FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

Web Content Manager
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Shop Management | Articles

Metal manufacturing's greatest concerns

May 10, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Figure 1March 2005 "Fabricating Update" Survey ResultsIn a recent "Fabricating Update" newsletter, we asked subscribers to choose their operations' leading concerns from factors often cited as contributing to manufacturing's woes. Steel prices—the No. 1 response—outranked the next...

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Safety | Articles

Electrical safety practices save lives

May 10, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Cord- and plug-connected equipment without a grounded connectorElectricity improves life. During power failures, much work and many routine activities grind to a halt. However, electricity can cause serious injury and even death if you fail to follow electrical safety practices, particularly in the...

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Safety | Articles

Carpal tunnel syndrome

March 8, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a musculoskeletal disorder, is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. CTS affects both white- and blue-collar workers.How CTS OccursEight bones in the wrist, called...

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Shop Management | Articles

Keeping employees well and health care costs down

February 8, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Health care costs have skyrocketed. While the medical community, insurance companies, and politicians address the issue, each group jockeying for the position that best serves their interests, employers are having to make serious decisions about whether they can continue to provide employee...

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Shop Management | Articles

Balancing work and life

January 11, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

To remain competitive in today's cutthroat economic environment, companies are doing more with fewer people. The tight job market can make even those employees whose work loads haven't increased feel they have to expend more effort—or even create an illusion of having to expend more effort—simply to keep their jobs. No longer is it just the workaholics among us who are working harder and putting in longer hours.

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Shop Management | Articles

Providing a comfortable, safe environment for workers with disabilities

December 7, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

Editor's Note: Much of the following information was taken from a U.S. Department of Justice comprehensive list of questions and answersabout the Americans With Disabilities Act.Does your company have 15 or more employees? If so, it must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) that...

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Safety | Articles

Having a safe office party

November 8, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

Editor's Note: Originally published on December 11, 2003.It's that time of year when companies celebrate the holidays. Whether the celebration involves a lavish holiday party held off-site or a casual get-together in the office, both party organizers and attendees should follow safe practices, not...

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Safety | Articles

Preventing welding-related fires

October 12, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

Before welding, professional and hobbyist welders must be knowledgeable about potential fire hazards and safe practices. They also must examine the work area and adjacent areas, welding equipment, and consumables for hazards and take appropriate measures to ensure safety.

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Shop Management | Articles

Job Burnout—Part 3

August 10, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

This is the last in a series of articles about job burnout. Part Idiscussed the causes. Part IIcovered symptoms and solutions from an individual standpoint. It also included a test to help you determine where you are in terms of burnout.Job burnout is a complicated condition caused most often by...

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Shop Management | Articles

Job Burnout—Part 2

July 13, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

If the amount of feedback Part I of this series generated is a good barometer, job burnout is a huge problem potentially affecting many workers at all levels. This article will help you determine if you're at risk or suffering from the condition. It also offers suggestions for actions you can...

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Shop Management | Articles

Job Burnout—Part 1

June 8, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

If you are employed, you're lucky to have a job. Perhaps you've heard this, thought it, or both. And it's true. With so many people out of work, it seems almost like biting the hand that feeds you to complain about your work conditions and expect your employer to care.If you're suffering from job...

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Safety | Articles

Obesity—a problem for workers and employers

March 25, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

Unless you have sworn off all media forms—which you haven't if you're reading this—you know that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. It ranks No. 2, second only to smoking, as the leading cause of U.S. deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)...

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Shop Management | Articles

Offshore outsourcing—an economic and political issue

March 11, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

Listening to the current economic rhetoric, much of which contains formulaic doublespeak and political posturing, has led me to a couple of clichd observations. In terms of talk—which is not quite as cheap in an election year, when the stakes are higher—you ain't seen nothing yet. Political candidates and pundits will state, interpret, attack, defend, and regurgitate past actions and campaign promises ad nauseam from now until the November election.

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Safety | Articles

Welding fume health hazards

March 11, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), more than 400,000 U.S. men and women are employed in welding and related occupations. Some studies suggest that these workers are at risk of serious respiratory, neurological, and reproductive effects. More and better data is needed to assess the risks.

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Shop Management | Articles

Employee training

February 12, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

During the economic downturn, many companies cut employee training to help control expenses. At the same time, technical and vocational programs were and continue to be cut for a variety of reasons, including providers' budget concerns and low enrollment.

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