Workplace Safety: Online and Physical

Managing safety in the workplace — both in the office as well as online — is becoming a more complicated task by the day. Whether the concern is about hackers coming for your intellectual property, or process ownership during building maintenance, the security of your people is nothing to take for granted. Here are five things any company leader can do to make a greater effort in the name of safety.

Make Sure Everybody Understands What’Be Prepared’ Means

The impression that the world is unsafe and violent has only been amplified by popular media. We have, regrettably, let ourselves fall victim to a false narrative where our collective security is concerned. Nevertheless: it’s clear that when unfortunate events do occur in the world, they can happen just about anyplace.

What does “being prepared” look like for your workplace?If you ask different employees, will they tell you different things? Does everybody have a planned way out of the building or off your campus? It might sound too theoretical to justify spending time on it, but your company should have detailed contingency plans already drawn up for a variety of possible events — be it natural, as in extreme weather events, or something regrettably more man-made.

Perform Intermittent Online Security Audits

Since we’re talking about online and offline security, let’s talk about how business leaders can know, one way or another, whether their employees are practicing good security “hygiene” at work. There are two things you should be doing:

  1. Consider having an outside security company perform penetration testing for your company’s networks. They should be able to help you find any weak points that would-be criminals could exploit purposefully, or undisciplined employees could trigger accidentally.
  2. And when it comes to employees, have your IT team or that same third-party consultant perform or schedule fake phishing attempts for all of your company email addresses. Done correctly, the email will look like a plea for personal information, a reply, or for the user to click a link. Knowing how, and whether, your employees are interacting with emails like these, even fake ones,will tell you something about how at-risk your organization is.

Take Another Look at Your Building and the State of Its Maintenance

With the exception of companies that get started in attics,basements, and garages, most business visionaries take great pride in their immediate surroundings, including their business locations, their employees’accommodations and any environment in which a customer or client might find themselves.

We’re talking about two different things here. The first is curb appeal and “atmosphere.” Your workplace should present itself as a harmonious, well-considered space with tasteful and comfortable furnishings.Someplace employees can feel at home, in other words — since we know (workplaces with objectively pleasing aesthetics) tend to encourage creative free-thought,lower levels of aggression and heightened productivity overall.

But the second part of taking stock of your location and its amenities is a little more serious. It concerns the environment within your building, including its temperature during highs and lows and the quality of air your people are breathing all day. The phrase might sound alarmist, but”Sick Building Syndrome” is very real — and it generally results from poor air circulation in an environment already compromised by end-of-life HVAC systems, dirty duct work and noxious chemicals in furniture and building materials.

Implement BYOD Policies Responsibly

In another return to online safety, so-called “BYOD culture” is worth a look at as another potential threat vector in the well-being of your company and its employees. If the work you perform is conducive to it, you’ve likely already implemented, or plan to explore, BYOD policies. The benefits to company morale and productivity can be significant.When employees can do their work on familiar platforms and using hardware they’re comfortable with, it makes sense that they’d get more done.

The thing is, even if your workflows aren’t necessarily conducive to BYOD culture, your employees and guests might be bringing in smartwatches and other devices that aren’t as obvious. You might even have deployed these and other IoT devices yourself, as part of an internal wellness program. This itself can be a great influence on your organization’s collective health, and consequently your safety and productivity.

You’ve likely heard something about the several recent high-profile data breaches, including several, like Wanna Cry and Petya, which preyed specifically on unsecured and unsiloed IoT devices. Objects like these can be a boon in the workplace for many reasons, but the least you can do,safety-wise, is create a separate internal network for any connected devices you can’t vouch for 100 percent, including for employee BYOD programs as well as guests to your campus who might just want to use some free Wi-Fi.

Know Who’s Accountable and Have a Reporting Process in Place

This final point is a reminder about accountability in the workplace. We’re not talking about pointing fingers — we’re talking about”process ownership” and the idea that anything significant that requires doing deserves a specific appointed person to oversee it. If you do business in a climate where employee or customer safety depends on contacting snow removal companies quickly, you need a chain of command to get this and any other mission-critical safety or productivity concerns taken care of.

And that’s not all, either. When something unexpected happens, whether it’s an accident, damage to company property or infrastructure, bad-faith bookkeeping, or workplace harassment of some kind, your employees deserve some kind of accommodating, anonymizing reporting process for elevating their concerns to their managers or impartial third parties. They shouldn’t be left guessing who to talk to, or what to do if they’ve just been through something upsetting.

You’re going to find that your employees are only too happy to help you keep your company and its work areas safe and sound. But they need to know what’s expected of them and they need to know they have your ear when they have concerns of their own. As usual, it’s about communication.

Bio: Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, a source for the latest in IT and business news and trends.

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

3 Reasons Your Company Will Need Legal Assistance

Whether you’re just starting out in the business world or you’ve been running a successful company for a while; there is never a bad time to converse with an expert legal team and make sure you have them waiting in the wings. All entrepreneurs will need specialist legal assistance at some point during their careers. It is sensible to make all the arrangements ahead of time, so you don’t face any delays when it comes to getting the help you require in emergencies. If the lawyers already know the ins and outs of your operation; they will swing into action much faster than they otherwise would have done.

Patent and trademark disputes

It is vital that all entrepreneurs apply for suitable legal cover if they plan to launch a new brand and bring original product designs to the market. If you don’t have trademarks in place for your terms and patents for your concepts; there is a chance another company with more cash could come along and blow you out of the marketplace and cost you a fortune. With that in mind, even with the right protections in place; you could still face issues, and that is why you need a lawyer. If you discover another business infringes on your patents; you’ll want to put an end to that straight away.

Employee dismissal claims

If you employ other workers; there will come a time when you have a dispute with them that you cannot resolve. Perhaps the person was late for work over and over again, and so you decided to fire them. Like it or not, employees have rights, and you can’t always take away their source of income on a whim. So, that person might end up dragging your business through the courts in the hope of reinstating their position or making a compensation claim. If you do not have legal assistance; your operation will stagnate because you will have to take your eyes off the ball.

Road traffic accidents

As a business owner, you never know when you will get a call from a semi truck accident lawyer or someone else in that industry letting you know they plan to make a claim against your firm. You become especially vulnerable to issues like that if your company makes deliveries to customers. If you have drivers on the road all day long, it is only a matter of time before one of them makes a mistake and ends up causing a smash. Without the right legal representatives in your corner, there is a chance you will end up getting a raw deal in the courtroom.

Now you know why it’s so critical to find the right legal specialists to assist your company; it is time to search online, ask associates for recommendations, and sort the wheat from the chaff. Look for law firms that specialize in the business world, and try to select a firm that has lots of other clients in similar positions to you. If you do that; you shouldn’t have too many problems when it comes to making sure you don’t get ripped off in the courtroom.

6 Ways To Create A Safer Workplace

No matter the shape or size of your business, it’s crucial that workplace safety is always one of your top priorities. Every year, more and more employees are being injured at work, due to nothing more than negligence from their employer. If you want to keep your team safe and save yourself time, money, and stress, then you need to work towards creating a much safer working environment. Here are six things you can do to create a safer workplace.

  1. Only Hire The Best

When you start to take on employees, it’s vital that you only hire the best, even if it means paying out a bit extra in salaries and benefits. Competent and hardworking members of staff are much more likely to pay attention to and follow the rules, especially those regarding risks and safety. This should result in many fewer on-the-job accidents and a safer workplace overall.

  1. Do Plenty Of Research

To understand what a safe workplace entails, you need to do some research and find out what health and safety rules may apply to your workplace and state. You should also educate yourself about personal injury cases from the best. With this information, you’ll know the sorts of hazards to look out for, which will be helpful when it comes to conducting risk assessments.

  1. Provide The Proper Tools

Telling your staff how to stay safe is a necessary first step, but, unless you provide them with the proper tools and resources they need, you can’t expect them to take these precautions. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you provide safety training, as well as safety equipment, like helmets, goggles, and steel toes boots. You should also ensure that these are easily accessible.

  1. Stay Clean And Tidy

Whether you operate out of an office, a warehouse, or a building site, a messy workspace can quickly lead to accidents and injuries. Because of this, you need to ensure that your workplace remains relatively clean and tidy at all times. Encourage your employees to keep their individual workspaces tidy and hire a regular office cleaner to help keep everything else in order.

  1. Watch What You’re Rewarding

It’s important that you show your employees you care and that you’re grateful for the work they do. This is why many business owners have benefit and reward schemes in place. That being said, you shouldn’t reward work, if a team member has compromised their safety to get it done. Instead, you should make a point of rewarding staff who ensure they follow your safety rules too.

  1. Plan Regular Safety Meetings

You might be in charge of your business, but it’s impossible to know everything that goes on in it. Because of this, you should make sure that you listen to safety feedback and advice from your employees. With this feedback, you should schedule regular safety meetings, to review and address any reported concerns. You should also ensure you conduct regular risk assessments.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your team safe, so follow the tips above and do what you can to create a safer workplace.

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.

How to Best Train Employees on Fire Safety Procedures

Minimizing fire risks to your business is best accomplished by seeing that all of your employees are trained in fire prevention and response. In keeping them prepared, you’ll not only save property if a fire starts, but may save lives. Here are some of the topics that your fire preparedness training program should cover.

Fire Prevention

The best way to fight fires is to keep them from happening. Take a walk around your business and prepare a list of potential hazards. These may include improperly stored fuel or flammable chemicals, paper, fabric, or cardboard that’s too close to possible sources of ignition, and frayed electrical cords. Establish designated smoking areas outdoors that are well away from trash bins or other combustibles. Communicate these risks to your employees and encourage them to report any potential hazards going forward.

Emergency Response

Keep the right type of fire extinguishers at the right location and be sure they’re clearly visible and regularly charged. Employees must also be taught the right way to use an extinguisher. Have fire evacuation routes clearly marked and insist they not be obstructed by vehicles, trash, equipment, or stacked material. Conduct an occasional fire drill. Establish procedures for notifying first responders, meeting in a safe area outside, and verifying that everyone is present.

Safety Measures

Check with your local fire department and have the premises inspected to be sure you’re in compliance with local and OSHA regulations. Depending on the size and nature of your company, you may need things like sprinkler systems, first aid stations, fire alarms, and fire doors to prevent the spread of fire. If necessary, invest in commercial door repair to be sure that any area where there’s a risk of fire can be reliably sealed off to slow or stop the spread of flames.

Responsible Behavior

Try to create among your employees a sense of responsibility and vigilance in preventing and combating fires. Everyone should be responsible for seeing that their area is cleaned, of clutter and debris, and that tools and equipment are properly stored and maintained. Document your policies regarding fire prevention and responses. Make them a part of the employee handbook and post copies both around the facility and online for reference.

Your local fire department will most likely be glad to provide you with any advice or expert instruction you need. Take advantage of it, and be sure that every employee receives hands-on training so they’ll know exactly what to do if fire breaks out.

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.

Job Injury: How to Quickly Recover from Getting Hurt at Work

Many people are injured on the job each year. You may believe that most injuries are in high-risk or dangerous jobs, but anyone can be injured regardless of what they do for a living. After all, anyone can slip and fall, get electrocuted or run into other serious issues in the seemingly safest work environment. If you have recently been injured at work, you understandably want to move past the situation and recover fully as soon as possible. These helpful tips will guide you through the recovery process.

Get Medical Treatment

If you are a stoic individual who prefers to stay away from medical offices unless absolutely necessary, you may be inclined to try to rest and recover at home. However, it is best to get the medical treatment that you need so that you can recover fully as soon as possible. In addition, you need to document your injuries as well as your treatment so that you can obtain compensation for them. Documentation may also be essential if you need to pursue legal action.

Follow Your Workplace’s Reporting Rules

Your workplace likely has very specific reporting rules that must be followed after an injury occurs. If you had to leave suddenly to seek emergency medical care, you should contact your employer as soon as possible to discuss the requirements. If you are physically able to complete the paperwork before seeking medical attention, it may be best to cross this item off of your list as soon as possible.

Examine Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Your employer should discuss workers’ compensation benefits with you, and these benefits may pay for most or all of your medical expenses. In addition, they may reimburse you for lost wages. Some people have trouble filing a claim or getting a claim approved. You may need assistance from a family member if you are not well enough to focus on this step in the process.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer

Some workplace injury events may not be resolved to your satisfaction through a workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, you may feel as though you suffered needlessly because your employer was negligent, or you may be permanently disabled. In situations like this, it may be a smart idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer such as Blomberg Benson & Garrett and to learn about your legal options.

Workplace injuries can be painful and stressful. They can disrupt your life and leave you struggling financially. These important steps will help you to recover as soon as reasonably possible.