Posts by Robin

How to Avoid Injuries in the Workplace

»Posted by on Feb 11, 2018 in Functional Employment | 0 comments

Having a safe working environment is vital for any employer. Not just because they want to avoid lawsuits, but because they also genuinely care about the health and safety of all their employees. When someone gets hurt or severely injured on the job, it’s a headache for everyone involved. Employers begin to double and triple check everything in the workplace to make sure it will never happen again, while employees lose confidence in their safety, making them less productive and unhappy in their workplace. When employees are unhappy this can lead to a high turn over rate, which can directly affect the ability of the company to operate in an efficient manner. Luckily, there is a viable solution to these issues in the form of WorkSTEPS, a company helping ensure the safety of employees and employers alike.  

WorkSTEPS has found a solution to help both employers and employees avoid these dangerous workplace accidents that everyone loathes. WorkSTEPS does this by doing pre-employment screening for new hires to make sure they’re in the proper physical condition for their line of work. They establish a baseline medical test which all new employees must pass to join the workforce. Meeting these requirements lowers the risk of injury significantly, saving both the employer and more importantly the employee, the struggle of dealing with injuries in the workplace. The medical baseline is established by finding out how demanding a particular job is and making sure new hires can perform required tasks consistently without the risk of harm to themselves or others. Those who pass these tests are significantly less likely to injure themselves in the workplace.

More often than not, workplace accidents are caused due to the physical unpreparedness of employees. When new hires use WorkSTEPS and pass the medical baseline test, workplace accidents related to back injuries decline by 84 percent at some businesses. WorkSTEPS often brings workplace injuries down by 50 percent in the first year alone and continues to lower them each year after. Back injuries at one company went from around 46 per year to about 5 per year. This change is enormous, both for employers and employees, and it saves them both pain and money, as well as allowing for a more productive workforce. When employees are healthy, and up to the job, injuries drop dramatically and makes it so that accidents in the workplace are almost nonexistent.

As time goes on, WorkSTEPS has focused less on performing these medical baseline tests, and more on finding out what the baseline for different jobs is. This helps employees avoid injury and aids employers in preventing injury claims on the job. Their continued work in this area allows for the high success rate we’ve seen WorkSTEPS have for employers in the past and looks to increase them even further in the future.

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Do I Have All I Need for the Big Move?

»Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Self Storage Tips | 0 comments

Moving is a pretty big deal. I’ve done it three times in my life (twice just across one town), and I still find myself getting frazzled over the whole process. I always have this feeling that I’m forgetting something like some treasured object is hiding somewhere just out of sight. Did I check that cupboard or did I just assume it was empty? Maybe I’ve left some long forgotten but very dear object there, and I’ll only miss it years from now when it’s too late.

Then there are issues of organization. Should I put the utensils with the pots and pans or with the plates? That may seem silly but when you get down to things like old, important notes or journals, i.e. old documents that were once and may somehow in the future be important, it becomes harder. You want to make sure you take them, and they get packed somewhere where you can find them, but where is the best spot?

I haven’t even gotten started here. I worry about all my breakables. Should I pack them together or wrap them up separately and divvy them up between the other boxes? Together, you can prioritize the box to try to protect it, but together they may also all break at once if something happens.

As you can see, this is a stressful business for me, and this kind of mania really slows down my packing. So, to try to make this a little easier on myself this time, I’m trying to organize everything before I even start moving.

That has meant making a huge list of everything I can think of that I’m taking. I don’t mean I exhaustively cataloged all of my possessions, but I did put everything into categories. I have the dishes category, for instance, and I break that down into breakable and unbreakable. Things like that.

I’m also trying to get a grip on what I need in order to actually pack.

One final thing I’m trying. I’m opening every closet and every cupboard now and searching every shelf to make sure I know everything that is on each one. So far, no family heirlooms I had completely forgotten about but the loss of which would one day haunt me. Here’s hoping, if they exist, I find them in one of the last couple of drawers I haven’t checked yet.

My hope is that with a little more systematic thinking beforehand, I’ll be able to avoid getting too stressed when the time comes to actually pack up and move.

I’d like this move to go smoothly. It’s my first move out of the state, which makes it all the more important I don’t have any nagging feeling that I left something behind.

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Dog Bites and their Unfortunate Bias towards Younger Children

»Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Pets | 0 comments

Any owner who owns a dog doesn’t want to think that their dog would ever bite someone let alone a young child. It is a tragic statistic that a disproportionate amount of dog bites occur to children left alone with the animal. There are a number of reasons for this like children don’t understand what a dog would take as a threat or to not bother an animal when they are eating. However, the paramount problem is that the owners of these dogs are not taking steps to keep them out of the reach of small children.

In 2016 there were 48 dog bite incidents in Detroit alone. Beyond a few campaigns by the USPS and animal control to encourage owners to control their pets better there hasn’t been much change. In May of 2017 local news network, WGN9 reported about a 3-week old infant who was killed by the family dog. Apparently, after leaving the child alone for about five minutes the caretaker in charge of the kid found her bleeding from a serious head injury and one of the family dogs with blood staining its jaws. The real heartbreaking thing about this story is that the dog probably did not mean the child any harm. At that young of an age, the skull has not formed yet so while the dog was trying to play with the child it could have treated the baby as a fellow dog. The takeaway is that the responsibility for these types of attacks isn’t on the dog or baby but on the owner who knows the fragility of the baby and strength of the dogs and still allows the two to be left alone in the same room. According to the personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. around 360,000 children were bitten by dogs between 2010 and 2012. The worst part is that these types of attacks are easily preventable. Some basic tips to avoid these include the aforementioned never leave young children alone with dogs, teach older children not to pet dogs they don’t know, and if you feel threatened by a dog, back away slowly and don’t make any loud noises.

Unfortunately, there are many stories just like this one every year. Dogs and children should always be supervised together until a child is old enough to learn proper safety techniques when interacting with animals. Most dogs are good however even good dogs can have bad days and lash out at those who can’t defend themselves. As humans, we will never fully understand their behavior, but we can take all the necessary precautions to protect our youth. 

Nobody wants to see their family dog injure or in the worst scenarios kill someone. When it comes to dogs, they have very little instinct and learn much of their behavior from their owners and neighborhood dogs. By properly training them and limiting their exposure to dangerous dogs and young children, theses kinds of horrific attacks can be prevented.

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Chinatown Tax Increase: Is a beautiful landscape worth it?

»Posted by on Sep 2, 2017 in Landscaping | 0 comments

Although most of us can agree that having a beautiful community is beneficial, it is a hot topic for debate who should pay for its upkeep and landscaping. Most cities fund their public works through local taxes, but in huge cities, it becomes more difficult to decide who should pay for beautification projects considering that they will only be enjoyed by the people who live in the immediate area. The City of Chicago has recently received pushback against a proposed tax increase to beautify one of its most heavily visited and popular destinations.

According to the news site DNAinfo.com, the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is proposing a new property tax increase that, if it is approved by the City Council, will go towards beautification projects and the promotion of high traffic commercial areas in Chinatown. The city of Chicago already has a number of these “special service areas”, or SSAs. The proposition has received plenty of pushback, however, and there are large banners all around Chinatown that proclaim “No to SSA Tax”. Residents and business in the area claim that they cannot sustain yet another tax increase and that the timing of the proposed increase is poor. However, Chinatown is the only big entertainment area in Chicago that does not yet have an SSA, and the money would go towards landscaping, garbage can placement, and would even provide for a full staff to maintain the area. In addition, this SSA would cost less than any of the other 53 SSAs around the city, so the tax burden would necessarily be less than in other areas. According to the chamber, the property tax increase would come out to about $860 per year for property owners. Other supporters of the increase say that large investments in the area have already been made in the form of a $20 million library that opened in 2015, as well as a 30,000 square foot park house that was opened the year before.

The article states that both sides concede that it is difficult to measure how helpful the special service areas are, but beautification projects and new landscaping have been proven methods of raising nearby property values and attracting more people to the area. Personally, I think the new tax increase would help Chinatown and that local businesses would benefit from increased tourism, but I think the city council ought to reevaluate at a later date since new taxes were already recently imposed.

One way a new tax could be avoided altogether would be to encourage business owners to landscape their own properties, but this may end up being more costly. Landscaping companies such as Ware Landscaping in Chicago provide all sorts of services and can pick out shady trees that can even lower your energy bill. Individual landscaping efforts could certainly increase the appeal of your neighborhood, but it would still be necessary for the government to take care of public land. Tax increases for this purpose are unavoidable, but they will result in monumental gains in the long run.

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Child Drownings in Swimming Pools

»Posted by on Jul 30, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Children have a dangerous combination of attitudes – they are curious and reckless. Also, they are physically and mentally limited to defend or save themselves. These traits make them extremely vulnerable, especially near areas with deep water, like swimming pools.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been hurt in swimming pool accidents may have legal options, and this is particularly true if there is negligence on the part of the property owner.

But at the end of the day, avoiding accidents such as drownings is still the smartest choice, and to avoid them, the first thing you should know is the elements that influence them.

Lack of Supervision

Because of the traits that make children vulnerable, adults such as yourself should give them particular attention. You should always have your eyes on children, because you will never know when they will do something that can put them in danger, especially that swimming pools can be particularly dangerous to them because of drowning.

Lack of Security

The swimming pool or resort owner also has the responsibility of ensuring that no accidents happen, so it is fair to say that they should have the adequate number of competent security personnel to keep an eye not just on children, but on everybody that is in the premises.

Lack of Lifeguards

Even if there is adequate security, you will never know when an accident will occur, so it is best for the swimming pool or resort owner to employ lifeguards. There should be enough lifeguards to reach different parts of the premises immediately, because obviously, a drowning accident doesn’t take long to be fatal, especially for children.

Lack of Barriers

Aside from security, the premises should also have the proper facilities to directly avoid drowning accidents. One of the most basic requirements is a barrier around the swimming pool, so it is not easily accessible for unsupervised children, if there are children who are unsupervised by security in the first place. This is an added measure to deter accidents.

Slippery Spots

There are also instances where children have gone to the water not because they want to, but because they have accidentally slipped from something. The most common culprits are the buildups of mold in a diving board or on the edge of the pool, especially those that are on the deep end of the pool.

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