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How to Ensure Your Employees Remain Safe at Work

helmet and construction equipment with building and crane against dusky sky use for construction business theme

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

In all types of workplaces, there are various types of equipment and machinery that is used to carry out necessary tasks. As all work machinery and equipment has the potential to cause damage and harm, it is important that all employees are fully aware of its correct and proper use and how to avoid accidents occurring in the workplace. All employees in a workplace should be responsible for ensuring that the equipment remains safe to use, reporting any faults accordingly, and making sure that nobody is at risk of harm from faulty or damaged machinery or equipment.

How to Make Sure That Work Equipment is Safe

Work equipment is any equipment used at work, such as forklift trucks, vehicle hoists, lifting slings, hand tools, vans and other vehicles, and display screen equipment such as computers. Some workplaces may also use equipment such as respiratory protective equipment and personal protective equipment. If you have control over any such work equipment, it is your legal duty to ensure that it is safe to use at all times. In order to do so, a number of measures can be taken including regular equipment checks and tests, carrying out risk assessments, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and use, and establishing and ensuring that a system in place for reporting any equipment faults. You can buy safety equipment from autobodynow.com.

How to Deal with Faulty Equipment

If you discover any work equipment or machinery that is faulty or damaged, you should immediately label it unsafe for use, and report it according to your workplace’s specific guidelines. Any broken machinery or equipment should be repaired as soon as possible and tested for safety before any further use. For example, a truck bed liner that is in need of replacement should be replaced as soon as possible, and the truck should be out of use until this is carried out.

Should Employees be Trained?

Legally, any work equipment should only be used by employees who have received adequate training and are authorized to do so. Allowing untrained or unauthorized employees to use work equipment can be dangerous, and could result in accidents leading to insurance claims or worse. Depending on the equipment being used, different levels and types of training will be required. For example, equipment such as forklift trucks or vans will often require employees to have passed a driving test, whereas more basic equipment such as personal protection equipment or display screen equipment will only require employees to undergo some basic training. It is also recommended that employees who use work equipment are enrolled in regular refresher training to ensure that they stay on top of how to use the equipment and the various risks involved with doing so. Any changes to equipment also require employees to be retrained in its use.

How do you keep your employees safe at work? Which work equipment and machinery are they required to use? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below.

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How to Manage a Successful Exhibition Stand

Exhibition advertising promotion stand orange design layout template vector illustration

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

The investment in both attending and having a business presence at a trade show needs to pay dividends for the company. There are many different ways to bring value and get the most out of diverting money and employees to the exhibition centre to meet and greet with interested attendees. Here are a few suggestions for managing a successful exhibition stand:

Focus on the Lighting

Lighting is everything. The human eye is attracted to things that are bright enough to be noticed and interesting enough to keep the attention once it has been acquired. In a sea of other exhibition stands, the importance of effective lighting should never be overlooked.

Stand Out With a Professional Exhibition Stand

Especially for small businesses and smaller exhibition spaces, it is critically important to make a statement with your exhibition stand. Leaving this up to the professionals is the right approach to take. A company like Finesse Exhibitions that has been in the business of creating attention-grabbing exhibition stands for over two decades is a good choice.

Maintain a Consistent Marketing Message

There is nothing like confusing potential customers with a marketing message that seems to be saying different things to different people. All literature, posters and press packets need to present the brand in the same way so that it is recognisable and clear. The staff members managing the exhibition stand need to have practised their 30 second pitch so that they will not get tongue-tied when customers walk up. If needed, provide time ahead of the exhibition for proper practice or training.

Building Rapport with Visitors to the Stand

Building relationships is all about making people feel comfortable. A successful exhibition stand in many ways lives and dies on the successful interaction between the staff and visitors to the stand. Staff should talk to as many people as possible. Don't let staff members be afraid to walk up to attendees at the edge of the stand and begin a conversation.

Ask the visitor questions. Show interest in their business and what their needs are that the company may be able to help solve for them. Each face-to-face meeting is an opportunity to learn about the individual needs of the customers of the business. This can be invaluable.

Keep Staff Members Out in the Open

Depending on the design and construction of the exhibition stand, employees may have difficulty standing out in front so people walking past can see them. People have a tendency at trade shows to stay behind the welcome counter or in other positions that put a barrier between themselves and the potential visitors wandering into the stand area to learn more. You should learn about the different ways to attract new visitors to the exhibition stand before attending.

Consider Rotational Shifts for Staff Members

Exhibition days can be long and drag on. Meeting and greeting a new collection of people every hour gets exhausting quickly even for those who claim to be “a real people person”. Ensure that staff members get sensible rest periods and if possible, create a rotational shift which reduces the total number of hours that each staff member is at the exhibition stand. This way they'll be fresh and energised when meeting each new visitor to the exhibition stand.

Plan ahead for your next trade show to help get the most out of your investment in an exhibition stand.

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How to Apply for a US Work Permit

Washington, USA. July 8, 2011. The reflaction of demonstrators on a window shop. Woman carrying a pancart with the image of Dr. King and the slogan "We Too Have a Dream" in reference to woman and Litino rights.

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial series. My great-grandparents were immigrants and didn't speak English, and as a result I strongly support the rich diversity that immigrants bring to the USA. Welcome and enjoy! – Kimberly

Want to work in the US? Here's some practical advice for people courageous enough to embrace the challenge to moving to a new country.

The process for applying for a US work permit, also known as an employment authorization document (EAD), is quite straightforward. The process involves filling out a one-page form, attaching the fee, photos, and documents to prove that you are eligible, and submitting it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, since the work permit is only available to certain groups of immigrants, the catch is making sure that you are eligible. If you’d like to learn more about how to apply for a US work permit, read on.

Form I-765

The initial form that you will need to fill out in order to apply for a work permit is Form I-765 which you can download from the USCIS website. The form requires you to fill in your name and general contact information, along with additional information such as EB5 funding. Question twelve will require you to detail your most recent entry into the US, and the manner in which you entered the country. Question sixteen will require the most effort, as you will need to use the I-765 instructions detailed on the USCIS website in order to determine which eligibility category you fall into.

Attaching Proof

In order to prove that you qualify for a US work permit, you will need to attach a photocopy of whatever documents you have that shows the status you described in question sixteen on the Form I-765. For example, if you are applying as an asylum seeker you will need to attach the judge’s order granting you asylum, or a copy of the letter from the asylum office. If you are applying as an investor, you might enlist the services of a legal group such as Hirson Immigration. However, you should note that if you are applying for the work permit at the same time as application for status you will not need to include proof of eligibility.

The Fee

As of 2015, the current fee for applying for a US work permit is $380. However, if you are applying after this time it’s important to note that the fee does change and can go up often, so you should check the official website to find out the latest fee. If you plan to request deferred action, you will also need to pay a biometrics fee which is currently $85. Certain categories of applications will not be required to pay the fee, such as those who are also filing to adjust status in order to obtain a green card.

How to Submit Your Application

In order to submit your US work permit application to USCIS, you have two options. You can either send the application by mail, or use e-filing which is an online application. E-filing is a convenient option for payment, however you will also need to send your supporting documents by mail. If you are submitting your application by mail it’s important that you double check the address, as there are different mailing addresses for the various applicant categories.

Have you successfully applied for a US work permit? How did you find the process, and how long did it take? We’d love to hear your story in the comments!

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Ways to Lead Your Hotel Team More Effectively

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Contributed article in our business leadership series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Running a hotel is definitely not something that you can do all on your own. You have to hire a team of people who can help you manage the hotel on an everyday basis, from maintaining its finances and marketing the hotel, to keeping it clean and doing renovations. But how can you lead your hotel team effectively so that everyone enjoys what they do and so that your business will continue to succeed? Check out the tips below for some helpful insight.

Be Clear in Your Business Plans

Read more »

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Time Allocation: Creating a Formula for Your Business

Time_blog_June2015Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Running a business is a time consuming endeavor. If you don't allocate your time well, it can quickly become difficult to manage. Entrepreneurs often work unusual hours and in unorthodox spaces. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 56 percent of people who are self-employed have worked from their homes and 43 percent have worked on the weekends.

So, how can you manage all of the tasks needed to run your business? Allocate your time carefully with this formula so you can master your schedule instead of serving it.

Be the Boss: 5% of Your Time

As counterintuitive as it may be, running your company shouldn't dominate your schedule. You need to manage employees, handle payroll and pay the bills to keep your business operational, so create a smooth and effective way of getting these tasks done.

Read more »

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3 Ways to Stay Focused on Success

iStock_000012789422XSmallContributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Any successful business man or woman can tell you that one of the main detriments to continued success is a sense of complacency that hits everyone at a certain period in their career. They reach a level where they are comfortable and take a step back when they should be forging ahead.

Until you’ve reached the top of your game, become a Bill Gates or a Donald Trump, there is no time to lose your focus, to get complacent. In fact, even those amazingly successful entrepreneurs never lost their focus for any great length and this is why they continued to reach the pinnacle of success. Here are three key ways to stay focused on success. Read more »

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Boost Your Website with Great Content

BillGatesContributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Way back in January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay entitled “Content is King” which began by saying: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet.” Nearly twenty years on and this still holds true today. When it comes to choosing content for your website, it’s useful to remember the adage ‘an image is worth a thousand words.’ Choose the wrong image and it doesn’t matter what you write alongside it, the viewer will quickly lose interest. Read more »

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3 Things That Digital Agencies Don’t Tell You About Your Marketing Budget

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

4814995807_86e74a6dae_oDigital agencies are service providers. Just as all service providers out there, you will find that many of them have things that they do not want you to know about the work that is done for you. While a certain degree of transparency has to exist, this does not actually mean that you will be told everything. Many digital agencies hide things from you and it is really important that you consider the following facts.

Sometimes Services Are Outsourced

You pay a specific company to take care of your digital marketing needs. Some of those that you find online will not actually do the work. They will act as an intermediary. That is usually the case when dealing with really large agencies, those that have offices in many places. Their prices are a lot higher than the small firms and they get clients because of the reputation they have.

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Simple Ways To Motivate Your Company’s Employees

Contributed article in our career series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

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During the normal life of a company various problems appear, and as the going gets tough it is vital that employees remain motivated. The problem is that motivating a firm’s employees is a lot more difficult than many believe. You cannot simply offer some money and expect great results. Also, there is a huge possibility that you do not have the cash for bonuses since motivation problems usually appear when funds are low.

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Goals You Should Consider With Business Web Design

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Web design - 1A business website is a critically important part of the operation of a modern company. If a company does not have an online presence, the desired success is much more difficult to reach. The choice of web developer has a huge impact on the success of a website. It is important to plan the purpose and approach of your website properly before creating the site. Planning ahead ensures that your company will be much more successful. A lack of planning increases the possibility of failure. Read more »

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