Saturday, March 2, 2024

Workplace Protection in the American Trade Industry

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Marketing your business is a great way to grow your business, but you must also understand your responsibilities as a business owner that employs trade workers. Marketing your business as a worker-safe business is a great way to beef up your workforce. There is protection in place for trade workers. For example, according to the Department of Labor, 36 states and Washington DC require a business owner with one or more employees to secure worker’s compensation insurance. Here are other protections you should know about.

Different Agencies

There are different federal agencies that oversee the protection of American workers. There is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), DOL (Department of Labor), and the state Employment Security Commission. Each agency has rules and regulations in place to protect trade workers. For example, OSHA’s primary rules focus on worker safety, DOL focuses on workers’ wages, and ESC has its own local rules.

Marketing your business to attract the best talent starts with complying with these agencies’ rules. OSHA has handbooks that are free for any employer that employs people in the trade fields. The handbooks outline necessary safety equipment and practices to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. The DOL can provide guidance about wages, hours worked, and other administrative information.

Unions

There are two types of states in the United States. There are those states that are unionized and those states that are “right-to-work states”. The unionized states have strict rules in place that offer protection for trade workers. Unions or bargaining units are focused on ensuring that worker members are paid a living wage and receive other benefits like health coverage, sick leave, vacation days and other employment perks.

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Right-to-work states rely heavily on labor laws enacted in that state. However, the protection that is provided to trade workers in a right-to-work state are minimal compared to the protection of a union. The worker protection laws vary from state to state, but in every state, being paid for work as agreed is necessary.

Safety Rules

There are thousands of rules on the books that are focused on providing a safe work environment. According to the Department of Commerce, about $400 billion in American goods are exported annually on pallets and in containers. Given that information, it is no wonder that safety rules are in place for operating a forklift, working in a factory, how many hours someone can work, and more.

You will often see public service announcement marketing materials hung on factory walls, in warehouse areas, and around construction job sites because it is mandated that the information is displayed. The marketing safety materials usually include the agency phone number to report complaints. You will need to check with your state to learn which marketing materials from which agency must be posted.

Discrimination Protection

Trade workers in the United States are protected against discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and political beliefs. We talked about government agencies that oversee worker protection, but we left a couple out. The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office is a government agency investigating discrimination claims. The Civil Rights Office is also an agency that investigates claims of discrimination covered under the anti-discrimination act.

If a worker feels that they have been treated unfairly because of discrimination, it can spark a claim against the employer that can wind up in civil court. According to Container Home Hub, about 85% of all shipping containers worldwide are considered standard-sized containers. If you have an employee that doesn’t know the difference between a standard size and a larger container, you can keep them from picking up the container. However, if all your employees are trained to use the containers and pick them up and can earn extra money when they work with containers, you must give everyone an equal opportunity to do so.

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There is a lot of protection out there in place for trade workers. If you own a business and have more than one employee, it is important that you know the rules. Call your local employment agency to learn more.

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