ThinkstockPhotos 513880387By Michael Bardwil, M.D.

Varicose veins probably aren’t among the top medical concerns for most construction workers. But years of long hours standing on job sites can lead to the swollen, twisted and enlarged veins – particularly for people who have a genetic predisposition for the condition.

Experts regularly count construction workers among those most likely to develop varicose veins – right up there with postal workers, hair dressers, cashiers, nurses and miners. They all have jobs that involve standing all, or most of, the day, making it harder for veins to pump blood from workers’ feet back up to their hearts.

It’s a condition more common in women than in men – and often associated with post-pregnancy medical issues. But in the last 30 years, I’ve treated hundreds of workers – often men in construction – and others who perform difficult tasks such as heavy lifting and standing for long periods of time who have struggled with varicose veins. Today, such patients are more fortunate than their predecessors, as modern medicine is providing more effective and less invasive relief.

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By Susan Finch

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015. Among those, 17 percent included fatal injuries involving contractors. Further, the census found that among the 937 fatal work industries in private construction in 2015 represented the highest total since 2008.

Reducing workplace injuries and fatalities starts with proactive prevention and a culture of safety. It’s not enough to simply advise workers on safety expectations and policies and then hope for the best. It takes careful planning and systematic training to reduce workplace injuries and prevent them from rising. Get started by looking for dangerous habits in the workplace. Here’s what to look for.

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Helical Pile 60By Gary L. Seider 

Pipe shaft helical piles have the ability to provide a superior foundation solution during disaster recovery and resistance when compared to other deep foundation options. Preliminary results show that helical piles offer improved seismic resistance due to their slenderness, higher dampening ratios, ductility and resistance to uplift.

GenslerBy David Kung

The design of an architectural space has a direct impact on the way employees think and work within it. Today’s most innovative companies prioritize collaboration in workplace design in order to empower workers as meaningful contributors. In fact, these companies are five times more likely to prioritize both individual and collaborative group workspaces, according to a recent U.S. Workplace Survey by Gensler, the world’s leading global architecture firm.

ThinkstockPhotos 615811528By Matt Stock

Fundamental to running a successful business is determining its path for growth and enrichment. Companies that rest on their laurels and remain stagnant for too long eventually erode and die. But, there’s no wisdom in growth just for the sake of growth. When are the best times to expand? Which risks are calculated versus careless? How soon should you expect to see a return on your investment?

Here are some things to consider and address before growing a business.

ThinkstockPhotos 495625568By Jim Salters 

As the new year kicks off, most construction companies are laying out plans for the months ahead. While planning, it’s important to consider whether the company will need an injection of capital at some point throughout the year. This may serve to fulfill a budgeted need, but there should also be room for unexpected costs like hiring on staff when you suddenly land a new contract.

Taking some time to prepare for the search for capital can provide the flexibility and agility needed to act quickly and stay on the path towards growth. Here are a few key areas to consider:

466206466By John Rosmalen 

Finding the right workers’ compensation insurance at an affordable price is a challenge for every general contractor. It is an especially difficult dilemma for independents in the trades and services industry. As independents, they are by and large subcontractors, and in many cases, one-person bands who are not obligated to maintain coverage. They are considered owners and operators because of their independence, which is why general contractor (GC) do not have to include them in their company’s workers’ comp coverage.  

renovation blog
By Roy Rasmussen

62 percent of homeowners planned to spend money on renovation in 2016, up 9 percent from 2015. This trend is projected to continue into this year. But renovation isn’t for everyone, and homeowners and prospective buyers often struggle with whether to renovate, build from scratch or buy the house of their dreams outright. If you’re a construction professional, part of your job is helping clients make this decision. Here are some factors to consider when clients are deciding to renovate, build or buy.

Image 1By Joseph Truini 

One of the very first — and most important — skills learned by construction professionals is how to use a portable circular saw. It’s a critical skill to master because workers rely heavily on the circular saw for making quick, accurate cuts during all phases of construction, from forming the foundation to framing the roof. While most contractors are circular saw experts, there’s always something new to learn and pass along to the next generation of construction professionals.

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