January 29, 2011
Massachusetts DOS Releases Opinion Letter on Installation of Photovoltaic Systems (Solar Panels)
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

The Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) issues prevailing wage schedules to cities, towns, counties, districts, authorities, and agencies of the Commonwealth for construction projects and several other types of public work. These prevailing wage schedules contain hourly wage rates that workers must receive when working on a public project.

DOS Recently Released PW-2010-12-11.08.10 on Prevailing Wages

The DOS regularly issues Prevailing Wage Opinion Letters and recently released PW-2010-12-11.08.10. This letter clarifies “that the installation of photovoltaic modules or linking of the individual modules together to form photovoltaic arrays, including hardware is to be paid at the rate for an ‘Electrician.’” Furthermore, if portions of the roof structure are removed or re-roofed or flashing or other roofing material is required to be installed as part of the project, such work is to be paid at the rate for a ‘Roofer.’”

DOS Job Classifications of the Tasks

According to the DOS, “the relevant job classifications of the tasks listed in [the] request” are the following:

  1. Construction of a Unirac ULA support structure for the photovoltaic modules: The Unirac ULA is an aluminum pipe support structure for photovoltaic modules that was constructed on the roof of the building in question.
  2. Attaching the supporting structure to the roof with bolts.
  3. Construction of a rail system with square tubing which is used to act as an angled base where the photovoltaic modules are installed.

The DOS Concludes that the Work Is Subject to the Prevailing Wage Law

“An examination of the applicable collective bargaining agreements and nature of the work confirms that the rate for ‘Electrician’ applies to such work including the installation of mounting brackets and attachment of such brackets to the roof as these tasks are integral to the to the installation of the modules themselves.”

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