Construction Industry Experiencing Increases in Workplace Injuries and Fatalities
Jun12

Construction Industry Experiencing Increases in Workplace Injuries and Fatalities

The construction industry, whether it’s involving small housing projects (35% of which involve entire home renovations) or major industrial jobs, has always relied on safety. Across the U.S., however, accidents have continued to happen and have resulted in serious injuries to many and even loss of life. According to Capterra, one in ten construction workers are injured every single year and an average worker, over a 45-year career in construction, has a one in 200 chance of dying on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have implemented regulations to ensure worker safety: the ASME stating that outrigger blocking or cribbing for crane operation, for example, must have sufficient strength in order to prevent bending, crushing, or failure and OSHA has various standards to protect workers. The most violated OSHA standard is currently not adhering to fall protection regulations. As NBC Bay Area reports, a freak accident in Oakland left 12 construction workers seriously injured. Atop a building under construction, workers were pouring and smoothing concrete when the structure gave way and the 12 people fell about 15 feet and went underneath wet concrete and debris. Oakland Fire Department Deputy Chief Darren White stated that all 12 workers were then safely extracted from the worksite. “The company [Johnstone Moyer, Inc.] needs to know the safe way to do things,” said Peter Melton from Cal-OSHA. “Their workers need to be properly trained on safe procedures. We want everyone to go home at the end of the day safe and sound.” Large construction projects like this usually require cranes and other heavy machinery. These machines can be just as dangerous for workers. This year’s 2017 Conexpo-Con/AGG expo covered a record 2.8 million-plus square feet of exhibits across Las Vegas. According to Me Construction News, this year’s expo focused much more on the future of the construction industry in relation to advancing technology and how it pertains to workplace safety. “Our shows are renowned as an industry showcase of ‘what’s next,’ and this year’s show did not disappoint,” said Rich Goldsbury, the chair and president of the expo and CEO of Doosan Bobcat North America and Oceania. “From the new Tech Experience, which highlighted the connection between technology and construction, to the culmination of AEM’s infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, this year’s show demonstrated the rapid innovation in our industry.” Each year, roughly 35% of on-the-job injuries are caused by large machine accidents and contribute to 14% of work-related fatalities. Safety + Health reports that there are currently 10.3 million construction workers in the U.S., but the industry as a whole experienced a...

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Korean Skin Care Methods Taking The World By Storm
Jun09

Korean Skin Care Methods Taking The World By Storm

Beauty and skincare is perhaps one of the largest industries in the world, with a global industry value of somewhere around $400 billion. There is a lot of research and money involved in finding the best possible way to treat wrinkles and dry skin. Fermented skincare started as a Korean skin care trend, but it rose to the spotlight in the beauty world and is catching on fast. The concept is simple: using fermented foods in the skin care regime. According to those that partake in the remedy, the fermented food improves both gut health and the overall appearance of skin. Fermentation, in biological terms, means to enhance the ingredients to increase their nutritional value. In the food world, the process involves soaking food in salt water to take advantage of good bacteria. In the skincare world, active ingredients are broken down so that the skin can rapidly absorb their nutrients. Some benefits of this method include: Eliminating harmful bacteria. Breaking down the ingredients to make it gentler on the skin and easier to absorb. Fermented yeast is loaded with antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. To maximize the benefits of these products, it’s recommended that one also develops a good routine. Dr. Amy Wechsler, the renowned New York dermatologist, suggests focusing on a nighttime routine that will help relax the mind for better sleep, which can aid in the skincare process. “The healing molecules are highest during sleep, and cortisol is at its lowest then,” she says However, this is not the only trend making an appearance in the world of skincare. In Canada, some companies and brands are creating their own skin care lines to help combat wrinkles and premature aging, using a cultural method of their own — maple syrup. Several brands have caught the attention of skincare professionals with their product lines’ ingredients, which are all natural, including Province Apothecary, which includes the usage of maple syrup in their organic Nova Scotian algae (seaweed) in the Detoxifying and Clarifying Clay Mask. The three companies are Province Apothecary, Saje Natural Wellness, and Graydon Skincare, and are all Canadian in...

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Home Improvement Industry Recovering – But Bleak Future Ahead?
Jun06

Home Improvement Industry Recovering – But Bleak Future Ahead?

The home improvement industry is nearing a full recovery, according to a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The recovery follows an eight-year, post-housing crisis slump that resulted from the Great Recession. As homeowners tightened their wallets — and as renters avoided the market altogether — home improvement companies and stores suffered a protracted fallout from the housing crisis. However, that trend may be changing. <br. According to the study, the home improvement industry continues to be driven primarily by members of the Baby Boomer generation, just as it has been for the last 20 years. Recently, there has been a rising interest among Millennials, especially those that are closer to the generation before them in age, in home improvement projects. Aaron Swafford, of Swafford Services, told Bowling Green Daily News that he’s been keeping busy with requests from both generations. “Baby boomers might want a bathroom done while the millennials want improvements to the outdoor areas, like outdoor decks,” Swafford said. “I’m real busy and I get to pick and choose the jobs that I want to do.” Home improvements, especially those on the outside, can have a great impact on the value of the home. Replacing something as simple as old, worn, siding can raise the value of a home by 10%. As a result, many homeowners are investing in home improvement projects to increase the resale value of their homes. The Harvard report predicts a bright future for the national home improvement industry. “Homeowner improvement spending should post healthy 2% average annual growth through 2025,” the study noted. “Inflation-adjusted expenditures are expected to increase to $270 billion in 2025.” However, according to the Harvard report’s authors, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the home improvement market. More Millennials are entering the housing market, but the future of the industry may depend on how many Millennials want to become homeowners in the decade to come. Michael Mitchell, Lowe’s senior manager of Strategic Insights and Trends, said: “Millennials, however, have had to cope with more debt, higher home prices, and other generational challenges. While pop culture romanticizes the notion that ‘Millennials never want to own.’ Whether that reality manifests anytime soon, Millennials are not held back by lifestyle, rather it can be simple economics.” The study authors certainly agree with that sentiment, and they cited “student debt, slow job growth, weak income gains and tight credit markets” as major barriers to greater Millennial home ownership rates. For now, the Baby Boomer generation will continue to buoy the home improvement market, but the industry’s future now relies on a generation with...

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NFPA Works to Support National Electrical Safety Month
May19

NFPA Works to Support National Electrical Safety Month

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has declared May as National Electrical Safety Month, a motion that has garnered support from both local organizations and larger-scale groups such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Together, these organizations work to raise awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of proper electrical safety habits. A new NFPA report reveals that between 2010 and 2014, there were almost 45,210 electrical home fires each year, which accounted for $1.4 billion in property damage. Fire safety experts say that a combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in buildings could help reduce injuries and property damage by at least 50%, but electrical safety also plays an important role. Approximately 57% of the electrical fires detailed in the NFPA report were the result of unsafe practices with wiring, outlets, and even lamps. “Computers, kitchen appliances, fans and other equipment that use electricity have the potential to be involved in an electrical fire,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy told The Donaldsonville Chief. In order to prevent electrical fires, officials from organizations across the country are dedicating their efforts toward safe electrical practices this month. In addition, officials warn that parents might not be taking enough precautions to ensure their children are safe. A Temple University study found that in observing children ages two to four, a full 100% were able to remove a plastic outlet cap within 10 seconds. Now, researchers are urging parents to install tamper-resistant devices to fully protect children from electrical outlet hazards. And that goes for other types of outlets as well. RJ45 ethernet plugs are only good for approximately 1,000 to 2,000 insertions. After that they can become loose or fray, making them a big hazard for children and pets. The NFPA says that in order to prevent these situations, homeowners should have a licensed electrician perform all electrical work on their home, including inspections and new installations. May isn’t over yet, which means the NFPA and other local organizations will be publishing more data and even organizing events to further raise awareness about safe electrical...

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Organic Pepper Sales Are Recovering After Troublesome Fall Growing Season
May18

Organic Pepper Sales Are Recovering After Troublesome Fall Growing Season

Everybody knows that eating fruits and vegetables are important to maintain a healthy diet – in fact, it is recommended to consume at least 1.5 to 2 servings of fruit a day and 2 – 2.5 cups of vegetables every day. However, one unexpected shift in the organic produce market has vegetable farmers eager to keep their sales–as well as their vegetables–growing. Despite the fact that the organic food market as a whole is growing, organic peppers were reported to have some serious troubles last fall. Demand was low, and eventually, prices became lower than the cost of doing business. This spring, however, sales have bounced back, and demand is higher than ever. “We see the organic category continuing to grow. The demand for our organic peppers continues to be very strong,” Chris Veillon, director of marketing at NatureFresh Farms in Ontario, told The Packer. According to Sarah Pau, director of marketing for Pure Hothouse Foods Inc. in Leamington, which also markets the Pure Flavor brand, the climate was much better for growing this year. “Organic greenhouse growing was only bound to happen, thanks to the more consistent climate making yields significantly higher,” she said. While the appeal of pesticide-free foods is enough to get many people to buy organic, these companies’ marketing efforts should not go unnoticed. While 97% of consumers use internet when researching local products and services, shoppers make 82% of their purchase decisions in the store, and there has been an increased effort on the part of Pure Flavor to both market and grow their organic foods. The company has already announced its plans to expand its organic selections next year. “Pure Flavor has focused on increasing and strengthening our organic program and is now growing many organic crops,” said Pau. On average, companies spent 25% of their total marketing budgets on digital marketing in 2014, with that expected to rise to 75% within five years. And if the organic food market continues to grow as fast as it has been in recent months, the organic industry as a whole could see massive and even unprecedented success. The Oppenheimer Group in British Columbia is another distributor of organics that is anticipating a massive spike in demand and sales. The company cites marketing data from FreshLook demonstrating that organic peppers make up around 4% of all greenhouse pepper sales. The company also says that the data is “indicating an opportunity for peppers to capitalize on the general increase in demand for high-quality...

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BBB Warns Homeowners of Fraudulent Repair Scams After Bad Weather
May16

BBB Warns Homeowners of Fraudulent Repair Scams After Bad Weather

Homeowners across the country are being warned to stay on the lookout for fraudulent repair services and to do plenty of research before working with any home repair company. Unfortunately, “storm chasing” remains a popular home improvement scam after a region suffers particularly intense weather. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has recommended that homeowners improve their online research habits when searching for residential repair services, especially following weather disasters that result in severe property damage. During these traumatic times, homeowners often reach out for help as quickly as possible, looking over potential red flags in the process, in order to repair their homes. Unfortunately, there are plenty of criminals out there that will gladly take advantage of these struggling homeowners by offering fraudulent repair services. In fact, some storm chasers even go door-to-door, specifically targeting seniors with damaged homes. Areas like East Texas, for example, which suffered from a multitude of tornadoes earlier this month, is a prime location for these scam artists. These faux repair companies pose as legitimate companies online and offer fair prices for home repairs. After demanding money up front, these con men walk away with the money without ever performing a second’s worth of actual repair work. “There have been more than 300 home improvement scams reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker nationwide in the past year,” said Emily Valla of the Northwest BBB. “Roofing contractors, plumbers, auto repair, and insurance companies all make the list of top-10 most injured about businesses at BBB serving the Northwest.” Per the BBB’s recommendation, homeowners should always find a reputable company or contractor. Furthermore, homeowners should be highly suspicious of contractors who demand cash payment in advance. “Find out how long a company has been in business and how people rate and review them,” added Valla. “If they have complaints with the BBB, how did the company respond? Taking the time to resolve a situation is most important. Whenever possible, get references. Find out if others had a good experience and if they ended up having to pay more than they bargained for.” In addition to working with credible organizations, KDVR states that having a quality insurance policy and strong warranty can help provide you with peace of mind. A legitimate national warranty organization, for example, will provide quality coverage and protection for up to a decade on qualified structural defects, and a credible insurance agency can help fund catastrophic damage from inclement weather. And if a door-to-door “contractor” shows up at the front door after an intense storm, remember that some deals really are too good to be...

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