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Health and safety is a huge concern for businesses around the world. According to the law, a company is responsible for the health and wellbeing of its employees. If there’s an accident or work-related injury on site, it’s the company’s responsibility. Of course, this goes without saying in hazardous job environments. If you work on a building site or in a factory, you expect a certain level of hazard awareness. But, what about the humble office? Even in this relatively safe environment, companies are taking extraneous measures to protect safety.

There are multiple reasons for this. First of all, accidents can happen at any time in any place. No matter how safe a work environment appears, there are no guarantees. Secondly, no employer wants to see their workers come to harm or injury. Thirdly, there is a legal responsibility here. These companies are legally bound to protect their workers, and limit the chance of injury. If an accident does occur, the business is liable for costs and damages. Naturally, few businesses can afford the time or money to fight these legal battles.

So, what exactly are businesses doing to counteract this problem?

Most notably, companies are putting health and safety at the very heart of their operations. In the past, health and safety was often an afterthought. Good businessmen understand that health and safety is key to the success of the company. It is held in high regard, just like customer service, HR or finances. Safety is now a core part of the company. Why? Because a safe environment is a productive one. Employees feel more comfortable and confident executing their jobs. Health and safety isn’t just preventative, it’s an active part of business.

The biggest health and safety concerns usually revolve around hazards. Hazards are the biggest culprits in any accident or injury case, and they can almost always be prevented. A hazard may be something as simple as a wet floor. In other cases, it’s a dangerous piece of equipment or machinery. Whilst it’s impossible to identify every single potential hazard, the best workplaces are doing a better job. Where possible, companies are now highlighting and marking every potential hazard in the workplace. Yellow tape often marks out the safest routes while ‘caution’ signs are used to identify the major hazards.

The trickiest aspect of dealing with health and safety is seeing the wood for the trees. When you run a business day-in-day-out, you don’t always see the nuances. You don’t see the potential hazards because you simply become used to them. That’s where a team of experts can really take things to the next level. The best businesses are now using Peninsula’s health and safety consultancy service. An external team like this will immediately spot the weaknesses and gaps in your system. They’ll make suggestions for improvements, and help tighten the gaps. You can ask these teams to audit your health and safety annually to maintain the highest levels.

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One of the basic tenets of health and safety is training. Every employee must now be trained in the basics of health and safety in the workplace. This simple technique will point out hazards, and explain the essential safety procedures. If your staff are working with particular tools or machinery, they must be expertly trained to do so. Every piece of equipment comes with detailed safety techniques, so ensure they are followed. When your employees are well trained, they feel more comfortable and confident in their roles.

Another basic tenet of health and safety is communication. If you run a business, it’s essential that your staff feel comfortable coming to you with problems. They should be able to identify hazards, and relay that information to the correct person. They should feel comfortable asking questions, rather than making a guess and inuring themselves. Health and safety all starts with open lines of communication. This communication works both ways too. As a manager or business owner, it’s your job to carefully relay the expectations and safety basics.

It’s also the employer’s job to provide the right tools and equipment for the job. If a task puts a staff-member in a vulnerable position, they must be equipped to do so. If your employees are working with machinery, make sure they have safety goggles and gloves. It’s basic common sense, yet some businesses carelessly ignore this advice. Always try to provide the latest equipment and tools, and upgrade them whenever possible.

It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to actively investigate any accidents in the workplace. In the past, accidents would simply be brushed aside. Now, however, companies are obliged to investigate the causes behind the accident. With a thorough understanding, they can then take steps to prevent it in the future. Many companies then share these investigations with each other to help prevent wider accidents. It’s a simple way to ensure that the same accident never happens twice.

Not only are companies investigating accidents, they’re also recording them strictly. In major cases, business owners are obliged to turn over records to health and safety authorities. This is only in particularly dangerous cases. However, most companies now keep safety records regardless of the injury level. Every slip, trip or fall is now recorded. It’s a simple way to see whether the company is improving its safety credentials over time.

In the past, it’s been difficult to monitor or police safety problems due to a lack of accountability. In other words, there was no-one who was directly in charge of safety. Nowadays, it’s common to employ a safety officer or operations manager to deal with it directly. They act as the first line of defence, and the first port of call. If a hazard is spotted, it is immediately reported to the safety manager. When there is a simple, clear structure in place, it’s easier to manage the health and safety process.

It’s clear that health and safety is now a major concern for all business types. Whether big or small, take these points on board, and implement them at your own company.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Six Tips For New eCommerce Businesses

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eCommerce is a constantly evolving sector, and as a new business, it can feel overwhelming. In this post, we’ll take a look at six of the hottest eCommerce tips to help you get your new eCommerce business up and running. 

Your website is your first impression. 

As a new eCommerce site, customers will have very little knowledge of your brand, and so you have just a fraction of a second to make a good impression. A website that is slow to load, poorly designed, and difficult to use will not build trust and confidence and will lose you sales. Take the time to make sure that you create the best website that you can for your budget and conduct the necessary UX testing to ensure that it is functional. 

Make sure that you’re mobile-friendly.  

The average person spends more than 100 minutes on their mobile phone every day, and so it is essential that your eCommerce site is fully functional on mobile and tablet devices as well as on laptops and desktops. With more and more people now using their phones as personal computers, shopping is becoming increasingly mobile, so having a mobile-friendly site is key. 

Invest in quality stock 

It should go without saying, but quality must always be put above quantity when purchasing or making items to sell in your store. There are a number of different wholesale sites out there, such as Alibaba, Oberlo, and Doba, and they can be a minefield to navigate. Learn how to buy from alibaba.com here. 

Social media will be your best friend.

It is virtually impossible to launch a thriving eCommerce business without a social media presence. Social media gives you a glimpse into the wants and needs of your potential customers and target audiences, but it is also an invaluable free and paid marketing tool. In particular, Instagram is now known as the number one social media platform for eCommerce sites, but for maximum reach, don’t forget to build a presence on other social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok too.

Invest in your images 

Pictures tell a thousand words, and when it comes to eCommerce, they are also processed by your customers much faster. With 60% of people being visual learners, images are invaluable to your business, so do invest in a good photographer and take some professional pictures to ensure that your customers have all the pictures they need to make their decision. 

Use a live-chat

Lastly, as a small eCommerce business, you likely do not have a customer service department, but that doesn’t mean that you can neglect customer interactions. A live-chat feature makes it easy for you to answer customer questions and to speak with customers while they are on your site, just as if they were shopping in a real store. 21% of people who shop online say that live-chat tempts them to buy, 46% of people think that live-chat is the perfect digital communications tool, and 62% of shoppers say that they are more likely to return to a site that has live-chat installed. 

So there you have it – six tips for new eCommerce businesses, did you find them helpful? Why not share your own suggestions in the comments.

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3 Tips For An Easy House Move

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Moving home is so exciting, right? A fresh start, a lovely new place, a new neighbourhood to explore. You feel like a little kid again – those night-before-the-move jitters and arranging all your furniture into a great new space is an unbeatable feeling. However, as we all know, moving can also be expensive and stressful. Especially with lots of furniture, children, pets and a limited amount of time, the task can feel insurmountable. Here are three tips for an easy house move.

1. Hiring Your Own Lorry

Removal companies are great if you have all your own furniture, and no way of transporting it. However if you have a partially furnished let, wherein you’ll have some,but not all of your furnishings already set up in the new property, you could hire your own truck. This will save a lot of money and will ease your move. You can hire the lorry for as long as you need it, and you can have a fun road trip all of your own!

Ensure that when you hire or buy your own lorry, you look into lorry insurance and invest in proper precautions. 

2. Asking For Help With Child And Pet Care

If you are moving with young children, dogs or cats, the move can become infinitely more complicated and difficult. If you have close friends or family who can take care of your children or pets for you, this would help your move immensely. Having to take care of small children whilst lifting heavy boxes and organising a million things at once can be a big challenge, and can even lead to accidents. Children can be overwhelmed by moving house, so it is much better to have them come to your new home when you have had a chance to organise the space and make it feel like home.

Similarly, dogs and cats can become stressed by a change in location. If the place is in disarray, the animals can become even more frightened and restless. It is better to have a friend, family or professional pet care company take care of them whilst your house move is taking place.

3. Time Off Work

Although it can feel wasteful to take holiday from work just to move house, you’ll thank yourself later for taking the time. Moving into a new house might only take one day, but the unpacking, organising and cleaning process can take far longer. If you take a few days, or even a week, to complete your move, you can return to work with a fresh slate, knowing you’ll be coming back to an organised, calm home!

Plus, this way you can actually enjoy your move, rather than treating it as a stressful nightmare! You can make the most of the new space, experiment with the layout, and truly transform this house into a home which you will be enjoying for years to come.

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3 Issues Repair Workers Are Facing During The Corona Pandemic

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It’s fair to say that the whole economy and multiple industries have taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown forced many companies to close their doors while others were forced into administration. At the same time, numerous businesses have also struggled with how to restart their respective models and get things firing on all cylinders once more. However some companies have been hit harder than others. 

Maintenance and repair workers such as plumbers and electricians are facing significant difficulties right now. Here are some of the issues that they are dealing with and the potential solutions. 

Social Distancing 

One of the greatest issues right now is that it seems social distancing is key to preventing the spread of the virus. Ultimately, this means that people are wary about being around others and potentially letting individuals into their homes. That’s a definite problem for repair workers who often require access to complete their jobs. Now, you might assume that people will call repair workers out regardless because it’s an emergency. However, a lot of time a repair doesn’t seem like an emergency and people will put it off for as long as possible. 

The challenge here is convincing customers and clients that safety can be maintained in this type of situation. More often than not, this is about ensuring that PPE is used and readily available for workers. Businesses also need to be clear about the things they are doing to keep everyone safe. 

Getting Supplies

We have seen numerous factories and businesses forced to close due to coronavirus outbreaks. The issue here is that this leaves a lot of companies unable to get the products that they need. It can cause businesses to grind to a halt, particularly plumbers and electricians that often require access to spare parts. 

Luckily, key parts such as a 3 way ball valve can still be found online and at reasonable prices. But, repair companies may still need to expand their search and look to companies that they haven’t used before to ensure that they have the parts they need. 

Financial Losses

It’s like that repair companies and maintenance workers, particularly freelancers, have sustained substantial losses over the past few months. While there has been government support to help mitigate the damage, this may not have been enough. Companies will also need to consider how they can protect their model from future damage. This does mean that they need to think about insurance options. There is insurance coverage that could potentially help if there is a dreaded second wave or a new outbreak. By getting the insurance in place now, companies like this will be able to keep their business afloat and the lights on. It could also help if the coronavirus pandemic does cause a massive economic disaster as many analysts seem to fear. 

We hope this helps you understand the challenges that these workers and businesses are facing. It’s like that many will bounce back eventually but there could definitely be some rough roads ahead before things are able to snap back into place.

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