7 Ways to Ensure the Safety of Your Commercial Premises

There are plenty of things that can impact the success of your business. But there’s arguably none worse than a safety incident at your premises. If that happens, your business won’t just face financial repercussions, but it could also face legal ones, too. Plus, as a good employer, it’s essential that you create a safe environment for your employees. In this blog, we’re going to run through some effective methods for ensuring that your commercial premises are as safe as can be.

Hire an Expert

To put your business on the path towards impeccable safety, you’ll need to know what the safety threats are. Sometimes, this is an easy process because identifying safety issues is relatively straightforward. In other types of facilities, it’s more difficult. If you’re unable to clearly identify what the safety concerns may be, then it’s recommended that you hire a safety expert to do the job for you. They’ll be able to tell you where your potential weak points are and make recommendations for how you can improve things.

Take Care of the Infrastructure

There are plenty of things that can cause a safety incident at your business. The leading non-human cause of accidents is faulty infrastructure. As such, it’s important that you make every effort to ensure that the infrastructure of your business is watertight from a safety point of view. For example, are your safety valves up to standard? Is your roof watertight and secure? This is something that requires ongoing management — you can’t just look at these things once and expect them to work forever. After all, things do lose their quality over time.

Train Your Staff

Most workplace accidents are a result of human error. That’s not to say it’s the employee’s fault, however. If they haven’t been specifically trained to use the company’s equipment properly, then it’s actually the company’s fault, not the employee’s. Health and safety training isn’t the most exciting task, sure, but it is a critical one. You should be conducting regular training sessions so that your team is always up to date with the latest practices. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to lead the training sessions unless you have specific training in that field.

Maintain a Clean and Tidy Environment

There are plenty of workplaces that are safe when they’re in spotless condition. It’s when they’re not in a spotless condition that issues arise. This is a particular issue in warehouses and factories, but in truth, all business premises can suffer from being untidy. It just makes the environment more dangerous — it’s not hard to see how an injury could occur if someone was carrying something and tripped over an item that shouldn’t be there. As such, it’s imperative that you’re working to keep your work environment clean and tidy at all times. If you have a particularly busy workplace, then it could be a good idea to hire a cleaner to do the task for you.

Take Every Incident Seriously

Serious accidents in the workplace are rare. However, when you look at the events leading up to those incidents, you usually find that the signs that something bad was going to happen were there. It’s just that those early signs were non-serious injuries, so no one took them seriously. It’s for this reason that you should take every incident in the workplace seriously, even if the injury is extremely minimal. You might have just gotten lucky this time around — the next time could result in a serious injury.

Health and Safety Tools

It’s essential to invest in the correct health and safety tools for your site. It’s not hard to see how a fire extinguisher could be extremely useful if the premises experienced flames. There’s much more to know about safety equipment than you might expect, however. There are various different types of fire extinguishers, for example, with each type being used to put out a different type of fire. You will also want to have an extensive first aid kit, as well as any equipment that is specific to your particular line of work.

Secure the Premises

Finally, be sure to work on securing your premises so that no one can enter the building. The chances of someone entering your facility with the intention of doing harm are extremely small, but it’s not zero. Having keypad access, CCTV cameras, and other security equipment won’t just protect your team of staff but will also ensure that your site is kept safe when you’re not there too.

Why You Need Penetration Testing

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Why You Need Penetration TestingIf you have any online firm or business, it is essential to keep it secure. There are hundreds of cyberattacks every day, and your company could be next. It is especially true if you have a medium or large business. You can have your security tested by professionals who know what to look for and knows how to spot vulnerabilities. If you decide to forego this essential security step, you could be leaving yourself open to an attack that could severely damage your business. Here are some reasons why you need penetration testing.

It Can Save You Money

You might wonder about penetration testing pricing and how much you will have to spend upfront. While you may have to spend some money initially, you can save money later. Cyberattacks can be costly, and depending on the nature of the attack, you might have to pay thousands of dollars to fix the problem. Hackers might also steal your money rather than attack your system, so keep this in mind.

It Can Protect Your Company

If you deal with sensitive information or you have a lot of essential files, penetration testing can help protect these files. Penetration testers, also known as white hat hackers, can see where any vulnerabilities lie in your system and alert you. They can offer suggestions about making your system more secure and less susceptible to attacks from cybercriminals.

It Can Protect Your Customers

If you have customers, penetration testing can help protect their sensitive information and keep them secure. Cybercriminals may try to steal credit cards and other financial data or even identities. A safe system that has had tests for issues in its defense is essential. If a customer’s information is exposed or stolen, you no longer only have an issue with hackers but also a problem with customer trust. Customers will go to another company with a more secure system if they feel they have gotten exposed. Your reputation is on the line if your company is the victim of a cyberattack, so testing all parts of your system is crucial. It includes networks and web apps.

It Can Put You Ahead of Competitors

If people know your organization has excellent security that has been tested and updated by professionals, they may be more inclined to use your product or service. If you stay ahead of the competition by having a secure system that hackers can not exploit easily, you can use this as a selling feature. Customers want to feel that your products are not risky to use or purchase and that their information is always safe. Penetration testing can help with this and help you be more prepared for any cyberattacks.

Penetration testing may seem complicated or pricey, but it is essential if you run a large business. Customers rely on you, and cyberattacks happen every day. Organizations need their customer’s trust to run a successful business. A penetration tester can find weaknesses in your system before cybercriminals do. If you take the time to prepare, you can avoid loss of information and avoid costly repairs.

5 Ways to Eliminate Comment Spam and Boost Real Conversations

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Ways to Eliminate Comment Spam and Boost Real Conversations

Blogging is one of the best marketing tools for businesses and influencers. It’s a great way to share one’s knowledge, expertise and opinions. It’s also a great way to build a community of like-minded people.

The only way you can really create that sense of community though, is to boost real conversations among your readers.

Not only do comments make many bloggers feel good, knowing their work has been seen and appreciated, but it’s also a really great way to connect with your audience on a more human level. It allows people to ask questions and get answers, to offer their support, to express their opinions and even build new friendships.

Which is why it’s important to make your blog’s comment section an inviting space.

1. Eliminate Comment Spam

As many bloggers and blog readers know, comment spam is just a part of life online. The bigger your blog grows, the more comment spam there is. It’s never ending, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in.

What is Comment Spam?

So, what is comment spam? Well, comment spam is a term used to describe a broad range of comments that are unwelcome. Often, these are comments left by people advertising products or trying to get people to click on whatever link they’ve left.

Comment spam doesn’t add any value and needs to be eliminated if you want to boost real conversations.

Why You Need to Eliminate Comment Spam

Comment spam is a big deal. It’s not just annoying, but it has a few negative effects on your blog and your reputation.

First of all, if you allow comment spam to sit around, Google will punish your domain by ranking you lower on search engine results. Google sees comment spam as a bad thing, too. Even if you just have spam links in your comment section, Google might assume you have it on other places on your website and can greatly affect your pageviews. Just check your analytics and you’ll see.

Comment spam actually puts your readers in danger. You want your website to be a safe place that people can trust. If a reader clicks on a link left in your comments that directs them to a malware site, their computer could be infected with spyware. That reader won’t feel safe on your site again and likely won’t come back.

Leaving comment spam makes you look like you don’t care. You should be taking the time to clean out any unwelcome comments, which could be links to anything from advertisements to even porn sites or viruses. People won’t want to leave a comment if it looks like you don’t take the time to look through them.

How to Eliminate Comment Spam

Now that you know why it’s necessary to eliminate comment spam, you need to know how to do it.

There are five main ways to eliminate comment spam on your blog:

  1. Configure WordPress to minimize comment spam. Do this by setting it so comments must be manually approved before they are posted. If you’re still new to WordPress, you can read up on the basics here that’ll guide you through how to set your site up.
  2. Install an anti-spam plugin.
  3. Use a third-party comment-hosting platform.
  4. Shift the conversation to social media.
  5. Remove comments from your blog completely.

It might seem easier to just get rid of comments altogether, but allowing comments on your blog is a great way to continue the conversation.

So assuming you don’t want to remove comments from your blog or shift the conversation to social media, you should focus on the first three steps.

Interested in learning how to boost real conversation in your comment section? Keep reading.

2. Make It Easy

Some blogs make it incredibly difficult to leave a comment. Some require you to fill out robot tests, others require you to sign into Facebook, or even require you to share your email address. If it’s too much work, though, people aren’t going to bother leaving a comment at all.

There are a number of commenting systems that make leaving comments a lot easier. Even better, some commenting systems make it easier to keep track of comments you’ve left on other blogs so you can reply easier and continue the conversation.

Most people aren’t going to go back to the blogs they’ve commented on to see if they got a reply, so having a commenting system would really help.

Commenting systems also make it easier to moderate comments, fight spam, notify commenters of replies, offers lead generation, and more. They’re also easy to install on any WordPress blog no matter what hosting you have.

3. Write Compelling Content

If you want people to leave comments you need to give them a reason to. Quality content that’s thought-provoking and interesting will make it more likely that people will leave meaningful comments.

Surprisingly, one of the best techniques to really take your content to the next level and inspire people to comment is emotion. Add emotion into your blog posts and you’re much more likely to receive more comments.

There are a number of emotions you can try to provoke. It can be inspirational, it can be sad, or exciting, or it can even be upsetting. If you get someone to feel something, they’ll likely want to express it.

In fact, blog posts that discuss controversial topics are much more likely to get more comments that boost real conversations among people.

4. Ask Questions

A lot of bloggers now ask at least one question at the end of every blog post in hopes it will inspire their readers to answer it in the comment section. For many of these bloggers, the closing paragraph is often something like, “What would you add to this list?” But that’s not going to get people to comment.

If you really want to increase reader engagement you should ask questions throughout your blog post that actually gets people to think.

According to ProBlogger there are seven types of questions you should ask. These questions include:

  • What do you think?
  • How do you feel?
  • What will you do?
  • What is your opinion?
  • What is your story?
  • What is your experience?
  • What have you been working on?

So, for example, if you’re writing a blog post about a book you read, you can ask your readers if they have read it, what they thought of it, how it made them feel, or even if they would recommend it to someone and why. Always ask open-ended questions to guarantee a response.

5. Reply to All Comments

Any time you do get a comment you should reply to it right away. A lot of people comment for a reason. They might want to elaborate on what you said, ask a question, share their own experience related to the topic, or even thank you for sharing. So if you’re really interested in boosting real conversations in your comment section, keep the conversation going by replying to comments.

If people come across your blog and see you don’t take the time to reply, they won’t want to comment at all.

Keep the Conversation Going

Now that you know how to eliminate comment spam and boost real conversations, it’s time to head over to your blog and implement these ideas. Once they’re implemented, start your own email marketing campaign to ensure your audience stays up to date with your content and boost your conversations even further.

4 Ways Modern Technology Is Improving ID Verification

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 4 Ways Modern Technology Is Improving ID Verification

The world has gone digital, and most interactions are done online. However, this has led to increased cybercrime and identity theft, which is why you need a fast and effective method to authenticate that you are dealing with the right person. Identity verification prevents money laundering and fraud, improves customers’ experience, and helps you avoid legal implications and paying hefty fines. Modern technology has improved ID verification from manual to automated processes, making authenticating identities more straightforward. Read on for four ways modern technology is enhancing ID verification.

Machine learning for ID proofing

Machine learning has improved how companies process information by automating the analytical model that backs decision-making and data analysis. The machine learning tool can be used during ID scanning to enhance accuracy when determining the authenticity of specific identity cards.

One of the major problems machine learning has helped companies resolve is the ease of authenticating worn-out identity cards. It also improves the accuracy of scanning documents under poor or low lighting conditions. Initially, a company could dismiss a real ID due to poor or low lighting or wear and tear since these documents did not pass an authentication test.

Machine learning authenticates worn-out IDs or documents checked under poor lighting by performing a visual inspection to assess the unique features of the paper in distinct locations.

Complete integration

Identity verification is crucial for most business organizations such as banks to prevent fraud. However, changing the organization’s existing central technologies to adapt to modern ID verification can be expensive. It could also result in unexpected ramifications, should the change not achieve the desired goals.

The modern identity verifications have been designed to integrate with existing company processors fully. Any compatibility issues are dealt with in the identity verification tool development phase to ensure it works immediately upon implementation.

Biometric authentication technologies

With the increase in identity theft and fraud, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, biometric authentication has become one of the most secure ways companies can verify IDs. Biometric technology relies on distinct human features such as fingerprints, voice, or iris to verify IDs, reducing identity theft significantly.

The risk of dealing with the wrong person is further eliminated as one has to pass through the system to verify their identity physically. Access to fingerprint technologies has become more straightforward as smartphones now come with facial recognition features and fingerprint scanners.

Smart identity cards

Verifying identity information when you have a vast customer or employee base that requires constant monitoring can be challenging. Modern technology has provided smart or electronic identity cards that can easily be consolidated in a digital system.

The smart identity cards are embedded with a chip that stores individual data, making ID verification easier. The electronic identity cards transmit Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) signals through the embedded chip allowing remote ID authentication.

Governments have also adopted electronic ID systems to enable citizens to access online government or social security services.


Identity verification provides a convenient way to ascertain that you are dealing with the right individual. To protect social, personal, and commercial data and avoid identity theft and fraud, invest in the above identity verifications methods propelled by the latest technology.

How to Prevent the Risk of Occupational Lung Disease (Silicosis) in Blasting

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How to Prevent the Risk of Occupational Lung Disease (Silicosis) in BlastingCurrently, lung diseases have an increasing frequency and remain a problem of public health worldwide. The causes of lung diseases in the 21st century are directly related to the industrialization level of a country and, moreover, to the level of pollution, respectively the outdoor and indoor air pollution. Exposure to air pollutants has a substantial negative effect on human health.

In developed countries, the major components of polluted air are: nitrogen dioxide (due to combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas), ozone that can be found in the urban smog (due to the exposure of nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons to the solar radiation in the atmosphere), and suspended particles (solid or liquid, small-sized particles, due to industrial activity, traffic). Further, burning of biomass fuels (such as wood, vegetal and animal waste) and passive smoking are the main factors of indoor air pollution in the developing countries. Lung infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are among the most common lung diseases that are caused by prolonged exposure to pollution.

It was noticed that the lung diseases occur more frequently when workers carry activities in higher risk sectors, such as: industry, mining, metal extraction, especially when labour protection laws are not followed and the workers are not properly equipped with protective equipment. Silicosis is an extremely dangerous occupational disease that occurs more often on blasting workers that operates with toxic blasting agents, such as yellow sand (silica sand). Silicosis is caused by the inhalation of very fine particles of free silica crystals (in microns, µ) which are embedded in the lung alveolar cells. As these particles are installing, they cannot be removed from the body by any type of treatment. Further, as a defensive mechanism against foreign bodies into the organism, these particles are covered by tissue, leading to the formation of multiple nodules into the lungs, that cause short breathing, other types of complications, cancer and death. To prevent the risk of silicosis, companies must be aware of the risk they take in case of non-compliance with the provisions regarding the use of non-toxic blasting agents and proper protective equipment for their workers.

The use of yellow sand (silica sand) as a blasting agent was forbidden in multiple European countries and is not recommended by professional bodies that act in the blasting field: NACE, FROSIO and SSPC, as it contains up to 90% free silica particles in the breathing air, which carries an extremely high risk for silicosis. A non-toxic blasting material contains less than 0,1% free silica in the breathing air, during blasting operations. Among non-toxic and ecological materials that are recommended for blasting operations, there are: (1) different types of slag for open space blasting (copper slag), (2) stainless steel grit and stainless steel cut wire shots, with multiple operating cycles, for blasting and shot peening the surfaces where no ferrous contamination is allowed (Aluminium, Copper, Titan surfaces), (3) angular steel grit and steel shots for fast and aggressive blasting operations in blasting cabinets, for extremely tough surfaces (granite, steel), (4) different types of corundum (white fused aluminium oxide, brown fused aluminium oxide) and red garnet for blasting where no ferrous contamination is allowed on the base surface, for open space blasting, (5) glass beads for cleaning fine instruments, in pharmaceutics and aeronautics industry.

While using non-toxic and ecological blasting agents, the lung diseases risks are decreasing further when using blasting protection equipment that is compliant with the provisions in the field. Choosing a certified blasting helmet is of major importance for the operators’ health. A blasting helmet that is in accordance with the provisions of OSHA (US) and / or ANSI offer a great protection on impact, noise and against dust during blasting operations. Further, a compliant blasting helmet provides an equal distribution of its weight on the operators’ shoulders to reduce pressure on the neck, allows a free movement of the head during operations, provides a good visibility through the observation window, and allows warming or cooling the breathing air.

Blasting equipment may endanger operators’ health if recommended maintenance is not carried out regularly. Repairs must be carried out by authorized and qualified personnel, in accordance with machine wiring diagrams, without making any kinds of changes to the functionality of the devices. Consumables, such as nozzles, blasting hose, air hose must be periodically inspected and replaced when worn.

GritSablare is national leader in providing a wide range of ecologic and non-toxic blasting materials, that contain less than 0,1% free silica sand in the breathing air: copper slag, stainless steel grit, stainless steel cut wire shots, angular steel grit, steel shots, white fused aluminium oxide, brown fused aluminium oxide, red garnet, glass beads.