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Who Benefits Most From Workplace Safety Regulations?

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Who Benefits Most From Workplace Safety Regulations?There were nearly 3 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2018. Workplace safety has never been more important.

But who benefits most from workplace safety regulations? Although they’re implemented to keep employees safe, they offer major benefits for employers too.

But are they as comprehensive enough?

Keep reading to learn more about which workplace safety regulations matter most and who they protect.

How Workplace Safety Regulations Benefit Employers

Safety regulations are created by government agencies to ensure that organizations meet minimum safety requirements to reduce risk on the job. By creating workplace safety regulations, employers protect themselves from penalties for noncompliance.

Although you should go above and beyond when it comes to protecting your staff, you’re only required to meet the minimum standards.

These safety regulations also provide guidelines for creating your own policies and best practices. You can also reference these regulations to identify holes in your current plan.

It’s important to keep in mind that some safety issues, such as worker fatigue, aren’t often addressed in workplace regulations. There’s no concrete way to measure employee fatigue, which can put that employee, other staff members, and your business at risk.

All you can do to prevent worker fatigue is to educate your staff on managing risk fatigue and offer time off, breaks, and other support and resources.

It’s your legal obligation to create a safe, healthy work environment for employees. Failing to do could result in major financial and legal trouble.

How Workplace Safety Regulations Benefit Staff Members

Workplace safety regulations protect employers from incurring penalties and fines. For employees, the benefits are more personal.

Having safety regulations in place means you’re receiving at least a minimum level of protection against workplace hazards and dangers. Regulations ensure that your health and wellbeing are valued. You can also fall back on these regulations if your employer is treating you unfairly or you’re working under unauthorized conditions.

Employees shouldn’t rely too heavily on the regulations that are put in place. Just because an organization is compliant with the standards doesn’t mean there are zero risks. Avoid getting complacent in your role.

This could lead to a serious accident or injury. If you’ve already incurred a work-related injury, the doctors at https://workerscompdoctor.com/ can help evaluate your condition and explain your rights.

Holes in the Plan

One of the biggest problems with workplace safety regulations is that they’re sometimes unrealistic and only cover the basic needs of staff. Most people agree that the scenarios outlined in the regulations don’t accurately depict day-to-day working conditions. Some of the information and standards may not even apply to your position.

Most regulations leave a lot to be desired. Just because an organization is compliant, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.

Some people argue that the answer to who benefits most from workplace safety regulations is the government agencies who hand them down. The regulations are often vague and created in a more generalized manner, leaving gaps in the specific needs of both employees and employers.

The Answer to Who Benefits Most from Workplace Safety Regulations Might Not Be Who You Think

You might think that the answer to who benefits most from workplace safety regulations is the employees. While these guidelines do protect their basic safety, they don’t address everything.

Companies should use these workplace regulations as guidelines for creating more comprehensive and industry-specific safety practices. Workplace safety is a major concern for both leaders and workers and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Want more tips on boosting your job performance? Check out our blog for tips, videos, and advice on succeeding in business.

5 Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Businesses

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 5 Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Businesses

Many people are using the world blockchain these days. So much so that the phrase has become a buzzword. Currently, ASX blockchain companies are providing these services to users.

Finance and business executives often joke that the word blockchain placed at the end of the company name is enough to increase the share price of any entity at least twofold.

Jokes apart, it is a fact that more than 50% of companies are using – or planning to use – the blockchain technology, which gives a boost to the relatively nascent market.

Before we discuss its business benefits, we should first find out what blockchain really means, and what value it has to offer.

Blockchain Technology Defined

Blockchain technology is simply defined as a list of records known as blocks linked through cryptography. Each block contains transaction data and a time stamp.

It was first introduced for circumventing the traditional banks and financial institutions and satisfy their fears regarding unregulated money, making its way into the mainstream.

Blockchain technology authenticates and enforces financial transactions. Every aspect of the transaction, from creation to settlement, is carried out in real-time.

Businesses can use this technology for making and receiving payments, store data on clouds, or executing agreements.

In the article below, we will discuss some benefits of blockchain technology for businesses.

1. Money Transfer and Payments

This is perhaps the most widely known use of blockchain. With the help of this technology, businesses can carry out payments and transfers. Blockchain offers a secure and safe transfer of money anywhere in the world with a very low fee.

There are no intermediaries involved in blockchain transactions which usually charge high commissions, and also cause slowdowns in the process.

A business that has clients or employees in different parts of the world can carry out instant crypto-currency transfer in a cost-effective manner.

There are some organizations, including Abra and Bitage, who are spearheading the blockchain money transfer phenomenon.

2. Supply Chain Management

Most people in business abhor paperwork. They think that it stalls their speed and decreases their efficiency. When the matter is urgent, paperwork becomes a burden.

For businesses that are involved in supply chain management, logistics, or shipping, blockchain allows opportunities to bypass delays created due to excessive paperwork, and track all the shipments in real-time.

3. Transparency of transactions

Blockchain technology has allowed transaction histories to be more transparent. The reason is that it is a distributed ledger.

The same documentation is shared with all the participants involved in the transaction. There are no separate copies for each user.

Every participant in the transaction must agree on the documents, which will not become valid until there is a consensus. If a single change is needed in any document, it will mean changing all the existing and subsequent records after obtaining confirmation from all participants.

This system of affirmations and confirmations maintains the accuracy and transparency of the data. This also means that the data on the blockchain is more accurate than similar data shared through papers.

Blockchain can be understood with the help of Google Docs. There is a document that is available to many people who can make changes and save them. The same document is available to every user. However, there is just one difference. No single user can delete previous entries made in the document. They can only make additions.

4. Safety and Security

Blockchain technology is way more secure than the traditional systems of record keeping. First of all, every transaction must be agreed and affirmed by all participants before it is properly recorded.

Secondly, once approval is received from all participants, the transaction is encrypted, and then connected with the preceding transactions.

Thirdly, the information encrypted through this process is not stored in a single computer. Rather, it makes its way into a network of computers belonging to participants involved in these transactions. The availability of the same data on many computers across different geographical locations renders it impossible for hackers to attack all of them simultaneously.

The sanctity and security of data are imperative to every organization, whether it is healthcare services, banks, financial institutions, or government entities. Blockchain technology offers a novel way of sharing information without the fear that it will be compromised in any way. The risk of unauthorized access or activity or willful fraud is almost non-existent through blockchain.

5. Better management of inventory

Blockchain technology offers a complete and concise record of every monetary transaction that takes place in your business.

It also offers the opportunity to connect with every other part that you are dealing with, whether it is your supplier, clients, warehouse, or a retailer.

Everyone who is part of the network has the same data available to them. Since the information is similar to everyone, there is little room for confusion regarding the transactions that took place at each end. This leads to much better management of inventory as compared to the traditional method where every participant has their own set of documents that are reconciled with the rest at the end of any given period.

It will be useful to note here that the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk, is currently using blockchain technology for handling its workflows. The company started using blockchain after it found out that a simple shipment involved hundreds of interactions between different people across the globe, hindering speed and efficiency.

With the help of blockchain, the company is able to keep and process that data of its thousands of containers scattered all over the globe with ease and efficiency.

The Final Word

Initially, blockchain was envisaged as a technology that would support the Bitcoin. However, as time passed, experts suggested that it may have many more advantages. Currently, it is being discussed that blockchain may fundamentally alter the internet itself.

Gradually, with time, blockchain tore the boundaries of money-related transactions and became a distributed ledger phenomenon.

Presently, the demand for blockchain in businesses has been increasing exponentially. The demand for blockchain is expected to shoot up by more than 75% by 2022.

 

Types of Chargebacks You Should Know About

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Entrepreneurship | Risk Management | Types of Chargebacks You Should Know AboutChargebacks have become a menace for online businesses. You risk losing a lot of money and valuable resources when you don’t pay attention to fighting chargebacks. They are transaction reversals that a buyer issues after purchasing products that did not meet the description or for other reasons. An effective way of fighting chargebacks is to understand how they occur and putting into place preventative measures. Here are some common chargeback types that your business might experience.

Chargeback Fraud

A fraud chargeback is a fraudulent request for a refund in the form of a chargeback. The cardholder disputes a transaction to regain the transactional amount and retain the services or products offered.  A chargeback fraud accounts for a significant percentage of all fraud losses. Chargeback fraud occurs when buyers try to take advantage of the chargeback process. They buy the product and try to get their money back by making false claims for the chargeback dispute. While it could be challenging to prevent chargeback frauds, winning such disputes can be equally hard. You can win the conflict by submitting a response with compelling evidence indicating that the buyer is trying to take advantage of you. Also, make sure that you collect all the necessary information from a buyer.

Merchant Error

Merchant error is among the most common chargeback types. While your employees may not intentionally commit a merchant error, its consequences can be dire. Merchant errors are caused by an array of things, including clerical mistakes and system errors. It could also be anything else that doesn’t satisfy your customer. For instance, goods not received or received in an unsatisfactory way and technical issues with your payment process, causing unauthorized errors or duplicate transactions.

Friendly Fraud

It’s an innocent act that could be costly to your business. Friendly fraud doesn’t involve malicious intentions by the cardholder. Professionals, such as Ethoca can help with the measures needed to fight friendly fraud. Some primary causes of friendly fraud include some friends or family members making unknown transactions or forgetfulness. Sometimes a simple action like an unclear product description can trigger a buyer to issue a chargeback for transactions made. An effective way of preventing friendly fraud or generally any chargeback is to tighten measures on your end.

These are some of the common causes of chargebacks. The bottom line is that you need measures to protect your business from any chargeback. Liaise with the professionals to save your reputation and money.

A Small Business Owner’s Emergency Preparedness Checklist

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | A Small Business Owner's Emergency Preparedness ChecklistIf a natural disaster were to impact your city or town, would your small business be prepared for it?

Many small businesses are, unfortunately, not ready for emergency situations. It’s why about 40 percent of small businesses end up closing down following natural disasters and other emergencies.

You can avoid this fate by creating an emergency preparedness checklist for your small business. You should be especially mindful of doing this if your small business is located in an area that gets hit with a lot of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other weather-related emergencies.

Take a look at some of the things you should do as a small business owner to protect your property and, more importantly, yourself and your employees.

Identify Potential Emergency Situations

There are some emergency situations that will pop up out of the blue and catch small business owners completely off guard. If, for example, a car drives through the front of your business, that’s not something you would have been able to predict.

But most of the emergency situations that small businesses face have to do with the weather. And while some of these situations can catch small business owners asleep at the wheel, most of them should be things that are on your radar.

Depending on where your small business is, it could be subjected to:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Blizzards
  • Flash Floods
  • Wildfires

Your emergency preparedness checklist should include details on how you’ll respond to each of these things. But it all starts with identifying which of them are most likely to impact your small business.

Figure Out Ways to Respond to Each Specific Type of Emergency

Once you know which types of emergency situations your small business could potentially face, the next order of business will be to figure out how you’ll handle each one. This will require some careful planning on your part.

Sit down and take a look at each type of emergency situation and think about how it could affect your small business. This will help you decide what you’ll need to work your way through an emergency situation.

For instance, if your small business is positioned right in the middle of a city that gets hit with bad hurricanes every few years, you’ll need to find the best ways to respond to hurricanes. You should plan to do it by:

  • Boarding up windows and doors prior to a hurricane touching down in your city
  • Moving electronic equipment to a place where it won’t get wet if water makes its way into your small business
  • Securing anything that could get washed away during flooding in your area

Every emergency situation is a little bit different and will require you to take different steps. The key is outlining a detailed response plan for each individual situation.

Outfit Your Small Business With the Right Tools to Handle Emergencies

In order to respond to emergency situations, you’re going to need to have more than just response plans in place. You’re also going to need a series of tools that will help you carry your plans out.

Prior to a hurricane, for instance, you’ll need to have everything from hammers and nails to plywood and sandbags on hand to prepare your small business. Without these things, it’s going to be difficult to get your small business ready for an emergency.

Yet, you would be surprised to see how many small business owners wait until the very last minute to try and obtain these tools. Some end up not being able to get the tools they need to shore up their small businesses and make emergency situations worse for their businesses.

See which tools you will need to respond to different emergency situations and invest in them long before you ever have to pull them out. It never hurts to have these tools stored away since you never know when you could need them.

Put a Communication System Into Place for Emergency Situations

Communication is going to be of the utmost importance when an emergency situation strikes.

You’re going to need to communicate with your employees to let them know what you need them to do to keep your small business safe. You’re also going to need to communicate with other small business owners in your area so that you can lend a hand to one another.

And of course, you’ll need to communicate with your local police station as well as your local fire station in many cases. You might need to have them come out to assist you with an emergency.

Figure out who from your small business is going to be communicating with others during an emergency situation. Whether it be you, your general manager, or someone else, there should be a point person in place for all communication efforts.

Get Out Ahead of Emergencies as Best You Can

As we mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to predict all emergency situations. There are going to be emergencies that sneak up on you from time to time.

But you can get out ahead of many emergency situations by paying close attention to what’s happening in the news. If there is a hurricane threatening to touch down in your city, you can map its progress and see how much damage it could potentially do to homes and businesses in your area.

This will help you prepare for emergencies so much better than you would be able to otherwise.

Start Checking Items Off Your Emergency Preparedness Checklist Today

You don’t have to allow a hurricane, an earthquake, or another type of emergency to cripple your small business. By creating an emergency preparedness checklist, you can limit the amount of damage that an emergency does.

Use the tips listed here to formulate your own emergency preparedness checklist based on the potential emergency situations your small business might face. You won’t have to worry about an emergency shutting your business down for good when you prepare for it ahead of time.

Read the articles on our blog to find out more about the emergencies that could bring your small business to a halt.

Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and Secure

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and SecureThe concept and aspiration for fully autonomous vehicles has been around for at least 40 years. The reality in 2019 depends on who you talk to; it’s either here today, a few years away, or a decade or more before they truly become mainstream.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has defined six levels of autonomy from level 0 – 5. While manufacturers have been working hard on the development of autonomous vehicles, the reality is that today the vast majority of vehicles for sale are only capable of providing level 2 assistance features. Level 2 automated driving is defined as systems that provide steering and brake/acceleration support, as well as lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The human at the wheel must be driving and constantly supervising the automated features. A few OEM’s in-market today have been working towards Level 3 & 4 automation, meaning the car can take over most driving functions , but the driver must still be able to intervene at any time.

For most automakers, in order to reach this goal, incremental technological and commodity changes will not be enough. Instead, to achieve the full road map of autonomy will require a transition to a complete automotive platform inclusive of AI-enabled microprocessors, software, new architectures and levels of performance to be deployed scalably.

Navigating the Path to Pervasive Autonomy

Because of the emphasis on commodity-based engineering, workflow in a typical OEM has a very long lead time and cycle. Worst case cycle times have ideas begin in the research factory maturing over several years leading to product engineering where they take around 3-4.5 years.

For these main reasons and many smaller ones, this approach is not scalable nor cost effective as we move into the 21st century.

One of the cornerstones of the new architecture is the concept of a layered software-based platform which allows for the addition and deletion of software defined capability in each layer (see below). This facilitates features to run as “applications” executed on top of the service platform like PC or mobile phone which provide the ability to change (extend or restrict) the performance.

The impact of these rationalization and transformation initiatives are providing significant value for the OEM as well as the end-consumer:

  • The amount of wiring can be reduced (cost)
  • This allows further weight reduction of the car
  • Increased performance and/or driving range (performance/emissions)
  • Reduce manufacturing cost and time.

The end-picture and future benchmark to consider is provided by Tesla. Through digital connectivity within the car an ultimate level of rationalization will bring cabling requirements from about 5 km of wiring today to 100 m in a Tesla Model Y.

Tesla also recognized early that hardware rationalization and connectivity capabilities outside of the vehicle system would be paramount to unlock and accelerate the uptake of the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared Mega-Trends) trends, which would ultimately not only provide the revenue streams of the future but also leverage AI benefits across the different functionalities inside and outside of a vehicle.

The commercial confirmation and practical demonstration of this flexibility can be seen at Tesla where they have already established this software working environment and pushing new autonomous and AI benchmarks as announced in April 2019.

In a world of static automotive features, closed systems and changes made through recalls and other legacy methods, such an architecture is viable. However, to achieve the three automotive pillars of being safe, secure and smart, fully autonomous vehicles need to have a more open, integrated hardware and software systems architecture vs. siloed and disconnected. Autonomous vehicles must possess architectures that allow subsystems to work together to harness and exchange data in real-time to make intelligent decisions.
The sooner this transformation happens, the sooner Level 5 autonomous vehicles will become a reality.

Solution for Autonomous Driving

Wave Computing, for instance, offers a full range of SoC solutions designed specifically for the automotive industry. The company’s MIPS technology-based ISO-26262 certified processors enable OEMs to design, develop and scale their vehicle software architectures in a secure environment. The architecture includes hardware multithreading with support for up to four threads and the ability to run two instructions simultaneously during every clock cycle. And Wave Computing’s TritonAI 64 IP platform enables developers to address a wide range of automotive AI use cases with a single comprehensive platform, including optimized AI libraries.

Whether next year, five years or a decade, the dream of fully autonomous driving will become a reality. To fulfill that dream, however, automotive manufacturers must make major changes to their automotive architectures and supply chains. Transforming what was once a rigid hardware platform of siloed features and functions, to a fully systems-based software platform won’t happen overnight, but it’s a critical component to delivering Level 5 autonomous vehicles that are safe, secure and smart.


About the Author

Steve Brightfield, Senior Director of CPU and AI IP, MIPS Machines Div, Wave Computing. For more information, please visit www.wavecomp.ai.