The Importance Of Using The Workplace Accident Book

Even though necessary precautions are put in place to keep employees safe at work, accidents do happen. Whether it is a regular office job or a more intensive and dangerous form of labour, it is important to safeguard against any potential incidents.

If a business or enterprise has more than 10 employees, it is a legal requirement to keep a record of accidents, according to the Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1979. An official accident book that complies with data protection legislation was launched in 2003 by the Department of Work & Pensions and HSE.

It is also a RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) requirement to report and keep a record of serious injuries, cases of diagnosed industrial diseases, near miss incidents and work-related deaths. This could result in a company being investigated by the HSE, ORR or local authority.

There are various reasons why it is important to have documentation and evidence about any workplace accident, from improving the employer’s health and safety policy to protecting the individual in any medial or legal dispute. Click here to learn how attaining a masters in human resources will be able to keep a company up to code regarding workplace accidents.

Recording accidents

The key details that need to be recorded are:

  • Name and contact details of injured person
  • Time and date of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Cause and nature of the injury
  • If applicable, the name and contact details of the person recording the accident details

It is advisable for an employer to monitor the number and type of accidents that take place. With documentation regarding the nature of workplace incidents, the employer can assess whether the current precautions are of an acceptable standard. If not, a revision of practices or an updated health and safety policy could be necessary. Further training or protective equipment may also be required.

Storage and retention

Traditionally, the accident book was placed in the first aid room or another suitable location. However, this is no longer acceptable according to revised legislation. Employers must ensure that accident reporting remains confidential for the concerned parties.

Following an incident, the information should be removed from the accident book and given to a nominated person. This documentation will be filed in a safe and secure place for at least three years from the date on which the report was written.

Accident investigation

It is often recommended that a thorough investigation be carried out in order to protect the employer and worker against any future incidents. This will include:

  • Description of accident
  • Cause of accident
  • Immediate actions to take to prevent recurrence
  • Further precautions, safety measures or training that have been identified
  • Photographs and witness statements
  • Conclusions and long-term recommendations

Legal action

An employee may be able to take legal action if the appropriate safety precautions were not implemented or the health and safety policy was not adhered to. Accident at work claims can result in significant compensation for the victim.

An accident book will provide evidence and proof that the injury is a direct result of workplace negligence. It can also be vital for employers to protect themselves against unwarranted claims.

5 steps to take if you suffer a fall at work

Despite strict regulations and guidance on health and safety in the workplace, accidents at work do still happen. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that, in the last financial year, 111,000 people were injured at work and that over 27 million working days were lost as a result of work related injuries.

Injuries at work can be caused by any number of things, from faulty equipment to improper training. Simple mistakes such as leaving a cable trailing in the office, not wiping up a spill in the canteen or failing to stack boxes safely, all leave the possibility of an accident occurring. If you have suffered a trip or fall at work, here are five things you should make sure you do to protect yourself following the accident.

1.      Take care of yourself first

Following a fall at work, your first concern should be with your own welfare. Ensure the company first aider is called to attend to you and if necessary contact the ambulance for further medical attention. No other steps should be a concern to you until your injuries have been assessed and treated. If you have suffered a head injury at work, it is critical you are seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

2.      Record the incident

Make sure your accident is fully reported in your employer’s accident book. Every employer is required by law to have one of these, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), so make sure all the details of your accident, including your injuries and any treatment you received, are fully and accurately recorded.

3.      Collect evidence

If you can, take a note of any witnesses to the accident or capture photographs of the scene, as this will make claiming compensation later a whole lot easier. If you are moved to hospital or are unable to find out who saw what, it can be a good idea to have a friend or colleague take some names and contact details so you can easily get in touch with these people later on.

4.      Seek professional legal advice

You may or may not want to claim compensation for your injuries, but by getting in touch with a solicitor promptly after the incident you will be leaving the door open for this course of action and giving your claim the best chance of success. Most injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis, so instructing them to investigate your accident shouldn’t cost you anything up front.

5.      Get the support you need

If, as a result of your accident, you are unable to do your job, your employer should support you through your time off. There may be healthcare provision that they can allocate to you and you should be able to claim your salary for a reasonable period of time after the incident. If you do suffer loss of earnings as a result, a compensation claim will usually recover this for you, so try not to worry too much and instead stay focussed on getting back to full health.

5 Fashion faux pas in the Modern Office

It can be hard, figuring out how best to dress if you want to get ahead in the work place. While you want to aim for a professional image that your colleagues and superiors can take seriously, that doesn’t mean you need to look dour. Still, there are a few fashion faux pas you should avoid.

Too much skin

No one is saying you have to dress like a Victorian governess, but having a little too much cleavage or leg on show isn’t going to go down too well with some in the office and will send out the wrong signals.

You don’t need to cover up head-to-toe, but having a skirt that skims the bum is way too short. You can find professional looking short skirts, which have a classic air about them; simply wear with a pair of dark tights or fishnets.

For your top, fashion expert Lauren Conrad advises no more than an inch of cleavage. It’s a view that’s supported by a survey taken by entrepreneur Peter Jones. According to the survey (of 3,000 managers), it was found that almost half passed up women for promotion if she had regularly turned up to work in low-cut tops and, in their opinion, tried to attract attention that way.

Makeup

While a complete lack of makeup can make it seem as if you don’t care, too much can isn’t a good idea either. It’s about capturing the essence of classic over sexy. Make up should make you look well, alert and ready to work, much like your clothing.

Shoes and heels

In most establishments, a pair of stilettos isn’t the best idea. You don’t want to be towering over everyone in the office. Get an idea of the height most of the others wear and aim for something similar.

However, you don’t want to be too casual in your shoes. In a traditional office setting, sneakers or trainers aren’t going to impress many people, nor is anything too garish and loud. Gauge the atmosphere before going for anything too drastic.

Lingerie

It’s best to ensure your panty line remains under the waist line of your skirt or trousers – and avoid thongs at all costs.

It’s going to be even worse if the pants on show are over-elaborate or lacy, and the same goes with your bra. If people can tell you’re wearing something a little ‘special’ under there, then you’re probably going a little wrong.

Casual

If you’re looking to progress, you want your work clothes to show that you take your job seriously. You want your colleagues to know that you are dedicated, professional and command authority – and your clothes can go a long way to displaying that.

The first thing people see when they meet you is your clothes, so unfortunately they will make a first judgement based on that. After you impress them initially, then you can make another lasting impression with your character.

How to Hire the Right Employees

As your small business grows one of the things you’re naturally going to have to do is start hiring employees because there will undoubtedly come a time when there is too much work for you to handle all by yourself. One caveat; many small business owners make the mistake of confusing their lack of organizational skills as the sign that they need to hire someone to help them.  Don’t make this costly mistake.

There are pros and cons to having employees to be sure.  For every task that they help you to accomplish they can create new tasks that you will have to take care of as well. For every 10 good employees who help you greatly there will be one bad employee that makes you crazy.  Theft and tardiness will have to be dealt with as well as hiring and firing. Motivating your employees is also something that you’ll need to consider, especially when business is slow and times are tough (as they inevitably will be occasionally).

One of the most important tasks that you will have to complete before you hire anyone will be to write a job description so that your new hire knows exactly what he or she must do for you and when. Education level, experience, salary range and a host of other factors must be looked at as well. Recruiting prospective employees will also need to be addressed and can be done through various recruiting venues.

Interviewing and screening potential employees comes next so that you find the most qualified person and someone with whom you feel you can communicate well. There will be lots of people who apply for your offered job position so this task becomes quite vital. Phone interviews and resumes are the 2 best ways to complete this chore.

After that there’s the in-person interview for the most qualified candidates that you have already screened. This is not the time to settle but to pick the prospective employee that really is phenomenal. This is also not the time to feel sorry for anyone but to protect the future of your business.

Checking their references is vital before making the final step which is hiring the person that you feel best fits the job, leaving only the legal paperwork (and there can sometimes be a ton of that) to get through before your new employee can settle in and start making your (work) life a lot easier.

Overcoming Price Objections

The question today is; when should you start overcoming price objections with your new, prospective customer?  The answer is, right from the start of any sales call.

Now you might ask how you can start overcoming price objections before someone even knows the price, but the simple truth is that if you set up your customer for the coming sale with information and answers, and if you’ve listened well to what they want, you should have very few if any price objections once you get to the point where you present your price.

Many people, including seasoned salespeople, believe that their competitor’s lower price (or better product) is the thing that people will cling to when the question of price finally arises. The fact is however that no matter what your competitor’s price is or how much better (or worse) their product is, if you present yours in a way that speaks to your customer’s needs and gives them the perceived value that they want they will buy from YOU every time.

The easiest way to do this is to get your customer’s input before you get anywhere near the point of talking about price.  Ask questions, give questionnaires, get their opinions and find out what they really want. Do anything you can to find this out ahead of time and present them what they want before you present them the price. If they’re happy with what you’re selling them the price, unless it’s way out of line, should not be a problem.

It is vitally important that you engage your customers early in the sales pitch, drilling down as deep as you can to find out what’s important to them.  Is it price, or is it something else?  If, for example, you sell shoes and find out that your customer wasn’t satisfied with their last pair because they never fit right you now know what you need to accomplish in order to get the sale, which is a pair of shoes that is super comfortable and fit correctly.

When it boils right down to it your customer needs to see value in what you’re selling and the way to get them to see the value in what you have is to give them what they’re looking for. Do that and price should never be a problem. Do that an, when I’s time to talk price, they will already be sold and head to the cashier with a smile on their face.

 

A Diamond in the Rough

While we know that it is possible that a diamond can be created from a simple piece of goal it is a hard concept to fathom.  After all, we have a nasty looking black chalky mineral that can transform into a clear and eloquent jewel that is admired by many.  The reason I bring up this analogy is to illustrate the often misrepresented coal and oil industry, and the thought that nothing but greed and riches comes from it.  Between the BP oil spill, OPEC, and the tankers filled with oil that have capsized in our waters, the oil industry is often thought of in a very negative way.  Many geographical locations are concerned with fracking, and other methods of oil extraction, and just how detrimental it can be to our environment.

However, what most people fail to realize is that is an industry that is both still blossoming, as well as learning from its mistakes.  The oil industry is either directly or indirectly responsible for millions of jobs around the world.  From professionals in corporate headquarters, to the local clerk at a gas station, it’s an industry that has helped many benefit financially, not just the super rich.  While we are always looking for cleaner and efficient ways of doing things, there have been numerous strides towards improvement already, and contributions made to agencies and foundations that are set on continuing these improvements.

Consider one successful professional that came about from the oil industry, Bob Finch.  He took his money made in the coal and oil industry and formed Talis Capital which has focused on key sectors like agriculture, recycling, natural resources, and alternative energy, all very green and eco-friendly initiatives.  He is responsible for supporting many charitable organizations.  These organizations support better quality of life for the disabled, and help to under privileged children.  Bob Finch has been both successful in personal and private endeavors, and should be a shining example of the good that can come from the oil and coal industry.  He truly is a diamond in the rough.

How to Start a Fundraiser

 

The most common way for an organization to tackle the ‘lack of funds’ problem is to raise funds through a fundraiser. Even though raising funds requires the organization to put in big effort, the money raised can prove to be an essential support in the long run.

However, estimating the amount of money needed is one thing, and starting a fundraiser is something completely different. It’s not easy to run one when you’re unclear about the basic steps that need to be taken. In order to make your fundraiser successful, you need to plan meticulously plan it out, so that you increase the probability of making it profitable.

Here are the steps that you should keep in mind to ensure that your fundraiser hits a homerun.

#1: Choose a Worthy Cause

Regardless of how much cash you want to raise, you will have to start with a worthy cause. People who take part in a fundraiser or buy the merchandise sold at such an event only do so because they’re motivated by the cause.

So ensure that the cause you’re selecting is worth it. Let everyone know why exactly you’ve chosen it by highlighting the important points. Ultimately, the more worthy your cause is, the easier it will be for you to convince others to contribute to your fundraiser.

#2: Do Your Homework

Making the right decisions is critical when you’re running a fundraiser. You can’t afford to make any costly mistakes. This is why you should do your homework prior to starting the fundraiser. Look into other organizations or groups who have done something similar in your chosen area.

See if any of their ideas go with your vision. Understand why some of the fundraisers were successful while others weren’t. Taking this step will help you take better decisions that will lead to the success of your fundraiser.

#3: Determine the Fundraiser Type

What type of fundraiser would work the best for you? If your organization has already tasted success with a certain type of fundraiser in the past, then you could go with that. Since it’s already been proven to work.

If not that, you could go for a seasonal fundraiser where you plan according to what’s in vogue at the moment. For instance, if it’s the baseball season you can have a baseball merchandise sale, along with offering promotional koozies for your organization. Try and keep your fundraiser as relevant to the current season as possible.

#4: Set a Fundraising Goal

In order to boost your chances of success, you need to set a fundraising goal. This gives your volunteers a specific direction to work in. While it’s okay to have big goals, try to be realistic in your approach.

Consider the kind of profits you generated during any previous fundraising events, and use them as a yardstick to to create practical goals.

#5: Work on the Promotion

One of the most important steps that you cannot afford to miss is the promotion of your fundraiser. While different organizations approach it differently, there are a few things that will always remain common during promotion.

To start with, you can create a press release that can be sent to local newspapers and get radio stations to share it with their community. Besides that, try and leverage the power of posters and flyers that can be easily distributed at restaurants, universities and other places that allow public postings.

Run a Legit Business or Pay the Price

In case you haven’t heard, Google has finally taken steps to ban advertisers who promote links to “scam sites.” These types of sites and offers include crazy get-rich-quick schemes, teeth whiteners and weight loss products.

Previously, Google would simply take down an advertisement if it pointed to a sketchy site or violated any terms and conditions, in essence banning the advertisement, not the advertiser.

Obviously, this is pretty huge news, as Google is critically important to any internet marketer, and is more than likely the marketer’s largest source of traffic.

Aside from being news worthy, Google’s actions illustrate an even larger point for those of us who are internet marketers: you have to focus on running a legitimate business.

Unfortunately, too many internet marketers have become modern day snake oil salesmen. They pitch products they know nothing about, or worse, that they know won’t live up to their outrageous claims, and try to scam as many people as possible in order to money.  Once one well runs dry, they simply pick up and move on to the next bogus product or niche.

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Is Technology Killing Customer Service?

Have you ever gotten the feeling that technology is making things more complicated and more time consuming despite claims to the contrary?  Don’t get me wrong, I love technology – I can’t imagine my life without the internet, email, cell phones, etc. – but at the same time, I feel like it has made some aspects of my life worse.

For example, I believe that technology has absolutely killed customer service.  One would think that advances in technology should have made customer service better, but at this point, I beg to differ.

Here’s why:

  • Most customer service seems to be handled electronically and is hardly ever done face to face.  Call me crazy, but if I ever have an issue with something or I need to speak with someone regarding concerns I may have, I want to handle it face to face.  Worse case scenario, I’d like to resolve everything via a phone conversation.  However, I don’t want to sit at my computer and trade emails with someone.  The other day I wanted to speak with someone about returning some broken computer speakers that were still under warranty, however when I went to the manufacturer’s website I was directed to send an email to a customer service rep who would in turn respond to me within 24 hours.
  • Most customer service systems are automated.  If you’re fortunate enough to find a customer service phone number, chances are after you’ve dialed the number you’re going to have to sit through 3 minutes of automated options.  I find few things in life more annoying than having to sit and listen to, “Press one for English.  Numero dos para espanol…” (Sorry, I can’t figure out how to get the tilda above the n).
  • Customer service has become impersonal.  ATMs, self-scanning checkout at the grocery store, paying at the pump, etc., have essentially replaced people with machines.  I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot more comfortable dealing with a person than I do dealing with some computer.
  • You’re just a number.  All of the above items make me believe that when I’m dealing with a company, I’m just a number to them.  They want to shuffle me along in an orderly fashion, have to deal with me as little as possible and then send me on my way.

Now I know some of you will say that it’s actually good customer service to have all of these things available to us.  On some level, I have to agree, because we do in fact use all of these automated systems and we’d probably all be upset if they were magically taken away from us.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still believe customers should be dealt with on a face to face basis as much as possible, and should be treated with some level of reverence.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should go out of business to keep your customers happy, but I think if you go the extra mile to deal with them on a personal level it certainly won’t hurt your overall business.  Chances are it’ll probably help.

For example, let’s look at Jay Ellison, executive vice president of U.S. Cellular, and his “no email Fridays” decree.  Nearly two and a half years ago, Ellison began enforcing this email ban as a way of fostering better employee and customer relationships – and, amazingly, it’s worked.  Coworkers who couldn’t pick one another out of a lineup got to know each other, and employees began to develop better relationships with their customers.

Long story short, while technology has improved many aspects of our lives, it’s absolutely killing customer service.  If you run a business or have constant contact with your customers, every once in a while pick up the phone or set up a face to face meeting as opposed to shooting off another email.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Ways to Run an Environmentally Friendly Office

Whether you run an entire office or are just the king of your cubicle, there are some pretty easy things that you can do to help make your work space a more environmentally place.

Since it looks like being green is here to stay, it’s probably about time that you jumped on the bandwagon and took advantage of some simple ways to help reduce your office’s carbon footprint:

  • Turn off your computer when you leave for the day.  Unless you’re planning on coming back in the middle of the night and you absolutely have to have your computer already up and running, go ahead and power down for the night.
  • Turn off the lights in common areas once everyone leaves.  There’s no point in leaving the light on in the copy room if it’s going to sit unused for 13 or 14 hours each night. Same goes for every other common area in your office.
  • Get some small indoor plants.  If you’re lucky enough to have an office with a window, most any plant should do ok.  However, if you don’t have a window, make sure you do a little bit of research and check out which plants can survive in your office without lots of direct sunlight.
  • Use Energy Star certified equipment. From your monitor, to your copier to the vending machines in the lunchroom, make sure that all of the equipment you use in the office is Energy Star certified. Energy efficient 1st replacement windows are another alternative to save you money. Look for the AAMA Certification.
  • Start a recycling program.  Get some plastic, glass and aluminum bins for the lunch room, and put recycling boxes in printing rooms.  It’s pretty easy to do and it might even show that you have some initiative.  That being said, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t recycle company sensitive information; you’ll definitely want to shred that instead.
  • Don’t print if you don’t have to.  The biggest use of trees is for paper, so theoretically, if we reduce the amount of paper we use, we’ll reduce the amount of trees that get cut down.  And if you have to use a ton of paper, go the green route and buy recycled office paper.
  • Bring in a coffee mug.  Instead of getting a new styrofoam or disposable cup each day, bring in a regular coffee mug from home and just rinse it out at the end of each day.  This is a great and simple way to reduce needless trash.

While this certainly isn’t the be all, end all of ways you can make your office more environmentally friendly, this list is a pretty good place to start.  And the best part is, doing many of these things won’t really put you out or force you to change too many habits.

I know it sounds pretty cliche, but if each of us would do just a couple of small things to reduce our impact, we could probably do a lot to help stave off the global environmental crisis.