How to keep your boilers safe for industrial employees

For many industrial companies, a boiler is central to the function of the equipment and the operations of the shop itself. For any that work prominently within the industry, therefore, it’s important to know the best practices and safety standards for the workers and their environment. Here are a few of the ways you can keep your boilers safe for your employees.

Install grilles

Boilers and similar equipment in any industry get extremely hot if they are functioning correctly. The metal surfaces on these objects have the potential to cause serious burns should someone accidentally touch them for any reason. Installing grilles over the surface of the boilers is a quick, relatively easy way to reduce the likelihood of an employee accidentally touching the hot surface. You should install them far enough out that they don’t become as hot as the boiler. This is especially important in areas where employees may need to maneuver around the boiler, pipes, or handle controls positioned closely to the hotter parts of the equipment.

Schedule inspections regularly

Regular inspections of your boilers is a great way to make sure they are working properly. A thorough inspection is important to know what maintenance needs to be done to prevent future problems. Regional safety codes often require regular inspections, especially in countries like the United States, Australia, and the UK. This includes all high pressure, heating, or cooling equipment. Qualified professionals can perform boiler, reactor, pressure vessel, or refrigeration vessel inspections and make you aware of any problems you need to fix. While most equipment types have similar needs in terms of inspection schedules, it’s important to be aware of any unique timelines suggested by the manufacturer.

Perform seasonal maintenance

Regular inspections are great, but they might not do you much good unless you maintain your industrial boilers. In most cases, you should only need to do some work on this equipment seasonally. Go through your master checklist of maintenance points and make appropriate repairs where necessary to ensure that you are operating above recommended safety standards. Malfunctions with industrial equipment are even more dangerous than in other industries, with so many elements kept under high pressure and extreme temperatures abounding. As part of your maintenance checks, ensure that any old or worn parts are repaired or replaced before they can come close to creating hazardous conditions.

Supply safety gear

Of course, inspections and maintenance won’t always catch every failure. Every employee, therefore, should be equipped with protective gear when working around industrial machinery of any kind, especially those involved with extreme pressure or temperature. Industrial-grade gloves can project their hands and lower arms from unexpected blasts of heat or cold, or from accidentally bumping against hot or cold surfaces. Industrial goggles and helmets are also essential when working around industrialized equipment in the event that steam or even solid objects are launched by the pressurized equipment. Protective clothing, solid boots, and ear covers are other basics that many industries implement for the protection of their employees.

Industrial-grade boilers can be hazardous if they are not properly maintained or precautions aren’t put in place. However, following best business practices in terms of equipment safety can protect your employees and reduce company liability. Take the time to ensure thorough safety measures are implemented so that all employees have a safe work environment.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Green Office: An Environment for Better Work Results

It’s not a secret that the design of the working space can improve the productivity of all the employees and affect the general work mood. Indirectly, it can also affect your business, so as a business owner or a manager, you need to do whatever you can to make your office a much more comfortable place to work at. One of the ways in which you can do that is by making your office greener – in the literal and in the metaphorical sense! Take a look at why this is so important and how to exactly achieve it. Trust us, the employees’ mood and productivity will skyrocket immediately!

It boosts creativity

As already said, having a green office can definitely boost the mood, but also the creativity all of the employees. This means that having good air quality, nice lighting and a green space can motivate your employees to think outside the box. The World Green Building Council (WGBC) conducted an examination of 11 green-certified buildings around the world in 2018 and here are the findings:

  • It can save money – This report found that, by introducing green offices, the staff turnover, absenteeism and presenteeism (the state when an employee is physically present but unproductive) were quite reduced. Fewer people took sick days, which definitely saved a lot of money for the company.
  • Employees felt happier – Another finding of the report was that all the employees felt happier and more importantly, healthier. Happiness and satisfaction are always very important in the company and they lead to higher levels of productivity.

How to do it?

Well, first of all, you need to think about the literal sense of having a green office. This means that the office needs to introduce plenty of greenery, and make the whole space much more natural and less artificial. Installing big potted plants all around the company and keeping the environment minimalistic is the perfect way to start this. Of course, you should also invest in the interior a little bit to make it much more natural. A great way to achieve this is by adding a soft natural rug so that it could give that special feel that everyone will love. We all love working in places that seem so healthy and natural, so making an oasis out of your office is a great way to enhance productivity.

What else is important?

In order to make your office the greenest possible, you will perhaps have to redecorate a bit. Apart from introducing plenty of potted plants and rugs into the office, it would be good to make sure that everything is made out of natural materials. Keeping everything simple is the key. You can either opt for a bit colder yet very cool concrete look, or add wooden elements everywhere you can, such as the floors, desks, chairs and windows. Another very important aspect is the lighting. Lighting can make or break the final look, so it’s super important to have as much natural lighting as you can. However, since this can be quite difficult to achieve if the position of your office is not a good one, there are plenty of lamps that look very natural, so try to find the best lamps that you can and make your space very light and airy.

Make it eco-friendly as well

Finally, apart from making your office green in the literal way, it’s time you made it greener in the other, metaphorical and more important sense. Being eco-friendly is a very popular trend nowadays, and it’s for a good reason. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that all of your appliances in the office are eco-friendly as preserving energy is really important in this day and age. Opting for eco-friendly solutions for lighting and printing is also a thing that you should look up and incorporate. It might be a small change now, but it’s definitely going to help our planet just a little bit in the long run. Also, motivate your employees to recycle, preserve paper and think before they print. Not everything should be printed out, so introducing different social platforms or websites for internal communication can be a great idea.

Green is not only a soothing color. Making your office green will not only make your working days much more comfortable, but it will definitely affect the overall mood and the productivity of your staff. So what are you waiting for? Go green or go home!

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Sizzling Summer: How Businesses Can Prepare for the Hot Season

If you manage a business, you’ll want to do everything possible to keep the inside of your building from getting too hot during the summer. Excessively warm temperatures can be detrimental to the health and comfort of your employees and negatively affect business productivity. Not only is it harmful to your employees, but extreme heat like many have experienced in previous summers can cause serious damage to the physical building itself. Here are some of the best ways to prepare your company for the hot season. 

Check Your Windows 

The windows in your business should be able to open properly circulate fresh outdoor air, which can help keep the inside of your building cool and comfortable. When air isn’t allowed to properly circulate, stuffy heat can make the air stale and lacking in oxygen. This will directly affect the mental capacity of your employees and the efficiency of the workplace. It’s also best to have bug screens covering your windows so that you can still enjoy the outdoor air without having to worry about attracting pests that could cause distractions and health concerns. The smells of office lunches and the shelter of indoor spaces can be very attractive to summer bugs looking for a good place to settle and breed. With this in mind, make sure your employees are getting fresh air without exposing your workplace to insect infestation.

Inspect Electrical Wiring 

It’s important to have your wiring inspected to determine if you need to replace any of your wires. Old or damaged wires are sometimes more prone to overheating or melting on hot days, especially where the coatings may be worn or frayed. In addition to malfunctioning from the high summer temperatures, faulty wires can still overheat if they aren’t able to handle the heat of the electricity that runs through them for your lights, office equipment and other electrical components. In the hottest period of the summer, this can put your building at greater risk for electrical fires. Before spring ends and summer comes, you should hire an experienced commercial electrician to inspect all of your wiring and make any needed updates. 

Evaluate Fire Safety Measures 

As mentioned, your business may be especially vulnerable to fires starting during the summer. Fires can also start when electrical components overheat because of high temperatures. Fires can also be easily started if your employees don’t practice safe cigarette disposal or if appliances become overheated when not monitored. According to the Waverley Council, your business should have a working automatic sprinkler system along with fire extinguishers, fire exits and a smoke detection and fire alarm system. Take a moment to test your current system to make sure that everything is in working order in the event of an emergency so that you aren’t caught unprepared.

Check Your HVAC System 

Even if your windows are able to open, this won’t do any good if the temperature outside is a broiling as inside. The air conditioning component of your HVAC system should be capable of cooling the inside of your building below the temperature of the air outside. This means that just running a fan won’t be enough, as circulating air won’t make a difference on the hottest days. This is especially important for employee health, as just like your building, your body can’t lower its internal temperature if the temperature outside of it is too high. This can lead to heat exhaustion, even if your employees are sitting at a desk. Along with checking how your unit functions, it’s a good idea to clean or replace the filters so that air containing dirt, germs and allergens doesn’t circulate throughout your building. If you need to buy a new air conditioner, energy-efficient models can reduce energy use and save your company money. 

You and your staff will be able to enjoy the summer season more while working if you take the measures to ensure that your business can handle the heat. The right modifications can help your company transition through the summer season with greater productivity and vastly reduced risk.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Keeping Your Business Running When The Power Isn’t

Power cuts happen all of the time. Our internet goes out when the weather is poor. The lights flicker in high winds, and we face the occasional complete power cut, where we are left without lights, heat, hot water and electricity. We can’t get online, and we’re literally in the dark.

When you’re at home, this can be a little scary. We’re so used to be online all of the time, switching our lights on when we move room to room, using the phone, watching TV and grabbing a snack from the fridge. Suddenly not being able to do these things can be more than a little unnerving. But, it’s also an opportunity. There’s nothing to stop you using a power cut as an excuse to get an early night, or to light some candles, fetch a takeout and read a good book wrapped in blankets. Sometimes, we need an excuse to relax and this could be a great one.

But, when you are at work, especially when it’s your own small business, a power cut can be much worse. Most small businesses are either completely online based, or they at least do most of their work online. If you’ve never looked into Generators for Sale and you suddenly find yourself completely without power, you might not know what to do. You might be tempted to just close your doors and go home for the day. But, this can lead to a loss of money and customers, and become an even bigger problem if the power outage lasts for longer. Here are some things that you can do to keep your business running when the power isn’t.

Work Remotely

Whether your whole business is online or not, you probably use the internet a lot. Social media, digital marketing, email campaigns and online sales are a big part of business today. Just because you can’t work from your office computer doesn’t mean that you can’t work. Can you use the data on your mobile phone to tackle some simple tasks? Is your power on at home? Or, could you send some of your staff out to work remotely from other unaffected areas? In the modern world, we are rarely tied to an office.

Get Stuck in

There are jobs that most of us put off. Things like stock taking, cleaning, staff appraisals and organizing our shelving. These might seem like small jobs, and you might not have time from them in a normal week. But, they need doing. If you have no power, try to find other things that you can do that you might not always have the time for.

Move Some Meetings

If you’ve got any meetings planned in the next week, see if you could bring any forward, and if you could meet somewhere with power. Chances are, if you are meeting people in the same area, and they are also experiencing a loss of power, they’ll be happy to find something to do.

Find a Pen

You might not be able to send emails, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t draft some out with a pen and paper. Don’t underestimate the power of old-school tools. If you’ve got a candle and a pen, there’s still plenty that you can do.

Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Business? 4 Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

Opening a brick-and-mortar business can be a very exciting yet challenging time. There are many things you need to take into consideration, such as plumbing. Unfortunately, there are many common plumbing mistakes you will want to avoid. They can end up costing a lot of money in the long run, which can take away from your company’s overall profits. The following information takes a closer look at four common plumbing mistakes you’ll want to watch out for:

Rushing to Meet a Deadline

When opening a new business, it is likely that you are working to meet a deadline. Rushing your plumbing can be a huge mistake. You will want to make sure you take your time and that everything is done correctly. If you are in a hurry, you will be more likely to make errors, which can cost you a lot of money later on down the line.

Over-Tightening

Over-tightening connections is another common error. If you make tubes, bolts, and pipes too tight, they can eventually crack. It may not be immediate, but it can happen over time and cause severe leaks, which, as previously mentioned, can cause a lot of damage and be costly to repair.

Overusing Drain Cleaners

Many people use drain cleaners as their first line of defense when any plumbing issues arise. However, drain cleaners can damage pipes over time and lead to leaks. Therefore, if you have a clogged drain, you should consider more effective and safe methods, such as using a drain snake.

Using Mix-Matched Piping

One of the most common plumbing mistakes is using different pipes together that aren’t quite matches. You will want to ensure that you’re using pipes that are the same size and material. Using galvanized pipes with copper pipes, for example, can lead to unexpected corrosion and leaks. You will want to avoid this at all costs because leaks can cause water damage and mold. In order to avoid this, you should consider hiring a professional to complete your pipework installation. A professional will be able to quickly complete the job without errors, which will make it easier for you to meet your deadline. 

Overall, effectively completing the plumbing for your new business can be a challenging task. This is why you should conduct the proper research so you are able to use the correct methods. If you are a beginner when it comes to plumbing, DIY may not always be the best option. Often, you can save money in the long run by hiring a professional, who can ensure that it is done correctly the first time around.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Bust the Rust: 4 Ways to Prevent Corrosion in Your Commercial Property

Rust isn’t just a problem because it’s unsightly; it also damages equipment and causes structural integrity. Rust causes pieces of iron equipment to flake off, contaminating products and putting employees at risk. Luckily, rust and other forms of corrosion can be avoided with awareness and regular maintenance. Here are four ways to prevent corrosion in your commercial property.

Identify Metals that Can Rust 

Rust can only appear on objects made of iron or iron alloys, including steel. You can easily tell which parts of your building are made of iron by testing to see if they are magnetic. Other metals like copper can become corroded, but don’t necessarily pose the same inherent health risks as rust. Take the time to identify the rust-prone areas of your building and maintain them accordingly. 

Clean Wet Surfaces Immediately 

Corrosion is caused when metal is exposed to oxygen, which means all metal will corrode if given enough time. Water spills kick start this chemical reaction and let rust set in significantly sooner. In addition, any salt or other minerals within the water can dry onto the metal surface and allow corrosion to set in even deeper. The solution is to clean up any spills as soon as you notice them. If the water had salt content, scrub the area to make sure no residue is left. 

Watch for Signs of Concrete Cancer 

Concrete cancer occurs when the steel beam within a concrete fixture begins to rust. This corrosion causes the steel to expand, displacing and cracking the surrounding concrete. If you notice signs of concrete cancer, including cracks and rust stains, make sure you attend to them immediately. Simple concrete repairs can fix the problem if it’s caught early enough; but if it’s not, you might have to replace part of the foundation. 

Perform Regular Inspections 

Rust and other types of corrosion occur when metal surfaces are left unattended for lengthy periods of time. Conduct regular inspections on your property and make sure to pay careful attention to any iron fixtures. Other areas of concern include plumbing, drains, areas exposed to weather, and anywhere else that moisture might be present. If you perform regular maintenance, you can greatly increase the lifespan of your property. 

Corrosion is a common problem that can easily be avoided with proper inspections and maintenance. Keep moisture away from sensitive equipment, and perform regular checkups on any problem areas. If you do notice signs of rust, take action right away; the potential damage to your property’s structure far outweighs the cost of an immediate repair.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

3 Office Security Tips to Decline the Risk of an Electrical Fire

As a manager you have many responsibilities to many different parties. However, there is one responsibility that should come before everything else. This is ensuring that your employees have a safe work environment. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,147 fatal workplace accidents in 2017. Just because your employees work in an office doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe either. Electrical fires, for example, can certainly be deadly. With that in mind, below are three tips to use to prevent office electrical fires from happening. 

Be Careful with Plugs and Outlets

One of the most common causes of electrical fires is the misuse of electrical plugs and outlets. This is the case both for residential and commercial fires. While in the office, make sure to routinely check plugs and cords before plugging them into an outlet. Old cords tend to get frayed and can present a fire hazard. Don’t overload an outlet with adapters either. One plug should go into one outlet as a default to prevent fire hazards. You should also consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters to increase your protection against electrical fires from overloaded circuits. 

Maintenance

People tend to falsely assume that once an electrical system has been installed into a building it can be forgotten about completely. This is simply not true. Like all the systems of a building, an electrical system also requires routine maintenance to keep it working properly. Routine maintenance can also allow an electrician to spot and correct problems before they actually manifest into serious issues like electrical fires in your office. 

Create a maintenance checklist and stick to it. A professional will probably have to perform a good deal of this maintenance. Your employees are probably not qualified to work with a custom hermetic cable harnesses for example. 

Surge Protectors

Something else that can help to protect your office is the use of surge protectors. These are devices that can be used to prevent power surges from overloading a circuit. They can prevent electrical fires. They can also help to protect appliances during a power surge. All significant pieces of equipment in an office like computers, printers and fax machines should be plugged into a surge protector instead of directly into an outlet. 

Providing a safe work environment is your number one priority as a manager. Workplace accidents are common, and they can be deadly. This is even the case in office workspaces. Removing the threat of electrical fires can certainly make your office much safer for your employees.

Guest author, Kara Masterson, is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.