January 31, 2011
Massachusetts DOS Releases Opinion Letter on Classification for Workers Constructing Sidewalks
Filed under: News
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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-2010-13-12.13.10 on Prevailing Wages

The DOS regularly issues Prevailing Wage Opinion Letters and recently released PW-2010-13-12.13.10. This letter confirms the job classifications “for workers who perform certain tasks related to the construction of either concrete or asphalt sidewalks.”

DOS Job Classifications of the Tasks

According to the DOS, the relevant job classifications are the following:

  1. Removal of the existing materials (old sidewalk) using a backhoe or front end loader.
  2. Removal of existing materials with hand tools, primarily shovels, or jackhammer.
  3. Gravel and sub-grade materials are put in place using hand shovels and rakes.
  4. With respect to concrete sideways, the installation with hammers and stakes of wood edging of 1 inch by 4 inches. Thereafter, the area is filled with concrete from a pre-mix truck using shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows. The cement is leveled and swept with brooms.
  5. In the asphalt installation, the process is similar to the concrete but the asphalt is leveled with rakes and shovels. It is then rolled with a hand roller.
  6. Installation of curbing using a front end loader and guidance of the curbing into place

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

With the exception of the operation of the backhoe, front end loader, and jackhammer, described in items 1, 2 and 6, each of the listed tasks is paid at the rate for “Laborer” as indicated on the rate sheet.

The operation of a jackhammer, as described in item 2, is paid at the rate for “Jackhammer & Paving Breaker Operator” as indicated on the rate sheet. 

The operation of a backhoe or loader, as described in items 1 and 6, is paid at the rate for a “Backhoe/Front End Loader” as indicated on the rate sheet.

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