The Department of Labor caused an industry dust-up this year with its update of the silica rule. In fact, the pushback isn’t over, as construction trade organizations have filed suits to block the rule from implementation. The department said the rule is necessary to save more lives each year, while the industry maintains that the new rule creates unattainable standards of detection, remediation and medical surveillance and will cost the construction industry billions of dollars a year.
Silica, however, is not the only issue facing major industry pushback recently. The National Association of Home Builders and other industry trade associations testified before Congress this year about regulations that can add as much as 25% onto the cost of building a home. Prevailing wage requirements, new overtime rules and regulatory costs associated with land development and the construction itself are all dampening the housing recovery and contributing to the housing market’s low inventory, high price environment, according to the NAHB.