Manufactured Housing Resources George Porter


"The very best recommendation I can give as further training is needed or additional assistance in developing training programs is required, my decision will be easy - Let George do it!"

Robert J. Henry
Home Installation Manager Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc.

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Are You Ready For Trouble?

By George Porter

The thing about trouble is you never know when it is coming and when it does show up it is usually at the worst possible time. There are basically two kinds of trouble that visit us in the business of installing, physical trouble and financial trouble. Most of the time they arrive as a team so you had better be prepared to deal with it. The good part is you have help available for free! That's right free! Did you know that your state has people to assist you in your business? Now I know that the old saying, "We're from the government and we have come to help you," is a classic joke, but you might want to look into these services. You did after all pay for them in your taxes, think of it as a kind of rebate.

All states also have what is known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Consultation Project. It is usually connected to the state university but not always. Yes, this is OSHA, but then no, it is not. There are of course OSHA inspectors, who are quite possibly the most feared of all government employees. These people have caused panic and even near heart failure for small business owners when they walk up to them on the job. These folks are NOT those guys. Believe it or not OSHA hired consultants in every state of the union to help the people OSHA regulates to avoid OSHA trouble. It doesn't have to make sense, we're talking about the government here. These people will come out to your job site and give you a 100% evaluation of how you are complying with current OSHA regulations ( you did know you had to comply didn't you? ).

They will provide you with a list of those infractions for which real OSHA inspectors would have fined the life out of you, and they will advise you what to do about the problems. They will thank you for calling them and then leave. It is in their contract with OSHA that they WILL NOT REPORT any of their findings to OSHA. If they did report their customers to OSHA you can imagine how often they would be called for their services and they would very soon be out of a job. They will just advise you and that's all UNLESS they find a very serious life threatening problem, then they will give you a reasonable amount of time to correct it or they will have to report it. This is much better than you just ignoring a problem like this and/or getting someone killed and having a real OSHA inspector show up, put you out of business plus take everything you own in fines.

You may be asking yourself, "why would I bother doing this"? Good question, but here is the question you should ask first. What would happen if a real OSHA inspector showed up and observed me and my crew at work setting up a new home? (This would be done from a distance so you wouldn't be aware that they were around.) What are some of the things OSHA inspectors might look for?

  • Safety timbers under homes.
  • Hard hats, safety glasses, steel toe shoes
  • Appropriate first aid kit on job
  • Safety training for your employees
  • All safety shields on equipment
  • Extension cords in good repair
  • Appropriate ladders for use around electric wires
  • Employee knowledge of what substances they use that are classed as hazardous. (MSDS Sheet)
  • Qualifications of each employee to do the job he is doing such as working on gas or electricity

And the list goes on and on. Call these guys. You will probably not be real comfortable with the visit but then consider the alternative. Companies have been fined tens of thousands of dollars for not being aware and worse than that, people have been killed and injured who had no idea they were in any kind of danger. This service is free, it is easy, and you will be ready for trouble when it comes.

Here are the numbers for the USA if you are so inclined.

Alabama 205-348-3033
Alaska 907-264-2599
Arizona 602-255-5795
Arkansas 501-682-4522
California 415-557-2870
Colorado 303-491-6151
Connecticut 203-566-4550
Delaware 302-571-3908
Florida 904-488-3044
Georgia 404-894-8274
Hawaii 808-548-7510
Idaho 208-385-3283
Illinois 312-917-2339
Indiana 317-232-2688
Iowa 515-281-5352
Kansas 913-296-4386
Kentucky 502-564-6895
Louisiana 504-342-9601
Maine 207-289-6460
Maryland 301-333-4218
Massachusetts 617-727-3463
Michigan 517-322-1814
Minnesota 612-297-2393
Mississippi 601-987-3981
Missouri 314-751-3403
Montana 406-444-6401
Nebraska 402-471-4717
Nevada 702-789-0546
New Hampshire 603-271-3107
New Jersey 609-984-3507
New Mexico 505-827-2885
New York 518-457-5468
North Carolina 919-662-4651
North Dakota 701-224-2348
Ohio 614-644-2631
Oklahoma 405-528-1500
Oregon 503-378-3272
Pennsylvania 800-382-1241
Rhode Island 401-277-2438
South Carolina 803-734-9599
South Dakota 605-688-4101
Tennessee 615-741-7036
Texas 512-458-7254
Utah 801-530-6868
Vermont 802-828-2765
Virginia 804-367-1986
Washington 206-586-0961
West Virginia 304-348-7890
Wisconsin 414-521-5063
Wyoming 307-777-7786