Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: April 2013

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Eaton Collaborates with IEC to Promote Electrical Safety and Study Industry Awareness of Electrical Counterfeiting

Eaton today announced it is collaborating with Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) to promote electrical safety and raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeit electrical products.

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Senate Unveils Immigration Reform Bill

On Wednesday, the bipartisan so-called “Gang of Eight” of U.S. Senators unveiled their immigration overhaul package, a product of months of closed-door negotiations with business groups and big labor. The bill is intended to address the status of millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, provide new enforcement measures, and restructure our nation’s guest worker program. The proposal has received a lukewarm reception at best, with some business groups concerned about the bill’s ability to meet their workforce needs.

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Code Q&A

Over the course of my career, I have been asked several code-related questions by both apprentices and other experienced contractors. Here I answer some of the most popular questions.

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IEC Reacts to New NLRB Nominations

Yesterday, President Barack Obama nominated two Republicans and renominated an existing Democrat member to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The nominations come as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on legislation this week that would prohibit the Board from taking major actions or issuing decisions until it has a legally operating, Senate-confirmed quorum of members.

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STRESS: More than Just Structural

As an electrical professional, we are no different than many others when it comes to stress; we deal with deadlines, commitments, financials, and other tasks associated with managing the business. and other tasks associated with managing the business. Stress is our body’s normal reaction to events that pull us in different directions. The effect of stress in our daily lives is sometimes quite visible but then again often it is not. Stress can be healthy but just like anything, too much can be unhealthy. Your mood, productivity, concentration, and general over-all health concerns are just a few negative results for someone under a lot of stress. For the electrical professional, stress has other possible safety impacts as things may become more complicated, especially for those who may find themselves working in and around energized equipment.

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The High Cost of an Untrained Workforce

Zero Defects is a common business practice which aims to reduce and minimize the number of defects and errors in a process and to do things right the first time. The ultimate aim will be to reduce the level of defects to zero. However, this may not be possible in practice and what it means is that everything possible will be done to eliminate the likelihood of errors or defects occurring, and to fix any issues that are discovered.

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The Scalable Workforce

Growth during a recession isn't usually a top priority for contractors - it is survival. When the recession abated in 2009, contractors were eager to invest in their business through organic growth or by expansion into new geographies, but they were cautious about adding employees to their payroll. Enterprising contractors used specialty staffing firms to allow for low-risk expansion as a way to deal with the peaks and valleys in construction cycles.

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A Good Employment Policy Requires More Than Just Hiring

Business owners frequently ask, "What can I do to avoid a wrongful termination charge by an employee?" The easy answer: "Don't hire the wrong person for the job." The reality is, every business owner will face the unpleasant task of having to terminate an employee for one reason or another.

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Personnel Files: Are They a Legal Time Bomb?

An employee's personnel file should give an accurate and complete history of his/her employment with your organization. In case of a lawsuit, a judge and jury will expect documentation to back up your actions. Some documentation is required by law and could have very costly consequences in both time and money if they are not followed. For other records, you have a lot of leeway on exactly what you should file and how long you should keep it. This article will provide a basic guideline for personnel files. Always check that your state follows these basic federal guidelines.

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How To Get Paid Faster!

The construction business used to be easier. All you had do was design, bid, build and bill. Submitting bids that were clear complete, and competitive would get you more jobs. Doing high quality work, according to the plans and on-time, kept customers happy. And when you submitted bills in a timely manner, you always got paid. But what happened?

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