WSA Member Update 11.15.20

WSA Member Update 11.15.20



November 15, 2020

Dear WSA Members,

This police report from Bend, Oregon, shows the importance of having a ‘game plan’ for what to do in the event one of your sweeper operators becomes a victim of road rage. In this instance, the operator drove away and called 911, which resulted in a citation being issued to the antagonist.


One thing I believe we can all agree on is that 2020 has been a year like no other in our collective lifetimes. Since this is when annual performance reviews are often done, I thought it made sense to link to XpertHR’s considerations for how those might be conducted differently this year, given the pandemic’s effect on business.

Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Logo

The health and well-being of your employees are paramount to your success as a company. Unfortunately, one of the areas that often receives little attention is the mental health of the people who work for you – as well as your own mental well-being. According to the CDC, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide in normal times; with the pandemic, it is calculated that an additional 75,000 people could terminate their lives this year from what is being termed ‘deaths of despair.’

Although the above is especially true given the pandemic, the suicide rate is high among ex-military personnel with PTSD issues, as well, which is a category from which many sweeping contractors hire. We have added to the ‘Employees’ section of the WSA website a post on suicide prevention that links to the website of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The site offers a host of information on this issue, including an opportunity to take its 60-90 minute suicide prevention training course, which is FREE through the end of 2020.


If you haven’t already, now is the time to make plans for taking advantage of the IRS Section 179 tax-saving program. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.

It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. However, you need to plan to take delivery by years’ end. And, while we’re on the topic, here’s a link to 92 small business deductions to use now, plus 11 deductions to avoid…

Our November Safety First! tips by John Meola center around the fact we are moving into the cold weather season:

  • Covid Reminders
  • Seasonal Safety & Colder Temperature Tips
  • OSHA Walking & Climbing Standard Updates
  • Defensive Driving Best Practices
  • And more…

We also offer congratulations to John, who has moved to Timmons Group in a similar safety advisor position as the one he previously held with Pillar.

AmericanSweeper2004_200wFinally, a bit of housekeeping… We have received quite a bit of positive feedback about the notebooks we send out to renewing WSA Members, as well as about the 8×10 vintage sweeper photos we include. However, if you are tired of those – and especially if you have alternative suggestions – please let me know.

This time, those renewing their WSA Membership for 2021 will also receive another sweeping industry collector’s item, an issue of the American Sweeper magazine I produced starting in the early 1990s. It was the first magazine ever produced for the power sweeping industry, published via sponsorship of the Schwarze family, founders of Schwarze Industries, Inc. I have several boxes of various issues still in storage and decided a good place for them to go would be to WSA Members.

As always, if you have questions or comments about this WSA Member Update or anything else to do with the World Sweeping Association or power sweeping in general, please be sure to send me an email or call or send a text to my cell, 360.739.7323.

Good Sweeping,
Ranger Kidwell-Ross
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, Executive Director
World Sweeping Association

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