By Nigel Hilton
Workplace injuries are a constant danger for any company but they’re particularly troublesome when you’re starting a business in the construction industry. If you or one of your employees gets injured on site, you’ll have a whole lot of red tape to deal with and if the injury happened because you weren’t following safety procedures properly, you could find a big lawsuit headed your way. That’s going to cost a whole lot of money on top of the income you’ve already lost by being a man short. The key to avoiding injuries is being aware of the danger areas on site and knowing how to reduce those risks. These are the most common ways that people get injured in the construction industry and how you can stop it from happening to you.
Burns are one of the most likely injuries but they often get overlooked. People are usually vigilant of injuries from heavy lifting, falling objects, or power tools but they forget about all of the hazardous chemicals that are floating around. Handling them without using proper safety equipment opens you and your employees up to serious burns from even the smallest spillages. Beyond that, there is also a risk from exposed wires and leaking pipes that can easily burn you. Make sure that you’re using gloves and protective eyewear at all times.
The risk of falling objects ranges from the very large to the very small. When you’re operating cranes and other heavy machinery, there’s a huge risk if they aren’t secured properly. If you’re not using a northern mat crane mat to secure the equipment, it can easily shift or topple entirely. If that happens then you risk injuring everybody on site as well as causing severe damage to the job as well. That’s going to set you back a long way, wasting time and money. If somebody gets injured by it as well, that’s going to be a big loss in profit.
There’s also a big risk from smaller falling objects as well. Construction involves a lot of working at height, usually using quite heavy materials. A brick falling from scaffolding is going to some serious damage to somebody that isn’t wearing a hard hat. Always be strict with enforcing safety clothes regulations on site and take extra care when working at height.
Another big risk of working at height is obviously the danger of falling yourself. When you’re up and down ladders and scaffolding all day it can be tempting to rush so you can get things done quicker. When you do that you massively increase your risk of falling off and seriously injuring yourself. You won’t be getting things done quicker when one of your best guys is laid up in a hospital bed. Having somebody hold the ladder steady while you climb might seem like a waste of a pair of hands but it’s far safer in the long run.
Cutting corners when it comes to health and safety might sound like a good idea but it’s only going to complicate things for you when somebody inevitably gets injured.
By Annabelle Fee
Getting students to sit down and prepare for class or an exam can be quite difficult. There are thousands of things students would rather do than study. But rather than to simply blame the students for their laziness or disinterest, it is far more productive to assess the methods used and see how to improve the relationship between students and education.
Materials matter. Often, it is hard for students to understand why they need to know certain information and what role could that possibly have in their lives. Learning is much more difficult when you see no point in it. A way to avoid this from happening is to use examples from real life rather than academic ones. This can be especially useful for getting more students understanding the point of science studies.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Make sure to tell them when do well in class or on a test. Write a positive note on their essay together with constructive criticism, it is important to include both for the best possible future results. Also, when writing words of praise, try to be specific with your praise, concentrating on the work rather than a student characteristic. E.g. ‘You have clear, strong arguments,’ is much better than ‘You are really smart.’ Here are some dos and don’ts.
Students can be very sensitive to expectations and if they think you don’t expect much from them, they can easily stop trying. Even worse, they can start believing they will never achieve anything more than their current level. Set up realistic expectations of level of improvement for each and every student and be sure to communicate it to the students. Tell them you know they can and will do better if they try. You can then offer them personalized advice on how to do it.
Students notice when their teacher is not interested in the job they are doing and the teacher’s dislike for the class will be mirrored in the form of the response from students. It is understandable that after a while of teaching the same materials, you can get bored. You should try and mix up the materials for your own sake to keep things interesting. Furthermore, engaging students to actively participate in class should make each class unique and more interesting to all parties involved.
Make sure you teach for all learning styles
Different students have different learning styles. Some learn best by listening, others by reading or even watching videos, and then again some by doing things themselves. Try to incorporate all styles in your classes so that every student can get something useful out of it. For the best results, provide your students with a range of different materials for home study so they can use the ones they find most useful.
Hopefully, this will help with planning your classes, but make sure to keep on investigating because new studies emerge every day. Whether you work at school or offer private tuition, a teacher’s job is never done and a great teacher will keep up with new findings, wanting the best for their students. However, don’t forget to also talk to your students and ask them what could help them improve their performance. They often know the answer but feel it is inappropriate for them to speak on the topic. You can do a questionnaire for them to fulfil, and possibly it would be best to give it as an anonymous homework. It doesn’t hurt to try.
Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.
By Jerry Mooney
Isn’t it strange that whenever anyone mentions the phrase ‘artificial intelligence’, it immediately makes you think of the future? You might picture robots, androids, and all kinds of Blade Runner-esque scenarios, that still seem like a wild fantasy. But the reality of AI is that it is actually here, now, and with us already. And whether you are a business owner or getting high up on the corporate ladder, it’s one of the most important and relevant subjects you need to understand.
Well over two-thirds of people in the media, technology and telecommunications industries expect AI to flourish and start having an impact on business, products and services in the next five years, and the buds are already starting to appear. Here are some of the exciting ways that AI is beginning to change business – read on to find out more.
One of the most visible examples of machine learning is facial recognition. It’s far from a perfect technology at the moment – a quick look at Facebook’s efforts to introduce it are a testament to that – and there are, of course, a few privacy concerns. But facial recognition is actually being used in a lot more places than you might think. Apple and Android phones are both starting to look into facial recognition to unlock your devices, while MasterCard is working on ‘Selfie Pay’ payments. It’s not just ultra-modern companies that are embracing the tech, either – even Chinese temples are getting involved by installing it into bathrooms to eliminate the theft of toilet paper!
Early adopting companies are already using AI to reduce the time-consuming process of recruitment. You can go to Valintry.com for a full rundown of how this works, but in essence, many companies are beginning to automate their talent screening processes. With a blend of machine learning, social, mobile and cloud technology, it’s possible for recruiters to be faster and more engaging with their operations.
AI is showing signs that it doesn’t just learn – it can also help humans learn. Services like Udacity are using AI to identify patterns and phrases that are used to make and close product sales, which then results in a bot actually giving information to human advisors. The human then uses the ‘successful’ words or phrases, and are more likely to sell the course to the prospective student.
Is it time to say goodbye to your inventory software and embrace AI instead? Perhaps – and it’s already rolling out in a number of forward-thinking companies. Take Amazon, for example. In 2012 the online shopping giant bought out Kiva Systems, a company that designed warehouse robots that could do everything from identifying stock levels, replenish produces, and even fulfil orders automatically.
It’s virtually impossible for a human to sift through the big data that every company operating online, let alone form any valuable opinions. Enter what is known as ‘opinion mining.’ It’s artificial intelligence that can read vast swathes of data, pick up patterns in sentiment, and use the information to identify trends. If you want to make use of big data, it’s definitely worth looking at.
By Sharon Jones
Being in business will mean something different to us all. Not only will our business ideas be different, but so will everything from the way we earn money to the setup of the company itself. Because businesses are often as unique as the people that run them. And, the way that people choose to run their businesses will always differ. So much so, that not everyone will be great at being a boss. Not everyone was made to sit at the top. And if you know that you’re not the best to run a company, you may wonder exactly where you do belong? So let’s take a look at some of the key areas to consider.
First of all, let’s talk about what it takes to be that CEO – just in case you’re not really ready to rule it out just yet. Some people should be leaders. When you’re a natural entrepreneur like Issa Asad, then being the CEO could be for you. If you’re good at knowing how everything should fit together, overseeing a range of departments, making key decisions and generally being the driving force behind the business, then sitting at the top of the company is still something you should consider.
Or maybe you’re not so great with general leadership, because you’re so much more of a creative person. Well, when you’re creative, why not think about heading up the marketing side of things. Again, you may not be strong on strategy here, but you could channel all of your creativity into ensuring that every marketing campaign is as impressive as it can be. Being the director of marketing is the exact kind of role you could be in need of here.
When it’s number that you’re really great with, you should definitely think about heading up the finance team. Because sometimes, you can be a really great CFO, have a say on business decisions, but still keep your head in the numbers and not have to worry too much about running the entire company. And when you’re good with figures and finances, this is definitely going to be the kind of thing that speaks to you.
Next up, there’s also sales. Because if you’re incredible at landing deals and making great sales figures, then you don’t necessarily have to walk away from that to run the entire company. If there’s somebody better suited to being SEO, then why don’t you stick with the sales department and riving the rest of the salespeople forwards?
And sometimes, you don’t have to worry too much about being involved in any way. Because you do also have the option of becoming a silent partner. When you don’t want to be overly involved in any of the business operations, you could put your money up and step back. Again, just like taking the seat as CEO, this isn’t going to be an option that speaks to everyone, but it is still an option if you’re not sure on where you should fit in.
By Nigel Hilton
Many people consider running their own business. It might stem from an idea you had years ago, you may have jumped on the lightbulb moment the minute you through of it, or simply you just love the idea of becoming your own boss. While it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to get a business launched and running successfully, there are ways any one of us can get started. I wanted to share with you some of the simple steps you can take to create your stellar set-up.
Create the perfect business plan
A business plan is something all businesses need when it comes to just starting out. But it can also be something that you refer back to and add to as your business progresses. So getting one done from the word go is vital to your business success. However, so many entrepreneurs will skip over this step or maybe not dedicate as much time to it as they should. This can be a big mistake. Ensure you spend time creating an in-depth business plan so that you cover all bases of your business, especially outlining the first year of trading. There are plenty of articles online to help you create the perfect document.
Secure the right level of funding
Funding is a huge part of any business launch, which is why you need to ensure that you secure the right level of finance for your business project. You may want to use your own savings and invest yourself, or have friends and family invest into your idea. You could also consider business loans and capital investment options from places like swift financial partners. You could also consider separate investors where they look at going into business with you taking a percentage of the profits. There are many different options to consider, but make sure you choose the right option for you.
Think about your branding and digital presence
Your branding and your digital presence are very important elements of your business. So take some time to consider your logo, your brand, your website and any marketing campaigns and strategies such as social media options. These key elements are going to help your business thrive, so they deserve your focus at attention. It is the attention to detail, that will help you succeed with your vision.
Dedicate your time
One thing that can be a little lost in translation is the idea of becoming your own boss and choosing the hours you work. Launching a business from nothing and turning into a success is going to take a lot of time and effort, so it is vital that you are dedicated to making this work. Not putting the hours in at such a delicate stage of the process, as in the beginning, means that you could end up with a failure on your hands. Make sure you are willing to do your idea justice and be passionate about what you do.
I hope that these steps help you create the stellar set-up you are imagining.