People want more for less when it comes to their homes, a trend that has intensified as a result of the slow economic recovery. While recent months have brought a surge in new construction for multifamily units, new building enterprises for single family homes remain cautious. Succeeding in this new market requires construction innovation that allows firms to build faster, less expensively and with a watchful eye on their environmental impacts. Continue Reading →
Can a piece of work gear really save your life? It sounds peculiar, but we all know that work safety doesn’t just come down to our common knowledge or reading the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It’s the way we go around thinking, completing and dressing for the tasks we do.
Like our mothers say, you can never be too cautious. In order to follow that advice, we will look at the different ways you can stay safe using the right safety gear — wearing the right type of work shoes and high visibility clothing are both crucial. Continue Reading →
It is no news that the popularity of green and sustainable methods of construction have been on the rise for quite some time. Health- and environmentally-conscious clients are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, while at the same time promoting a safer environment for their families. Others choose green construction for practical reasons – it might cost a bit more initially, but it can pay off in the long-term through reduced utility bills and increased re-sale value.
Hence, the rising demand for contractors who can implement sustainable methods and technologies in their work. If you’re planning to start as a contractor or would like to make the transition to being a green contractor, here are some steps to consider as you begin your journey. Continue Reading →
There are many rules and regulations governing the work of contractors and making sure it’s safe – insurance, contract bonds, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, etc. And still, working in construction continues to be associated with many serious hazards.
According to data by OSHA, 15 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2012 involved contractors. As a contractor, you need to ensure not only that you and your staff have all the necessary safety gear, but also that said gear is of good quality. Unsafe construction clothing and equipment is just one of the reasons for the many accidents that happen on construction sites. Another way to reduce the likelihood of accidents is to acquaint yourself with some of the most common types of work injuries. Here’s what made the top of the list, along with tips on how to protect your site. Continue Reading →
Labor unions have played a major role in the development of employer-employee relationships from their conception in the 19th century until today.
They were born as a natural result of the consequences of the industrial revolution, when child labor and long working hours were the norm. While labor unions are not without their critics when it comes to their effects on the economy, this article is not going down this road. Rather, we’ll dive into the interesting history of labor unions in the United States in the 19th century, as well as and their most notable accomplishments. Continue Reading →
Seeing “Made in USA” printed on a label is, unfortunately, a rare occurrence these days. Manufacturing, including that of many major clothing brands, has been shifted to China and other developing countries. While outsourcing has greatly reduced manufacturing costs, it doesn’t always carry the same quality guarantee as the “Made in USA” label. Continue Reading →
The Great Recession of 2008 hit the construction industry hard and one of the consequences was that many skilled workers were forced to look for a job elsewhere. Fast forward a few years and the economy is in recovery. So is the construction industry, but where are the skilled hands?
The recovery is unequivocally good news, but it carries along certain challenges, such as the increasingly worrisome construction skills gap. The trend became apparent around mid-2013, but its proportions have grown in 2014. Let’s look at some of the implications for the construction industry. Continue Reading →
Trade schools make colleges look bad? I mean it. Not that there’s anything wrong with colleges, but vocational education really hasn’t been getting the credit it deserves. As Mike Rowe appropriately pointed out: there’s this perception in our culture that a college degree is in some way superior to alternatives such as learning a trade.
The truth of the matter is, there’s a need for plumbers, electricians and mechanics, just as much as there is for lawyers and doctors. And looking down on the trades is, as Mike puts it, “a bull—- attitude, and it’s creating huge problems.”
So in ‘defense’ of trade schools, and for every high schooler or apprentice out there wondering whether it is worth it, here are the top reasons for attending one. Continue Reading →
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“When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten” said the ancient Taoist sage Chuang Tzu. The old man had a point – when something is right, there’s no problem with it and we don’t even notice it. And that is just as valid for your work boots, as it is for most things in life. It is only when the shoe doesn’t fit (your needs), that you remember your foot. So picking the right shoe is important if you’re concerned about your safety, health and the simple everyday enjoyment of your job. Consider these main differences between steel toe and composite toe work boots, to find out when you should choose one over the other.