Category Archives: General Safety Issues

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

For a long time, lead appeared to be something of a miracle metal. One of the earliest metals discovered by humans, it’s soft, malleable, and has a low melting temperature, making it perfect for a variety of applications. Back in the days of the Roman Empire it was used to build water pipes, aqueducts and even cooking pots (apparently to enhance the flavour of food!), whilst the ancient Egyptians used it as an ingredient in kohl, a cosmetic applied to the eyes. In more modern times, it was used in ammunition, ceramic glazes, paints and protective coatings.

Unfortunately, in the late 19th century it was discovered that lead is actually incredibly toxic to mammals. A potent neurotoxin, it accumulates in the bones and soft tissues of the body. This can eventually lead to convulsions, coma and even death at dangerously high levels. This was a huge health hazard. For instance, it was often used as an additive in paint, which it oddly gave a sweet taste to. This made tasting lead paint very tempting for young children, leading to childhood lead poisoning becoming endemic in certain areas. It’s also since been theorised that the Roman’s fondness for lead hastened the Empire’s downfall!

Children are most susceptible to lead poisoning simply because their bodies are smaller. However, bans and regulations around the world mean children are now unlikely to come into contact with lead in their day to day lives. In fact, the group now most at risk of lead poisoning are adults working in the smelting, refining, alloying and casting industries.

Lead is impossible to smell, see or taste, so until symptoms of lead poisoning appear it’s hard to know it’s there. This means lead testing is essential in high risk workplaces to protect against long-term health problems. If it’s present, adequate guidelines should be put in place for the healthy, safety, and general wellbeing of the workforce. Paint Inspection Ltd have created this handy infographic which goes into more detail about the dangers of lead in the workplace…

 

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Where does your mind goes when you hear the words bacteria ridden? Does it go to toilet seats? The mushy tomato in the fridge? The sweaty gym shorts under the bed? The dog’s toy that he someone keeps managing to get out of the bin?

Well, have you ever thought about your office desk?

I bet you’re looking at it right now. Notebooks scattered around. Half a bag of crisps. A pen in between your teeth.

A recent study carried out by The Cleaning Services Group, has claimed that the average office desk is 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

The Average Worker

According to the study, 8 in 10 people in the UK work in offices. Those 8 in 10 people spend an average of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In their offices.

If we spend so much of our time in the office then how come we treat it so badly? Even our toilet seat at home is cleaner than our office?

Is it because our office it isn’t our home? Do we care a bit less?

It isn’t our job to clean the office? It isn’t our responsibility.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but when it comes to office hygiene we’re all responsible.

Can I really get sick from a dirty desk?

We all know that if someone comes in with the cold, there is a very good chance everyone else will get sick too.

Sure, the risk of getting the cold or flu increases, but what about everyone’s least favourite friend, the norovirus? Also known as the stomach bug?

Or even worse you could get Hep A&B or Influenza!

You might think it’s not a big deal to come into work with a little cold, you can struggle through your shift, and at worse take a day or two off work. But if you’re taking a day off work then who is picking up your work?

Productivity decreases as people are stretched with workloads or when feeling under the weather, and stress increases. Â

And what about absenteeism?

In one year in the UK 131 million days were lost due to sickness, costing the economy £29 BILLION.

Bad office hygiene can make you sick, make others sick, and decrease productivity, as well as causing unnecessary stress.

And to think, most of it is avoidable with some common sense, and by promoting a healthy and hygienic office environment.

The facts behind the germs

A huge  80% of infections are spread through contaminated surfaces, rather than through coughing and sneezing as most people believe.

It is the surfaces that people touch most, where the germs are lurking in their thousands if not millions!  The office phone, the buttons on the microwave, the printer, and don’t forget the door handles.

Unfortunately for us, bacteria and viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Plenty of time to spread through the entire office.

An appalling statistic has been established that 32% of office workers don’t wash their hands after visiting the toilet! And these are the hands that come in contact with more than 10 million bacteria per day!

So you can imagine how easy it is for germs to spread.

The most commonly touched surfaces in the workspace is your Desk.

The average office desk has more than 10 million bacteria hiding on it.

Your keyboard containing 3, 295 bacteria per square inch and the mouse adding an extra 1676 per square inch.

To contrast this, the average toilet seat only has 49 bacteria microbes per square inch!

And would you eat your lunch of a toilet seat? No, that’s disgusting! Yet 2 in 3 office workers eat at their bacteria ridden desks, and 1 in 5 don’t even wipe it down before doing so.

One person carrying a virus will infect 50% of all equipment and employees in their vicinity in just FOUR HOURS!

Who is responsible?

You are! Everyone in the office is responsible to ensure their is a healthy and hygienic working environment.

Management is responsible to communicate the facts with the staff to involve the staff to take accountability.

The management should also provide solutions such as bins, soap, cleaning stations, and ensure cleaning regimes take place.

Staff should take responsibility for their personal hygiene and their work station. Be proactive by preventing the spread of bacteria by using bins and washing hands. Staff should also take accountability and call in sick to work if sick with a spreadable illness.

About Safety Training Scotland

Since Safety Training Scotland was founded in 2013, it has delivered courses to over 2000 successful delegates. At Safety Training we’re passionate about changing the negative perception of health and safety training. Our highest priority is not just to inform, but also to engage and inspire. We are transforming the safety training industry and putting an end to “death by powerpoint”.

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

 

Did you know that about four in ten working adults, or 44% employees, said in response to a survey that their current job affected their overall health? In addition, more than four in ten people also mentioned that their job had a major impact on their family and social life, their weight issues, eating patterns and sleeping habits. This was found in a survey of working adults in the US, conducted jointly by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Work-related stress among employees is known to have an adverse effect on their health, the well-being of their family as well as economic implications for the business and the nation as well.

Stress Impacts the Health of an Employee

  • Psychological Disorders – Depression and burnout, as a result of work-related stress, can have a negative impact on the health of a worker and can even affect personal relationships.  “It’s not just your body that is affected by stress, your relationships and overall life satisfaction are also significantly impacted,” says an expert at Nature’s Wellness.

 

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse – The onset of depression, due to workplace stress, has also been known to act as a trigger for alcohol and substance abuse in an individual. Working erratic shift timings, putting in excessively long working hours, taking up more than one job and constant job insecurity are some of the main reasons that drive people towards becoming heavy drinkers and using drugs for the perceived ‘stress-relieving’ effects, which any physician will tell you is a false notion.

 

  • Chronic Diseases  –  Constant levels of stress, be it because of an inability to strike a perfect work-life balance or any other reason, can have long-term health complications, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

How Workplace Stress Affects the Bottom Line

  • Economic Costs of Workplace Stress –  In the United States, an estimated one million workers are absent every day from work due to stress, according to survey findings published by The American Institute of Stress (AIS). The AIS goes on to report that this last-minute absenteeism tends to cost companies, on an average, around $602 per worker each year, which in the case of large companies could even reach $3.5 million annually.

 

  • Loss in Productivity –  It is interesting to note that loss in productivity is not only due to absenteeism but also occurs in the case of what is known as “presenteeism” or a situation where workers are reporting to work but are not working at their optimum levels because of stress-induced medical conditions like depression.

 

  • Workplace Injury –  Whether it is an individual’s inability to handle stress or the prevalence of stressful working conditions, it could lead to low levels of concentration and result in workplace injuries. In fact, in 2014 alone, there were more than 3 million work-related injuries and more than 4,800 occupational fatalities, costing the US exchequer a sum of $50 billion, according to Glorian Sorensen, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

 

The AIS survey findings cited above estimate that the US economy loses over $300 billion annually on account of absenteeism, reduced productivity, workplace accidents, healthcare costs and workers’ compensation. It, therefore, becomes important for employees experiencing work stress and the company they are working for to work in tandem and find ways to lower stress through identifying the causes and working on solutions. This in turn would have a positive impact on the well-being of the employees and the financial health of the business.

 

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

Winning is rarely an accident.

The best sport teams in the world work hard to get there. I.m not talking about simply practicing hard. Winning requires studying the opposition.

Sports teams can usually predict their opponents’ reactions. They can counter these actions to limit the opponents’ success.

Criminals do this with you. They study your home and workplace. They know your weaknesses. If they know how you or your security system will react they can counter or bypass it.

Do you now the criminals that are studying you?

You’ll build a safer environment if you think the way they do.

Consider these viewpoints. It will help you build a stronger offensive.

  1. How Daily Activities Put You in Danger

Criminals are opportunists.

They know which situations are more beneficial to them. They look for:

  • People who aren’t giving attention to their surroundings
  • Premises with a lot of traffic so they can disappear in a crowd
  • Roads that lead to highways for a quick getaway

Here are two general activities that criminals take advantage of.

Moving or Renovating

When you’re moving or renovating you’re preoccupied. There’s a change in routine and you give less attention to security.

It’s easy to see which buildings owners prepare for a move. Moving vans, boxes and bubble wrap outside are tell tale signs. The same relates to building supplies. Chances are your security system is disconnected if you’re busy with a construction project.

Criminals take note.

They can highjack a moving truck or follow it to your new premises. While your security system isn’t in place they can easily break in and rob you.

They can partner with moving company employees or construction workers. These individuals can leave your doors unlocked or allow certain boxes to disappear.

Driving

Many attacks or high-jackings take place in the early evening. On your way home from work you’re tired and distracted. Your reactions are slow.

This makes you an easy target. Before you can call the authorities criminals can overpower you.

Stay in control by being extra vigilant in these situations. Criminals are trained to read human behavior. If they see you looking around they’ll most likely back off.

Now think. What other activities at home or at your office make you and easy victim?

  1. Criminal Communication Methods

It pays off to be observant.

Criminals notice where we let our guard down. Luckily they sometimes do too.

Many criminals work in syndicates. They have to communicate with each other but what methods are safe to them?

  • Talking via Smartphones creates proof of their criminal activities.
  • There are usually members of the public who know one or two petty criminals. Crime organizers don’t want to be seen with petty criminals. The connection can get them caught.

So what’s their solution?

Have you ever driven past a premises with odd features on the exterior of the walls or lawn? These can be signs criminals create to signal others in the syndicate. While one group finds ideal targets others break in.

Signs include:

  • Markings on walls
  • Stacked garbage
  • Broken plants

Each sign represents a unique feature. This can show robbers where women stay alone or where large dogs are.

You can protect yourself by removing signs and checking your vulnerabilities. If you realize there’s a syndicate in your area improve your security.

  1. Out of Sight

If your backyard can’t be seen from the street’s secure right? Wrong.

Privacy gives criminals time. They may not be able to scout properly beforehand. But if no one can see what they’re up to they have time to figure out how to gain access to the building.

Don’t assume any area of your premises is secure. Installing adequate security features built by professionals is vital. This relates to doors and windows. Steel doors or security grilles take a while to get past. If they didn’t know these features were there before entering the premises they won’t be prepared to deal with them.

Criminals know they’re at risk if they take too long. Waste their time so they have to give up in the end.

  1. Acting Skills

Don’t think you’ll recognize a criminal for what he or she is.

They’re corrupted enough to hurt or steal from others. They can put up a good act too.

Criminals know what groups of people garner sympathy from the public:

  • Widowed women
  • Religious groups
  • Charity foundations

Criminals even use children in their syndicates.

Don’t open a door to someone you don’t know. Not even if they seem to be in trouble. They want access to your premises.

Security cameras even fake ones are an excellent deterrent. No criminal wants irrefutable proof that can be used in court.

The more you understand criminals the more you can limit their actions. Be on the offence instead of defending. It’s possible to win the fight against crime. Let no criminal take advantage because one player neglects his or her duty. Make sure everyone on the premises is part of your plan.

Are you wearing the right workwear?

Are you wearing the right workwear?

 

In the recent years, the need for employees’ personal safety and protection in hazardous work environments have reached an all-time high. The safety rules and regulations have never been more detailed and comprehensive. It is of utmost importance for companies now to make sure that their employees are well protected and covered for any potential risks they may have to face on job. In jobs, where high-risk hazards such as fire breakout, high-voltage electric arc flash or any other form of inflammable substances are involved, it is imperative for the company to introduce personal protective clothing or equipment for their employees.

Fire retardant fabric used as employee uniform not only provides necessary protection for the workers but also gives rise to a sense of personal protection at work site. With proper training for personal safety, together the organization and employees can minimize the risk of any probable hazards. This is the reason that the use of FR clothing has become not only much more common but also a prerequisite by law in many developed as well as developing countries. This has also resulted in a consistent development of industry safety standards and continued growth of the FR clothing sector. FR or protective clothing protects the wearer in the following ways:

  • It resists burning and self-extinguishes flames
  • It does not melt onto wearer’s skin
  • It provides protection from heat through thermal insulation
  • It does not break open safeguarding wearer’s skin from flames
  • It minimizes the chance of burn injury thus increasing the likelihood of survival

It is extremely important to note that although FR clothing reduces the risk of burning, it does not eliminate it. It is however designed to keep the extent of damage down to under 50 percent. But accidents still happen and FR clothing does increase the survival rates that much more and even provides valuable escape time for the wearer.

In order to choose the right protective wear for the employees, there are three important questions for any organization to ask:

Primary Hazards

There are many different kinds of hazards workers may have to face at their workplace. But there are primarily four kinds of major hazards that require utmost protection. The choice for FR clothing will majorly depend on the kind of risk involved.

Flash Fire  Flash fires form as a result of concentrated fuels such as combustibles solids, liquids, gases or dust mixing up with enough oxygen causing an unexpected ignition. Flash fires are sudden and short in duration remaining for only a few seconds but they are a common hazard in fuel plants, molten metal and gas foundries, mining, oil and gas refineries, extraction services etc.

Electrical Arc Flash  An electrical arc flash is an explosive blast of flame that can result from electrical equipment failure, human error or interference with high-voltage current. Arc flash lasts for only a second but it can wreak havoc in its wake producing deafening sound, also causing molten metals and debris to fly at super high velocity and producing extreme radiant heat (35000F+).

Molten Metals  Specifically, in welding jobs, metals such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and other alloys have to be heated at extremely high temperatures (between 520 to 3700F) to get them in a workable state. Even the teeniest amount of molten metal can end up severely damaging exposed skin or setting fire to regular clothing. This kind of hazard most commonly exists in industries such as steel mills, foundries, fabricators, and welding jobs.

Chemical Spills  Chemical spills are referred to as any harmful biological, radiological and/or physical substance or agent likely to pose risk to humans and the environment. Such spills can result in virtually any kind of reaction from burning to allergies to fatality.

Why is compliance for Correct Fire-retardant clothing important?

Compliance to safety procedures and regulations works on many levels for both companies and employees. Not only does it minimize the risk for injuries for workers but also save funds and bad publicity for companies. Many benefits make a solid case for FR clothing in the long run:

  • Provides safety and proper protection for employees
  • Emphasizes a culture of personal safety
  • Develops an environment of trust for workers
  • Minimizes costs associated with injuries, man-hours and accident claims
  • Evades legal issues and fines
  • Builds a goodwill for the company

Industry standards

As per the guidelines of local protective authorities, organizations are responsible for identifying and assessing the risk conditions their employees may be exposed to as well as employ the best safety procedures and practices available in order to counter these risks. Protective apparel is an important part of safety clauses in most developed countries. In the light of these guidelines too, the FR clothing has to be tested for flame resistance, heat resistance, thermal shrinkage as well as thermal protective performance (TTP) testing for each layer of protective fabric.

How to choose the right FR workwear?

As far as complete compliance for FR clothing is concerned, it is not a question of merely choosing a well-known supplier. The choice for the right kind of protective wear depends on many factors. The first and foremost thing would be to perform a hazard analysis of the facility. For instance, in the case of a risk pertaining to arc flash hazard, a Flash Hazard Analysis of the facility would be necessary to determine the level of protection required for the workers. However, a difficult and time-consuming job, it can be achieved in several ways:

  • A detailed evaluation of each electrical task can be performed by an inside electrical resource of the company. A software can also be used to perform the required analysis as long as essential data inputs are available.
  • Another approach is to check the electrical tasks against the tasks tables provided by local authorities. But in this case too, the resource doing the analysis has to be knowledgeable enough to determine what kind of tasks match the tables.
  • The third option is probably the most costly option is hiring an outside expert to do the analysis. But it is also the easiest and the most comprehensive way as well.

The next step is the categorization of potential hazards and classification of the appropriate FR clothing.

Identify hazard type  Determining what kind of hazard is involved – whether fire, arc flash or molten metals – will dictate the further choice for protective wear required in a particular situation – the material of FR clothing, hazard ratings, apparel type etc.

Review Standards for Identified Hazard  It is extremely important to review the safety standards applicable in your case as there may be new clauses or updates.

Determine the Level of Protection Required  The performance of FR clothing is quantified on the basis of level of protection they offer which is measured in calories (heat energy) applied per square centimeter of surface area. The use of garments with insufficient ratings will simply not serve the purpose. Similarly, ones with higher ratings than required, while may do the job, but they will be a cause of unnecessary discomfort for the employees and added costs for the company.

Research the Different Protective Wear available in the Market  There is a considerable variety of FR fabrics and finished garments available in the market. There are multiple factors that need to be taken into account for the right selection of FR clothing from material, cuts, colors and specifications to strength, comfort, durability, price and service support to compliance to proper arc ratings.

Evaluate the reputation of FR clothing suppliers  Where risky conditions are concerned, it is better to play safe and go for suppliers who have a proven record in the manufacturing of FR clothing and enjoy client trust. A detailed background information of suppliers can be obtained from public and private safety organizations. But much more important is a comprehensive wear trial for not only will this exercise paint a true picture for on-site performance but also gain employee feedback.

On-job Training  Once the appropriate FR apparel has been chosen and made available for employees, the next step is to train employees in safety practices as well as proper use and care of FR garments. This sort of training is significant for getting most out of the incurred costs on FR garments since they won’t be of much use if not used and maintained with care.

Summary

So here is what we are trying to establish in this step by step guide. Let’s summarize what the right protective clothing or FR wear should do for you:

  • It should live up to the appropriate safety regulations applicable in your particular case.
  • It should fulfill all the protective needs involved in your particular work hazard.
  • It should fit the individual workers comfortably.

And further the company needs to:

  • Train the workers in the proper use of protective clothing.
  • Train the supervisors as well in order to ensure they understand how to enforce the use of protective clothing by the workers.
  • Train employees in the careful use of protective clothing.
  • Ensure the protective clothing is adequately cleaned and maintained.

 

Post Credit to:   https://www.daletec.com/

 

Things to Remember While Handling Industrial Lifting Equipment

Things to Remember While Handling Industrial Lifting Equipment

 

It is important to follow the necessary safety tips when you are dealing with different industrial lifting equipment in various lifting operations at your workplace. The lifting gear products and other lifting devices are heavy in weight as they carry bulky loads. It is essential that you should use your equipment correctly so that it will last long and your workplace will be safe enough for you, your employees and accessories .

It becomes an easy go to carry secure lifting practices if you follow below tips to use lifting equipment safely-

  • Never exceed the capacity of your product

For safe results, a prescribed load value called Working Load Limit (WLL) has been defined for every device in the lifting environment, exceeding it may lead to negative results. If you load above the WLL, you are putting a device under strain that can result in its irreversible damage and even a fatal injury to the site workers.

It can also cause swing of a load, load damage and destruction to the structures and people around the workplace. It is suggested that you must have a knowledge about weight of the load that has to be lifted so that you can select the best equipment for your task.

  • Try to find the center of gravity for the loads

No matter which type of load you are carrying, it is necessary to check its center of gravity. You may have heavy, even or uneven loads, but in all cases the center of gravity allows stopping the load from falling from height to cause an accident. If you want to test the center of gravity of a load, the best practice is to lift it few inches off the ground and then stop. If the load falls, it means there is less harm.

  • Use a back up safety method in case primary method fails

There might occur situations when you have accidentally overload your industrial lifting equipment or not finding the right center of gravity of the load. In such cases, you may end up dropping of load from a great height. Load arrestors can result as a good alternative for such scenarios to halt the considerable load and prevent accidents. It is thus always a good habit to connect a load to a load arrestor to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

In a Nutshell

 The aforementioned factors are of great help in providing assistance to the people so that they can safely handle variety of industrial lifting equipment and myriad of lifting gear products. Read these tips and implement them wisely whenever required.

Author Bio

 Author is an experienced engineer at Bishop Lifting Services who is fond of imparting his creative writing skills among the worldwide passionate people of lifting equipment industry. He shares information about lifting gear products and other industrial lifting equipment.

Understanding the Connection Between Productivity and Safety

Understanding the Connection Between Productivity and Safety

Love them or hate them; safety regulations are here to stay. There is mounting evidence to show the connection between worker productivity and safety programs. Safety programs decrease sick leave/pay, and compensation claims. It also increases employee turnover and decreases absenteeism. According to safety experts Dexters, obvious benefit is that employees work their best when healthy, but it also boosts their motivation.

For example, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment in New Zealand has shown the connection between productivity and safety. The material handling sector has seen productivity increase 85% and a cost-benefit ratio of 1 to 10.

Keeping the work environment safe and healthy increases productivity, reduces sick pay costs and injury costs, and reduces production delays. This generally means more profits and a better level of cooperation between employees and management. Employees feel better about management when they feel that management is looking out for their best interests.

Encourage Safe Behavior

Of course there is a difference between telling employees to be safer, and actually enforcing safety precautions. Sometimes it is inconvenient and time-consuming for employees to follow safety procedures, so it’s important to get employees to stick to the plan while still having managers breathing down their necks about meeting quotas on time. Employees may feel they have to cut corners in order to get everything done on time. Managers should be realistic about their targets to allow for employees to follow proper safety procedures. Safety works on every level.

Managers should try to balance the incentives with the expected outcome, which typically involves boosting productivity while still focusing on safety. There are a few ways to do this, such as gift cards, cash rewards, and employee-of-the-month plaques. Unfortunately employees may be tempted to cover up hazards to meet requirements and get their hands on the rewards. This reduces the peer pressure of having to report incidents and leads to even worse safety standards.

The main way to promote workplace safety programs and encourage employees to follow them is through education. Focus on the benefits of positive employee behavior without focusing on rewards. There are several steps in this education process including training employees. Employee training is the main way to teach employees how to avoid accidents and incidents.

How often an employer educates employees about safety depends on the employer. While training can be done as often or as little as an employer wishes, it’s best to train them at least once each month. When an employee isn’t trained often enough, it leads to complacency. Employees will be extra safe following training, but this quickly fades as they get complacent. If an employee isn’t regularly trained and educated it can lead to accidents.

 

Conclusion

As you can no doubt see, there is a clear connection to keeping a workplace safe and increasing productivity. Healthy employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. Safety increases profits by increasing sales and decreasing costs of injury claims. All in all, workplace safety is best for all involved.

 

Safety Tips when Working at Height

Safety Tips when Working at Height

Working at height is responsible for a high proportion of accidents in the workplace and it is imperative that as part of the drive to reduce such accidents that all those who work on MWPs and other such equipment are fully trained on PASMA and IPAF accredited courses. There are a great variety of courses available from many excellent center across the UK that target people who use different machinery or who are involved in working at height at various levels. This is, of course the number one recommendation when advising how to work at height without putting yourself at risk – be properly trained. Let’s take a look at some of the other ways in which employees can work at height more safely.

Assess the working environment before getting started

This should be standard practice, but often the pressures of getting cracking override your common sense and this basic rule is ignored. There are 3 key steps involved in ensuring your working environment for the day is safe.

  1. Look around to spot any hazards that relate to falling from height. Are you (or others) using ladders, scaffolding or will you be working on roofs that may be unstable? Is there a risk of items falling from height?

2.  Assess who of your team is most at risk from each hazard and make sure everyone is aware of the potential risks on site, mitigating them where possible.

  1. Make sure that there is a regular review of the site and any precautions that were in place before are still adequate.

 

Eliminate working at height wherever possible

This might sound obvious, but too often accidents happen when working at height when there would have been a safer way to get the job done. The fewer people who are placed in high risk working situations the better.

Never overload or overreach on ladders

A very basic, but essential rule of thumb is that anyone using a ladder should not take up items that will mean they exceed the highest load stated on the ladder. Obviously, this does not mean it is safe to carry heavy weights under the maximum load limit and common sense should be applied. Also, while on ladders your navel should remain inside the stiles and at any given time once you have reached working height you should maintain both feet on the same rung.

Use the right tools for the job

Part of your IPAF training should have taught you how to make sure that you choose the right equipment for each job that involves working at height. The choice between a ladder for instance or scaffolding, mobile access tower or powered access equipment is often dictated by the height you are required to reach. If you conclude that the height is above that safely reached by your ladder or scaffolding then you should rent or suggest the rental of suitable MWPs or other powered access equipment. When the equipment is being chosen, you must ensure that it is stable enough and strong enough to support the weight of whoever will be using it. Any protection around the edge should be strong enough to prevent a fall. Do not start a job with equipment that you strongly feel is inadequate.

Inspect and maintain equipment

All equipment used in working at height should be routinely inspected and maintained appropriately. This includes personal protection equipment such as lanyards and ropes.

This little mini guide to your ideal equipment check system is useful.

(a) Examination – checking for faults, damage, wear and tear or dirt

(b) Testing – make sure your equipment works properly before use

(c) Cleaning –  all equipment works best if kept clean

(d) Repair

(e) Replacement

 

Improving workplace security – Think like an intruder!

Improving workplace security – Think like an intruder! Trap him

 

If I ever think like an intruder, then I will put myself as an intruder and would think about all the possibilities which will be a breakthrough for me to intrude in anyone’s home. This is the best way to resolve issues by going deep into the problem. You must be thinking if we will think like an intruder then how can we improve workplace security? Because being an intruder, I would come across only those points that would be supportive for me to break-in. In this article, I am going to let you know how to stop an intruder and what is that essential information which should keep secret from a burglar? Take a look

System Information should keep Secret

Being an intruder, I will try to get full system information through their brand details. They can easily find out for what they are looking for. No matters how many attempts they have tried.

Detail brand study can be harmful to your workplace security. Make sure brand information is secret to prevent any burglary. What would we get by doing this? Then let me tell you that brand details are easily searchable on the internet. They might discover several ways of resetting a factory then obviously it would be difficult for you to deal.

Possible modes of malfunctioning with Access Control

 

You need to ask some questions from yourself. We all know access control systems require swipe cards for verification purpose to enter in the workplace. Can I have a duplicate copy of that card? Can I steal pin number? Can I easily get into the building especially at lunch time with a bunch of people? These are some queries which would be mostly searched by intruders who want to intrude.

 So you have to decide either you are going with the card system, choosing to have facial recognition or some other kind of advanced biometric systems because these will not let anyone easily getting into the building directly. To reduce malfunctioning with access control systems, you have to get rid of pin number system because your employees can share pin numbers with each other quickly.

Social Media Tracking

These days intruders don’t let go of any chance to track you even on social media. Make sure you are not giving them any clue through your recent check-ins. Just keep some details secret from them. Being an intruder, I will not leave any chance to follow. This is a strategy of an intruder to keep all the updates about you. Just ensure that you are not giving them a chance of doing anything. Is there any function or seminars at your workplace? And if you have already updated the participation of outsiders then probably intruder can easily get the way of how to get into the building directly.

Scamming with your CCTV

Invaders keep themselves up to date through latest technologies about cameras as ordinary people use to do that. Employees shouldn’t have access to the monitoring room. Only a few individuals should allow. An intruder can easily sabotage the security parameters by easily getting the information about the camera technology. In my Essex workplace, our management is ensuring that no employee has access to camera and while CCTV installation in Essex and our Manchester branch it is a priority to keep all the information secret regarding cameras.

 

These are some top practices which I get to know after placing myself in place of a burglar. These queries need your practical answers. So by having answers of these, you can protect your workplace by giving your best. It’s difficult to say the latest technology wouldn’t let any intruder to break-in. They achieve their false attempts quickly, so it’s up to you how will you keep your premises secure

Innovative Ways to Promote Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Innovative Ways to Promote Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

 Promoting workplace diversity and inclusion has become an important focus area for companies, big and small. While the realization to do so occurred only recently, the good news is that a lot is already happening, with companies like Intel pledging $300 million for their diversity-related outcomes by 2020 and Apple earmarking $50 million towards non-profit organizations supporting women in technology.

Why Diversity Matters

For business success in this increasingly interconnected world, embracing diversity in the workplace is the need of the hour. A diverse workplace can help a company attain profitability in new markets, which is becoming a reality because of the many expansions, mergers and acquisitions occurring all over the world. Some other benefits of encouraging inclusion and diversity in the workplace is that the idea, once executed, will breed creative thinking, result in innovative outcomes, and expedite the process of problem solving because of a range of expertise that a diverse talent pool tends to bring in.

Solutions to Foster Diversity and Inclusion at the Workplace

  • Counter Any Resistance to Change – Any attempt at organizational change is almost always met with resistance from some quarters, be it acceptance of new ideas or shattering age-old stereotypes around gender, race, religion, color, etc. It is, therefore, important to introduce a diversity training workshop that sensitizes everyone in the organization to the need and importance of having such a diverse workplace.

 

  • Strengthen your Orientation Program  It can be a daunting task for anyone new to settle into an organization where they are not in a majority,  be it because of a skewed sex ratio amongst the employees or because of a language barrier. Your company orientation program must, therefore, look at assigning mentors in such cases. A great example to reinforce this point is a study conducted between 2011 and 2015 by the University of Massachusetts, where it was found that female Engineering undergraduates without mentors felt increasingly anxious, under-confident, and out of the place through the year than girls who were assigned mentors.

 

  • Promote Diversity in Leadership Positions  Remember, good practices must begin at the helm! When talking of leaders, we have always heard about a visionary leader, a dynamic leader, an innovative leader, but very seldom do we hear about a collaborative leader.   So, unless you have a diverse Executive Leadership that understands the real need and benefits of diversity, an all-inclusive and progressive workforce would remain a distant dream.

 

  • Improve Communication  Men in leadership roles have an important role to play, especially when it comes to shattering gender-based stereotypes that prevent the free flow of thoughts and ideas within an organization. They need to become patient and active listeners, and never adopt an authoritarian attitude when it comes to women at their workplace.

 

  • Focus on the Granular Details  Focusing on very small aspects of your organization, especially highly visible ones, can present a lot of improvement areas. Ever thought of providing multilingual safety and warning signs and labels? For instance, experts at Clarion Safety Systems say, Safety labels need to be quickly and easily understood, so people can gain immediate awareness of hazards and avoid accidents and injuries. With increasing diversity in workplaces, you have to take into consideration whether or not your audience reads English. While signs and labels may be a small detail, they can go a long way in reinforcing safety policies due to their high visibility.

 

  • Analytical Insights  Important analytical insights, captured over a period of time, analyzed and implemented, can deliver rich dividends that can help streamline the performance of any business. Big data presents a treasure trove of information and must be explored to assess the quality of past hires, so that any emotional biases during the interview process can be addressed with the help of tangible data.

 

These are easy to implement solutions that can go a long way in enabling your vision of creating a workplace environment that is diverse and inclusive. This is something that should not be seen as just a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative but a practice that will yield better and more profitable business outcomes going forward.