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The Importance of Cleanliness in Your Manufacturing Facility

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Manufacturing Facility|The Importance of Cleanliness in Your Manufacturing FacilityManufacturing facilities, regardless of what product you’re making, can get extremely dirty. With a variety of nooks and crannies for the dust and dirt to settle in, hard-to-clean equipment and machinery, and chemicals and particles in the air, a broom and dustpan just will not cut it. A clean facility is essential for the health and well-being of employees and the quality of your product. While cleanliness in any business is necessary, it’s even more vital to the manufacturing business, and here are some of the reasons why.

Makes a good impression

Clients often visit your manufacturing facility either for meetings, tours, or just to check on the progress of the production process. Sometimes, they can show up unannounced to do an audit and make sure that everything is up to their standard. A clean facility shows that you are professional and that your products are high-quality. If you have a potential buyer visiting for the first time, you must make a good impression if you want to close a sale. You will need industrial cleaning services that offer specialized cleaning for manufacturing. The cleaners should understand the manufacturing business, and the safety protocols to follow within different types of facility.

Improves efficiency

A dirty manufacturing facility operates less efficiently. When there is stuff lying all over the place, including scrap materials, empty boxes, and unused parts, it can become extremely disorganized. In manufacturing, it’s imperative that staff can find everything they need exactly when they need it. On top of that, throwing unused materials around and not having them in their right place can lead to wastage and losses. On top of that, cleaning dirty equipment takes time and time is money in manufacturing. If you have to stop the production line to clean up, you’re cutting down on production.
Boosts quality control

Regardless of what product your facility is making, if it gets loose particles or dirt in it, you may have to scrap it and waste materials, resources, and time. Orders almost always have deadlines, and you’ll have committed to producing a certain amount by a specific time. If you have multiple products contaminated with debris or dirt, your risk not completing the order in time. A clean facility means the products will always be good quality and ready at the required time.

Reduces workplace injuries

A messy and dirty facility is a recipe for disaster when it comes to employee safety. Suppose empty boxes are laying around, or even slippery floors due to a spillage, then an employee could slip and fall. Slips and falls are more dangerous in manufacturing facilities since employees could be carrying heavy or sharp items. The equipment and chemicals that employees work with also present hazards of their own, but when the facility isn’t clean, these hazards become more prevalent. Sharp materials, such as cut pieces of metal or glass left around as scrap could cause serious injury if not cleaned up.

For all these reasons, hiring an industrial cleaning service will help ensure that your manufacturing facility operates efficiently and safely.

Why You Should Maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Workers' Compensation Insurance|Why You Should Maintain Workers’ Compensation InsuranceAs an entrepreneur, you are starting your business and have to make tough choices about where to put your money. Rent physical space or go virtual? Do your own books or hire an accountant? Pay for answering service or hire a receptionist?

The answers to these questions will vary depending upon the type of business you are starting, what your skillset is, and how well your project is funded. One thing you should not skimp on if you have employees is purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.

Why? Because if you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance and one of your employees is injured in a workplace accident, or develops a disease or condition as a result of the workplace conditions or duties, you will likely be on the hook for their medical expenses and lost wages. In many states, that is not all… you can be fined by a workers’ compensation judge, or prosecuted for a crime by your state’s Department of Justice.

Read this article for the consequences you can avoid if you just purchase workers’ compensation for the employees of your business.

How Workers Compensation Works

The reason every state has a workers’ compensation statute mandating the purchase of workers’ compensation insurance for most employers is to remove the issue of liability from workplace injuries, provide lost wages and medical expenses for the injured worker, and lift responsibility from the employer.

The public policy concerns resolved by the workers’ compensation statute are preserving the employer-employee relationship, helping workers recover from their injuries and get back to work, and avoiding lengthy, expensive, litigation between employers and their employees over who is at fault for causing the injury.

If a worker is injured, typically, the worker will inform the employer and seek medical attention. Most statutes provide a timeline for this and give the employer and the insurer the right to specify the medical professionals an injured worker must first consult.

Employers are usually required to post notices of workers’ compensation coverage and the procedure for filing a worker’s comp claim in a conspicuous place at work, such as a break room. The worker will complete and submit the required forms, and generally, in as little as a few weeks the worker will receive compensation for the injury in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. If the worker is unable to work for a time, the worker may also receive partial or total temporary or permanent disability compensation.

If an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance but should, the injured worker can seek recourse in workers’ compensation court and in some states, can sue the employer directly. But that employer’s employees are not the only stakeholders in the employers’ decision not to carry worker’s compensation insurance – the state is.

Because your state has a stake in whether your business has workers’ comp insurance, your state legislators will have specified in the statute what penalties will apply if an employer fails to comply with the mandates of the statute. In many states, failure to comply is a criminal offense and individual owners of a business without workers’ compensation insurance can be fined and jailed.

A Judge May Impose Civil Fines and Penalties for Failing to Comply With Your State’s Workers’ Compensation Statute

Every state’s workers’ compensation statute is a bit different, but most states require employers with at least one employee to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. If a worker is injured and goes to workers’ compensation court, the judge has the authority to not only assess the worker’s medical expenses and lost wages against an uninsured employer but fine that employer in addition, in an amount that will match the egregiousness of the conduct.

In some states, there is an uninsured employer fund that the worker can access to receive compensation more timely, and you as the uninsured employer must repay that amount as well as any fines or penalties provided for your state’s statute.

Employers Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance Can Be Criminally Prosecuted

Failing to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation for employees is a crime in most states. The degree of the crime, the fines and penalties, and the jail sentences imposed upon business owners will vary state-to-state.

For example, in Pennsylvania, failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance is a third-degree misdemeanor, the punishment being a $2,500.00 fine and up to 1 year in jail. If an employer’s failure to maintain insurance is intentional or willful, that failure is a third-degree felony and the punishment is a $15,000.00 fine and a jail sentence of up to seven years.

Know that in most states, every day the business fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance can be charged as a separate crime. A lengthy amount of time in operation without workers’ comp insurance will certainly enhance the fines, penalties, and jail sentences.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects not only your employees, but you, the business, and other owners of the business if any. Find somewhere else to save money if you need to.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor |Veronica BaxterVeronica Baxter is a legal assistant and blogger living and working in the great city of Philadelphia. She frequently works with Larry Pitt, Esq., a busy workers’ compensation lawyer in Philadelphia.

3 Things That Will Make Your Offices Way More Comfortable

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Office environment|3 Things That Will Make Your Offices Way More ComfortableWorking in an uncomfortable environment can be tedious and unenjoyable. If you are too hot, you can become lethargic and tired. If, on the other hand, you are too cold, then it can be incredibly challenging to focus on the task at hand. Moreover, if you aren’t comfortable in your offices, then it is very likely that your employees aren’t either meaning that productivity across the board isn’t what it should be.

Do yourself and your workers a favor by taking measures to improve the environment of your offices. Here are three ways to help you do just that so that everyone will be able to work comfortably.

1. Good Ventilation

No one likes to work in an enclosed space that becomes stuffy and stagnant. If you don’t have high-quality fans and ventilation throughout your offices, then the air is very likely to feel stale and uncomfortable. This doesn’t just apply to the hotter months of the year, either. When the heating is running in your offices during the colder months, then it is just as likely to feel stuffy inside if you aren’t taking the proper measures to circulate the air.

Look for the best heat recovery ventilation system that you can find to help keep the climate of your office comfortable and circulated. Such systems can also help save on energy costs in some scenarios as they can help the air in your offices reach the desired temperature more efficiently.

2. Window Coverings

It is always nice when an office space has plenty of windows that let in natural light. Windows can also make a space feel larger and less cramped. That being said, lots of windows make it difficult to control the climate in an office as they allow the heat from the sun to stream in during the warmer months of the year. The glass of windows can also allow cold to enter during the winter months.

Window coverings can help provide the extra insulation that you need in your offices. This can keep out the extreme temperatures outside so that you and your workers can have more control over the internal temperatures of your workspace.

3. Quality Office Chairs

A day at the office can be made increasingly more uncomfortable without the right chair. In fact, a poorly designed or worn-out office chair can lead to unbearable back and neck pain when sat in for too long. Sitting in the incorrect type of chair all day can also lead to poor circulation throughout your body, among other health risks. The chronic, nagging pain and discomfort from the wrong chair can make it difficult to focus as well.

While good quality office chairs are an investment, they are one that is definitely worth it in the end. By ensuring that you and your employees are sitting comfortably throughout the day, you can help ward off the chronic pain that generally accompanies jobs that see people sitting at desks all day and contribute to an overall more comfortable working environment.

How to Create a Safe Working Environment

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Safe working environment |How to Create a Safe Working EnvironmentAll employers have to provide their employees with a safe working environment. Failing to care for the health and wellbeing of your staff can lead to workplace accidents and injuries, which will harm productivity and affect your bottom line over time. It is also likely to impact employee engagement and result in low levels of satisfaction in the workplace. Health and safety should, therefore, be a top priority for all businesses. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to create a safe working environment:

Identify potential workplace hazards

All workplaces have some potential health risks. This includes physical hazards such as trips and falls, along with ergonomic hazards, including musculoskeletal injuries caused by poor posture. Some working environments may also have additional risks, such as biological and chemical hazards. Employers have a legal responsibility to identify potential workplace hazards and take reasonable steps to control the risk. Managers should carry out a regular risk assessment and look at work activities to determine what hazards are present in the workplace. They should then decide what control measures should be implemented to help minimize the risk of damage or injury. There is an excellent variety of resources providing guidance on how to carry out an assessment in the workplace.

Offer quality employee training

Employees must receive training on health and safety and be educated on the best practices to follow in the workplace. Making your staff aware of potential hazards will help them avoid accidents and injuries in the workplace. For instance, your team should be trained on how to safely lift and move heavy items and how to operate work machinery correctly. Ideally, you should provide regular training sessions on health and safety and enforce strict safety regulations in the workplace to help protect your staff. You can encourage employees to follow safety compliance by implementing clear policies and placing visual signs around your workplace that remind employees of the rules in place.

Provide the right equipment

Employees should always be provided with any equipment needed to complete their work activities safely and effectively. Failing to provide the right equipment will harm workplace productivity and may contribute to accidents and injuries in the workplace. For that reason, it is worth investing in reliable, high-quality tools and equipment. Employees must also be provided with uniforms and protective equipment, particularly if they are working in a high-risk environment such as construction. For example, staff will require shielding solutions like lead-free radiation shielding if their job role requires them to come into contact with radiation. Employers should complete a risk assessment to identify what tools and equipment their staff need to carry out their work tasks safely.

Conclusion

Every employee deserves to work in a safe environment, and employers should take steps to protect the health and wellbeing of their teams. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to maintain a safe and positive working environment for your employees. Use the above tips to boost safety levels in your workplace today!

Practical, Professional Programs That Strengthen Business Practices

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |professional programs |Practical, Professional Programs That Strengthen Business PracticesProfessional programs are much more than some window dressing.

Their benefits are many and varied, ranging from money savings and worker engagement. But, they can’t be implemented by edicts. Words and promises don’t account for much either.

Instead, management needs to set priorities, take action, and get workers behind programs. It’s a strategic effort that requires ample resources.

Worker safety, accountability, and satisfaction are the three key ingredients of business success. Here is how to mix and blend them together.

Cultural Foundations for Professionals Programs

Before fleshing out programs, lay the foundations with empowering company culture.

First off, senior manageress should embody the core value and mission of the company. They would also do well to embrace responsibility and lead by example, not by cracking the whip.

The next step revolves around engaging the workforce.

To pull it off, open your channels of communication, and gather suggestions and feedback. The whole process has to be completely transparent.

Once it’s completed, set clear, measurable, and realistic goals. You can use the S.M.A.R.T. formula to do it right. The next sections will give you an idea of what concrete objectives to pursue.

Workplace Safety and Health

Worker health and safety have to be absolute management priorities.

Namely, effective safety programs add true value to the organization. They reduce injury frequency and severity, as well as worker compensation premiums.

So, carry out workplace audits and come up with preventive measures and controls. Put proper training procedures in place and hold biweekly/monthly safety meetings.

Educate everyone on Occupational Safety and Health requirements. Check out OSHA guidelines (including those for COVID-19), which are golden industry standards.

Provide corresponding materials, such as this HazCom training guide to classifying and labeling chemicals. Make sure worker participation is ubiquitous.

A Matter of Accountability

Next off, it’s of utmost importance to foster organizational accountability.

The ultimate trick is to do it without pointing fingers and alienating anyone. Moreover, you want to instruct and demonstrate instead of merely telling people to be more accountable.

Here, bear in mind accountability pertains to the aforementioned goals, values, and priorities. Your main job is to communicate them and put together a working system. Keep the messages positive and informative.

This is a way to become a desirable employer, a company people want to be part of.

Bolstering Employee Motivation and Satisfaction

To apply finishing touches, develop programs aimed at further boosting motivation and satisfaction.

Always give recognition and credit where they are due. Reward top performers offering more than kind words. Both monetary (gift cards, for instance) and non-monetary incentives can be quite effective here.

Apart from individuals, you can recognize the contributions of whole teams and departments.

These programs will pay dividends in terms of improving workplace productivity. At the same time, you have a chance to supercharge your employee retention rates.

That’s a clear win-win right there.

Turn It Up a Notch

Purpose-built professional programs empower workers and reinforce your bottom line.

But, integrating them with your practices isn’t easy. You first have to get everyone on board, from workers to top executives. Start by uniting them around shared goals and vision.

Furthermore, make the workplace safer and minimize the risk of injuries and hazards. Become a true role model for organizational accountability. Acknowledge and appreciate good work.

Following these steps, you’ll steer worker behavior in the right direction and outpace the competition.
Get in touch with us if you need strategic advice and counseling. It’s time to take your business game to the next level.