Note to Business Owners: Clearly Written Contracts Can Help Avoid Business Disputes

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Business | Posted on 29-07-2016

As a business owner, whether large or small, you are sure to have commercial contractors that you rely on to provide you with internal and external services. This could be anything from facilities and maintenance to inventory delivery or products and services that you require for your day-to-day operations. When your commercial and vendor contracts are not well written, it can lead to disputes and financial loss. Before signing a contract with outside parties, consider the tips below.

Clear and Specific Responsibilities and Expectations

It is imperative that all of your contracts clearly state the specific services, job duties, and responsibilities required of both parties in order for work to be complete. This includes time frames and exceptions to the rules. For example, if you have a commercial contractor who will provide services for your company every Monday, you need to identify how service will be modified on three-day holiday weekends. Also identify how communication will be provided if either party is unable to fulfill their job duties in the specified timeframe.

Terms of Billing and Payment

One of the advantages to having a contract is locking in prices. However, there are many situations that can arise in which a vendor bills more than was agreed upon in your contract. For example, if your maintenance provider has agreed to perform maintenance during general hours of operations for a flat rate, they may charge higher prices for after-hour, weekend, or last minute services. It is essential that both parties clearly understand what the billing will be for extenuating circumstances, or for services above and beyond the general contract. It is also important to determine what payment methods your contractors accepts, their frequency of invoicing, and the frequency in which you make payments.

Ability to Upgrade or Downgrade

Sometimes the contract you sign with a vendor no longer fits your needs, which requires you to upgrade or downgrade your services. For example, if you have experienced a large growth spurt and need to increase the frequency of service provided, you may be required to sign a new contract altogether. While most of your vendors will gladly upgrade your services, your new contract may require different terms and conditions. It is important to understand what upgrades are available and if your vendor is able to grow with your organization as you grow. On the flip side of this, if you have changed your business structure and no longer need your vendor services, or if you need to significantly reduce your services, ensure that you understand what options you have for downgrading your services.

Termination Procedures

One of the many advantages to signing a contract with an outside vendor is ensuring that the service or products they provide will give you the consistency you desire. However, there are situations that arise in which you may need to terminate your contract. Before you sign your contract, ensure that you understand termination procedures. Usually, termination procedures require a minimum amount of notice, a termination fee, or proof that your commercial vendor is no longer providing you with the level of service you expect.

Sometimes it is easy to become so focused on crossing things off of your to-do list that the details of vendor agreements and contracts fall through the cracks. Prior to signing any contracts, you may also want to enlist the expertise of your legal advisor.

Byline

Henry Triton writes on Business Law, Commercial Litigation, Contracts, Sexual Abuse of Children, Personal Injury and other complex legal subjects.

A Look at the Effects of Smoking While Pregnant

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Health And Fitness | Posted on 29-07-2016

Smoking is a bad but common habit. NBC News reports that approximately 45 million Americans smoke; this accounts for 1 in 5 people. Many smokers try to quit, but quitting isn’t easy. It takes an average of 3 to 5 attempts and is more difficult for people who have depression or anxiety disorders.

Unfortunately, not even the motivation of pregnancy is enough for some people to quit: 1 in 10 pregnant women smoke. This not only puts their health in danger, it also puts the health of their unborn child in serious danger.

The Danger of Smoking While Pregnant

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the dangers of smoking during pregnancy are many. In fact, smoking even makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant.

After a child is conceived, the dangers continue. There is an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth if a pregnant woman smokes. There could be problems with the placenta, such as separation from the womb (the placenta is where the baby gets food and oxygen during pregnancy). Premature birth is also very possible, which can lead to low birth weight, underdeveloped lungs, and even death. Smoking creates a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (though SIDS often has no known cause, smoking increases its likelihood). Smoking can also increase the baby’s heart rate and decrease the oxygen available to the baby. There is also an increased risk of birth defects, such as cleft palates.

Though the above risks correspond with the number of cigarettes smoked each day (smoking more increases the risk), no amount of smoking is ever considered safe while pregnant. Even half a pack a day, per the journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, is enough to increase the risk of a baby being born with extra, missing, or webbed fingers and toes by 30 percent.

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking is beneficial to a person’s health in numerous ways. Quitting decreases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and lung disorders, just to name a few. Quitting smoking will also give a parent more energy and increase life expectancy. Quitting smoking during pregnancy will increase the level of oxygen for the baby, decrease the risk of premature birth, and decrease the risk of birth defects.

Ways to Quit Smoking

According to US News, 1.3 million smokers successfully quit each year. Of those who continue smoking, 70 percent want to quit. Yet, even with this desire, quitting rates are dismal: 95 percent of those who don’t participate in a smoking cessation program fail to quit.

In addition to a program, the American Cancer Society also suggests: making a decision to quit and preparing to quit (this may involve decreasing the amount of cigarettes smoked each day); picking an actual day to quit and not smoking at all that day; dealing with withdrawal through nicotine patches, gum, and eating (for instance, munching on carrot sticks can offer a distraction); and maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle (this may involve avoiding situations where smoking occurs, never keeping cigarettes in the house, and asking those nearby not to light up).

Smoking is a dangerous habit; it can do a great deal of damage to adults, teens, and even the unborn.  The good news is that the benefits of quitting begin almost immediately, providing yet one more reason to extinguish all cigarettes for good.

Byline

Lonnie Matheson writes on a variety of complicated issues such as Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Contracts and other topics as well.

Cancer Survival Rates on the Rise

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Health And Fitness | Posted on 28-07-2016

For decades and decades, medical professionals and scientists have been waging a battle against cancer. An ailment that can attack those in the peak of health, cancer has long been viewed one of the most unwitting diseases. However, recent advancements in detection and treatment – as well as education about prevention – have left more cancer survivors than ever before.

Cancer Statistics in America

According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 1,660,290 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2013 with approximately 580,350 people dying of cancer (both those newly diagnosed and those who have long been battling cancer).This amounts to cancer killing around 1,600 Americans a day. It remains one of the most common causes of death, second only to heart disease. Roughly 1 in 4 people who die in the US will die of a cancer.

Cancer Advancements

Per the US Department of Health and Human Services, there is a dichotomy between cancer rates in 1975 and 2007.

In 1975, the incidence rate of all cancers in the US was 400 cases for every 100,000 people; the mortality rate for cancer was 199 deaths for every 100,000 people. Among the adults diagnosed, the five-year survival rate for all types of cancer was 50 percent; among the children diagnosed, the five -year survival rate for all types of cancer was 62 percent.

For the five most common cancers in 1975, the five -year survival rates were 75 percent for breast cancer; 69 percent for prostate cancer; 13 percent for lung cancer; 51 percent for colorectal cancer; and 74 percent for bladder cancer. During this time, combination chemotherapy had yet to be honed and anti-cancer vaccinations were non-existent.

In 2007, the incidence rate of all cancers in the US was 461 cases for every 100,000 people; the mortality rate for cancer was 178 deaths for every 100,000 people. While more people were diagnosed than in 1975, this is largely due to both early detection and increased lifespan. Among the adults diagnosed, the five -year survival rate for all types of cancer was 68 percent; among the children diagnosed, the five -year survival rate for all types of cancer was 81 percent.

For the five most common cancers in 2007, the five -year survival rates were 90 percent for breast cancer; 100 percent for prostate cancer; 16 percent for lung cancer; 67 percent for colorectal cancer; and 81 percent for bladder cancer.

In present day, combination chemotherapy has become the standardized form of treatment. Additionally, therapies to help control the side effects of chemo have become better developed as well. Vaccines now can help prevent cervical cancer and possibly liver cancer (the Hepatitis B vaccine may prevent some forms of liver cancer). There are also vaccines in clinical trials to help treat prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, and multiple myeloma.

Target therapies are also gaining momentum. These therapies attack specific molecular changes that cause cells to become cancerous. Refined radiation techniques – techniques that use 3-D therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and brachytherapy – are also now widely used. These are able to deliver high doses of radiation to cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissue.

Cancer Future

As medical advancements for cancer continue, the survival rates may continue to soar. According to CNN, a new cancer study projects that the number of people who survive cancer will increase 31 percent over the next decade.

In the near future, it is also likely that cancer will be viewed and treated more as a chronic condition rather than a terminal illness (similar to the way HIV is now viewed). Genetics, specifically on how they tie to certain types of cancer, will be more thoroughly investigated.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute are collaboratively working on gaining a complete grasp of the genetic basis for over 20 types of cancer. Once these genes are discovered and better understood, it is likely targeted therapies will be developed that inhibit the genes from working. This can also increase cancer survival rates dramatically.

Byline

Christian Balfour is a health & fitness blogger who as of late has developed a keen interest in cancer research. He’s developed a particular interest in the carcinogens such as Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, nicotine, radiation and others; he encourages curious readers to learn more about these troubling agents.