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Classifying Disaster Clean-up Operations

November 1, 2017

Recently, California has unfortunately experienced major wildfires that have damaged or destroyed thousands of private homes and other buildings and structures. The WCIRB has received questions regarding the classifications applicable to the clean-up operations that are underway following these disasters.

Many structures have significant fire, smoke or water damage, but were not destroyed and will undergo restoration. The classifications applicable to smoke, fire and water damage clean-up and restoration operations are addressed in a Classification and Test Audit Insight e-newsletter dated May 13, 2015, which can be accessed here

In cases where structures have been completely destroyed and the operation is limited to debris clean-up because there is no demolition required, Classification 9008, Janitorial Services, applies. This classification includes a statement: This classification also applies to exterior post-construction cleanup; fire, smoke and water damage clean-up; or window cleaning when performed as a specialty operation.

In cases where a structure has not been completely destroyed but some or all of the structure must be demolished, the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) provisions at Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section IV, Special Industry Classification Procedures, Rule 7, Wrecking or Demolition and Building Raising or Moving, apply. Rule 7 directs that demolition operations shall be assigned to a limited subset of Construction and Erection classifications:

7.    Wrecking or Demolition and Building Raising or Moving

  1. In classifying wrecking or demolition work where a building or structure is razed or where a floor or exterior wall is removed, the entire operations performed at the wrecking or demolition site, including the removal and loading of debris, concrete foundations, sidewalks, or floor slabs, and the welding and cutting operations conducted in connection with the wrecking or demolition work shall be assigned to one of the classifications listed in (1) through (5), below.

  (1) Classifications 5403/5432, Carpentry – N.O.C. These classifications shall be assigned to wrecking or demolition and raising or moving of wooden buildings or structures.
  (2)  Classification 5213, Concrete Construction – N.O.C. This classification shall be assigned to wrecking or demolition and raising or moving of buildings or structures that are constructed of concrete or concrete encased steel.
  (3)  Classification 5057, Iron or Steel Erection – N.O.C. This classification shall be assigned to wrecking or demolition and raising or moving of steel buildings (not concrete encased steel), structures, tanks, towers or ships (of any size).
  (4) Classifications 5027/5028, Masonry – N.O.C. These classifications shall be assigned to wrecking or demolition and raising or moving of masonry buildings or structures.
  (5) Classification 6003(1), Pile Driving. This classification shall be assigned to wrecking or demolition and raising or moving of all piers and wharves.
  1. In classifying the raising or moving of buildings or structures, all operations involved in the raising or moving of such buildings or structures, including incidental shoring and the removal of walls, foundations, columns, piers or other structural members, shall be assigned to one of the classifications listed in 7a(1) through 7a(5), above.
     
  2. All wrecking, demolition, raising or moving work not specifically described in the classifications listed in 7a(1) through 7a(5), above, shall be assigned by analogy to one of those classifications. No other classification is applicable.
     
  3. Exceptions
      (1) With respect to the raising or moving of buildings or structures, the rebuilding of walls, foundations, columns, piers or other structural members shall be assigned to the appropriate construction classification.
      (2) If a subcontractor is engaged to conduct mobile crane operations in connection with a wrecking, demolition, raising or moving job, and performs no other type of work on the job, the mobile crane operations of said subcontractor shall be assigned to Classification 7219(3), Mobile Crane and Hoisting Service Contractors – N.O.C.
      (3) If a subcontractor is engaged for the hauling of debris from a wrecking, demolition, raising or moving site, and performs no other type of work on the job, such hauling operations shall be assigned to Classification 7219(1), Trucking Firms.