inspector Online Anytime 14

It is also important to remember that the number of IICRC Continuing Education Units you will need to obtain depends on your level as an IICRC professional:
  • IICRC Inspectors: Must earn 14.0 CEU Hours every two years.
  • IICRC Technicians: Must earn 14.0 CEU Hours every four years.
  • Advanced Certifications: Master Textile Cleaner (MTC), Master Fire and Smoke Restorer (MSR) or Master Water Restorer (MWR) must earn 14.0 CEU Hours every two years.
Still unsure about the proper IICRC training to attend? Give us a call at 954-400-0595 or visit our IICRC courses webpage for FAQs. For a complete listing of all our related courses, visit Cleaning, Restoration, and Water Damage.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Democrats Add Lead Poisoning Elimination to Platform

Earlier this month, the Democratic Party added lead poisoning elimination to its platform. This is the first time a major political party has acknowledged the lead poisoning at such an explicit level:

"Democrats believe we must make it a national priority to eradicate lead poisoning which disproportionately impacts low-income children and children of color and can lead to lifelong health and educational challenges, as a public health threat. We will prioritize hiring and training workers from affected communities to clean up toxic brownfields and expand clean energy, energy efficiency, and resilient infrastructure."

On a similar note, the The House Appropriations committee voted to keep funding for CDC's Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at $17 million, and the Asthma Control program at $29 million.

Many would argue in the 21st century lead exposure should no longer be an issue, nevertheless, these are positive steps towards lead poisoning eradication.


Contractors and construction workers have to stay particularly vigilant when working on older homes. If you attend to remove lead, you must be certified for Lead Abatement. If you are working on pre-1978 homes or child occupied facilities you must be a certified Lead Renovator.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Zack Academy Partners With RITcon Training To Offer IICRC Certification Courses


Fort Lauderdale, FL (July 20, 2016) - Zack Academy (www.ZackAcademy.com), a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, announced today that it will include courses offered by RITcon Training in its catalog of class listings.

Based in Stephens City, Virginia, RITcon Training offers IICRC Certification classes, such as Applied Microbial Remediation Training (AMRT), Fire and Smoke Restoration (FSRT), Water Damage Restoration (WRT) and Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS). RITcon Training’s next Applied Microbial Remediation Training (AMRT) course, starting September 13th, covers mold and sewage remediation techniques to individuals engaged in property management, property restoration, IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) investigations or other related professions. Emphasis will be placed on teaching mold and sewage remediation techniques to individuals who will perform these procedures in the field.

“Over the last two months we have partnered with many new IICRC trainers including, JBS Consultants Inc., Mitigation Training Academy, and Aspire Educational Institute. Lead by industry veteran Ken Sellers, RITcon Training brings another exemplary trainer and helps us continue to broaden our reach and train even more IICRC professionals,” said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy.

Ken Sellers, Owner of RITcon Training commented, “As a longstanding member of the cleaning and restoration community, my goal is to properly train and certify IICRC professionals so homeowners and business owners nationwide, and even internationally can feel confident and safe. Joining the Zack Academy Network offers us the opportunity to extend our reach to more students and promote best cleaning and restoration practices.”

About Zack Academy:
Zack Academy is a leading online marketplace for career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career and certification training in partnership with hundreds of local training companies across the United States.

About RITcon Training:
RITcon Training is the education division of RITcon Disaster Services and Blue Science Solutions. RITcon Training provides disaster restoration training that includes Applied Microbial Remediation Training, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Water Damage Restoration and Commercial Drying Specialist courses. These courses are accredited by the IICRC. The training facility promises to be one of the top in the country with everything you need to experience the best education from over 25 years experience.

Release Contact:
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager

Friday, July 15, 2016

OSHA to Increase Penalties by 78% Starting August 2016

OSHA maximum penalties, which were last adjusted in 1990, will increase by 78% starting August 1, 2016. Going forward the penalties will continue to rise each year based on inflation data from the Consumer Price Index. Fines will be raised in August 2016 as follows:

Serious / Other-Than-Serious / Posting Requirements up from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation;
Failure to Abate up from $7,000 to $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date;
Willful or Repeated up from $70,000 to $124,709 per violation

Make sure all of your workers complete the proper OSHA safety training!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

EPA Reduces Exposure to Asbestos Hazards in Oklahoma Schools

DALLAS (July 7, 2016) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $202,970 to the Oklahoma Department of Labor to help protect school children and state workers from possible asbestos exposures.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) program provides protection through on-site surveillance where asbestos is found. AHERA requires local education agencies to inspect schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to reduce the hazard. The Act also establishes a program for the training and accreditation of individuals performing certain types of asbestos work.

Although asbestos is hazardous, human risk of asbestos disease depends upon exposure. Removal is often not the best course of action to reduce asbestos exposure. Improper removal may create a dangerous situation where none previously existed. EPA only requires removal in order to prevent significant public exposure to asbestos, such as during building renovation or demolition. EPA recommends in-place management whenever asbestos is discovered. Instead of removal, implementation of a management plan will usually control fiber release when materials are not significantly damaged and are not likely to be disturbed.


Stay compliant and avoid fines! Make sure your employees are asbestos abatement certified:

Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor Initial
Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor Refresher
Asbestos Worker/Handler Initial
Asbestos Worker Refresher

Monday, July 11, 2016

U.S. Senators Durbin and Menendez Urge EPA to Toughen Lead Hazard Standards

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) expressed concerned concerns about the low lead poisoning standards that have proven to inadequately protect children. Even small amounts of lead dust can lasting problems with growth and development in children and brain, nervous system, kidney, and stomach problems for adults.

“We are concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (Agency) current lead hazard standards, such as lead-contaminated dust and lead-contaminated soil, are ineffective and do not reflect the best and most recent scientific evidence available,” wrote the senators. “Without reliable, safe, and protective standards in place, we are incapable of protecting children from lead poisoning and its devastating consequences. We urge the Agency to conduct a thorough review of its current regulations related to lead standards and expedite revisions accordingly.”

With the recent devastations from lead poisoning in Michigan and many reports that lead poisoning is most prominent in lower income communities, it's unsurprising both Senators are taking issue with the low standards.


Contractors and construction workers have to stay particularly vigilant when working on older homes. If you attend to remove lead, you must be certified for Lead Abatement. If you are working on pre-1978 homes or child occupied facilities you must be a certified Lead Renovator.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Construction Employment Declines or Stagnates in Over 1/3 of U.S. Metro Areas

Construction employment declined or was stagnant in 131, or 37 percent, of 358 metro areas between May 2015 and May 2016, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said. The data comes as years of underfunding have contributed to declining highway, transit and other public infrastructure just 60 years after President Eisenhower signed the first interstate highway act.

“Inadequate investment in infrastructure is a major reason for the spotty construction employment gains by metro,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. Simonson also noted that yesterday’s report on gross domestic product showed investment in structures by all levels of government as a share of the economy has fallen to less than half of what it was in the decade after the interstate highway program began, from 3.1 percent to 3.4 percent of GDP between1957 and 1967 to just 1.6 percent of GDP in the first quarter of this year.

The largest job losses from May 2015 to May 2016 were in Midland, Texas (-1,700 jobs, -7 percent), followed by Odessa, Texas (-1,300 jobs, -8 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (-1,100 jobs, -6 percent); Bloomington, Ill. (-1,100 jobs, -30 percent) and New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-1,100 jobs, -3 percent). The largest percentage declines for the past year were in Bloomington, Ill.; Fairbanks, Alaska (-15 percent, -500 jobs); Rocky Mount, N.C. (-13 percent, -300 jobs); Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Ala. (-11 percent, -100 jobs) and Lawton, Okla. (-11 percent, -200 jobs). Construction employment declined in 83 metro areas in the past year, stagnated in 48 areas, and rose in 227 areas.

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (14,700 jobs, 17 percent). Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (9,700 jobs, 16 percent); Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (8,100 jobs, 8 percent); and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,700 jobs, 7 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Monroe, Mich. (30 percent, 700 jobs); Honolulu, Hawaii (20 percent, 4,900 jobs); Boise City, Idaho (19 percent, 3,500 jobs); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (17 percent, 6,800 jobs).

The new employment figures reinforce the need for Congress to act on a number of short and long-term infrastructure measures, association officials said. Most immediately, they urged the House to act on water resources legislation passed by the Senate to invest in waterways and clean water systems. They also urged members of Congress and the administration to work together to find a long-term way to pay for needed repairs to the nation’s aging highways, bridges and transit systems.

“Six decades after bipartisan legislation to connect our country helped sparked widespread prosperity and economic growth, it is time for our leaders to again come together and invest in our infrastructure,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Rebuilding the public infrastructure that Americans have come to take for granted will help employers be more efficient, save commuters thousands of dollars each year and protect the health of all our communities.”

View the state employment data by rank and state. View state employment map.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

World Green Building Council Aims for All Buildings to be Net-zero by 2050

According to Eco-Business, the World Green Building Council (WGBC) set a lofty goal to ensure all buildings are net-zero by 2050. Furthermore, all new buildings must be net-zero by 2030. This means each building will generate clean, renewable energy on-site and have no carbon footprint.

The WGBC has decided eight countries will serve as a pilot for the initiative--Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden.

"This will be a long and challenging road but, together with the dedication and expertise of our Green Building Councils and partners, we can create a thriving market for highly-efficient buildings and make net zero the new normal," Terri Wills, CEO, World Green Building Council.

Of course, for such a major initiative, technical expertise will be needed and the project aims to train 75,000 professionals worldwide on net zero building by 2030, and 300,000 by 2050. Stay tuned for future blog posts to see how these positions will come to fruition and if/when they will make their way to the United States.