OSHA and Workplace Safety Data

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is charged with overseeing safety issues in certain types of workplaces and industries. This includes the construction industry.

OSHA specifically defines construction as being “a high hazard industry.” Included within the construction industry as far as specific enterprises is residential construction, commercial construction, bridge erection, roadway paving, excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs. 

According to OSHA, construction workers engage in various activities on a regular and recurring basis that may expose them to serious hazards. These include such hazards as falling from rooftops, contact with unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, and exposure to various harmful substances. 

As part of its mission, OSHA tracks statistics pertaining to workplace accidents of all types, including in the construction industry. These statistics can be illuminating and assisting in putting workplace hazards, accidents, and injuries into perspective.

General Workplace Accident Statistics

According to data maintained by OSHA, Each year, over 4.1 million people in the United States suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness. The annual injury rate in the U.S.A. works out to be about 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers. Over 2 million workers are injured severely enough that they miss work and require ongoing medical care, sometimes for an extended period of time. 

Mid and Small Size Companies and Workplace Injuries

The type of business with the most workplace injuries is a mid size company. These are defined as businesses that have between 50 and 249 workers. It is important to note that a majority of construction companies fall into this category. Construction companies have one of the highest rates of worker injuries in the U.S.A.

Small companies are those that are defined with 11 or fewer employees. Small companies in the country have the lowest reported incidence of workplace injuries.

Workplace Deaths in the United States

An average of 165 people die daily in the United States from different types of occupational diseases every day. Approximately 18 workers in the country die daily from workplace injuries. The combined total of the these two types of fatalities equates to about 1,000 workplace deaths each year in the U.S.A.

Cost of Workplace Injuries, Illnesses, and Deaths

The combined total cost of workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths costs society approximately $155.5 billion annually, according to data from OSHA. This cost has been on the increase over the past decade. It is not expected to abate any time in the near future.

The Preventability of Workplace Injuries

According to OSHA, one of the most alarming facts about workplace injuries is that the vast majority are preventable. The agency reports that only about 4 percent of workplace accidents are caused by technical issues, including faulty equipment. The remainder are due to some sort of preventable, avoidable human error, negligence, or recklessness. In other words, and as was just noted — preventable. 

Construction is One of the Most Dangerous Industries

Another piece of alarming data maintained by OSHA is that construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. The fatality rate in the U.S. construction industry is approximately 15.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. The leading causes of death in the construction industry are:

  • falls
  • car accidents
  • electrocution
  • machine accidents
  • struck by falling objects

One in five workplace deaths and one in 10 workplace injuries or illnesses occurred in the construction industry. 

State by State Examination of Workplace Injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas had more workplace fatalities than any other state. Texas is the third most populated state in the country Texas was followed by California and Florida. 

In a one-year period, the number of workplace deaths increased by 20 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA. These states are:

In 12 states,  

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico

Seven states reported a 20 percent or more decline in workplace fatalities during that same one-year period. Those states are:

  • Alabama
  • Iowa
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The District of Columbia also reported decline of 20 percent or more. As an aside, collecting data on workplace injuries and fatalities remains a problematic endeavor due to reporting issues. An unknown number of workplace injuries, and even some fatalities, are not appropriately reported to OSHA or other agencies to which certain businesses have reporting requirements.

Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training. 

Help Wanted – General Labor – Rehabbing rental properties

General Labor – Rehabbing rental properties

 

General Labor – Rehabbing rental properties.

Some flexibility in hours but generally 9-5 Monday to Friday.

Year round employment and potential for free housing for the right person

Basic plumbing Drywall and electrical experience required.

Prefer you have transportation but would be willing to work with lack of transportation for the right person.

Would consider housing for a family for the right person

No phone calls, please reply with resume via email or text message

stesta@armitagerealty.com

Salary negotiable including profit sharing ….potential for triple-digit income

 

Freelance Startup: How to Get Your Home-Based Business Off the Ground

If you’re over cubicles, office politics, and micromanaging bosses, going freelance sounds like the obvious choice. Choose your own clients, set your own schedule, direct your own creative choices; it’s every professional’s dream, but working solo is a lot harder than it seems. If you want to enjoy the perks of the freelance life, you have to put in the work. Here’s where to start when launching your first freelance business.

1. Choose a Name

You need a name to register your business, get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and open a bank account, so there’s no time to waste choosing a business name. Your business name should be easy to read, understand and remember. A business name can be abstract or informative, but either way customers should be able to quickly tell what your business does. If you’re struggling to come up with a name that works, try a business name generator for ideas.

2. Get Legal

As far as running a business goes, freelancing is easy mode. However, there are still legal and regulatory matters to deal with before launching your business, like:

  • Register your business with your state’s Secretary of State.
  • Register for an employer ID number with the IRS. (You need this even if you don’t have employees.)
  • Register with the Electronic Filing and Tax Payment System for paying federal taxes.
  • Apply for a sales tax permit with your state if selling products or services subject to sales tax.
  • Apply for professional and trade licenses.
  • File for a Home Occupation Permit or zoning variance.

 

You may need additional paperwork depending on the nature of your business. The Small Business Administration lists licenses and permits that are common to home-based businesses.

3. Develop Systems

Do you know what you’ll charge clients, the terms of your contracts and how you’ll manage invoices and track expenses? If these systems aren’t established before you launch, it won’t be long before you’re utterly overwhelmed. Develop documents like sample contracts, price sheets, invoice templates, and recordkeeping systems now so you can be confident and organized once in operation.

4. Establish Workflow

When you work in an office, there’s a natural flow to each day. And because you’re in a space that’s just for work, it’s easy to stay focused. Working from home is completely different. Without the change of environment, you can delay work or get distracted throughout the day. It’s important to create a home office that increases your productivity. Make sure you have the right equipment and furniture and that your office is in a space free of distractions.

 

Being productive as a freelancer relies on self-discipline and routine is the foundation of discipline. Set working hours for yourself and commit to them, time block your schedule to create time for both income-generating and administrative duties, and know how much work you can commit to at once.

5. Find Your First Customers

In the broad sense, a solid marketing plan and brand identity are what help businesses attract and retain customers. But when your business is brand new, customers are unlikely to discover it organically.

 

If you have connections with a freelancer in a complementary field — say you’re an SEO specialist who knows a web designer — ask for referrals or partner up to serve their clients. If networking doesn’t land any leads, check freelance marketplaces to find people seeking one-off services. While it might not lead to a long-standing business relationship, it’s a good way to get a few clients under your belt and recruit positive online reviews. Nation1099 recommends some of the best freelance marketplaces to try.

 

Setting up a freelance business is a lot of work, but thankfully, these tasks only have to be done once. Once your business is created and systems and processes are in place, you can shift your focus to running and growing your business. From marketing your business and building relationships to delivering a great product or service, there’s a lot to look forward to in the world of entrepreneurship.

 

Image via Unsplash

Starting a Business? Four Ways to Pursue Entrepreneurship as a Disabled Parent

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Image Courtesy of Pexels.com

Life is all about balance. We juggle our responsibilities and do the utmost to lead our best life. If you happen to be a parent with a disability, trying to start a business may seem daunting. Thankfully, it does not have to be, and there are ways you can bring your dream into reality.

 

Explore Options

You may already have a business in mind. However, do not discount the possibility of choosing an area of focus where there may be an opening for a startup. Home-based businesses are potentially ideal, as these can eliminate a lot of startup costs and allow you to care for your child. Depending on your disability, it may also be more practical in terms of transportation. There are a lot of options when it comes to home-based businesses.

Creative pursuits such as crafting and jewelry making can be excellent choices while consulting is another option. A home-based business can still keep you active, as the scope of your startup may still take you elsewhere. For example, you could run a dog boarding or dog walking business. This is an excellent choice, as you could approach friends and relatives, to begin with. It’s a business, too, that is adaptable to life’s commitments, and therefore advantageous for parents.

 

Create a Plan

The key to any successful business is knowing what you want from it. Without a clear idea about your needs and goals, it’s easy to get sidetracked and see a startup flounder. Your plan is the foundational structure of your business. You can consult with it whenever you are in doubt, and use it to remind yourself of progress and of accomplished milestones.

As parents, planning can be beneficial, too, as it is easy for life to get in the way. With a coherent vision, you can advance your business at a pace that you are both comfortable with. Detail your needs, ingoing and outgoing goals, time-sensitive objectives, branding, and marketing ideas. By putting in a timeline that best suits your specific necessities, you can take away some of the stresses of starting up a business, and guide your startup along a prepared, organized path.

 

Resourcing

Funding comes in many forms, from grants to loans. You may be eligible for federal assistance in starting up your business. Look to the Small Business Association and search for what sort of funding might be available. In terms of expenses, you may be eligible for assistance based on your disability. This could go a long way to freeing up some funds for your startup. Additionally, consult with disability organizations that may have advice for people starting up a small business.

Regional funding at state or local levels might also be available, and some may have a specific focus on providing support to disabled entrepreneurs. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be eligible for further funding from specific governmental departments. For instance, the US Department of Agriculture provides funding for farm-situated projects, like renewable energy and marketing.

 

Investigate Support

There are numerous resources beyond government and other funding that may help give your startup a leg up. Research if there are any business events or seminars as these may be able to provide networking opportunities and valuable information. Some may offer programs to explore various areas of business, such as marketing, outreach, and public relations. You may even be able to go through a mentorship that can provide more individualized guidance.

Organizations supporting the disabled community may themselves hold similar events. Such seminars may be particularly advantageous, as you could have the chance to speak with other disabled entrepreneurs and use their experiences to apply to your own startup. Do not hesitate to engage with local communities as your business approaches fruition. By attending events, not only could you acquire valuable strategies, but you may find it a perfect way to network with fellow entrepreneurs.

Starting a business can be exciting and scary in equal measure. Give your enterprise its best chance by thoroughly researching what type of business you want, finding out what funding you are eligible for and networking as much as possible. This is your chance to fulfill your business dreams.

The Tough Get Gigging

It’s a target-rich environment for writers, designers and consultants looking to start up their own projects and build their own business. But if you’re thinking of joining them, get ready. You’ll likely find certain traits will be an asset to your success, such as the willingness to take risks, adapt to changing business environments and solve problems on the go, flexibility, tenacity and quick wits.

Choose the Right Niche

Though it may be tempting to cast a wide net, you can’t sell everything to everybody so don’t even try. Besides, the fastest-growing freelance sectors are specialties such as SEO writing and ASP development, rather than just writing and platform development in general, according to Forbes. Choosing a focus also allows you to fine-tune your marketing and better position yourself as an expert in a chosen field.

How do you decide what to concentrate on? Profitability is the main concern. Some successful freelancers recommend validating your business idea by choosing a target audience, identifying a problem they have and coming up with a solution. Of course, your specialty also depends on your expertise, and there’s nothing wrong with doing something you like. Isn’t that one of the reasons you’re freelancing anyway?

Develop a Marketing Strategy

You’re going to have to bring your message to your target audience, and do it effectively if you want to compete. Consistency is the key, says The Startup. You should know what you’re going to do to reach clients, and when you’re going to do it, before you even begin. All of that should be in your marketing plan, which also includes goals, a strategy and activities.

So, about those activities. There are plenty that you can include in your strategy such as building a website and blog. This not only allows you to demonstrate your expertise, but also to showcase your portfolio, which is particularly useful for designers, writers and other creatives. Email marketing is another old standby, while social media provide a new avenue for reaching potential clients with daily updates about your services and even discounts.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Of course, you need to work, so those marketing maneuvers shouldn’t fill up all of your schedule. You do have one of those, right? It’s what keeps your new business from going off the rails. Since all of your time is your own, it should include things such as waking up, showering and eating lunch, but there’s no need to work 9-to-5 as split shifts and wandering weekends are now on option.

There are a number of hacks to come up with a timetable that works for you. You might consider setting aside the morning to do the hard things first while you’ve got the energy. Meanwhile, prioritizing is an … um … priority. Marketing might take first place when you’re starting up your business but move down the list as you establish a steady clientele. And, don’t forget to mark due dates for deliverables.

Organize Your Work Space

You’re schedule may be in shipshape, but it’s tough to work through it if your home office is a mess. There’s no need for a separate room to plop down your laptop and start tapping out your first client proposal. A quiet corner set aside by dividers would do just fine as long as you keep it neat, as clutter causes stress. No, seriously. There are easy remedies for this, though, such as purging paper, setting up a filing system and storing things in containers.

The going may be tough at first, but dedication and a commitment to success will see those contracts start rolling in. Keep an ear to the ground and eye out for opportunities. They’re out there waiting.

Image via Pixabay.