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7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries

7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries

Sadly, when an employee’s injured on the job, the recurring medical costs add up and, unless you have extremely deep pockets, these costs will become a serious burden real fast.

Not to mention the tragedy of a human getting hurt in the first place. The best to avoid anybody getting hurt in the first place is ensuring every single person who steps into your business knows which hazards are what, and how to prevent them.

1. Clear Pathways

If the walkways and paths that workers use are littered with clutter, junk, and giant obstructions… How can you expect busy, multi-tasking, busily-thinking workers not to trip and slip while they’re on the job?

Making sure common areas are well-lit is a sure-fire approach to ensure people get to their destination fall-free. Think of implementing slip-resistant flooring that serves the primary function of each particular area – like rubber mats in restaurant kitchens.

Slip-resistant flooring may just be an incredibly genius invention – as foot traffic, much like an ocean wave, comes and goes in waves and droves. One minute it’s busy, the next it’s not, and it’s hard to figure out exactly what the busiest times are going to be, day in and day out.

2. Don’t Strain Yourself

We live in the world of technology, there’s no getting around there. Everywhere we look, there’s another piece of tech to keep us reeled in and tuned-in to the entire world. Even simple, mundane tools that have been in our lives since the 80s; keyboards, mice, screens, etc. Without the proper ergonomic equipment to keep ourselves functioning, these devices end up crippling us.

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One way to combat all of this is by designing (and creating) your very own ergonomic office. Pretty cool, right?

3. Stay Up-To-Date About Hazards

Be vigilant out there! It’s not enough to know about hazards – new ones are developing all the time, and you’ve got to know them forwards and backwards. You have to know more about them than what your spouse’s favorite dish is for dinner.

And then educate employees about how to prevent them, and on what to do in case these hazards occur.

Think about smartphones: people crossing the street while looking at their phone! How dangerous is that? Think about all the moronic drivers there are in the world – people who don’t pay attention and are reckless with what they do in traffic. Maybe some lunatic driver’s looking at his/her phone the exact moment some poor desolate soul decides to cross the street – eyes glued to the phone. Nobody bothers using their eyes at all, and you see a hit-and-run waiting to happen.

Knowledge isn’t just power – it’s life-saving.

4. Safety Management Systems

These systems are predictive analytics whose primary function is simple: sort through several projects and identify the chances one of those projects will cause an injury.

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The VP of one large electrical contractor and system integrator used his safety management system on Friday. By Monday, he looked at the results. The high-risk activities were reviewed and discussed by the team, and they worked together to find ways of managing that risk and preventing injury.

Sure enough, it worked! Problem was, an injury happened later on in the week. As always, the point is this: safety management systems work -when used correctly – to predict high-risk activities and take preventative measures.

5. Hardhats

There’s no short of trips to the ER to fix concussions, fractured necks, and a whole treasure chest of falling-object injuries.

Sometimes, things come flying and falling at your head every which way from Tuesday. Hardhats in environments and spaces like these are a must – in fact, this should be mandatory by now. That’s the most common way to save your noggin from slobbering all over the concrete.

Another way?

Always wearing proper PPE. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, etc. It’s the 21st century – I’ve met tons of managers who couldn’t be bothered to wear anything on their precious, sweet-as-sugar mug. Anything to maintain safety in the workplace.

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Sadly, vehicles are often involved in “struck by..” accidents; regular, real-world safety measures such as fastening seat belts, checking vehicles thoroughly, and wearing incredibly-visible/neon-bright clothing are a necessity. There is no chance of being too over the top when it comes to protecting peoples’ lives.

6. Safety Software

Workplace injuries can be predicted with 97% accuracy. This is big. Huge, even.

Why? It goes without saying that if injuries can be predicted, they can be prevented.

In fact, how does reducing an injury rate by 67% within 18 months feel to you? A Fortune 150 energy company did just that. How would reducing your workday rate by 97% in 12 months feel? A Fortune 150 manufacturer did exactly that, using analytics.

Gone are the ways of boring, old, inefficient conventional methods – tech is here to save the world again. Machine-learning algorithms developed in Pittsburgh, such as the CMULT (Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Translation Institute) manufactured such a money-and-life-saving device.

In fact, a safety software system called SafetyNet (right on point with that name) red-flagged 4 out of 10 locations as being high-risk for injuries. You can bet that the people who read those results did their best to prevent those injuries – all thanks to the simplicity of collecting workplace safety data.

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Bonus tip: it’s OSHA’s responsibility to develop new strategies and regulations when it comes to workplace safety. This extends to forklift maintenance and it is important to get your team certified for it. Follow OSHA’s safety protocols as soon as you can.

7. Overexertion

If there’s a task you’re struggling with? Swallow your pride and ask for help – you’re a part of a team. How valuable to the team are you if you’re injured and home-ridden for the next few months? Recuperating for any number of reasons.

There’s a common problem storming through the business world. It’s a monster that’s been running rampant for ages. It’s called overexertion, pushing yourself too far by doing too much – going far past your personal limits.

Some symptoms of overexertion are:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pains and/or profuse sweating

Granted, not many of us have the luxury of a pair of second hands or help. In this case, I’m sure we can all agree that proper training (and training techniques) is absolutely vital in this case – right?

Last Thoughts

Preventing injuries to your workers, or yourself, is as simple as using common sense. There is no shortage of information about health and safety, and I hope you’ve found something useful. Be safe out there.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on February 19, 2020

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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