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What is an Industrial Illness?

December 8, 2018

An industrial illness is a condition that is brought about by specific workplace-related dangers. A person contracts such an illness as the result of them being too exposed to the occupational hazards of their particular job. The severity of the condition is entirely dependant on the risk itself, as well as the aftercare that is on offer on site.

Types of occupational hazards

Occupational hazards are brought about by the specific work that is carried out in the industry. More specifically, any number of industrial actions or substances can cause an industrial illness, from using a vibrating tool for too long to handling materials, such as dust, too often. The most common hazards are those that are borough about by asbestos. It is for this reason why it is handled and regulated with the utmost care and professionalism at all times.

Other types of occupational hazards include:

  • Hand dermatitis

Workers who make frequent contact with water are those who are most likely to contract hand dermatitis. Other workers at risk are those who frequently come into direct contact with chemicals deemed to be harsh (this includes soaps and perfumes). This is thanks to something known as irritant contact dermatitis, and it can be very painful for those who suffer it. Typically, symptoms include hot, sore, scaly and itchy skin that cracks and bubbles. When infected by the bacteria known as Staphylococcus, hand dermatitis can also cause the skin to crust and ooze.

  • Industrial deafness

Industrial deafness is a condition that impacts most people who work or have worked in a loud environment; it is officially defined as being ‘the gradual deterioration of one’s hearing as a result of them being overly exposed to noise levels that reach or exceed 90 decibels.’

Symptoms of this incredibly severe industrial illness include a constant ringing, hissing, or buzzing noise in the ears, and, in the worst case scenario, complete deafness.

  • Work-related upper limb disorders

Commonly known as WRULDs, this specific type of musculoskeletal disorder impacts the upper part of the human body (torso up) and is frequently caused by repeated exposure to vibration. Typically, it is road workers who are most in danger of being stricken with this plight, thanks mainly to the fact that they often use drills and other similar devices.

What to do if you suffer an industrial illness

If you think that you are currently suffering from an industrial illness or have done in the past, then you need to get started on your claiming process. There are no two ways about it, yes, your job may entail you having to face occupational hazards daily, but your superiors should also offer you the utmost protection against them. It’s your bosses fault if you become the victim of such a risk, not yours. For this reason, you should have no qualms in getting in touch with a solicitor who is an expert in this field; such a professional can be found at www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk. They will work tirelessly by your side to ensure your industrial injury doesn’t cause you any more damage than it has done already by getting you the financial compensation you are owed.

Now that you are aware of the plight that is the industrial illness, you can set about trying to avoid contracting one at all costs. It means, quite simply, if you don’t feel that you are being provided with enough protection, make sure to tell your boss. If they don’t listen, tell them again.

Business

The power of billboard advertising and how to harness it

December 6, 2018

Advertising is all about grabbing a person’s attention and encouraging them to follow through on an action. Arguably, one of the most effective methods of making someone pay attention is with a large billboard placed strategically in a public place.

The billboard reportedly originated in New York around the mid-1830s, with the earliest record of a leased billboard space being documented in 1867. However, since then, this form of print marketing has become a staple of advertising and has even played a part on the silver screen as a crucial prop in recent blockbuster, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

If you want to maximise your marketing ROI, why not invest in billboard advertising that is simple to arrange with little maintenance needed? If you’re not convinced, find out why billboard advertising might be the boost your brand needs…

The influence of billboards

According to Route, the average Brit is classed as ‘out and about’ for three hours and ten minutes every day, spending around 16 minutes in the view of advertisements. Why not target your consumer during this window of opportunity with a large, quality, well-located billboard in a place with high footfall or traffic?

Another reason that billboards are an excellent option for marketing a product or service is that they’re simple to design and print — no putting together multiple pages in a brochure. Need something effective up and running in a hurry? A billboard is a single page of design, which should save you time when putting together a template that will offer maximum ROI.

Ever heard of the ‘Marketing Rule of 7’? This theory claims that a consumer must hear or see an advertising message at least seven times before taking action. By placing an outdoor banner in a public place where people will pass every day or a few times a day — like on the way to work or when dropping off and picking up their kids from school — you can help hit this number and potentially increase your brand’s chances of a conversion.

Evidently, billboard advertising could be a beneficial branch of your wider marketing campaign. So, how do you make sure your billboards are as effective as possible?

Designing a powerful billboard

All ads need to be eye-catching. However, if your billboard will be placed at the side of a high-speed road, this creates an even greater demand for noticeability. Think strategically about what you want on your billboard — someone driving past at 40mph+ is only going to be able to take in so much. What is your marketing objective? Do you want to sell a specific product? Are you spreading brand awareness? Promoting an event? Determine exactly what you want to achieve from your advertisement and provide only the essential information — like contact number, name of product or date and location of event.

The beauty of a billboard is that it’s the ideal platform for a big, conceptual image — which can work wonders from a marketing perspective. According to research, people generally only recall 10% of information they hear three days later. However, using a relevant image alongside this information increases retention by 55%. When designing your billboard, try and think of a funny or quirky image that will grab and hold a passer-by’s attention — such as cake brand, Mr Kipling’s, clever and unusual image of a bunny made using only Cherry Bakewell cakes as part of its Easter marketing campaign. Due to the size of a billboard, your images can pack a more powerful punch, so focus on getting the image perfect and then build your design from there.

Clarity is essential if you want people to not only notice your billboard but also consume the information on it. Utilise bright and bold colours to catch the eye — contrasting colours are reportedly stay in people’s memories for longer, too — and opt for a simple background and large, readable text — Sans Serif is a good shout.

Is your billboard going to be located at a roadside? A driver typically has five to ten seconds to view an ad, which means you need to consider copy length. The more relevant and informative your image is, the less you should need to convey with text — stick to a brief, punchy message of seven words and you should get your marketing message across, no problem.

Consider your target audience when selecting the location. For example, if your products are for 18-21-years-olds, find a site near a university or college. Otherwise, you could reduce your ROI due to not being in sight of the people who are most likely to engage and act on your ad.

If your billboard campaign is going to be local, why not create a stronger connection with the residents by including something that references the town or city? Include an image of a local landmark to create a sense of familiarity or reference the local traffic in a funny way. Humour generally works in advertising. According to a review of 6,500 ads, the funniest were usually cited as being the most appealing and memorable. What’s more, adopting this personal and familiar approach creates a sense of friendliness, so you’ll also exude a more welcoming brand persona — which will be more encouraging to a potential customer.

Billboard marketing is an excellent way to drive a successful marketing campaign — try it at your business and start increasing sales and customers!

Business

How will virtual reality impact the education sector?

November 27, 2018

As technology continues to advance, so too does the way we can learn. While the internet has enabled us to conduct research on any subject at ease, our learning spaces and facilities are also improving. Virtual reality is gradually becoming part of many industries and when it comes to schools and colleges, it’s no longer a case of simply sitting at a desk with your books. Here, we look at how VR is impacting the education sector.

Guided tours

Virtual reality allows you to get to know your learning space before you’ve even set foot on the property. An Ofsted report for Newcastle College praised the establishment’s world class facilities, and students are encouraged to take a tour of what’s on offer online.

By offering virtual reality tours,you are opening up your institution to prospective students away from the area as well as those on your doorstep. It can make your centre appear unique and special, helping you stand out from the crowd and is a lot more engaging than simply using photos to promote your space and courses.

Virtual classrooms

Not so long ago, the bulk of the learning experience came from teachers standing at the front of a classroom and students working through a text book. Of course, this still happens, but there are a host of other opportunities available too.

With Open University (OU) courses allowing students to study outside of a classroom, lesson plans can take you anywhere in the world. For example, recently the OU took students to the Great Barrier Reef via virtual reality. The Google Expeditions technology allowed students to go on a virtual field trip to a location which would be near impossible for them to actually visit.

Professor of Learning Technologies and Social Computing, Shailey Minocha, developed the field trips for the OU and said: “Our previous research has shown that the high degree of realism now achievable in virtual field trips complements the physical field trip experience and in imparting fieldwork skills. Virtual field trips also make it possible to experience activities and locations that may be impossible, or extremely difficult, to arrange in real life.”

Reports found that students benefit from class trips, with 72% gaining a better understanding of their subject and two thirds would do better in their exams if they went on excursions. With virtual reality this complex situation will be a lot easier to organise, meaning that virtual trips could become a frequent part of teaching.

Hands-on experience

Hands-on training is key to a student’s learning. Doctors and mechanics, for example, benefit from carrying out ‘on-the-job training’ in work experience and in-class modules. However, due to its complexity, virtual reality can help when it comes to time, cost and controlling the health and safety aspect of this experience. If apprentices or students can take part in surgeries or engine changes in a virtual environment, their learning period will be significantly accelerated. This allows them to learn a potentially dangerous task in a safe environment.

Not only this, but hands-on learning helps to increase learner engagement, helping to activate more parts of the brain, which in turn leads to information being stored for a longer period of time.

If education uses virtual reality wisely, we will see students hugely reap the rewards. Technological advances are providing the tools to change the way we learn and teach, and virtual reality can be a big player in this.  

Sources

https://blog.concept3d.com/top-5-reasons-use-virtual-tours-schools-website

https://www3.open.ac.uk/media/fullstory.aspx?id=30596

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/impact-virtual-reality-education-parag-diwan/

https://www.halsbury.com/useful-guides/benefits-of-school-trips/

https://demmelearning.com/learning-blog/hands-on-learning-benefits/

Business

How to improve productivity in the workplace

November 27, 2018

Procrastination can come at a great cost for businesses. According to research, procrastinating professionals can cost a company up to 36 working days each year, with texting, shopping and browsing social media during work time being top distractions.

So, what exactly can be done to help boost your workforce’s productivity levels. We take a look here with Cliverton, specialists in insurance for dog walkers.

Improve office conditions

Did you ever think that the temperature you set your office at can have an effect on how productive your employees are? The optimum temperature is between 20-21C. Anything outside of this bracket may lead to distractions in concentration, as employees will be more interested in reaching an acceptable body temperature. This could include getting up to put their coat on or playing with the air conditioning system.

Also, the colour you decorate your office can have a significant impact on both morale and productivity. While we may say we are feeling ‘blue’, this primary colour is said to put you at ease in the workplace. It’s said to be an ‘emotionally comfortable’ colour, meaning you’ll be happier if your décor is awash with blue. Green has a similar effect and is most suited to those who are looking for a creative environment. Then there is purple; a colour which can encourage teamwork and creativity. You’ll likely find this, alongside red, in design firms.

It can also be worthwhile introducing standing desks to your office space. Not only is this concept a good way to boost your staff’s productivity, but it also has health benefits. By allowing a colleague to choose or alternate their stance during the working day, you will be showing that you care about their well-being.

Set realistic goals and targets

Introduce SMART goal setting into your workplace. This means you should be specific in your goal, making sure it’s measurable and action-orientated. It should also be realistic and time-bound.

Setting your colleagues targets that are achievable is crucial. Research indicates that goal setting can improve work performance by up to 25%. However, if you introduce goals or targets that aren’t realistic, morale and productivity will nose dive. It’s important that you keep staff focused and on the same track. This can be provided by giving them clear directions and an end goal that is clearly reachable.

Office pet

Have you ever wondered why some workplaces, including Google and Amazon, have their very own pet? Well, research has found that nine out of 10 dog owners are happier in life because of their furry friend. This is because they can help reduce stress levels, and this can also transfer to the office.

Nestlé UK’s head of HR, Paul Steadman said: “Having a dog-friendly workplace encouraged interaction and socialisation between employees who may not have crossed paths otherwise.”

This is important, as a good relationship with co-workers has been found as a major player in job satisfaction. And, as they say: a happy worker is a good worker.

Promote healthy living

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, male workers who are a healthy weight take two days less off due to sickness compared to those who are overweight. Therefore, company benefits, such as the use of a company gym and free fruit, can go a long way to improving productivity. In Google’s New York office, it’s even rumoured that no colleague is ever more than 150 feet away from food because they believe nutrition will keep the productivity levels high.

Team building activities

A good way of increasing productivity in the workplace, is implementing team building activities throughout the year. A day out of office during a busy schedule might not sound like a good idea but in the long run, having a more engaged and happier workforce will be worthwhile to the business. Team development activities should definitely be considered when looking at ways to improve productivity.

Flexible shift patterns

The work/life balance is something that is extremely important, especially to millennials, who are now dominating the workforce. It’s been found that 70% of millennials believe a flexible work schedule is a priority when looking for a new job. Head of Brand and Content at Remote Year, Emily Moyer agrees, stating that “flexible work schedules make you happier”.  

Thanks to flexible shift patterns, a colleague will feel less stressed due to the fact they can easily plan their schedule around their life commitments.

As productivity is crucial to any company, following the above advice can help keep your workers happy. In turn, this will benefit your business and you will reap the rewards. After all, as Richard Branson says: “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Sources

http://www.onrec.com/news/statistics-and-trends/procrastinating-professionals-costing-businesses-to-36-working-days-a

https://businesstown.com/8-ways-increase-productivity-workplace/

https://www.arnoldsofficefurniture.com/the-3-best-colors-for-office-productivity/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/standing-desks-boost-productivity-not-just-health-study-finds/2016/05/31/b7948390-2358-11e6-8690-f14ca9de2972_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.93f27d0e38cc

https://cmoe.com/blog/improve-productivity-with-goal-setting/

https://smallbusiness.co.uk/office-dog-boost-productivity-2540616/

https://www.boostability.com/how-to-boost-office-productivity

https://www.britishgas.co.uk/business/blog/how-healthy-eating-can-help-boost-your-workforces-productivity/

http://www.talk-business.co.uk/2017/06/09/why-9-5-is-no-longer-the-way-to-make-a-living-flexible-work/

https://www.digitalistmag.com/future-of-work/2017/06/16/remote-future-9-to-5-thing-of-past-05147028

Business

The Skills You Need To Land A Remote Working Job

November 26, 2018

Working remotely is very convenient because you can get your work done anywhere and save money on a daily commute. However, there are some basic skills you need to have if you plan on working remotely.

Here are some of the required skills for those who want to work remotely.

Self-Motivation

If you want to work remotely, you have to be able to motivate yourself. If you work in an office, you will have supervisors who make sure you get the job done by the required time, but when you work remotely, complacency can set it and if you can’t motivate yourself to get the job done, you will be out of work very quickly.

Strong Communication Skills

Working remotely means you will be doing a lot of work from your computer. If you have difficulty communicating through your writing, working remotely will be difficult to do because that will be your primary means of communication.

Reliable Equipment

One of the most important things to have when you work remotely is reliable equipment, which means you should have a good computer that won’t freeze or crash on you while you are working, and as fast and reliable internet connection. Your employer and customers expect efficiency from you and if you don’t have access to reliable internet connection or a computer that is up to the task, you will have to reconsider your plan to work remotely.

Comfortable Working Alone

Since you will be working remotely, you will have to be comfortable working on your own. People working in offices usually get to work with their colleagues and interact with them on a daily basis. As a remote worker, you won’t be able to interact with people on a regular basis, which is fine for some people but problematic for others.

If you need to be around other people to be more productive, working remotely might not be the best option for you. If you work better on your own and don’t need to be around people to be productive, you should give working remotely a try.

Tech Savvy

With most work being done digitally these days, being tech-savvy is a must. If you’re still grappling with using Microsoft office, you might want to stick with what you are already doing. If you are comfortable with computers, social media, and other new technology, you should be okay.

For those who need some help with the skills listed above, you can acquire these skills through training. If you’re interested in being trained, visit EssentialSkillz to learn some tips on how to work remotely.

Business

Choosing the Perfect Conference Venue

November 16, 2018

If you want to have a conference, the venue is very important regardless of if the conference is for your employees, customers, potential clients or a big launch. One of the reasons why the conference venue is important is the fact that you want to make a good impression. If you’re trying to woo potential clients and pick the wrong venue, chances are they will go with someone else.

Before you plan your next conference, here are some tips to help you pick the perfect venue.

Location

If you own a business, you understand the importance of being in the right location. You want your business to be in a safe area where there is plenty of traffic. The same thing goes for the location of your conference, you want it somewhere people can easily get to without getting lost in the wrong side of town.

If the conference will take a few days, have it in a place that has hotels, restaurants, museums, or even a shopping district so the attendees have something to do when they aren’t at the conference.

Venue

The venue of your conference should depend on how many people you are expecting to attend. You don’t want to rent a large hall when you have less than 30 people attending and you don’t want to rent a place with a seating capacity of 100 when you are expecting close to 500 people. Have an idea of the number of people attending and rent a venue that will fit everyone comfortably.

You can find a suitable venue for your next conference through www.partyhouses.co.uk. They offer small or large conference venues in the uk which are perfect to suit business needs.

Parking

This is a big deal for a lot of people attending conferences because most people do not enjoy having to walk long distances to their cars when they attend conferences or pay too much to park nearby. Pick a venue that either has its own parking lot or has one within a short distance. If you can’t find a venue with available parking lots, you can arrange for a shuttle to pick people up at another parking lot and drop them off at the end of the day.

Venue Fees

Unless you’re the CEO of a very successful business, the venue fee is something you have to consider when finding the perfect conference venue. You should have a budget before you begin your search and make sure the venue you rent fits into the budget.

Catering

If you’re going to have people sit around for hours listening to what you’re trying to sell, the least you can do is feed them. You can either hire an outside catering crew or use the in-house caterers. Some venues don’t allow outside caterers, which means you have to use their crew.

If you are thinking of having a conference, these tips should help you pick the perfect venue for the event.

Business

The importance of security for any business

October 15, 2018

If you run or manage any kind of business, then security is one of the main things to get right. It will not only help to protect your employees and sensitive business systems but also any customers on your premises. With this in mind, it is very important to consider all aspects of your organizations security set-up and if you have the necessary measures in place.

While much is rightly made of online security, you should also remember that physical security is still important. Being able to combine both security aspects into one overall plan will help your business remain secure and fulfill your responsibilities as an employer.

What makes security so vital for business?

To really get a sense of why security is such an essential element for any business, you have to dig into the fine details. Here are some good reasons why it is something you should pay attention to:

  • Firearm safety – gun detection is an increasingly serious issue in society. That is especially true for businesses where irate customers or thieves could suddenly arrive with a gun to threaten staff. Being able to provide the security to deal with that kind of threat is essential to keep employees safe and prevent gun crime. The latest security camera systems now use AI technology to spot a criminal wielding a gun and will alert the police automatically!
  • Keep staff safe – as well as CCTV systems to help secure your premises, having physical security is also essential for some businesses. The physical presence of security staff will protect employees from verbally or physically abusive customers and deter people from entering premises to commit crime. It will also give customers and staff members peace of mind that someone is around to keep them safe.
  • Protect business systems and data – cybersecurity is very important for all businesses now. This helps to keep your sensitive customer data safe from malicious hackers along with stopping competing businesses from stealing commercial secrets from you. A robust online security strategy is essential for keeping your business safe.
  • Prevent thefts – of course, a major reason that you need security for your business is when no-one is on the premises. Whether it is a CCTV system or employing security patrols to check for you, effective security will deter thieves from trying to break in and steal your stock. It will also help prevent vandals from causing damage to your work premises or property.
  • Evidence of crimes – although modern security systems cut down on the need to actually review footage or sit watching what is happening to detect crime, CCTV systems are still very useful for recording evidence of incidents. That can then be passed to the relevant authorities to help identify the offenders.

Do not neglect security for your business

To run a business that has happy, safe staff in an environment that customers also feel safe visiting, adequate security is vital.

Business

Unrecognisable brands which operate around the world

September 20, 2018

Thanks to marketing, everywhere we go we see familiar brands we love. However, some of these brands give their products different names around the world for a variety of reasons.

For example, people in the United States who enjoy Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies can find them easily in any grocery store across the country. However, if they were in South America or Europe, it won’t be as easy to find because they are known as Choco Krispis and Choco Krispies respectively.

In Australia, Burger Kings are known as Hungry Jack’s, and in Canada, KFC is known as PFK.

Online brand, Data Label, recently conducted research on why some brands have different names across the world and released a report explaining why this happens. They also designed an infographic showing the different names brands use for their products around the world.

One of the biggest reasons brands change the name of their products in different countries is language. Going back to the Kentucky Fried Chicken example, the restaurant is known as PFK in Quebec, a French-speaking region, because local laws required the restaurant to take the initials of the French translation, which is Poulet Frit Kentucky.

Another reason brands change names in different countries is because of existing trademarks and brands. When Burger King was expanding internationally, the company was able to use its name in most countries. However, when they expanded to Australia, they had to change the name of their restaurants to Hungry Jack’s because the name Burger King was already in use. The company decided to name the restaurants Hungry Jack’s after Jack Corwin, an Australian franchisee.

Brands also have to change product names around the world because of translation issues. American auto company Chevrolet had trouble selling the Chevy Nova in Latin America because the name didn’t translate well in Spanish.

In Spanish, “no va” translates to “doesn’t go,” which isn’t the best way to market a car you’re trying to sell. Due to the translation problem, the Chevy Nova did not sell well and had to be pulled from the market.

In some countries, brands change the name of their products because of different connotations. In the United States you will find Diet Coke in stores, but in Europe, it is called Coca-Cola Light because Europeans associate the word “light” with lower calories than they do the word “diet.”