Number of Construction Fatalities on the Rise Nationwide

According to a study completed by the Ohio Safety and Health Administration, 20.2% of all workplace deaths were due to construction related incidents. Unfortunately, this trend, though lower than in previous years, is on the rise. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction worker fatalities have hit an all-time high since the recession of 2009. These numbers come from 2015 when there were 937 fatal injuries in the construction sector. This sad increase was even worse in New York State. The New York Committee for Occupational Health and Safety (NYCOSH) has found that construction worker deaths are on the rise throughout the state simply because employers are consistently violating safety protocols. Their report, titled Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State, found that within the past two years, there have been 30 construction fatalities in New York City alone. Unfortunately, within the past decade, there have been more than 500 deaths on construction sites. Of these fatalities, 59% were caused by falls. Part of the reasoning for this high percentage was that in 2015, NYCOSH found that 68% of all construction sites failed their inspections. Not to mention that in the same year, 90% of construction sites did not pass inspection by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In particular, non-union sites were deemed especially dangerous to workers. Included in the report is a petition to add 10 bills that will require immediate, updated training for construction workers across the state. They also are requiring the implementation of more extensive guardrail and netting requirements in hopes to potentially curb fatalities caused by falling. There also is also a call for more monitoring of construction sites in order to enforce these safety standards. Jumaane D. Williams, Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee of New York City explains its importance to Insurance Journal: “There is no other industry where workers die at such an alarming rate without significant preventative recourse. It is the responsibility...

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China’s Cotton Industry Continues to Grow at a Rapid Rate

Feb 01, 17 China’s Cotton Industry Continues to Grow at a Rapid Rate

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Approximately 29 million tons of cotton are produced annually, but the demand for the product in China is now experiencing record highs. In fact, the country’s voracious desire for the fabric is producing its best rally in almost half a year. This year, Chinese consumers have committed to buying approximately five times more American cotton than they did at this same time last year. The price of the commodity is set to reach its largest monthly advance since July 2016. That’s good news for the U.S. agricultural industry. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American cotton growers are expected to ship the most cotton this season since 2013. In addition, purchases in Indonesia and Vietnam are contributing to sales growth. Despite the push in sales, cotton futures in New York are trading steadily at approximately 65% below the 2011 record. This has left cotton prices at an affordable level for consumers. Arlan Suderman, the chief commodity economist for INTL FCStone Financial Inc. in Kansas City, has been keeping track of cotton markets for over 30 years. Suderman explained that at the moment, U.S. cotton is “very competitively priced” in the global marketplace. It’s estimated that consumption will outstrip cotton production by approximately 1.24 million metric tons in 2017. This data comes from Cotlook Ltd., a Birkenhead, England-based research company. The USDA estimates that this high rate of consumption will help reduce approximately 90.6 million bales of global cotton stockpiles. In addition to purchasing cotton from the U.S., China has just merged its state cotton and grain reserves. This merger will create the biggest agricultural product group in China, according to the nation’s state media outlets. The State Council approved the merger between Cotton Reserves Corp. and China Grain Reserves Corp., known as Sinograin, in January. The new company born of the merger will have combined assets adding up to 1.47 trillion yuan, which is approximately $213 billion in U.S. dollars. Demand for cotton just keeps increasing, which may lead U.S. farmers...

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