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.

Tips for Effective Workplace Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans

There are so many different reasons why you need an emergency response and evacuation plan. For instance, while hurricanes can be anticipated, earthquakes usually can’t, which is why, if you’re at work at the moment, you would have to evacuate. In some workplaces, there are various hazardous substances used as materials in production. A major leak or contamination might also be a valid reason for evacuation. Then, there’s always the probability of fire or a public safety threat that comes in multiple categories. For all of these reasons, you need to be ready to act in order to save both lives and property. So, here are several tips for workplace emergency response and evacuation.

Natural disasters

When it comes to natural disasters, there are two major groups for you to consider. There are those that are easy to predict and those that are not. For instance, while floods and wildfires don’t gain massive proportions overnight, they might accelerate at the unprecedented pace, which might create a scenario in which you have to evacuate. A major heatwave, on the other hand, can be predicted and, if you determine that such a thing could pose as a health hazard, you can prevent the need for evacuation by simply giving everyone a day off. Sure, some may see this as a net loss for a company, yet, the ramifications of ignoring such a major threat are much worse.

Electrical and fire emergencies

While the probability of fire is something that can’t be ruled out even in the safest of the environments, there are some risk points which, if tended to, might make your office much more resistant to it. For instance, an untidy and cluttered office may not increase the chance of a fire hazard spawning but it could greatly accelerate the pace at which it advances. Combustible materials on the premises are yet another hazard but the greatest thread for your office safety, by far, is faulty equipment or a mistake on your electrical grid. This is why you need to have an emergency electrician on a speed-dial. Blown fuses, corroded wiring and tripped circuit breakers are just some of the potential hazards that could become a major problem, further down the line. On the other hand, sometimes the misuse of your electrical grid is the biggest problem. We’re talking about the scenario where extension cords and power points are overloaded. Either way, you could benefit greatly even from a simple assessment of the situation. Even if, at the moment, you don’t see the issue.

The leak of contaminated material

The biggest problem that could occur within your workplace is probably a leak or contamination by hazardous materials, which is probably the most important reason why you need an emergency response protocol in the first place. Saving lives comes first – however, this is a situation that can’t just pass on its own. With a public safety threat or a natural disaster, the threat will pass (eventually), whereas here, the area needs to be quarantined and cleansed. The best course of action, nonetheless, is to prevent this from ever happening. Instruct your employees on how to behave around these materials. Label everything properly and invest in chemical storage cabinets.

Public safety threats

Previously, we’ve discussed the probability of a public safety threat and they come in four major categories. First, you have a direct threat, where a target is announced in a clear and direct manner. These could sometimes be false and aimed towards making people panic, but it’s still never wise to ignore them. Then, you have an indirect threat. These can be much more dangerous, seeing as how the time and place of the attack tend to be vague. You’re left to guess where it’s going to happen, which might make you be in a state of raised alertness but not as ready to act. Then, there a veiled threat, which most often serves as a warning. It doesn’t even have to imply violence or hazardous misbehavior, yet, it’s never wise to ignore it altogether. Finally, there’s the conditional threat, which, out of the four, is probably the easiest one to predict. Either way, the group, organization or an individual that stands behind them is never a reliable factor in this situation. As we already said, they might just be inciting panic and there’s no guarantee that they will stick to the plan (it could all be just a decoy).

The evacuation plan itself depends on the layout and location of the office, the number of people on your staff and the rest of the safety measures installed in the place. However, it’s much easier, not to mention more efficient, to prepare the place and staff if you have a specific threat in mind. Of course, it goes without saying that you can’t prepare your team for every potential outcome. Still, by anticipating these four threats, you can already make a huge leap in the right direction.

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.”

3 Ways to Keep Your Business Location Secure and Safe

Your business faces threats that go beyond the stiff competition of other companies. In fact, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the biggest threat you face is against the security of the building itself. Since the building represents such a significant capital investment,it’s important to do all you can to keep it safe and secure. Fortunately,keeping your business’s building secure doesn’t have to be complicated, so long as you know what areas of security to focus on. Here are three great ways to get started. 

Add Cameras 

If your business doesn’t involve retail sales, it may not occur to you to have security cameras on-site. After all, without anything to steal, the risk of break-in is greatly reduced, right? Actually, whether yours is a retail location or not, utilizing security cameras is a great way to increase the safety of your building. All buildings contain items of value that thieves would be tempted to try and break in and steal. 

Cameras provide a strong deterrent to thieves, understanding that their anonymity will be in jeopardy. Plus, if a crime does occur, cameras provide irrefutable evidence of what actually occurred, allowing you to prosecute the crimes quickly so you can resume business as usual, as soon as possible. 

Lights On

One of the easiest ways to keep your business secure is simply to leave some lights on,even when you leave for the night. Though this may seem like an unnecessary waste of electricity, leaving lights on can help deter crime by making the interior of your business more visible to those who pass by.

Adding strong exterior lighting, as well, ensures that there are no hidden areas for anyone to be taking part in illegal activity. Not to mention, extra lighting in and around your business allows those previously mentioned security cameras to perform better. 

Change Your Locks 

If other people besides you have access to a key for the exterior doors, it’s a good idea to change the locks on those doors, on occasion. After all, even if people turn in their keys when they leave the company, you never know if they have vengeful motives that have led them to make a copy of the key to be able to break in later.

Especially if an employee’s tenure ends under difficult circumstances, it’s important to consider changing your locks to ensure they can’t wreak havoc at a later time. Having the locks installed by a professional locksmithensures the job is done quickly and correctly, the first time. 

As with most things in life, properly securing your business requires you to strike a balance to ensure the best outcome. In this case, that balance is between costs and security procedures. You can fortify your business to become nearly impenetrable, however, you may find that you have no money left to actually run your business. By utilizing the above techniques, you’ll be able to minimize your costs and maintain a secure building.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Taking Action When You Experience Injury or Illness in the Workplace

Generally speaking, the majority of us will head to work in the morning, complete the tasks expected of us, then return home at the end of each working day right as rain. However, there are occasional unfortunate situations where someone will head to their workplace and experience some sort of injury or develop some sort of illness as a direct result of their employer’s negligence or malpractice. It’s extremely important that you know what to do if you find yourself in this situation!

Seek Medical Help

The first step that you should take is to seek medical help. If you experience any sort of injury or any symptoms of illness, a medical professional will be able to identify and diagnose the problem and ensure that you are provided with the correct form of treatment. This will help to set you on the path to recovery as quickly as possible.

Seek Legal Help

Once you’re on the road to recovery, you may want to consider seeking legal help. Not only is experiencing injury or illness due to work a particularly unpleasant experience physically, mentally, and emotionally, but it can affect your finances too. After all, you’ll have to front medical bills and may lose earnings if you have to take time off work in order to recover. You don’t deserve to slip into debt as a result of this! The infographic below should show you how to find the best personal injury attorney to claim this money back.


Infographic Design By how to find the best personal injury attorney

Health Hazards Around Your New Office

When you’re just starting out in business, there’s a good chance you hired out the building you worked in, you put up with a lot from the landlord, and you saved as much of your profits as you could to make sure you could afford an expansion sooner rather than later. And now that time has come! But you’ll want to make sure your new office has everything you need to work with, and that you’re not missing out on a few safety checks in all the excitement. So here’s a small checklist of what could be hazardous to you in your new area.

Make sure you can focus on your meeting, and not every employee who’s been taken off sick in the past week!

If the Office is a Recent Development

If you’re moving into a building that’s been constructed within the last year or so, and you know what the site used to be before it was turned into a more productive commercial space, make sure the place you’re now working in isn’t affected by anything that could be living in the soil. You can always have the surroundings of your new office building checked.

Maybe it was an old quarry that had been defunct for years, or maybe no plants have successfully grown; anything that could be a warning sign is something you can have checked out. And there’s always some contaminated soil disposal companies out there to remove this unique kind of hazard to make life safer for everyone. You’re meant to be working to make life better for you, not coming into contact with something potentially life threatening!

Is There a Wet Floor Sign Out?

It’s so crucial that wet floors be signposted, but so often this can get waylaid because of the hustle and bustle of the office. But all in all, if you don’t mark that a floor has recently been cleaned to someone who’s just going about their day walking down a corridor, and then they slip and fall, you can have a compensation claim on your hands.

And as a small business, that’s definitely not something you want to handle! You need to build reputation among the business circle, and if your employees aren’t raving about you because of your neglect as a boss, you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage. So make sure you’ve got plenty of signs for the cleaners to stick out!

Have You Got the Right Lighting?

If there’s a dark storage room in the back of the office, you could very easily cause a bunch of boxes to topple down on your head when you’re rummaging through it. Similarly, if the lighting over the desk area isn’t right, you could have all kinds of vision problems on your hands, and a huge loss in productivity! Hand out some desk lamps if you need to, just make sure everyone can always see.

There’s a lot of hazards in the workplace, but most of them are preventable.

If You Rely On IT, You Must Know The Risks

Your IT systems can play a crucial role in helping improve productivity, make complicated processes much easier, and streamline workflow. However, the more you rely on it, the more you expand your network of devices and software, the more of a risk it can become. Rather than arguing that you should scale down your tech reliance, instead, we are going to look at how you ensure you cope with that growing reliance and stay protected.

 

Are you protected?

Every business owner, big or small, should be aware of the real security risks related to their tech. From antivirus software to ethical hacking, you need to consider what data is available on your systems and just how much of a risk it can be if that data falls into the wrong hands. The riskier it is, the more you should invest in protecting it. Studies have shown that the majority of businesses that suffer a major data breach tend to close their doors within two years, and if you lose customer data, especially financial data, you could be legally liable for their losses too.

What happens when the light goes out?

What percentage of your employees’ working day involves them using the computer as their main resource? There’s a good chance it’s more than 50%. In that case, does that mean they are 50% less productive when the power or internet goes out? Your business can suffer a huge blow due to downtime. Finding backup power sources scaled to the number of devices you need, as well as alternative internet connections such as accessible Wi-Fi dongles is essential if you don’t want that downtime to shut you down entirely.

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How do you cope with disaster?

Sometimes, a sudden event can do more than prompt downtime. A breach or a power surge can not only shut down your tech, but it can lose you significant portions of data, as well. Besides finding and preventing the risk of such disasters, strategic IT consulting can help you put a disaster recovery system in place. Such systems can help you get powered on and online much quicker, as well as ensuring that you have the data you need backed up so you are never at risk of truly losing everything.

Are you underutilizing it?

Finally, if you are scaling your tech reliance, you should also scale what you get in return for it. For instance, think about the data your systems produce. These can provide essential insights into the productivity of the team, the efficiency of your tech, and much more. Big Data consultants can help you find these insights and provide the answers to questions such as how to make your team more engaged and how to increase end-user adoption of new software, amongst many other things.

There are risks involved in relying more heavily on any one resource within the business. The more you rely on it, the more of a potential weakness it becomes. Ensure you give those weaknesses the time and thought they deserve and safeguard your business.