A Popular Topic

SBCA Magazine,

A look at the development of the jobsite package reveals why it is so popular

There are very few topics that have received more attention in the SBCA magazine than SBCA’s Jobsite Package. Between 2000 and 2020, SBCA Magazine published 73 articles that either entirely focused on the Jobsite Package, or at least included a pointed reminder for component manufacturers to effectively communicate proper techniques and guidelines for handling, storing, installing, and bracing structural components.

Today’s Jobsite Package provides installers with the curated guidance they need to effectively store, handle, install, and brace structural components.

Why has SBCA repeatedly drawn so much attention to this one small set of documents? The answer was probably best summarized by SBCA’s legal counsel, Kent Pagel, in an article series he wrote for component manufacturers (CMs) in 2000, before SBCA created the Jobsite Package and every CM across the country was struggling to find the best means to communicate guidelines and techniques to minimize jobsite incidents with the potential to cause injury to installers.

Kent stated the objective was to provide “effective” jobsite warnings and instructions with the “goal to genuinely warn and instruct.” By providing clear guidance, threat of bodily harm and/or property damage would be significantly reduced, which was a benefit to users and installers, project owners, and all parties in the supply chain.

Genuinely Warn and Instruct

It is clear that Kent and SBCA had been deliberating for a significant time the best course of action for CMs. Thirteen months after Kent’s last article on the topic, SBCA launched the Jobsite Package, complete with a resealable plastic bag to protect documents from getting damaged by moisture. It’s interesting to note the original Jobsite Package predated the creation of the Building Component Safety Information (BCSI) handbook, which was completed later that same year and published for the first time in 2003.

The original BCSI Handbook was compiled with the goal to genuinely warn and instruct installers. The Jobsite Package provided a distillation of this guidance in a handy set of documents.

In short, the contents of the Jobsite Package settled on a few key B-Series documents based on BCSI content:

  • BCSI, B1 - Guide for Handling, Installing, Restraint & Bracing of Trusses
  • BCSI, B2 - Truss Installation & Temporary Restraint/Bracing
  • BCSI, B3 - Web Member Permanent Bracing/Web Reinforcement
  • BCSI, B4 - Construction Loading 

Again, Kent wrote about the thought process behind the inclusion of these documents in the Jobsite Package in a 2011 article, “Each of the documents included in the Jobsite Package was chosen in order to provide the right information for CM customers and erectors to properly and safely unload, handle, store, install, and brace manufactured structural components. Typically, manufacturers also add their truss design drawings and truss placement diagrams, and at times, some company-specific additional information to their Jobsite Package and make sure to include a Jobsite Package with each delivery.”

This is significant in that it’s clear SBCA’s Jobsite Package wasn’t slapped together with whatever documents were available. It was, and still is, specifically curated and assembled to provide every piece of information an installer might need on the jobsite when handling manufactured components and to “genuinely warn and instruct.”

Enhancing the Jobsite Package

In 2005, the Jobsite Package received a significant addition, the cover sheet. The goal in adding the cover sheet was to provide a conspicuous and notable warning about the contents (in both English and Spanish) and include defined terms and language from the ANSI/TPI 1: National Design Standard for Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Construction.

The inclusion of the cover sheet was originally suggested by a CM member, Foxworth-Galbraith, which had enthusiastically embraced SBCA’s Jobsite Package and was including them on every job they delivered. In less than three years, the company had already sent out over 30,000! John Smith, the company’s risk manager at the time, summarized the motivation for their suggestion to add the cover sheet, saying, “The new warning language on the Jobsite Package cover sheet is an additional tool to make builders and framers aware that handling, installing and bracing roof truss components requires specialized planning and training.”

The Jobsite Package was enhanced over time to include not only the B1-B4 Summary Sheets, but also a cover sheet to provide a conspicuous warning to installers.

Foxworth-Galbraith wasn’t the only early adopter of the Jobsite Package. By 2006, just four years after its introduction, over 371,000 Jobsite Packages had been sold. Given its success, the package remained largely unchanged until 2011, when B11 – Fall Protection & Trusses was added to the standard group of documents. This addition was spurred by action taken by OSHA regarding residential jobsite fall protection requirements and their targeted enforcement of those rules. Again, installers needed additional, targeted guidance on fall protection when installing trusses, and the Jobsite Package was enhanced to provide it.

Today’s Jobsite Package remains relatively the same. The only other addition since 2011 has been the inclusion of an Information for Framers Flyer (in both English and Spanish), developed in conjunction with the National Framers Council. While this flyer does not add additional installation or handling guidance, it serves to draw the installers’ attention to how to use the Jobsite Package effectively.

The last significant change in the Jobsite Packages was the development of a completely digital version. 

SBCA’s Electronic Jobsite Packages were introduced in 2017 to give CMs a way to easily email the Jobsite Package contents to customers, installers, building officials, and anyone else engaged in a project who may need a digital copy of this information. Today, Electronic Jobsite Packages are a great way to augment the hard copy delivery on the jobsite, enhancing a CMs ability to genuinely warn and instruct its customers, users, and installers.

Empirical Proof They Are Needed

Six years after SBCA’s Jobsite Package was introduced, Kent provided an update (SBCA Magazine, August 2008) on how well it was performing. He wrote, “Here is what the collective structural component industry experience has shown. Truss performance depends not only on proper design and fabrication, but also installation vertically, in-plane, and at specific spacing, and braced properly. Through experience and data, we further know that a majority of accidents involving trusses and components occur because of mistakes made with regard to installation and bracing.”

Today, SBCA’s Jobsite Package is its most popular publication, with millions of copies sold. Jobsite Package sales track well with housing starts, and in some ways even acts as a leading indicator of where the U.S. housing market is going, because CMs typically purchase packages to cover upcoming projects. If you haven’t been using SBCA’s Jobsite Package or have questions or doubts about their effectiveness, please reach out to SBCA staff. Hundreds of CMs rely heavily on this set of documents as part of their management strategy and our staff can put you in contact with your peers to hear their first-hand experiences.