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Frank Musica

Frank Musica has written 53 posts for Schinnerer Risk Management Blog

Cyber ransom is a lucrative tool for criminals

If your firm’s computer systems have not already been held for ransom, there’s a good chance they could be during 2017. The costs, losses, and damages to design and construction industry firms can be enormous. From restoring files, to paying for project delays, to rehabilitating a firm’s reputation, even one ransomware attack can be devastating. … Continue reading

Rules relaxed for some Cuban infrastructure projects

Despite warming relations between the United States and Cuba, Congress has yet to change the embargo on most forms of trade (although restrictions on Cuban cigar and rum imports was recently eased, among some other changes). As a result, so many design projects related to tourist facilities, buildings, ports, and other infrastructure improvements have gone … Continue reading

FEMA proposing new rules on building in floodplains

In January of 2015, the Obama Administration issued Executive Order 13690. The order was aimed at improving resilience to current and future flood risks and modified the 1977 Executive order 119888, which addressed flood plain development. Among other actions, the new order directed FEMA to develop a proposed amendment to 44 CFR part 9, “Floodplain … Continue reading

Protect employees from Zika exposure

Now that the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have hit the continental United States, it is time for employers to become aware of the threat. There is good reason for this concern. While Zika generally exhibits only mild symptoms in healthy adults, it can have devastating consequences if contracted by an employee just … Continue reading

Brexit vote and impact on US design firms

With the British vote to end the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union, there are many scenarios about how the US will be affected. One concern is whether US design firms will see opportunities for expansion or suffer because of the uncertainty that has accompanied the vote. If Britain falls into recession, public finances … Continue reading

Designing for a rise in sea level

As sea levels rise, design firms need to be aware of the relatively new concept of “resilient” buildings. While many firms will incorporate the principles of resilient design into their practices in the coming decade, doing so is not part of today’s standard of care. Resilient design recommendations are in response to studies that address … Continue reading

OSHA penalties are about to soar

As a result of Congressional action last year, the Department of Labor announced that it will raise by 78% the maximum penalties it can impose for violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. The changes affect penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016 for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. The Labor Department … Continue reading

Fit for the intended purpose language rife with liability

Under American law, design professionals are required to exercise reasonable skill and care in their designs, but that normal (and insurable) legal requirement can be modified by an expressed or implied fitness for purpose obligation. Unfortunately, this is an issue we continue to see in our contract reviews for policyholders. Beyond the Standard of Care … Continue reading

Information on state public-private partnerships now available

Yvonne Castillo, formerly the Public Policy Strategist at The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the new head of Schinnerer’s risk management program, recently reported that the AIA, in conjunction with the National Council of Public Private Partnerships and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), has developed a significant briefing source for information about … Continue reading

Design and construction services not authorized in Cuba

The U.S. Treasury Department has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations as of January 27, 2016. The changes are meant to further facilitate authorized travel to Cuba by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction; certain authorized commerce; and the flow of information to, from, and within Cuba. The existing Cuba embargo remains in place—that can only … Continue reading