Category Archives: General Safety Issues

How to Protect your Office from Fire Hazards

Every building with people working inside requires fire protection, which takes many forms. It features a mixture of educational, preventive, mitigating and investigation aspects that are all aimed at alerting for potential risks and spotting a eliminating a threat before it becomes a problem. Different jobs present different risks, and it is important to know the dangers and risks in order to prevent fire threat. This is vital, as the damage that a destructive fire can cause is great. It can grow in a matter of seconds and cover large area. Modern day jobs need to be entirely safe when it comes to accidents such as this and for this reason measures against the threat are very important.
There are few elements of any fire protection system. All of them are aimed at preventing a fire from growing and eliminate threats that are potentially dangerous and may cause a fire to occur.

How to Protect your Building from Fire Hazards

– Instructions and education – this is the most basic element of a fire protection system. Basically this includes making all of the employees that work within a building aware of the risk of fire and any threats that can potentially cause one. They should be instructed on how to perform their work in ways that are safe. Educating all personnel on what to do in case of a fire alarm and an emergency situation is key in preventing any accidents. Facilities that work with dangerous chemicals, gas or other flammable materials must develop strict codes as they are exposed to more risks. It is often times the case when professional cleaning services and special handling of these materials is required.

– Passive fire protection – this element of fire protection is represented in the form of building materials that are resistant to fire. These include floors, walls, doors and pretty much any part of the building. For the most part, these materials are used because of established strict standards. The nature of the materials used requires special knowledge on how to maintain them. Any cleaning company should be aware of the specifics and provide sufficient service.

How to Protect your Building from Fire Hazards2

– Active fire protection – this important element of fire protection includes a number of suppression and detection systems be they automatic or manual. Manual systems mostly include fire extinguishers or standpipe systems located in key points of the building. They can be used by people to directly fight a fire. Automatic systems most often feature sprinklers at ceiling level that use a reliable source of water in case a fire and smoke is detected. Certain models include different forms of fire suppression that use a different extinguisher than water. Active fire protection relies heavily on detection components, such as heat and smoke detectors that can locate and alert in case of a fire threat. In order for these systems to work and function properly they must be regularly checked by professionals who will provide maintenance and cleaning service to them if needed.
Fire protection is a very important aspect of all work safety codes. Strict regulations must be followed in order to ensure that no threat occurs and that any danger is handled in time.

More helpful tips find at this site

Electrical Safety Tips

There are many electrical appliances that are often used in everyday life or during construction efforts, so you will need to ensure you’re treating such electrical works with the respect and care they deserve so you can be safe from harm. Take your time to check the principles of safe operation of electrical devices ahead and make sure everyone both around your home and at your workplace or construction site is fully aware of them at all costs, as electricity is one force that should never be underestimated due to its lethal hazard and long-lasting effects on the human body after an accident. The following tips will give you more information you can use to deal with it:

Electrical Safety Tips

• If you want to be safe when using electrical appliances, light bulbs and other types of equipment, then you will need to be vigilant at all times to avoid burns, shocks and the threat of electrocution. Once again: keep your eyes open and be careful.

• You would do well to assume that all overhead wires are charged with lethal voltage, as well as any exposed wiring you see either around your home, office or other location such as a construction site. Avoid touching exposed wiring at all costs and use proper protection to stay safe, such as insulated gloves at the least with lower voltage wiring. Leave power lines to professional electricians and the company that employs them and stay away from them – a simple, common sense solution.

• You would do well to stay at least 10 feet away from any possible overhead wires during cleanup activities. If you’re working at certain heights or you need to handle longer objects, you would still do well to survey the place before you move on to working with overhead wires.

• If any overhead wires happen to fall on a vehicle, you should stay inside and drive away if possible. If your engine stalls you should stay inside and call the local electric company for assistance with this issue, as well as emergency services instead of trying to solve the problem yourself.

• You should never try to do any operations with electrical equipment while still standing in water. You should also do your best to avoid repairing any electrical cords or any equipment unless you happen to be authorized and qualified to do so. If you do need to do any repairs, you would do well to have a qualified electrician doing them instead of you, as they will have the necessary experience to do so.

Electrical Safety Tips2

• When you’re working in damp or wet locations, you need to ensure you have all electric cords and equipment fixed and in good condition, as well as using a ground fault circuit interrupter to keep them safe. Keep your eyes open when you’re doing any cleaning, especially during floor cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and so forth. A short circuit can become a fire hazard quickly if left alone, so if you smell the acrid smell of burning insulation, shut the power off and locate the issue before moving forward.

• Last, but not least: always be cautious when you work with electricity, no matter where you are and what you’re doing. It may seem like a simple thing to keep in mind but you should never feel safe just because you think you have things covered. Be vigilant, be safe.
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Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

Before you begin working on any DIY projects or plumbing repairs, you would do well to review some of the simple basics concerning safety. By following certain methods you will spare yourself injury and failure as well as being able to complete your projects on time. The following safety tips should be followed no matter what type of project you’re after:

Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing2

• Stay informed
You need to check the local building and plumbing codes before you start working on your project. Knowing what you can do to make things work that way will keep things professional and safe when you need to be careful.

• Eye protection
Work only with safety glasses if you need to do any plumbing work done, especially if you suspect you may have anything that could potentially endanger your eyes. Any work that involves using a drill, snaking a drain, hammering, working under a sink or using a reciprocating saw will pose a danger and potential hazard for the eyes. Sometimes small objects, droplets of sewer water and so on may fly into your eyes if you lack proper protection, so make sure that never happens.

• Hand protection
You would do well to focus on wearing proper protection for your hands at all times when you work. Hands will often come into contact with different chemicals, sewer water and more when you work on plumbing. If your hands have any scratches you may risk infection, not to mention handling things that way is simply unsanitary. Whenever you use a drain machine of any sort, you would do well to use leather or latex gloves to protect yourself from the germs of your drain lines. Good drain gloves will not only protect your hands, but it will also become a good habit to handle tools with them for added safety.

Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

• Lung protection
You will need to work with a face mask if you want to protect your lungs. Sanding, sawing and more are sometimes needed when you work on some plumbing projects, not to mention the unpleasant smell of sewer gases that would be filtered through a mask so you won’t have to inhale it.

• Being careful
You would do well to be extra careful whenever you’re handling any tools, as you will need to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions if you want to succeed. Many people are often injured when they don’t keep both hands on the power tools they use, not staying vigilant as they work and so forth. Don’t be one of them and keep your eyes open and your hands steady.

• Get some help
Having someone to give you a hand when you need it will make completing your tasks far easier to handle. Running a drain machine for example means you will need to have two hands on the cable, as well as someone else unplugging the machine when you’re done, not to mention other tasks that need more than a single pair of hands. This will be very useful whenever you deal with plumbing emergencies, as you never know what you may need.
Read more helpful practical tips go at: http://www.plumbingservicesplumbers.co.uk/bayswater-plumbers-W2/local-plumbers-bayswater.html

Hand Protection Tips while Working

Hand injuries are extremely common on the job, no matter where you work, up to the point where nearly 80% of most common occupational injuries are hand injuries. There are hardly any jobs that don’t really use our hands in the process, so we need to take great care to avoid any accidents with our hands. There is much that can be done to avoid such issues, but for the most part common sense should be involved before you make any decisions. The following tips will give you more information you can count on to make a difference and protect your hands:

• Wearing gloves

This is the first line of defense against blisters, scrapes, burns, cuts and splinters you will have on the job, so look for several good pairs of work gloves you can count on to get you through your tasks without fail. Make sure you’ve chosen the right gloves and that they fit comfortably against your hands, allowing you to work with ease. You would do well to wear some chemical resistant gloves when you’re working with acids or caustics. There is no way to avoid things without proper protection, so never underestimate its importance. Always keep the insides of your gloves nice and clean, as any contaminants inside will only negate their protection. Make sure you replace your gloves as soon as you see any damage to their material. Always remember to use gloves when you’re using knives and box cutters and you need to do fine work with them and cut away from your body as you work.

Hand Protection Tips while Working2

• Working with machines

Always stay vigilant so you can avoid the terrible danger posed by machines with exposed moving parts. You need to make sure you use the proper controls built into the machine to stay safe, especially when it comes to machine guards and the tool rests used. Under no circumstances should you try to reach inside the machine while it is powered and unless you possess the necessary technical expertise and credentials to do so. You would also do well to keep all watches, rings and bracelets off your person to ensure they will not get in the way while you work. If there are any shavings you need to get out of the way when cleaning, never use your hands to do so but use a brush or a scraper to do it so you will not get hurt while cleaning.

• Staying vigilant

Always keep an eye on what you’re doing and make simple and smart choices so you can avoid any injuries while working on the job. Know all your potential sources of hazards and stay vigilant. Inspect your protective equipment and gloves as well as your hands after you’re done working if you’re handling dangerous chemicals. Never allow carelessness to become a danger to your safety. You would do well to keep your eyes open when you clean your machines and workplace as well, as sometimes periodic cleaning may need to be completed by a professional cleaning company trained in dealing with hazardous chemicals and similar problems.

Hand Protection Tips while Working

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DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

DIY construction efforts take quite a bit of effort, but they should never be hurried along at the expense of safety. You would do well to keep that in mind so you can prevent any accidents you may face. You can get things done even without hiring builders, a building team in most cases, such as bathroom and kitchen fitting, wallpapering, tiling and even brick work. Think ahead and use the following tips to get yourself prepared for the building jobs ahead in a productive and safe manner:

DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines2

• If you use poorly designed tools and equipment of low quality, then chances are things WILL break at some point and you may get hurt in the process, not to mention the long term health hazards that may lead to. Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis, white finger and so forth are something you do not want to deal with.

• You should never carry a tool by its cord or doing so with its hoses. Even though this may seem like a good idea at some point, you would do well to avoid it as much as possible. Keep the cords away from any oil, water, heat and sharp edges to avoid any damage. Look for power tools that have lower vibrations overall and make sure you protect your ears and eyes from harm by using goggles and ear protection.

• You must make sure you have tools that don’t conduct electricity or heat so you can do your job well.

• Make sure you maintain a good posture while you work and use the tools as intended to avoid accidents during your renovation or construction efforts.

• You need to make sure you keep people away from any areas where you operate machines, especially if they have no business there and it poses danger to yourself and them.

• You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings while you work, especially when it comes to low clearance areas, obstructions of all sorts and any obstacles that end up in your path so you won’t trip and hurt yourself or worse. This happens more often than you may think.

• You need to pay even more attention when you’re using scaffoldings, as this is a pretty dangerous place to be when you work, even on the best of days. Make sure its erected on a nice and solid surface and that the scaffolding itself is strong enough with more than sufficient weight capacity, at least four times the weight you believe it will need to take.

DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

• You must never support any scaffoldings or planks on an uneven surface or with uneven objects that simply don’t have a good footing.

• Keep scaffoldings away from any power lines to stay on the safe side during work, especially when you’re alone and you have no other builder present working along you.

• No matter what building service you do, never use a damaged scaffold, regardless of how much in a hurry you are or how small a job you feel you need to do. Make sure you have a good and solid footing on a sturdy scaffold and use the proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards when you work.

For more building services practical advises click here

Heat Relief Safety Products

Well, it appears the temperature is starting to increase by the day. As the temperature rises it is important to pay attention to the heat index in relation to humidity. We found this nice chart that shows the affects of heat and humidity. It makes a normally warm day seem much hotter, and a very hot day can be unbearable with high humidity. To counteract this effect while working outdoors we recommend investing in some Heat Relief Safety Products. Remember to work safely and take care of yourself.

Heat Index
Heat Index

Magnatech Guest Blog Post – Welding Eye Safety

While welding techniques have gradually improved over the years, there are still many risks that come with the job. This includes repeated contact with harmful dust, smoke and fumes as well as exposure to light and heat radiation. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) states that “each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments.”

There are many severe eye-related injuries that a worker can sustain, including small metallic particles that can strike the eye, leading to painful cuts and abrasions; the CDC reports that “metal slivers, wood chips, dust, and cement chips… nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal [that] penetrate the eyeball and result in permanent loss of vision. Large objects may also strike the eye/face [and] chemical burns to one or both eyes from splashes of industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common.” Because of such serious wounds, it is essential for a welder to remain as safe as possible while doing their job, regardless of their levels of expertise and competence.

One of the most frequent and all-pervading injuries that a welder may experience given improper eye protection is known as photokeratitis or “welding arc flash.” This is a non-permanent condition, although it may affect your vision for some time given that it damages the tissue around the eye (although thankfully not the retina itself). In this case, the cells on the outer layer of your cornea are inadvertently burned by UV rays. This is similar to sunburn on the skin, but instead on the surface of your eye. Although the affected area will slowly heal over time, UV eye burns may take a great deal of time to recover from and, as you can imagine, they can be wholly excruciating to experience. You can read more about photokeratitis and its effects on the body here.

Welding eye injuries are extremely common and, regardless of whether you are doing a quick 30-second job or a 30-minute task, eye protection is a must. Utilizing a helmet as well as safety glasses or protective goggles is vital to effectively shield your vision. The U.S. Department of Labor OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) states that “goggles or other suitable eye protection shall be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations… All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment shall use transparent face shields or goggles, depending on the particular job, to protect their faces or eyes.” PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is also crucial.

PPE clothing should provide adequate coverage in case of sparks, fumes or smoke, as well as reducing the possibility of skin burns. In most cases, clothing manufactured from heavy cotton or a wool blend will better endure the outside elements of your workplace. Flame-resistant gloves and a flame-resistant apron are also essential protective attire. For more details on what you should wear when welding, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) offers some useful advice.

Although there have been notable advances in the manufacture of protective gear over the years, eye injuries are still widespread. This may be due to a low perception of the risk involved in the assignment itself, or perhaps because welders feel discomfort while wearing them. However, the discomfort caused by a serious eye injury will easily outweigh the pain caused from wearing a helmet and goggles for a small period of time. The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety once estimated that a quarter of welding injuries are eye-related, so eye protection should always be enforced. In essence, it is important that workers are educated about the dangers they will encounter during their day-to-day routine, as well as implementing a “No Excuses” eye protection plan whenever someone is welding. Magnatech, LLC has been manufacturing systems for orbital tube and pipe welding applications for more than 40 years. We are proud to supply products that put an emphasis on reliability and user-friendliness.

If you would like more information on what we can do for you, please visit us online at Magnatech or call 860-653-2573 today.

Guest Post from Jaclyn Passaro

PRO TIPS: What Every College Freshman Should Know to Stay Safe (Guest Post)

You’ve been accepted into a college, picked out your dorm décor, selected your first major, and talked your mom out of crying…again. However, I need you to reserve one tiny piece of your brain for a matter that is often overlooked in all the excitement: personal safety. You’re going to college. You’re going to live on your own for the first time and with that freedom comes the responsibility of being responsible for your own personal safety on a whole ‘nother level.

Chief Yaniello of SUNY College at Old Westbury says that he tells all incoming freshmen that they should understand that their individual safety has as much to do with their individual decisions, observations and awareness as it does with the security provisions at their institutions. He says, “I tell all incoming freshmen that they should not try to live their entire four years in college during the first four weeks of classes and that their choice of college friendships and alliances are vitally important in that positive peer pressure is as potent a behavioral entity as negative peer pressure.”

These first four weeks of college are vitality important. Over these next four weeks the choices you make will impact your next four years. You will be making decisions that will impact your reputation and your personal safety. As you are forming new relationships on-campus, I ask that you remember these six tips.

1.       That guy that you met at freshmen orientation or that you saw one-time somewhere. That guy may be your friend someday but he isn’t a safe person yet. Most on-campus crimes are committed by your peers. This isn’t to say that you should lock yourself in your dorm room. It just means that you should build a group of friends and build relationships in group settings before isolating yourself with a man you’ve met once. Don’t accept rides home from class or from a bar with a person that you’ve “seen somewhere before”.

2.       Do not drink in excess. Do not drink and drive. Do not drink and walk home alone. Not only do crime rates increase when drugs and alcohol are involved but you are most likely to make bad decisions. The buddy system is just as important now as it was in grade school so work on forming strong relationships sober and if you do decide to have a drink stay with your friends (see #1 for definition of friends).

3.       The most common on-campus crime is burglary. You can protect yourself by locking your doors and making sure your roommate does the same. Don’t allow tailgating to be an acceptable practice in your residence quarters. This is not only for your own safety but for those that live around you.

4.       With that said, when you share a group living space you are unfortunately exposed by poor choices that other people make. Contribute to the solution. Form your own “neighborhood watch” with others that live in your building. Make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to safety and create a system for reporting suspicious activity. 

5.       It’s also important to take good care of your things. Do not leave your electronics unattended in the library, cafeteria, or other public areas. Not only are these areas that a would-be criminal might look but it contains your personal information by potentially allowing others access to your electronic devices.

6.       Expand your protective circle by providing your parents with emergency contact information. Make sure they have your roomate’s phone number along with contact information for your roomate’s parents. It’s okay to set ground rules with your parents. IE: This contact information is not backup contact information for me. It is for emergencies only. 

BIO:

Rose is the co-founder of SecurityGem.com, a site dedicated to home security as well as personal safety tips and information. She also serves as a researcher for new safety related technologies and has over 10 years of home technology related experience. In her spare time she likes playing video games, spending time with her family, working out, and smiling.   Thank you, Rose, for these safety tips for college freshmen.  It is very fitting at this time, as we have two grandchildren who are graduating this week.  These ideas, coming from someone other than their parents, (or grandparents) are seriously intended for their safety. pb

 

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in Construction (Guest Post)

Since reducing the risk of fatal accidents and death rate within the construction industry is not an easy job, taking timely, effective preemptive measures is the only way out. Read further for a fair idea of what can be done and how!

The rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with the construction industry is much higher than most other areas of work. The most common reasons that make construction work perilous is possibility of deadly accidents with vehicles and falls from extreme height.

On an average, every third fatal accident at a construction site has one or more vehicles involved. Frequently occurring transport accidents at work include:

  1. Victims being stuck by moving vehicles, especially while reversing
  2. People falling from vehicles or hit by things falling from vehicles
  3. Overturning vehicles leading to serious injuries

What Can Be Done to Prevent Vehicle Accidents in Construction?

The first step towards reducing high death rate in construction industry is to reduce the risk of fatal accidents at construction sites that involve vehicles. Employers need to fulfill their legal duties and play a pivotal role in that case, especially by assessing risks and taking practical measures to ensure the safety of everyone around.

This may include maintaining accident records, training and consulting employees, and co-coordinating and cooperating contractors. The focus needs to be on planning and implementing collective safety measures, instead of giving individual measures extra importance. The basic idea should be to replace the hazardous with the harmless.

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in the Construction Industry

Practically, accident prevention should not start after the work has already begun on the construction site. Instead, designers, architects and planners can considerably diminish the risk of vehicle accidents by designing and planning well in the pre-build phase.

Risk assessment is the most important aspect that every employer ought to take care of, followed precisely by the conveyance of complete information to the contractors, verifying that the construction site is fully safe for the workers.

A thoroughly carried out risk assessment process involves:

Looking for Potential Hazards:

After you have evaluated the work the finished tasks, identify potential dangers that may be associated with the presence of heavy vehicles at the site. Operations such as reversing, loading and unloading always have a higher probability of damage being done at the workplace.

Factors that increase the likelihood of occurrence of such accidents more include rough terrain, continuous exposure to bad weather conditions, labor working under multiple contractors, and time pressure. You can involve both the workers and their contractors in the risk assessment process, explaining to them what has been planned to reduce the level of risk.

Try preventing the following things in particular:

  • Running over pedestrians
  • Overturning vehicles
  • Vehicle accidents caused by falls while climbing or working too close to power lines
  • Vehicle malfunctioning

Identifying Who May Be Harmed

Figuring out every possible factor that can harm individuals on the work site is the first step towards implementation of safety measures. This will include everyone from contractors, workers, self-employed individuals and even the general public. Pay special attention to the areas where vehicle movement is mandatory and you can’t exclude the public.

It is also possible to take note of the likely hazards during the designing stage while the construction cost estimation is being done. Take note of the design for safety and also ensure to calculate cost of making safety provisions.

Prepare an Action Plan after Evaluating the Risks

Evaluating the risks associated with each hazard on the site will help you calculate the possibility of harm and the level of severity. Check whether you have taken enough protective measures to ensure the safety of people on-site. Thoroughly revise all important aspects such as workplace design and signs and signals.  Ensure that all workers have the proper personal protective gear that is needed to complete the job safely.

Taking Action

Once the risk assessment process is completed, list all preventive measures based on priority. When it is time to take action, take all the workers and contractors along. Though your focus should be on implementing measures to prevent any accident from taking place in the first place, it will be equally important to have be prepared for the worst and have all emergency provisions in place too.

Author Bio: Laura Laurel is a Stanford graduate in civil engineer with specialization in Civil Designs, Cost Estimation and 3D Modeling. She began her career as a construction trainee at Viatechnik LLC, rose to be involved with road and bridge construction. She loves to write about Real Estate and Construction Related Subjects.

Why Is Drunk Driving On the Rise? (Guest Post)

Drunk driving awareness campaigns in the UK are like the Coca-Cola truck commercial, the movie Home Alone, and pigs in blankets; They are at their most prominent over the Christmas period. The dangers of drunk driving clearly don’t need advertising to be obvious. So why are drunk driving-related deaths and incidents on an upward curve in the UK?

With yearly increases in drunk driving-related deaths since 2011, the statistics show that driving whilst intoxicated is on the rise and more and more motorists are admitting to have driven under the influence of drink and/or drugs at some point in their lives.

A recent survey of around 2,000 adults carried out by car insurance comparison giant Confused.com found that 19% of adults confessed to having driven under the influence. That equates to around seven million of Britain’s drivers. So why would so many people make this potentially fatal choice? There are a few possible explanations. 

The morning after the night before

An apparent lack of education and awareness regarding the longevity of the effects of drinking could have contributed to the recent hike in DD deaths.

So many crashes are occurring in the morning, suggesting that people think a few hours sleep is enough to shake off the effects of a heavy session the night before. The simple truth is, you can be over the limit and susceptible to consequential substandard driving skills for a long time after the drinking has ceased.

Authorities and police have backed this theory up and expressed a need for further education. The notion that a bacon sandwich and a night of broken sleep will suffice are way off the mark. 

Education

2011 saw the lowest drunk driving deaths since 1979, so the increase since has been viewed by many as an anomaly, a fluke. But if we dig a little deeper we may find that the increase has come due to a relaxation in the standard of drunk driving education and marketing in the wake of the previously successful years.

In the UK, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine. This is across the board, irrespective of your height, weight, gender, metabolism or current mental situation. In other words, you can give two individuals the same amount of alcohol and they could react completely differently.

There should perhaps be a shift in the marketing and education of drunk driving awareness so that people become aware of what is safe for them. The general consumption statistic is broad and people think they can handle the maximum amount without any issues, and perhaps handle even more. The legal limit in the UK is actually higher than in the majority of Europe, so this is also another blindingly obvious possible reason. Should we head towards a zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving? I can see no logical counter-argument to suggest otherwise. 

Consequences

Amongst the young and perceived naïve exists a school of thought that a first offence will lead to minor retribution. They may consider themselves unlikely to get caught, and if they do get caught they consider the risk worthy of the possible consequences. All roads here point to a lack of fear amongst drivers. It seems to be the case that not enough people are scared of the consequences of drinking and driving.

Each accident, each death, has a devastating effect on the victim and his/her family and friends. The temptation to drink and drive would be greatly reduced if the possible consequences were rammed home with vigour at every available juncture.

Bio: This article was written by Suzanne Roberts, who works for YourParkingSpace.

Thanks, Suzanne, this is a very serious problem in the U.S., as well. pb