Hot Issues


    25% Tariff on Chinese Goods

    Industry News

    The Trump administration recently placed a 25% tariff on many Chinese goods coming into the United States, including on some components that the sign, graphics and visual communications industry uses for printing purposes. This is a different tariff than Section 232, which placed a 10% tariff on steel and 25% tariff on aluminum in March 2018.

    The impact of these Section 301 tariffs may be disruptive to our industry's supply chain, as domestic supply currently has limited capacity and may have difficulty keeping up with demand. This includes much of the scrim vinyl banner material used by sign shops is imported from China.

    Businesses affected by these tariffs may provide input by submitting comments with respect to the proposed list of products in Annex C by July 23, 2018.


    Sign Regulations to Encourage Creative Design

    Industry News

    City planners often turn to resources offered by the American Planning Association (APA) to help them learn about various zoning issues, including how to regulate signs.

    The APA's monthly publication Zoning Practice is used by thousands of local officials to guide their decisions and policies, and the July 2018 issue is about "Sign Regulations That Encourage Creative Design." The topic was conceived of and written by ISA's James Carpentier, director of state and local government affairs.

    This is an issue which is important to our industry, because flexible and reasonable sign regulations make it easier for sign companies to create the kinds of signs their customers and communities will find attractive.

    The Zoning Practice article is just one of the many ways that ISA and the Sign Research Foundation (SRF) have been working with planners in 2018 to develop beneficial sign codes, in addition to webinars, sessions and workshops that have reached over 500 local officials from across the country. When local officials learn more about developing effective and beneficial sign codes from ISA and SRF, it leads to a better business environment for the sign, graphics and visual communications industry,  

    ISA encourages you to share this original and useful topic with your planners and local officials by sending them this link directly to the story on ISA's Vital Signs, a platform specifically for those who draft, debate and enforce sign ordinances. 


    OSHA Crane Safety Delay

    Industry News

    OSHA Crane Operator Certification Delay: Crane rule officially delayed until November 2018

    OSHA published a Final Rule delaying its deadline for crane operators to be certified by one year until November 10, 2018.

    Utah Sign Association strongly recommends reading this document prior to crane certification.

    What action should you take now?
    Find additional resources on the crane operator certification requirements at the newly updated For more information on OSHA regulations, please visit or contact ISA’s .


    New OSHA Rules for Silica

    Sign, graphics and visual communications companies need to understand new rules from OSHA related to respirable silica. Companies that cut, grind or blast materials like concrete, stone and brick are affected—but so are companies that are working on a sign while construction work occurs nearby. This might mean contractors are sanding drywall, cutting tile or mixing dry cement. The rules took effect September 23.

    The new OSHA rules on respirable silica:establish a stricter standard for how much silica dust workers inhale, and affect employers of tradespeople working around such activities, even if those activities are not performed by employees under your control.

    What are the key OSHA compliance requirements?

    1. Develop a written silica exposure control plan (this flowchart can help).
    2. Designate someone to implement the plan.
    3. Adjust housekeeping practices to maximize control of silica dust.
    4. Provide medical exams (including lung function tests and chest x-rays) every three years to employees who are exposed to silica to the point of having to wear a respirator for 30 days or more each year.
    5. Train workers on how to limit exposure to silica.
    6. Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and related medical treatment.

    What action should you take now?

    1. Find resources at for guidance through the compliance process.
    2. Ensure that jackhammering, cutting and grinding is performed on equipment with proper water-spraying or vacuum collection systems.
    3. Comply with several requirements dealing with documentation and recordkeeping.

    ISA strongly recommends that all sign, graphics and visual communications company members develop a written silica exposure control plan, even if your company might only be working close by to other contractors on future job sites. The process of compiling information in the exposure control plan will highlight existing deficiencies in noncompliant equipment, employee training or housekeeping.

    For more information, please visit or contact ISA’s .


    Sign Industry Legislation—SB0042

    During a state legislative session, the Utah Sign Association worked closely with members of the state legislature to develop and then pass a bill to better control the activities of unlicensed sign contractors.  Contracting without a license is an issue with which we have had serious concern for a number of years.  In January 2011 the bill was introduced to the Utah Legislature.  Led by Randy George, USA was responsible for the introduction of this bill and for following it through the legislative process to ensure its passage.

    The bill, S.B. 42, makes it unlawful for sign companies to fail to display their contractor’s license number on vehicles.  Sign companies must also carry a copy of their contractor’s license in all other vehicles that the company uses, even those not owned by the company.  Penalties for failing to comply are considered “unlawful conduct” and could result in a fine of up to $2,000 for each day of a continued offense and attorneys fees.  If you have not already done so, please make the necessary changes immediately. 

    The sign industry will have to work hard to ensure that the law is enforced by reporting anyone that is not in compliance.  Members of the Utah Sign Association will report any vehicles they see that are in violation directly to USA.  As a benefit of membership, we will handle the reporting to Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.  DOPL will be responsible for investigating and maintaining the records of any violations.  Nonmembers will report violations directly to DOPL.

    Thank you for your support of the Utah Sign Association.  Your ongoing support makes possible the important work of the association on behalf of the industry.

    Patricia King
    Executive Director