OK look, there are certainly a lot of pressures to get buildings completed on time, but I’d never thought I’d hear of construction workers being GIVEN crystal meth in order to finish a building on time. But, that’s what multiple sources are telling Radio Free Asia (RFA) is happening right now in North Korea. According to RFA, the project managers working on a “showcase” construction project in Pyongyang, which includes many different buildings, are under extreme pressures to finish on time.
In order to finish before the cold weather season hits, the source says, the project managers have been supplying the thousands of workers on site with a methamphetamine, which is known to greatly increase energy and attention. It’s also known to cause extremely erratic behavior in the short term and major brain damage in the long term. The Telegraph in the UK spoke with the Asia director for Human Rights Watch, who said that if this is truly going on, it will be tough to verify.
If these reports are true, it’s truly a sad day for human rights, both in terms of the harmful effects the drug has on a person’s body and the clear lack of safety concerns on the job sites. As we all know, mixing drugs or alcohol and construction sites is a major source of disaster and it’s highly recommended for all construction companies to employ a strict substance abuse policy. A person under the influence of drugs and alcohol is 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, which is a risk none of us should be willing to take. The sad reality is that the construction industry in America has the highest rate (15.6%) of drug users of any industry in the country, according to the Department of Labor.
Full Story: Drugs Fuel Work Surge at North Korean Building Site | Radio Free Asi
Construction is hard work and those working hard for your company should be paid in full and on-time for all hours worked. Cash flow can certainly complicate things for contractors, as pay draws can be delayed for various reasons, but cheating workers out of money is not only unscrupulous, but is gaining attention from government agencies.
For the past year, Construction Junkie has been analyzing hourly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine the Top States to Work in Construction. Now that all 50 states have been ranked, this post will serve as the complete recap for all states in the countdown.
After 50 weeks of the Top States to Work in Construction countdown, Illinois has been crowned our champion. Illinois didn’t just win, either, they actually demolished the competition. All construction professions combined for the state averaged $33.39 after adjusting for cost of living, which even topped #2 Missouri’s total average hourly rate by $4.42.
Everyone in the construction has heard over and over again how young people just aren’t interested in joining the construction industry. What you don’t hear a lot about are the groups and organizations who are actively working to change that. The ACE Mentor Program is one of those organizations making a positive impact for the next generation.
The biggest story in the construction industry last year was a shocking pedestrian bridge collapse that killed 6 and injured many others on FIU’s campus in Miami, Florida. Since the collapse, there have been many civil lawsuits filed, a closed OSHA investigation, and an ongoing NTSB investigative report. The General Contractor on that project, Munilla Construction Management (MCM), has recently filed for bankruptcy protection, according to the Miami Herald.
It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of our nearly year long journey counting down the top states to work in construction. In the runner up position we have Missouri, yet another from the Midwest in the top 10, is a relatively large state, both in population and size, with a lower than average population density. That could be a contributing factor to its low cost of living, at 10.1% below the national average, according to MERIC.
Ladders are one of the most widely used and necessary pieces of equipment on a construction jobsite. They’re also one of the most misused and abused pieces of equipment on a jobsite. In addition to being one of the most frequently cited OSHA violations each year, it also accounts for too many of the industry’s yearly fatalities and countless injuries.
Minnesota is about as average as you can get in terms of cost of living, according to MERIC, as they’re only 0.2% lower than the national average, making them the closest to the center in the country. That also means that they barely benefited from our cost of living adjustment, but the fact that they’re ranked 3rd says a lot about their un-adjusted wages.
Even though OSHA recently eliminated the need for employers to electronically submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301, citing privacy concerns, companies are still responsible for submitting OSHA Form 300A – and the deadline is fast approaching.
We interrupt this utter domination by Midwest states in our top 10 list with a West Coast state: Washington. This is the only non-Midwest state that has landed in the top 10 so far and, spoiler alert, it’s the only one you’re going to see.