Sent by Jake

If you are planning to do your own plumbing work, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. There are many dangers associated with plumbing. Although this does not mean that you should not attempt your own plumbing repairs, it does mean that you should understand how to protect yourself when you are working on your plumbing project. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that you should follow when plumbing: 

1.       Always wear protective eyewear when doing anything that could cause damage to your eyes. Using certain power tools like saws and drills can be potentially dangerous so protect your eyes at all times. You should also wear protection for your eyes when using certain glues and other adhesives that contain harsh chemicals.

2.       Wear gloves to protect your hands, particularly if you are working with certain chemicals. Many chemicals can cause a harsh reaction when they touch the skin. If you are unsure of whether or not you are working with dangerous chemicals, wear gloves to be on the safe side.

3.       Read labels on all products that you use to ensure that they are safe for use. You should also follow the recommended usage directions to ensure safety.

4.       Wear a face mask if you are going to be breathing in any unsafe fumes from chemicals or other products. When using certain power tools like drills, saws or sanders you should also protect your lungs by wearing a face mask. 

These are the things that you should always ensure that you do. It is also important to ensure that you are avoiding certain actions when plumbing: 

1.       Never, ever use tools or other plumbing equipment improperly. You should always ensure that you are following directions when working with any chemicals or power tools.

2.       Never ignore a gas smell. Gas leaks can be very dangerous so if you feel that you are smelling gas, it is best to stop what you are doing and notify the proper utility company. If you are certain that it is safe to turn off the gas, do so before you call the gas company. If you are not sure whether it is safe or not, simply contact the gas company and let them handle the potential leak.

3.       Never ignore safety codes and regulations. Plumbing codes are meant to provide a degree of safety and ignoring them could be very dangerous. If you are not sure of what these codes are, check before you begin your project.

4.       Never carry your tools in your pants or shirt pocket. Sharp tools can cause damage to you if you move suddenly or forget that you have them in your pocket. Tool belts can be purchased at virtually any hardware shop and are very inexpensive. 

This article was written by The Plumb Store. Visit us at to view our vast selection of high quality plumbing products.


Sent to us by Jake @

Working with electrical wiring can be very dangerous. This is particularly true for those who have never worked with wiring before. If you are planning to complete a do-it-yourself wiring job, you need to understand the dangers of working with wiring and how you can avoid these dangers. Safety should always be your primary concern. Even though it may be a bit less expensive to do your own repair jobs and home maintenance, it is always a much better idea to call in a professional if you are not completely certain of what you are doing. Electrical shock can be fatal and is one of the most common incidents that occur when homeowners work on their own wiring. Aside from electrical shock, you also risk a fire hazard if your wiring is not done properly. That being said, here are a few tips that will help you to ensure your safety when working with electricity. 

1.       Know when you are in over your head. Again, if you are not a professional electricity expert, you should know when to call one. If at any time you realize that you are completely unsure of what you are doing, stop and call in an electrician. It is much better to pay a few extra dollars and get the job done properly than to risk electrical shock or fire.

2.       Make sure that all power is turned off before you begin working on any electrical wiring. You should turn off the power at the main and check to see that it is indeed turned off. You can turn off each individual circuit as needed as long as you check to ensure that the proper circuit is turned off before you begin. If you are not certain as to which circuit runs the electricity you need to turn off, turn off the entire main just to be on the safe side.

3.       Wear gloves when possible to protect your hands. When working with electrical wiring, there may be sharp points or edges that can cause you to cut yourself. Protect yourself from injury by wearing work gloves whenever you can.

4.       Rubber boots can help to protect you when working with electricity as well. Remember that water and electricity do not mix well so if you are working with electricity and there is any chance that water or dampness may be evident, wearing rubber boots can help you to avoid electrical shock. Rubber boots will stop an electrical current from reaching your body. Make sure that you check your rubber boots to ensure that there are no holes that could allow water to touch your feet.

5.       Safety glasses are very important when working with electricity. These will help you to protect your eyes from dust and debris as well as electrical sparks. If you are working with electrical wiring and you need to cut holes or otherwise drill into a wall or ceiling, safety glasses will ensure that you do not get debris in your eyes that could cause infection or in very extreme cases, blindness. 

This article was written by Electric Point, electrical wholesalers in the UK.

Planning a Fire Evacuation Route for Your Home

We talked about fire safety for college students, so toay we will focus on fire evacuation from our homes, sent to us by Jeralyn Nelson, of 

According to the United States Fire Administration, more than 3,500 Americans die in fires each year, with another 18,300 sustaining injuries as the result of a fire. Because the majority of these fires occur in the home, it’s of vital importance that every family has a fire evacuation plan in place. While no homeowner wants to consider the possibility of losing everything they’ve worked so hard to acquire, ensuring that you and your children are armed with the information you need to survive a house fire could mean the difference between an unfortunate event and a truly tragic one.


Making sure that you have taken the proper precautionary measures as a matter of routine maintenance can make a huge difference in situations where every moment matters. Making sure that your home is stocked with the proper equipment is the first step to planning your evacuation route and fire safety plan.

  • Smoke Alarms –Your home should be equipped with smoke alarms on every floor and outside of every bedroom to ensure that each member of the family can hear the alarm clearly enough to awaken from a sound sleep, should it go off. The batteries in your smoke alarms should be changed when you reset your clocks for daylight savings time, or more frequently if they begin to emit the chirping noise that indicates low battery power.
  • Fire Extinguishers – You should place a fire extinguisher on every floor, including one in the kitchen where cooking fires can quickly get out of control. Upstairs extinguishers should be kept in central locations for ease of access. As an extra precaution, keeping a fire extinguisher near any sources of heat, such as a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, is wise.
  • Emergency Escape Ladders – Houses with more than one level and bedrooms on upper floors should be equipped with an emergency escape ladder in each of those bedrooms. Children should be instructed on the proper use of such ladders when they’re old enough to manage them without assistance.


Making a plan of action for your family to adhere to in the event of a fire can be a difficult task for many reasons, not least of which is a simple reluctance to consider the possibility of losing everything you own in a blaze. Making that plan, however, could very well mean the difference between your family making it out of a burning home intact, or suffering a devastating loss.

  • Pick a Meeting Point – For any disaster, natural or otherwise, your family should have a designated meeting point for everyone to converge, should you become separated. Make sure that your children know where to go after they escape from a house fire or other catastrophe, and how to reach that point on their own.
  • Choose an Emergency Contact – Choosing an emergency contact, such as a close friend or a member of your extended family, for your children and spouse to call in the event of a fire that leaves you separated can help each member of your family determine that everyone made a successful escape if you’re unable to reach the designated meeting point.
  • Determine the Quickest Exit from Each Bedroom – Because older members of the family will almost certainly attempt to assist the younger ones, it’s important that everyone in your family knows the quickest and safest exit from each bedroom in the house.
  • Teach Kids More Than One Route – Ideally, your children will be accompanied by an adult as they escape a burning house. Unforeseen events, however, can leave them to make the trek alone. Because of this, it’s imperative that you teach your children how to safely evacuate your home by themselves, and how to choose the best route to do so.


After your evacuation route is decided upon and memorized by everyone in the family, it’s wise to periodically practice your fire evacuation plan by staging regular drills. During these drills, covering the basics of concepts such as “Stop, Drop, and Roll” is advised. Kids should learn how to stay low on the ground to avoid excessive smoke inhalation, to test doorknobs for blistering heat before grasping them, and to close doors behind them as they move from room to room to slow the spread of fire.

We hope you will follow this good advice, if you haven’t already prepared your family for an evacuation. 


September is designated as National Campus Fire Safety Month, and by now your college student is settled into his/her dorm or apartment . We want to present fire safety information for students and parents.  Each year college and university students, on- and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses, including cooking, open flame, and intentionally set fires. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.  With new independence comes new responsibilities. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.

Since January 2000, to the present, 79 fatal fires have been documented that occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within 3-miles of the campus – claiming a total of 114 victims.

Sixty-six fires have occurred in off-campus housing claiming 95 victims; Seven fires have occurred in on-campus building or residence halls claiming 9 victims; and Six fires have occurred in Greek housing claiming 10 victims.

Of the 79 fires documented:

  • Fourteen were intentionally set claiming 22 victims; Thirty-five were accidental – includes cooking, candles, smoking or electrical claiming 47 victims, and Thirty of the fires the cause was never determined – or the cause was not available at press time. These fires claimed 45 victims.

Safety Tips for Students:

Candles – Avoid using lighted candles!

Cooking – Cook only where it is permitted.

  • Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
  • If you use electric appliances, don’t overload circuits.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.

Smoking – Smoke outside only.

  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
  • Be alert – don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy or have been drinking, put your cigarette out first. 

Escape Planning

  • If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
  • Before opening a door, feel the door. If it’s hot, use your second way out.
  • Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
  • If you’re trapped, call the fire department and tell them where you are. Seal your door with rags and signal from your window. Open windows slightly at the top and bottom; shut them if smoke rushes in from any direction.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 18,000,000 students enrolled in 4,100 colleges and universities across the country. Approximately two-thirds of the students live in off-campus housing.  There are five common factors in a number of these fires:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke alarms
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption
  • Upholstered furniture fires on decks and porches

On-Campus Fire Safety

In cases where fire fatalities have occurred on college campuses, alcohol was a factor. There is a strong link between alcohol and fire deaths. Alcohol abuse often impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts.  Many other factors contribute to the problem of dormitory housing fires including:

  • Improper use of 911 notification systems delays emergency response.
  • Student apathy is prevalent. Many are unaware that fire is a risk or threat in the environment.
  • Evacuation efforts are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored.
  • Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and preplanning.
  • Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems inhibit early detection of fires.
  • Misuse of cooking appliances, overloaded electrical circuits, and extension cords increase the risk of fires. 

Safety Precautions for Colleges and Universities

  • Provide students with a program for fire safety and prevention.
  • Teach students how to properly notify the fire department using the 911 system.
  • Install smoke alarms in every dormitory room and every level of housing facilities.
  • Maintain and regularly test smoke alarms and fire alarm systems. Replace smoke alarm batteries every semester.
  • Regularly inspect rooms and buildings for fire hazards. Ask your local fire department for assistance.
  • Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.
  • Create and update detailed floor plans of buildings, and make them available to emergency personnel, resident advisors and students.
  • Conduct fire drills and practice escape routes and evacuation plans. Urge students to take each alarm seriously.
  • Make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded and extension cords are used properly.
  • Learn to properly use and maintain heating and cooking appliances.

 Questions to Ask Before Moving in or Signing a Lease

  1. Are working smoke alarms installed? (Preferably in each bedroom, interconnected to sound all if any one detects smoke)
  2. Are there at least two ways to exit your bedroom and your building?
  3. Do the upper floors of the building have at least two interior stairs, or a fire escape?
  4. Is a sprinkler system installed and maintained?
  5. Are the existing electrical outlets adequate for all of the appliances and equipment that you are bringing – without the need for extension cords?
  6. Are there EXIT signs in the building hallways to indicate accessible escape routes?
  7. Does the building have a fire alarm system installed and maintained?
  8. Has the buildings’  heating system been inspected recently (in the last year)?
  9. Is the building address clearly posted to allow emergency services to find you quickly in the event of an emergency?
  10. Does the sprinkler system or fire alarm system send a signal to the local fire department or campus security?

The above questions are important not only for students to ask, but anyone that is preparing to move into an apartment.  The owners should be able to provide adequate and honest information about the safety of the building. 

One last tip: a fully stocked first aid kit should be an item that every student takes with them to college.  Chances are, it will be needed for minor emergencies, sooner or later. pb

Source: U.S. Fire Administration/FEMA

Tips for Keeping Your Personal Information Secure Online (Guest Post)

Submitted by Nicky Elkins

For most people, the internet is used to connect with friends, look at funny pictures, or to do some online shopping. However, what people don’t expect to happen is to have their identity stolen. In the digital age, it is very easy for a hacker or someone to steal valuable information from you. Keeping your information secure while you are online is very important, and can prevent having your identity stolen. There are a few things you can do to help prevent someone from seeing your information and taking you for a ride.

Having a unique password is important, but you should also have multiple passwords for multiple online accounts. This helps keep your information safer than if you just had one password. If you had multiple passwords and someone did hack into one of your accounts, you would only need to change one password for one account. However, if you had the same password for every website and account, you would then need to go in and change every account password. When you create a password, try to think of something that is unique to you and that you will remember. Most websites have password requirements to help ensure you have a unique password. These requirements may be anything from how many characters you can have to what numbers or symbols you use. If you have a lot of accounts and need a way to keep track of your passwords, you can use a password manager like LastPass.

Not only are the ads on the side of webpages annoying sometimes, they can also be harmful to your computer and information. These ads aren’t always on webpages; they can also be in emails or social media. Any adds that claim you are a “winner”, or that you could “enter to win” normally have you fill out a form with your personal information in order to “collect your prize”. However, when you fill out this information, you have actually entered in a scam to win having your identity stolen. Other ads may not have you fill anything out, but may instead download malware or a virus onto your computer. Once these have been installed on your computer, it can be hard to get rid of it all.

Your information could be targeted through your email. Make sure to set your email to separate spam messages from your regular mail. Having your spam setting set up to block suspicious emails can help reduce the chance of falling victim to different email scams and phishing scams. If you do get an email from someone you don’t know, it is best to not open it, mark it as spam, and delete it. Some scammers are tricky and will send you an email that looks like it came from your bank, Twitter, or even Facebook. These emails normally ask you to verify your account, or tell you that something is wrong with your account and you can dispute or report a problem by clicking a link below and filling out the information. These forms have the same concept as those used by “enter to win” scams; you fill out your information and give everything to the scammer. If you get an email but are unsure, you can check the “from” address to tell if it is real or not. If it is from Facebook, it should be from a account, not a account. Another thing you can check is the link in the email. You can hover over them without clicking and see the URL that it points to. If the URL doesn’t take you to the official login, support page, or the official page it claims to be going to, do not click on it. Scammers try to fool you by putting in links to fake login pages like instead of If you are still unsure if it is real or not, and are concerned about your information, you can call the company or file a report with their support department.

Part of keeping your information safe is also keeping it backed up. You should be backing up your computer files regularly. A lot of people keep just about everything on their computers, such as family photos, business reports, and other important documents. If you do end up getting a virus and it shuts down your computer, it can be difficult to restore your computer back to how it was before the virus. Sometimes the damage is irreversible and you end up having to buy a new laptop completely. By backing up your files regularly ensures that no matter what happens to your computer, you don’t lose valuable files and information. You can invest in Backup Software or an external hard drive to store your information. Most backup software stores your information to a server allowing you to access the information by logging in. Using an external hard drive to back up your computer lets you carry it with you and it is easy to share and transfer files to a new computer if you need to.

Majority of computers come with anti-virus protection. Having the proper security on your computer will help you protect your personal information. Security systems and anti-virus software will do several scans and give you reports as to how many problems, viruses, potential viruses, and malware you have on your computer and then fix the problem. Some software will even inform you when a site you are about to go to contains malicious and harmful contents. It is easy to get a laptop that already has virus protection on it, or you can easily find affordable software that will keep you safe while browsing.

If you travel a lot, or work on a computer that isn’t in your home, more than likely when you are connected to the internet it is through a WiFi hot-spot. When you are connected to the internet with this type of connection, avoid sharing your personal information. Free WiFi or community hot-spots, while convenient, aren’t as secure as your own personal internet connection. If you are using this type of connection and you need to login to a personal account or need to use your information, you can check the URL to see if it is a secure site. Most banking sites will show you that it is a secure site by displaying padlock icon in the address bar. You can also look at the URL address to double check. If the URL starts with “http://” then you do not have a secure connection. However, if it starts with “https://” then you are on a secure connection since the “s” stands for secure.

 Nicky Elkins is a freelance writer for and is from Pensacola, Florida. She attended the University of West Florida and earned her Graduate degree in Creative Writing. Nicky now uses her gift for writing and her love of all things technology to help others enjoy and understand consumer electronics, social media, and the coolest new gadgets.

A Safer, More Environmentally-Friendly Business: Hazardous Waste to Recyclable Steel (Guest Post)

Submitted by Ava Federov. pb 

Over 3.5 billion aerosol cans are produced each year. In 2010, aerosol cans were being recycled at a rate of 67%. That means that 1 billion aerosol cans, considered hazardous waste, are being stored or disposed of improperly, and not by industry standards.

Oftentimes, businesses and individuals aren’t quite sure how to dispose of steel cans and containers properly, so the waste ends up in landfills or dumps. Not only can this lead to hefty fines, but it also puts people and the environment at risk of being exposed to hazardous waste and the repercussions to follow.

Read on to learn more about the characteristics of hazardous waste, how to avoid hazardous waste-related issues in the workplace, and how to safely dispose of your business’s steel containers.

Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

Paints, pesticides and lubricants are just a few examples of common but hazardous aerosols.
A non-empty aerosol can may be considered hazardous waste if it has the following characteristics:

  • Ignitability (can readily catch fire)
  • Corrosivity (acidic or alkaline)
  • Reactivity (can explode)
  • Toxicity (poisonous)

To avoid experiencing the effects of any of the characteristics above, DO NOT keep cans next to a furnace or in a hot environment, near acids where the cans may corrode, or in a place where the cans may get dented or damaged.

Hazardous Waste to Recyclable Steel

In order for steel containers to become recyclable, they must be completely empty. Although an aerosol can may feel and sound completely empty when shaken, the best way to ensure that there is no hazardous waste left over is to safely puncture and drain the contents with an aerosol can recycling system such as Aerosolv, which is the only EPA-verified system available. Systems are typically comprised of a puncturing device, a carbon filter, and a drum. DO NOT attempt to puncture cans without a device specifically meant for the job.

The process:

  1. Safely punctures the aerosol can
  2. Relieves pressure from the can
  3. Collects any residual liquids, wet or dry

Recycling technology, like the aerosol can depletion system above, reduces businesses’ waste disposal costs significantly, keeps the workplace safer, and the environment cleaner.   

About Us

Katec Incorporated is the manufacturer of the first and only aerosol can recycling system certified by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and California EPA ETV Program (Environmental Technology Verification), and manufactures propane canister recycling systems as well. Aerosolv safely punctures and drains aerosol cans, while Prosolv depressurizes propane canisters. Both systems turn hazardous waste into recyclable steel in seconds, reducing the risk to people and the environment and allowing businesses to be in compliance and more sustainable. Visit us at


Submitted by Matthew Wood. 

Scaffolding helps to shape some of the major construction or repair plans of buildings and provides the formwork for the materials that will keep such structures in place.

Without scaffolding we wouldn’t have such glorious architecture in place in our society today. One particular form of scaffolding comes in towers – these are designed for construction workers to make changes to structures above the ground. Hence the appearance of a vertical framework against the side of a building and the name ‘tower’.

Scaffold towers come in three different formats and each has different attributes to them that make them appealing for various construction jobs. 

Aluminium Scaffolding Towers

Aluminium scaffolding towers are lightweight and designed to be easy to use – making them an ideal solution for residential structures and tasks such as painting or installing a window. Typically, scaffolding can be made of steel but the aluminium structure is a much more practical answer if you’re looking for mobility. While aluminium scaffolding can be more expensive than steel, it is more durable and rust free.

Fibreglass Scaffolding Towers

 Fibreglass scaffolding towers are developed to provide functionality while prioritising safety. Because the structure is made of fibreglass, it can prevent hazards such as electrocution – making it the only solution for environments where electricity is present. Durable and easy to use, the fibreglass scaffolding tower is the most expensive type of scaffold tower on the market. These units come with straight forward setup instructions and are built by simply piecing them together. This also makes them a fantastic portability option – some structures even come with wheels so you don’t have to dismantle them.

Steel Scaffolding Towers

Steel scaffolding towers are the most traditional and common type of formwork structure on the market. Noted for being extremely durable, steel scaffolding towers are predominantly used when workers are dealing with large, heavy and articulated materials. However, these structures are difficult to move – mainly because of their excessive weight – and therefore should only be used for specific jobs that don’t require mobility. For all operations that require the use of heavy-weighted materials, steel scaffolding towers really are the only answer to your problems.

In conclusion

With the use of this article, assessing the respective needs of your construction and the requirements of the job in hand should now be able to help you to make an informed decision when choosing which scaffolding to invest in or hire.

An experienced and talented copywriter, Matthew Wood writes SEO savvy content for a collection of online publications and web projects.  Matthew’s latest work involves writing creative and engaging content on the subjects of Scaffolding Supplies and Formwork for the established online brand Unit Plant Services.

I might add that safety harnesses and safety lanyardsshould be used when working on scaffolds.  Thanks, Matthew, for this advice on selecting the right scaffolding tower.  pb



Submitted by Matthew Wood.  An experienced and talented copywriter, he writes SEO savvy content for a collection of online publications and web projects.  Matthew’s latest work involves writing creative and engaging content on the subjects of Form work and Kwikstage Scaffolding for the established online brand Unit Plant Services.

It may not be something that is at the top of your agenda but the value of scaffolding training really is priceless.

Owners of construction companies should ensure that all of their operatives who are involved with either the deployment or inspection of scaffolding should undergo the relative training needed to proficiently use the equipment.  Negligence in the operation of mounting and utilising scaffolding can result in devastating consequences such as damage to third party property, fines, cost of accident fees, injury to personnel and even death.

As such, I’m sure you’d agree that scaffolding training is absolutely vital for workers who are required to use the structures. This article will therefore highlight the applicable training courses for scaffolding and the benefits of such learning.

National Record Card Scheme & NVQ – Basic

This course is for the beginners who have no prior scaffolding training – although they must have at least six months experience as a scaffolder labourer. There are two parts to this course – which lasts around 20 days – and, upon completion, workers will be able to erect and dismantle scaffolding when working as part of a team. Part two of the course will include written and practical exams with an emphasis on working with different types of scaffolding.

Portfolio Build Level 2 Basic

If candidates have completed the aforementioned training then they are eligible to undertake a Portfolio course which teaches workers how to create and portray a collection of projects. This could be an excellent course for those looking to bolster their credentials when looking for employment in the construction industry.

NVQ Level 2 Assessment

This course – which requires the two basic parts of the National Record Card Scheme & NVQ to qualify for entry – has an emphasis on practical assessments which covers the theory that was undertaken during the basic training.

CISRS Advanced

To enter this course, candidates must hold a Basic Scaffolders Card. The training will involve the scaling and interpretation of construction drawings with workers learning how to erect and dismantle scaffolding a safe and correct manner. Upon completion, candidates will receive an Advanced Scaffolders certificate to represent their progress.

Portfolio Build Level 3 Advanced

This is a similar course to the previous portfolio guidance but will incorporate the subsequent training that works up to the Level 3 of scaffolding qualifications. 

NVQ Level 3 Assessment

Workers will undertake a number of practical tests in this course and cover the content that has been learnt during the advanced and Level 3 stage of scaffolding qualifications. Each of the candidates’ portfolios will also be examined in order to determine their level of understanding. At the end of the course, workers will be awarded documentation to show their competence against the required standards of scaffolding in construction – enabling them to apply for their CITB Advanced Record Card.

In the U.S., OSHA revised its scaffolds standard in 1996.  BLS studies showed that 25% of workers injured in scaffold accidents had received no scaffold safety training, and 77% of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails.  OSHA estimates that informed employers and workers, in compliance with correct safety standards, can save as many as 50 lives and prevent 4,500 accidents every year.  In a recent Bureau of Labor study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.  The OSHA standard sets performance-based criteria to protect employees from scaffold-related hazards such as falls, falling objects, structural instability, electrocution, or overloading.  It also addresses training and various types of scaffolds, as well as falling object protection, ladders, weather conditions, aerial lifts, stilts, and other matters that are not covered in OSHA’s previous scaffolding standards.  Also, it allows employers more flexibility when using protective systems for working on scaffolds.  pb



Written by Carlos Santiago. 

The decision to place an elderly relative in a nursing home can be a difficult one for many families to make. In many cases, elderly individuals may be resistant to this type of change in their lives, preferring to stay in their own homes and care for themselves. However, at some point, this type of change may be necessary. In most cases, the relatives of the person entering a nursing home can feel secure in the care that their loved one will receive. Unfortunately, some nursing homes fail to provide adequate care and supervision, employing staff or implementing practices that expose residents to the potential for abuse. 

Sadly, nursing home abuse is a serious problem in the United States. As many as 1 in 3 nursing homes have at some point been cited for abuse or neglect of residents, and these numbers likely understate the actual incidence of this type of reprehensible behavior. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts inspections of most nursing home facilities, the frequency of these inspections is not enough to catch all forms of abuse. Therefore, it is critical that those with a loved one in a nursing home facility be able to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse on their own. 

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home abuse can occur in a variety of different ways, and therefore, the warning signs of nursing home abuse can vary significantly. The following are some of the most common forms of abuse and signs that abuse may be occurring: 

Ÿ         Physical Abuse – nursing home residents may be subjected to physical abuse from staff or other residents. Some signs that may indicate that a nursing home resident has been the victim of physical abuse may include unusual or unexplained cuts and bruises, broken bones, and emotional withdrawal.

Ÿ         Neglect – nursing home residents may also suffer as a result of neglect on the part of nursing home staff or management. Some of the most common signs of neglect include sudden weight loss, lack of personal hygiene, bedsores, lack of necessary medical care, and the development of infections.

Ÿ         Verbal abuse – while it may not pose the same obvious health and safety risks as other forms of abuse, verbal abuse of nursing home residents can still have a powerful effect on an elderly individual’s life. Some signs that may indicate that verbal abuse may be occurring include listlessness, emotional withdrawal, unexplained weight loss, and refusal to follow medical regiments.

Ÿ         Financial abuse – because of the vulnerable position nursing home residents are in, some nursing home staff members may take advantage of residents by stealing from them or otherwise abusing their finances. Some signs of financial abuse include sudden or unusual financial transactions, disappearance of personal items, and emotional withdrawal. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a National Nursing Home Survey to help individuals looking to place a relative in a nursing home find the best possible place for their loved one. However, nothing can be done to guarantee that nursing home abuse will not occur. If a nursing home resident you know has been the victim of abuse

“Carlos is an avid legal blogger who has written on a variety of legal topics. He contributes to regularly.”

Thanks, Carlos,  for giving us the signs to watch for if your parent, relative, or friend lives in a nursing home. There are many homes who offer loving care, but it is important for family members to monitor their care.  Visit at different times of the day -don’t drop by at the same time of day each visit.  Look out for those who have no family to do so.  They are often the ones who are picked on, and must be protected. pb


The Easy Part of Induction
When many people hear the phrase ‘health and safety’ in a workplace context, they batter their lids and yawn as if they know it all; as if it is a case of mollycoddling and obvious things that only a complete idiot wouldn’t know. To those starting a new job, the first day nerves are often qualmed when they undergo this section of orientation, as aspects are often already known or simple common sense. It’s a different case if you’re working with machinery or new equipment of some kind as there is a very real danger there, but in some cases this is unclear. Unfortunately, many people see the healthy and safety talk of their job as a way to make that first apprehensive day go that little bit quicker, or a rehash of what they were told on their first day. However, this is the wrong view to take, especially on behalf of the employer.

Should I Bother?
If you are business-owner, you probably have a hundred and one things on your mind day-to-day, mainly concerning ensuring a high standard of service or product that you deal in for your customers. It’s not a case of being money-hungry at all; staff have to be paid, overheads taken care of and everything else to ensure smooth sailing. And while there is no doubt that you do care about the wellbeing of your staff on a professional level (and often on a personal one too), the idea of spending a whole afternoon in a conference room can seem a little like a second priority when it doesn’t directly link to sales or conversions. As stated, sometimes the necessity for such training is unclear, like in a white-collar office; but when you look closely, there are many, many aspects needing attention, such as the consumption of food and drink near electric equipment.

An Investment or Insurance
Consider Health and Safety training as an investment, or even a kind of insurance. You most likely have insurance for your premises, so why wouldn’t you for your staff? While the fact you’ve hired them means they are capable and not complete idiots, accidents can happen quite easily, especially in a busy workspace; and when they result in some form of injury (which can affect ability to earn and live), tensions can rise high. Most bosses have a great relationship with their employees and no one likes the idea of that turning sour in the form of a legal dispute. So it makes business-sense to cover yourself, just as you would with insurance; something bad probably won’t happen, but it’s good piece of mind that you’re protected just in case. It makes sense to pay, say, £100 for someone to come in and give a workshop than to pay out thousands or even millions if you are sued.

Other Positives
While it shouldn’t be treated lightly, or like a day off from work, a workshop or meeting about Health and Safety, can be seen as a bonding exercise amongst a workforce. It’s a chance to see each other in a different context rather than speaking about business, and is a pleasant break from the quotidian, or usual business day. Additionally, you’re very likely to learn something that you never knew or took for granted from this professional speaker, or even discover dangerous or libel actions which you routinely perform without realising. However, it should simply be seen as essential in maintaining a fully-functional, professional workplace.

Author Bio:
Paul has worked in various office environments, of varying industries and service and as a result has been exposed to several forms of training when it comes to workplace safety. In his free time, he enjoys documentaries, including those about employer-liability cases where an employer has been reckless, negligent or at fault. Paul has also studied Law at A-Level, which involved study of cases of Negligence.

Many companies just don’t take the proper amount of time to thoroughly train their employees on the importance of safety.  It is the employees’ live on the line, and the last line of defense for them is the right kind of PPE safety equipment.  Training on this subject is a very vital part of teaching the types of equipment that are required in their particular job. pb