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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene evaporates into air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. But do you know how Benzene can affect your health if exposed to it for long periods of time? Benzene has been detected at high levels in indoor air. Although some of this exposure might be from building materials (paints, adhesives, etc.), most is from cigarette smoke in both homes and public spaces. 


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Two environmental accidents in different parts of the world — along with media and public reaction to them — have dramatically illustrated some of the basic psychological principles of risk perception. In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill sent millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan — damaged after a devastating earthquake and tsunami — leaked radiation into the atmosphere.

These incidents dominated news coverage for weeks and created widespread anxiety, even in people living miles away and not directly affected. For example, news that potassium iodide pills could help prevent radiation-induced thyroid cancer sparked a run on pharmacy supplies in the United States, thousands of miles away from the disaster, even when there was no evidence of increased radiation exposure.


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by Oregon State University

The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. Many of the fibers will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems.


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by Glyn Jones

The root of the idea of common sense is that it is the basic understanding held by just about everybody.  Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand and judge things in a way that is common to nearly all people. It is something that can be reasonably expected of nearly everyone without any need for debate or question.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

Nitrogen, as an inert gas, is said to be a component of the air we breathe but can pose a serious threat because it is an odourless, tasteless gas that completely displaces oxygen. Nitrogen has a low heat-transfer capability and does not flow very fast. The result is that it tends to stay in a place in a cloud. If you are caught in nitrogen cloud, death can occur with little warning.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

Steel pallet racks are as critical to your warehouse operation as the employees that work within it. Unfortunately, these essential structures are often neglected after installation, creating potentially deadly occupational health and safety risks as well as costly property damage. Without comprehensive pallet racking inspections and self-assessments serious accidents from faulty or damaged racks are likely to occur.


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by Rudi Nieuwoud, CEO and Founder of RUANSA HSE Consultants

As an employer, it is your responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. A safety and health management system, developed by RUANSA, can help you focus your efforts at improving your work environment. Your tailor made plan describes what the people in your organization do to prevent injuries and illnesses at your workplace. 


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by Dennis Kaminski, Founder of Safety Mart,

From operating a restaurant and an automotive facility, to working with employees in the manufacturing and logistics industries , there’s a wide range of duties and functions that people are responsible for today. The workplace can be a hectic buzz of activity, and it is critical that employees are aware of the safety guidelines and laws that affect their activities.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) Plan is a plan document that includes an establishment of the HSE Management system, implementation of the HSE policy, and achievement of the HSE objectives effectively. The Health and Safety Plan is developed from the pre-construction information that the Client and your project manager provide to you. It should be prepared before construction work starts.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

A Risk assessment is the starting point of any effective HSE Management system and is literally the basis for everything you will be implementing in your organization to ensure the health and safety of your employees as well as protecting the environment. Workplace risk assessments may be conducted differently at different companies. However, there are some basic steps that should be part of every company’s workplace risk assessment. These steps can be tailored easily to company and industry needs in order to make sure companies comply with laws and regulations that govern different industries. Many of the risks employees face in the workplace are easy to spot and don’t require a complex solution.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

The last few years have really been tough for the construction industry. I've seen many people lose their work due to construction projects being cancelled or put on hold. Now more than ever competition is fierce when applying for a job in the construction industry. Seeing as your resume is the first point of contact with a potential employer, it is important to have a resume that best showcases your expertise. It is after all an extension of yourself. Recruiters spend only a few seconds scanning each CV. So the very first impression is key. If you submit a neat, properly organised document, you’ll convince the recruiters to spend more time on your CV. I have received many CV's over the years, some very good and some not so much. In my opinion there is no "one size fits all" template you can use when it comes to creating a CV. It should not only reflect your qualifications and experience but also a bit of your personality. Having said that, here are some very annoying mistakes (again in my opinion) people make when compiling CV's for positions in the construction industry.


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Lifting tackle, also referred to as loose lifting gear, must be inspected at regular intervals to ensure safety in the work place, as well as for the user to be legally compliant. Additional legal requirements are proper sling and component trace able markings, correct certification, keeping of proper records as well as storage. It is also a legal requirement to only use lifting tackle that conforms to acceptable quality standards such as SANS, DIN, EN or other ISO aligned standards.


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Workplace safety is an important priority for all responsible employers. For many companies, having a safety committee is a great way to identify potential safety concerns, and address them effectively. In most situations, a safety committee will be staffed and run by employees from throughout the facility rather than just be made up of those from the management team.


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For most industrial safety managers, the term behavior-based safety (BBS) raises a conflicting combination or feelings. For some, BBS is an invaluable safety tool to add to the safety manager tool box; for others, behavior-based safety is an inefficient waste of time that does nothing to a facility’s safety program but drain the budget.


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Warehouses can be dangerous places to work in. It is important to understand common warehouse dangers and hazards because they can cause injuries and in extreme cases death. Here are 8 of the most common warehouse safety hazards and safety tips and resources to help you identify and control them.


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By Jac Brittain, LPC

Hazards exist in every workplace, but how do you know which ones have the most potential to harm retail employees? By identifying the retail workplace hazards that are most likely to impact safety, you will be better prepared to control or eliminate them and prevent accidents, injuries, property damage, and downtime.


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Construction industry professionals are well aware of the occupational hazards involved with their line of work; they are hard to ignore when nearly 1,000 workers died on the job in 2017. Despite the inherent risks, construction pros can avoid almost all injuries and fatalities by staying current with safety standards, procedures and practices on site. Being aware of the most common mistakes made on construction sites is another way mistakes can be avoided. In this article we are going to touch on these mistakes to help make you better aware of the potential risks around you.


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by  Kyle W. Morrison

An employee walks down the hall, stepping over an extension cord stretched across his path. He turns a corner and nearly collides with another worker. To avoid the collision, he steps to the side, spilling coffee onto the floor and inadvertently jostling a shelving unit, on which a tool placed close to the edge of the top shelf falls and hits the ground. No one is hurt in this fictional scenario. However, the employees in it experience multiple near-miss situations – any one of which could have led to a serious injury. Some people may be tempted to write off near misses as “no harm, no foul” situations. But safety professionals such as Jeff Ruebesam say employers who track near misses, determine how and why they occurred, and take corrective action can prevent similar – or more serious – incidents from happening in the future.


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by Arya Hojati

Construction site safety is one of the most overlooked things during a construction project. In most workplaces, accidents are a nuisance for the worker and a headache for HR. However, at construction sites, accidents have the potential to be life-threatening. With every new story about environmental disasters, earth-shattering explosions, and trapped laborers, construction sites become less and less appealing — even as the population grows and demands new, updated structures increases.


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HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the world’s most serious public health challenges. But there a global commitment to stopping new HIV infections and ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to HIV treatment.


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by The International Labour Organization

The enormous burden of poor working conditions

The ILO estimates that some 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually. The ILO updates these estimates at intervals, and the updates indicate an increase of accidents and ill health.


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by Rudi Nieuwoudt

Any person in the construction industry has heard about Recordable Case Rates (RCR), but how many actually know what these rates represent? Why are they so important that you see them on just about every weekly, monthly or annual safety report?


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by Terry Mathis 

Because of the reactive approach to measuring and managing safety prevalent in the world today, the true definition of safety success has been obscured.


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by Liam Brown

We’ve all been there. That awkward moment down the pub or at a party when somebody asks what you do for a living. There’s a pause while you stall for time, a bead of sweat forming on your brow while you debate how to respond. In the end you swallow hard and decide to bite the bullet. ‘I work in… Health and safety.’ The imaginary record playing in the corner skips as the room draws its collective breath. And then the jokes begin…


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by Lance Roux

I attended a really great safety conference recently that included a panel discussion of two thought leaders in safety. The topic centered around two huge topics in the safety field: Behavior Based Safety (BBS) approach to safety improvement, and Human & Organizational Performance (HOP). The objective of the discussion was to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.


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by Mike Rich

One important element of an effective workplace safety and health policy is an Employee Disciplinary Program. Obviously, taking disciplinary actions is not ideal; a disciplinary program is not designed to create a threatening or fearful work environment. It’s important to remember that unsafe behavior doesn’t only affect you, but puts both your coworkers and your company at risk. A disciplinary program gives you access to knowing what’s expected of you and your commitment to safety as a member of your workplace team.


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By Asha Das 

Liquefied petroleum gas is used in almost every household. It is the most important and dangerous part of cooking requirements. It is important to ensure that you are using gas cylinders safely. For this, you should know all the precautions of handling gas cylinders. The precautions for gas cylinder handling can be divided into three categories. Care needed when buying your LPG, precautions when cooking with LPG and steps for LPG maintenance.


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by Bill Murphy

While the main goal of incident prevention strategies is always to protect workers from harm, an effective program also benefits the overall company as well. An OSHA review of facilities with well-established injury prevention policies found that, in addition to reducing the number of injuries, companies saw improved regulatory compliance, reduced costs and improved public reputation. Effective prevention strategies therefore improve not only the financial bottom line, but make businesses more attractive to the public, including potential customers and investors.


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by Mika Majapuro

Many construction companies are implementing technology solutions to improve productivity, asset utilization and efficiency on the jobsite. Increasingly, they are also looking to technology to improve the overall safety of workers, equipment operators and project managers while on construction sites and around heavy equipment.


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by Phillip Godding

Anyone involved closely with workplace safety has heard presentations, webinars or people just generally talking about the need to develop an organizational “culture of safety” in order to reap long-term, incident-reduction benefits. It’s a term that, despite being around since the Chernobyl disaster in the 1980s, recently has become a bit of a buzzword among safety professionals and modern business leaders.


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by Julie Copeland

Machinery in the workplace can be of great benefit if used correctly and safely. Heavy machinery easily completes many tasks in a timely manner, but these machines are also capable of causing great harm if you don’t know how to use them properly. Misusing heavy machinery leads to a variety of serious workplace injuries and fatalities.


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By W. Jon Wallace, CSP, MBA

As a safety professional, I routinely receive accident reports from around the World. Many of these accidents are related to confined space work. Unfortunately, the same types of mistakes are repeated – resulting in injury or death. Based upon my experiences as well as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research on confined space incidents, I have developed five work practices to help ensure confined space safe work practices.


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by 

Working construction is a hot, sweaty business, with lots of time spent outdoors, without air conditioning, and in direct sunlight. Plus there’s all that site-safe clothing and PPE—essential parts of the outfit, but not always the coolest. And things are of course at their worst during the summer. The risks of sunburns, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke are very real, and skin cancer is another long-term concern.


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by  Thomas J. Bukowski

The National Safety Council conducts routine ergonomics assessments of NSC office workstations – including those of remote workers. The following pictorial, featuring NSC employees, depicts an abbreviated ergonomics assessment that can be conducted at a typical office workstation. As with all aspects of ergonomics, no “one-size-fits-all” body position or arrangement of items exists – worker needs may differ from what is shown.


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by Dennis Carnrike 

Few people have the ability to remember something they’ve only been told once. This is especially true if you’re competing with continuously changing priorities and a ton of distraction—at work, at home and on the road. To help workers better retain safety lessons you will need to use several tactics inside and outside of the classroom. Here are four steps to build a framework for better knowledge retention.


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by TJ Scimone

We've all been there. Sitting at a mandatory meeting counting the minutes until we can go for a lunch break, or at least get back to some "real work". However, as a safety manager, you know that employee safety is real work. If anything, your safety presentations and meetings could save lives. But public speaking, especially to an audience who'd rather be anywhere else, isn't the easiest part of your job. Follow these tips to engage your employees and put safe work practices front and center in their minds.


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No single task touches on so many facets of safety as welding. Among the issues are fire safety, electric shock, compressed gases, toxic fumes, and personal protection for the eyes, hands, feet, and body. Above all else, caution is crucial when it comes to welding because the risks of personal injury from any mistake are high. This article should serve as a primer for welding safety.


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Terry L. Mathis

Have you heard organizations assert that safety is their top priority, safety is job one, safety is never compromised for production, etc.? Such slogans and platitudes, however well intentioned, can inflict subtle harm to safety efforts. Unless the details of the organization’s priorities and values are very clearly explained, these assertions about the importance of safety tend to perpetuate a dichotomy between safety and productivity.


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by Fred Hosier

A recent survey shows which workers are more likely to sleep while on the job, including four safety-sensitive industries. 

Amerisleep polled 1,001 people about sleeping at work.

Here’s the breakdown for four safety-sensitive industries:

  • construction: 68.2%
  • manufacturing: 52.6%
  • transportation and warehousing: 52.6%, and
  • medical and health care: 52.1%.

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article by Eric Glass

In order to be a successful HSE professional, you MUST be a strategic leader and thinker. Having these characteristics gets you recognized and heard. These abilities are a talent, but like any talent, the more you practice and perfect it, the better you will become.


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You know that a safe workplace is a productive and successful workplace. In most cases, creating a culture of safety and implementing the standards and practices to ensure a secure work environment isn’t something you can do on your own. RUANSA can take that burden off your shoulders, ensuring your workplace is safe so you can focus on other areas.


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Posted on  by 

Every construction site includes at least a few pieces of heavy equipment. While this machinery is essential to productivity on projects, it’s also one of the main sources of danger to workers in an around the equipment. In particular, it contributes to lots of caught-between/caught-in hazards and struck-by hazards. This is why it’s important that everyone—from top management to site supervisors to all crew members—be familiar with best practices and top safety tips for working around heavy equipment.


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by Tinus Boshoff

For the purpose of this article we will focus on three types of risk assessments:

 

  • Baseline risk assessments (Baseline HIRA)
  • Issue based risk assessments (Issue based HIRA)
  • Continues risk assessments (Continues HIRA)

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by ccohs

What is workplace bullying?

Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could 'mentally' hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact as well. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people. It has also been described as the assertion of power through aggression.


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Work-related hand injuries are one of the main reasons workers end up in the emergency room. Whether it’s damage to the nerves in your fingers and hands, losing a finger, a burn to the skin or an allergic reaction, injury to your hands can negatively impact the quality of your work and your ability to be productive. Worst case scenario, it can end your career and detract from your overall quality of life.


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article by BSI

ISO 45001 was created to address the global need to improve work related health and safety of workers – over two million of whom die each year from work-related incidents and an even higher number from occupational health issues. Led by the UK, the new international standard was developed with input from over 70 countries across five continents.


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by Cheri Genereaux

When it comes to safety, a lot of attention is dedicated to the biggest or loudest hazards. But if you poll folks in the construction industry on the source of most injuries, you’ll find that they’re rarely caused by the scariest tasks. Most often, they’re the result of all the little hazards that workers navigate on a daily basis. Every year I speak with over 800 site managers, safety supervisors, trainers and other construction industry representatives and by far the most common complaint I hear is about workers making “stupid” mistakes—things like forgetting to wear PPE, not following a procedure that’s been drilled into their head, jumping down from a tailgate, or muscling heavy material or machines.


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by Phil La Duke

Safety isn’t always foremost in the minds of entrepreneurs or small business owners. For some, a severe injury to a worker is a very remote possibility and hardly worth worrying about. Still others believe there is no way to get the job done safely without spending heaps of money that they just don’t have. Yet small businesses sometimes discover the hard way that it doesn’t take many injuries to put a company in real financial peril. The belief that a business must choose between workplace safety and making a profit is a very old and deeply held mind-set. Unfortunately it’s usually just plain wrong. Here are seven approaches that any business owner can adopt to reduce the risk of worker injuries without adding prohibitive cost;


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by James E. Leemann Ph.D.

The origins of behavior-based safety (BBS) are attributed to a number of different individuals in the fields of behavior analysis, organizational behavior, psychology, safety, and so on.  Regardless of who you attribute the beginnings of BBS to, most would agree the origins of applied BBS came into fruition in the mid- to late 1970s. So for more than three decades companies have been applying BBS with varying degrees of success and failure.


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by Crystal Vogt

As a store owner, you know it's important to ensure that your retail space is safe for both customers to shop and employees to work. There are a variety of ways a workplace can become unsafe, including inattention to detail or inconsistent floor checks, that may lead to injury or illness. While the Occupational Safety and Health Act has safety recommendations for workplaces, your retail store is only as safe as you keep it. There are a variety of factors to keep in mind when evaluating the safety of your store.


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The incoming inspection with a new tenant forms the foundation of the relationship between landlord, tenant and agent. It’s not just about making sure everyone knows what is damaged but also about making sure that all parties are on the same page regarding rules and expectations for the rental period. It also goes a long way in establishing a level of trust.


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by Lauretta Claussen

It's fairly obvious that safety and health hazards can exist on worksites filled with heavy machinery and equipment, where employees often are required to engage in strenuous manual labor. A job where most of the work tasks are completed while sitting in a chair in a climate-controlled office building would seem less fraught with danger. However, a surprising number of hazards can be present in an office setting. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80,410 private-industry office and administrative workers suffered on-the-job injuries in 2008. Many of these injuries could have been prevented had workers or supervisors recognized the risks and implemented simple workplace modifications to help mitigate them.

Here are 25 steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury among your office staff.


RUANSA ISO

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A certificate is an instrument that adds credibility to your product or service. It’s a document that proves you’re capable of meeting the customer’s expectations. For most of the industries, certification is a contractual or a legal requirement. ISO itself does not perform certification; it is an organization that develops international standards like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Certification is performed by third party bodies and it’s up to your product or service to receive this credible certificate. In this article RUANSA will be giving you some details about the ISO certification process.


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Ever imagined Sound Level Measuring using smartphones? Mobiles have evolved into computing machines with extraordinary capabilities. They have cameras, microphones, gyroscopes, proximity sensors, accelerometers, light sensors and GPS receivers. The advancement of these handheld devices has evolved into them being used as various instruments like torches, cameras and also sound measurement devices.


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by Alex Stadtner

What is the difference between Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness?

Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness are two distinct diagnosis. People often use the term “sick building” when referring to a property, but buildings don’t get sick – people do. I believe if there are numerous people suffering from Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) it’s okay to refer to the building as “sick,” but that’s technically inaccurate. So what is the difference between SBS and Building Related Illness (BRI)?


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Not too long ago I was involved in an accident investigation on a project at a very well-known international petrochemical company, where an employee from a civil construction company fractured two fingers. Needless to say it resulted in a Lost Time Incident.

 


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Article by Careerbuilder

It seems that every day we hear about a new form of technology created to save us time, boost our productivity, and maximize our performance at work. 

But, according to a new survey, the use of technology is actually one of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace.


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Article by Personal Excellence.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

Do you set goals for yourself? What are your goals for the next 12 months? How about 3 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? What are your aspirations that you look toward coming true?


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By Rudi Nieuwoudt

If I were asked to choose the most challenging task I've had to face throughout my entire working career I would have to say that effectively managing a team of people would be at the top. Management would be easy if everyone you managed were hard working, collaborative, and had a great attitude and exceptional talent. Unfortunately, this is not the case and to make things worse, many employees carry with them the ghosts of previous managers which places you in the position of having to prove yourself from the get go.


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Article Written by Josh Cable

For years, stakeholders have been debating the best ways to implement a safety incentives program. Should the program be results-based or process-based? What should its objective be? What are appropriate prizes? What kind of return on their investment can companies expect?


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HSE site induction…We’ve all done them right? Having a strong HSE induction program in place is one of the most important aspects of a successful HSE campaign. Unfortunately the reality is that many sites fail in properly inducting new employees resulting in them not being fully aware of what to expect on site, what the high risk activities are or even worse, what to do in case of emergency. Over years of both attending inductions as well as facilitating them I have identified a few aspects that are the biggest culprits responsible for the failure of induction programs.


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I’d bet that if you asked your employer’s directors how they measured the company’s performance they would mention things like profits, market share and return on investment. A common trait of these measurements would be that they are generally positive, reflecting achievements and not failures. Now I’d bet that if you asked the same people how they measured the company’s HSE performance the only measure that would be mentioned is incident statistics. While the general business performance of an organization is subject to a range of positive measures, for health and safety it too often comes down to measures of failures.