5 workplace safety tips you should follow

Workplace safety shouldn’t be something that has to be highlighted, but something that is unquestionable in the modern business world.

However, this is still a serious topic for small and large businesses and organisations.

It’s more than written rules and regulations that every employer and employee should know. Workplace safety is all about respecting those standards in practice and everyday duties. Employees should be encouraged to help their managers and employers identify the threats and implement safety measures.

With mutual effort, all involved in the work process can participate in creating a safe working environment. Here are some safety tips you should follow in order to help, respect and improve safety at your workplace.

1. Know your surroundings

Every job has its own hazards. When you get certain position make sure that you are aware of all the safety issues it carries. Learning about possible risks and being able to recognize new ones will only help you do your job better.

When you work with equipment and machinery, check their surroundings. Some signs of potential danger may not be obvious and you have to make sure that everything is in order. If necessary, read the manuals and make sure that all conditions recommended by the manufacturer are respected to the letter.

You should perform the same safety observations when you work in the office at your desk. For example, sunlight can damage your eyesight, a bad chair can cause back problems or inappropriate flooring can cause people to slip and fall. Identifying potential hazardous areas will prevent possible injuries and life-threatening situations.

2. Go on breaks

As we mentioned before, your employer is not the only one responsible for your workplace safety. You have to take care of yourself and your health while doing tasks and activities, too. One of the causes of injuries is working long hours without taking an appropriate amount of breaks.

Even for someone working an 8-hour shift, taking breaks is very important. It will clear your mind and stretch your muscles. This way you will come back to workstation more relaxed and concentrated. This is especially important when you work with machinery since slips of attention can cause injuries to you and your colleagues.

Also, there are many illnesses connected to tiredness and exhaustion. You may not experience some right away, but they can appear later in life. You can do the hardest tasks and duties when your shift starts because then you are the most alerted. Or you can simply use reminders and apps to take breaks at certain times, so you can stay on top of your game.

3. Keep emergency exits clear

In case of fire or any other hazardous situation when employees have to vacate the building, they will have to use emergency exits. First of all, it’s a legal obligation to have emergency exits in the building and place the map to evacuate in the visible place.

All exits must be cleared of any items so that they’re not blocked and allow an easy path to the safety for every person. Making sure that these exits are clear and operational is a job of the manager responsible for safety. However, it is also the responsibility of every employee to keep these exits clear and not place items near them.

4. Handling complaints

Workplace safety is an important issue for everyone involved in the work processes. Sometimes, pointing out to possible hazards is not as easy as may seem. Neither is resolving disagreements about this topic. In order to avoid legal proceedings which cost money both parties, you should address the HR department.

If they can’t resolve the issue, they will most likely hire workplace mediation services to help them resolve conflict. The most important thing is to stay clear-headed and behave in a reasonable and civilized manner. Whether it’s the employer or employee the one who raises the issue, all matters must be resolved to benefit the workplace safety. And mediators, as an independent party, will assess the complaint objectively and impartially.

5. Wear safety equipment and use appropriate tools

One of the imperatives of maintaining workplace safety is respecting the rules on how to operate certain equipment. Besides the user manual, some machinery also requires that you use appropriate protective suits, equipment and tools. Avoiding to abide by these rules can cause serious damage to your health, like inhaling toxic chemicals or radiation. Environments where people work at the desk or don’t use heavy machinery also require certain care and attention. For example, a faulty computer monitor can damage your eyesight or try to repair the equipment by yourself.

Never underestimate the time and exposure to certain environments and make sure that you respect all the safety measures in place. This way you will preserve your health and make sure that you and other employees are safe from potential harm.

Final words

It’s the obligation of employers and managers to present the safety measures and rules to their employees. From then on, everyone present at the workplace must respect them and improve outdated ones when needed. Not only will the employees feel respected and thus be more productive, but also every life will be carted for.

Neil White is a student of a digital marketing, who likes to travel a lot. While you are reading this he is probably somewhere other than where he was yesterday.

The all-Africa Employee Engagement Awards & Conference announces 2018 winners

The inaugural Africa-wide Employee Engagement Awards and Conference hosted 150 people at the Hyatt in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on 14 June 2018.

It was a unique opportunity for business leaders to champion continent-wide achievements and innovative approaches to engaging employees, customers and communities. Eleven category winners and 18 High Commended entries were awarded recognition from the independent judges supporting The Employee Engagement Awards & Conferences. From Tanzania, Acacia Buzwagi Gold Mine won the category for Wellbeing Reward & Recognition. South Africa’s, Transnet Group Capital took the winning award as Public Sector EE Company of the year from Highly Commended entry by Eskom. The EE Diversity & Inclusion Award winner was Ford Motor Company SA.

Hosted in association with N2Growth Africa, the Conference was sponsored by IE Business School – the international executive education school based in Madrid. At the Conference, a Leadership Panel on Critical Skills for the continent, sponsored by the FP&MSeta South Africa, heard from Professor Sakela Buhlungu, VC of Fort Hare University, and respondents Ian Paterson, Grathel Motau, and Dorah Modise. Another specialist panel was chaired by Profesor Brian Armstrong from Wits Business School, together with international expert John Nives from N2Growth based in the US. They were joined by Chief Digital Officer at BCX, Rapelang Rabana. Content from the conference will be available on the web in a few days.

The Conference was followed by the Employee Engagement Awards which recognised the following other category winners: Growthpoint Properties (EE Company of the Year), Kauia (Employer Brand of the Year); Sun International (CSI), Kwasa College (EE NPO of the Year); Thandeka Vocational Skills (Sustainability); Centre for Excellence in Leather Skills (Thuma Mina Award); Cummins (Learnerships & Skills); and Ethos Quality Management (EE Consultancy of the Year).

Entertainment featured Nomadic Tribe, featuring Ntsika from popular accapella group ‘the Soil’.

Next year’s awards will be held on June 5th and in 2020 the plan is to expand into West Africa from N2Growth Africa’s Lagos base.    

Notes for Editors

Engagement has become the driver for how business leaders are thinking about, supporting and growing successful people in their organisations and driving an exceptional customer experience. In turn, this impacts not only talent retention, but productivity, brand equity, competitive advantage and growth. Evidence for this was presented at the Conference.

The Awards Gala was a glittering black-tie affair celebrating world class achievements in delivering outstanding Employee Experiences from across Africa, hosted by journalist Samm Marshall and made possible by N2Growth Africa, FP&M Seta, MerSETA, Distell and IE Business School, partnered by IPM.

Winners: https://africa.ee-awards.com/2017-finalists-page/

Africa website: https://africa.ee-awards.com/

Are you focused on prosperity or purpose?

As we humans have evolved over the past thousands of years, we’ve moved from focusing on survival to focusing on prosperity.

It’s therefore been a big surprise for prosperous people to find that prosperity is not a final destination.

Over the past century, as humans have mastered the environment, refined technology and organised themselves regarding business activities, the way has opened for them to embrace capitalism, materialism, success and prosperity, which have been the western world’s version of “living the dream”. The rush to get more things and do more things has resulted in what John Sanei, author of Magnetiize, calls the “horny teenage boy syndrome”, in which grown men in executive suits and suites chase money, power and one-sided satisfaction.

And so all these overgrown teenagers continue to chase that extra million or two in performance bonuses to feed their primitive egos and make them feel important and successful. But there are enough stories of shattered personal and professional relationships to attest to the fact that, when they achieved their “success”, it just did not fulfil them because they still felt empty and incomplete.

That’s because prosperity is a very selfish, narrow minded state, and features very low on the scale of human consciousness. With all of us chasing it, you’d never have thought that, though.

Prosperity is all about the things I have and the things I do and the places I go. Try to explain that to your “average joe” executive who’s still chasing those extra millions at the expense of everything else and he or she will look at you as if you’re crazy. After all, isn’t success – and prosperity – what life’s all about?

No, actually, it’s not. And some of the more evolved, more emotionally intelligent, more emotionally mature people are starting to realise this. They’ve started to realise that prosperity is not the final destination. It’s merely one of the stops on the road of life. When we stop thinking in terms of one destination and start thinking in terms of one destiny, we start to understand that it’s not about prosperity but about purpose.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be prosperous. If you are not prosperous, you are one of those who needs help. So prosperous is good, but there’s more to life than being prosperous, so you need to find your purpose.

Yes, purpose is what fulfils us as people.

We need to find our purpose in ourselves, in our communities and in our country – as people, as parents, as partners, as leaders at home and at work.

If you don’t find your purpose you will die incomplete and unfulfilled. When you find your purpose, you can start living in the unique space that you alone occupy in the universe. People who have found their purpose don’t need any motivational speakers or motivational programmes to get them moving. They don’t need policies and performance appraisals to get them to do what needs to be done. They don’t need performance bonuses (not that they’re a bad thing) and they don’t need a boss micromanaging them.

They do what they must do without any of that because they are driven by a purpose that comes from within.

One of the greatest needs we have as humans when we get to the end of our lives is not a bunch of assets, recognition or fame and adulation. We want something very simple. We want a sense of completion. We want to feel that we have done what we needed to do in this life before we move on.

So, become prosperous, by all means, but more importantly find your purpose in life and you will know that you have taken a big step toward your sense of completion.          

Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He is a recognised authority on leadership skills for the future and teaches business leaders and managers of all generations how to lead with integrity, purpose and agility. In 2018, he was named by US-based web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the “Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter”.

What are the online learning trends that business owners and HR Managers need to know?

Regardless of your industry, if you’re an entrepreneur, HR manager, workforce trainer or other professional involved in developing employees, it’s important that you keep yourself up to date on the different trends affecting how training is offered and the results it achieves.

In particular, online learning is bigger and better than ever and should be utilized by all companies. This type of learning saves money, time and energy, is more scalable, gives businesses access to the brightest minds and best speakers from around the world and has numerous other benefits.

No matter what kinds of training programmes you want to provide for your employees, such as an online MBA or leadership degree, computer programming development, speaker training or something specialized for your industry, you will find eLearning can be of benefit. Thus, you need to stay current in the area of online learning and understand what’s new and improved as well as the direction training is going. To help you with this, read on for some of the key online learning trends of the day.

Gamification

After the success of various learning games, it’s no wonder gamification has caught the attention of trainers everywhere. People of all ages and backgrounds are drawn in by the fun and challenges of gaming, so it stands to reason that this tactic is perfect for learning.

Gamification helps people retain knowledge better and to understand things more concretely. With the younger generations, such as millennials, having grown up using video games, they’re particularly drawn to learning that involves some aspect of play.

If you’re designing training programmes for your staff members at the moment, or plan to soon, you should note that gamification is suited to students who struggle with traditional learning strategies. After all, everyone learns in different ways, so it’s important to make different styles of learning available.

Gamification is also helpful because it allows people to make mistakes as they learn with no pressures about success rates or about recrimination for not getting things right the first time. In turn, this helps people learn from their mistakes as they go.

AI and Automation

We’re constantly seeing artificial intelligence (AI) and automation change industries left, right and center so, again, it’s no surprise that these technologies are having an impact in the area of eLearning. Tech is getting smarter and more sophisticated all the time, so it will soon be used by trainers and developers when they design programmes, implement, test, and evaluate them as well as modify them over time.

One prime example of AI used in online learning is through virtual teaching assistants. Today, these are being increasingly used to generate and deliver content to students as well as to communicate with them along the way and to provide support when required. AI is of great benefit to students who are falling behind in their studies since it can be used to help people focus on particular tasks or topics they’re struggling with.

As for automation, a big plus for eLearning professionals is that technology can automate many parts of the creation and assessment of programmes. There is a lot of educational software designed to reduce the time required to put courses together and to lower the costs of implementing programmes.

Micro Learning

Another big online learning trend is what’s known as “micro learning.” This refers to courses and training broken down into small, bite-sized chunks of information (such as 10-, 20-, 30- or 60-minute sessions), rather than longer programmes.

By having access to short, sharp, focused lessons, students can fit in learning around their life and work. They don’t have to try to scramble to find hours to study; they can instead do a little bit here and there as they have the time and head space.

This makes sense considering how busy people are and how much many people struggle with short attention spans. Helpfully, with micro learning, employees can take in information better because they only have to focus for a small stretch of time. In addition, this type of training is beneficial for people with learning difficulties.

Tiffany Rowe is the Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility.

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