Health and safety investments in warehouses

Health and safety investments in warehouses
Keeping the employees safe and healthy should be a priority for all businesses, especially for the ones that have their staff working in a warehouse. Warehouses can become extremely dangerous places, because of moving vehicles, high shelves, human workforce, and heavy items stocked on racks. If the management does not promote and follow proper health and safety procedures, disaster can wait around the corner. Studies show that the main causes of accidents in warehouses are the vehicles that run in and around the space, the falling objects, the moving objects, the manual handling of goods, the work at heights and the slips and trips. Safety regulations require all companies to have occupational health and safety programs. Its purpose is to prevent diseases in the workplace, and work-related injuries. All business owners and employers have the responsibility to ensure their staff a safe workplace, no matter if they are working in a warehouse or office. Depending on the size and area of the business, the scope of the health and safety program can differ. Health and safety should not be forgotten once the legal obligations of the company are satisfied. The working environment is in a continuous change and companies should asses the risk, and adapt the health and safety policy to the present needs of the market.  Warehouse operators should focus their attention on some specific aspects that require improvements.

Heavy equipment

If the warehouse works on a regular basis with heavy equipment, then it is something natural for the staff to use the devices. In terms of productivity, this is an advantage for the company, but it can become a disadvantage for the employees because they forget the danger these machines are representing. The role of the warehouse manager is to keep the employees aware of the potential danger they face themselves when they are using heavy equipment. All the machinery should be evaluated regularly, cared and repaired.

Workplace transport

All warehouses should feature designated traffic routes that keep the employees safe. Both internal and external routes should feature clear signage to inform the staff about the places where the delivery drivers park the vehicles, where the forklifts operate and what areas are safe for the public.

Spills and hazardous objects

The warehouse is a fast moving environment, where items and packages are transported, stored and moved, and it is easy an item or substance to get left behind and workers to run into it because they do not expect that item to be there. If the warehouse stores liquids, it is something common spills of various types to fall on the floor and to create a slippery surface. Safety signs can prevent accidents from happening. It is advisable to use them to inform the workers when a surface is wet or mopped, to keep them safe. All the objects that can lead to tripping should be removed from the floor, especially in poorly lit areas. An important improvement brought to the storage space is the anti-slip tape that is installed on the floor and improves the grip the staff experience.

Working at height

All warehouses count on the usage of mobile elevating work platforms and ladders. The persons who control the activities performed at heights should properly plan the operations, supervise and train the employees. Only competent staff should be allowed to operate at height. A great improvement would be to use robotic arms to work at height and protect the human workforce from injuries.

Stock and equipment transport

The warehouses are located at various levels from the warehouse entrance, and it is important to improve the operations by creating a yard ramp, or even more, depending on the size of the warehouse. The yard ramp has the role to facilitate the transition from the road to the warehouse level. It is not advisable the employees to navigate the steps when they are carrying heavy items, because they are exposed to accidents. All businesses have to be prudent when it comes to the health and safety of their employees.

Harmful substances

Depending on the specific of the warehouse, there are serious concerns businesses should focus on, if they store harmful materials or substances. If the employees are not working in proper conditions, the warehouse can be the target of an inspection.

Ergonomics

Alongside creating a safe workplace, the company should also make sure that the employees take good care of themselves and stay in good shape. It is important for the employees to learn how to lift the items in a proper way, and not to injure themselves, because the company can be at risk of liability.

Why is crucial for companies that manage warehouses to improve the health and safety conditions?

Retain employees The best way to remain competitive in the market is to have happy employees. Happy employees are motivated to work harder and complete their tasks successfully. The working conditions have a great impact on the loyalty of employees. Companies can build and maintain employee loyalty through a safe and healthy environment. Avoid potential compensation suits and claims If the employees get injured while working in the warehouse, they can file compensation claims and suits. Compensation claims often prove to be deadly for companies, especially if the company has neglected to offer their workers the training required by the law. Workplace injury, because of hazards and exposure to risk factors is a growing statistic. Personal injury attorneys state that the number of persons who are injured due to their employer’s poor safety procedures is in continuous growth. All workplaces come with an element of risk, but the role of the warehouse manager is to lower the hazards. Personal injury attorneys are specialised in helping the persons who suffer a personal injury and their rate of success in case of a claim or suit is close to 100%. Companies should not expose themselves to this risk. Save costs Apart from the costs of a potential compensation claim or cost, employee injury, compensation payment, and litigation costs, the companies that have their employees injured while working in the warehouse also have to pay for the hospital, rehabilitation, medication and doctors’ fee. Often, the companies that have their employees injured at the workplace, also experience increased insurance premiums. Health and safety improvements are the simplest way to reduce these costs.

Why Portfolio Diversification Matters More than Most Investors Think?

Why Portfolio Diversification Matters More than Most Investors Think?
The collective opinion of investors all around the world is that a diverse investment portfolio is better than a linear one. Diversification is perceived as easy and straightforward by many investors, but truth be told, there is plenty of misleading information out there that might damage numerous of investment portfolios. Of course, you can’t “put all your eggs in one basket” but this is wrongly interpreted by investors. Below we have some additional information that will certainly come in handy when it comes to building a strong and resilient portfolio.  

Different Types of Risks Lowe Portfolio Vulnerability

When investing, venture capitalists face two main types of vulnerabilities: undiversifiable and diversifiable.
  • Non-diversifiable risks are those that are associated with all companies and all investors. These are commonly known as market risks or systematic risks. In this category fall inflation rates, exchange rates, war, political instability and interest rates. These are things that cannot be changed by the investor themselves and should be accepted as they are.
  • Diversifiable risks are also known as unsystematic risks and these don’t depend on political or economic instability. They can be influenced and minimized through diversification and they are specific to companies, markets and industry.

Why Should You Start Diversifying Your Portfolio?

Let’s take a hypothetical situation where an investor only has airline stock investments in their portfolio. The pilots and staff of said airline announce that they will be on an indefinite strike and all stock prices are dropping. Your portfolio will lose its value in an instant. But if you also have stocks in other industries, let’s say railway stocks, only one part of your investments will suffer. But experts recommend not to stop your diversification at two types of stocks. In case of war or economic instability, both airline and railway stocks might suffer. Diversify your investment portfolio furthermore to gain resilience in face of unfortunate economic or social disasters. From different companies to different industries, investors should seek new diversification opportunities to gain uncorrelated stocks. Asset class diversification is also important. Different asset classes react differently to various market events. This type of diversification will keep investors protected against market swings. As a general rule, equity markets and bonds move in opposite directions. So, if unfortunate events emerge in one asset class, the other will experience growth and a positive trend. Experienced investors can try to diversify their portfolio with synthetic investment products. However, these are complex and require plenty of experience. Small investors and beginners should avoid such investments due to their difficulty level.

How to Find the Finances for Portfolio Diversification?

Diversifying your portfolio means more money invested in different types of assets. If you’re unwilling to swap one asset for another, you can find various types of loans that will offer you just enough financial means for your future investments. Business loans seem to be the most desired when it comes to reliable and accessible financing options for most investors (Source: Nocredit.se). When investors want to reach new diversification rates in their portfolios, these types of loans are the first on investors’ list.

How to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio

To diversify your investment portfolio, it’s mandatory to consider different asset classes. This depends, however, on your capital and risk tolerance.
  • Stocks are the most common investment option but they also are the most volatile asset class. Instead of investing in stock in a single enterprise, it’s advisable to invest in different enterprises in different industries. Diversity can be achieved easily when it comes to these types of assets, but it’s important not to limit your portfolio at these.
  • Real Estate is another asset in which you want to invest for a diversified portfolio. The real estate market and stock market influence each other (see the 2008 recession) but don’t show such a close relationship. When stocks or bonds drop, there is a long interval necessary for real estate to follow. But also, when stock rates experience a positive trend, the housing market needs a while to improve and also follow. When it comes to real estate assets, it’s important to remember that location-specific factors play a huge role in prices to boom or plummet. In this case, you should think of these factors as independent ones from the overall economic context. Expensive markets, for instance, tend to perform better than stock markets in many circumstances.
  • Bonds are yet another great type of asset for investors looking forward to diversifying their portfolios. Bonds are issued by government and corporations when they look forward to raising money. Investors can lend money to the government or a company that needs money. The loan is issued for a fixed amount of time and it is also charging interests (variable or fixed). Of course, the borrower will have to repay the entire amount borrowed and interest as well when the bond expires. While this isn’t a permanent type of investment, it’s a great opportunity to diversify one’s portfolio. They perform opposite to stocks in face of various market events, which makes them perfect. Plus, in this case, portfolios are not exposed to market volatility. The amount borrowed will be recovered by its maturity date. Bonds are a great way to counterbalance market volatility and are more stable than stocks and real estate investments are. While the returns are certainly less generous than in other assets’ case, they are a secure investment for sure.

Other Reliable Ways to Diversify a Portfolio

While the options presented above surely are great tools to diversify an investment portfolio, there are other reliable ways to do so. For instance, you can invest in whatever type of asset you think that will accumulate value over time. Vintage cars, art and jewelry are only some of the asset classes that investors believer that will preserve if not boost their value over time. Low-risk short-term investments are other solutions when it comes to portfolio diversification. You could invest in foreign and domestic stocks at the same time to minimize your portfolio’s volatility in face of certain politic and economic events.

Getting financially smarter: hacks that will keep you away from debt

Getting financially smarter: hacks that will keep you away from debt
Many people encounter problems when it comes to managing their finances. This happens because they are not organized enough, they have previous debt that they need to pay, they don’t know how to track expenses and so on. In order to learn all these things about finances, they need to invest some time and attention in learning how to become financially smarter and keep the numbers between the limits. This article is supposed to present the easiest and most efficient ways to manage money and avoid accumulating debt any further. The tips you find here may be difficult to apply at first, but once you turn them into a habit, these actions are going to become part of your routine. Here’s what you should know:

How to track your expenses

The first thing you must learn in order to bring your finances to the right path is represented by expense tracking. In many cases, people don’t understand where their money goes because they don’t smartly track what are the things that require spending each month. You can either start an agenda and write your spending down, or you can use one of the many available smartphone apps, that also remind you to insert your expenses at the end of the day. Apps are more appropriate for this task because they also make the necessary calculus to add up your expenses at the end of the month. To start tracking your expenses, you must determine what your total income is. The total income includes all the money that you gain, no matter the sources. To calculate your total income, start by adding up your base salary, any spousal support, child support, social security support or side hustle. If you gain any bonuses, gifts or donations during that month, add them to the income category as well. Basically, any sum of money that you receive must be added to the total income. Once you do that, you can start extracting the expenses. Separate the expenses into categories. The most important expenses are represented by housing and food. Housing expenses include the money that goes on mortgage, rent, home insurance, taxes, maintenance and such. Food expenses include groceries, work meals or money that you spend on coffee, restaurants etc. Paying the utilities is next. This category includes any electric, gas, phone, TV and Internet, trash and other bills. Then, make sure to pay insurance bills, healthcare bills and any services that you have active memberships for. Another expense category has to do with savings. This category can’t miss from a financially-stable person’s plan. You need to set up an emergency fund and a home fund. If you have children, you need to put together a college fund for future education expenses.

How to improve your financial situation

In case you struggle with finances and you can’t cover all the expenses at the end of the month, you need to find ways to improve your current financial situation. The best method to do that is by starting a side business. It might sound too difficult at first, but there are all sorts of side businesses that don’t require much time or effort from you. If you can’t start a business, you can look for part-time jobs or weekend jobs that could help you gain an extra amount of money. Keep in mind that this solution is temporary and you shouldn’t overwork yourself. Building an investment account is another option you have. Most banks offer commissions for people who save a certain amount of money per month. Take advantage of that commission and start your investment account. As for purchases, try to reduce your expenses to a minimum and select shops that offer promotions and sales. There is a rule that you can follow to understand finances easier and save some money on the side. This rule is called 30/30 and it involves the following principle: to avoid unnecessary purchases, anything that costs more than $30 should wait 30 days, only if it’s not paramount for a living. This rule will help you stave off purchasing impulses that you may have. In case you still encounter financial problems, you may want to get a loan until the situation gets better. If you decide that this is the option you seek, you can find more information about loans and finances at smarter.loans.

How to pay off existing debt fast

There are a few tips that will help you pay off debt quickly to meet your future financial goals. First of all, you need to make a list of all your debt and try to pay it each month as a whole. Consolidating your debt is a good option as well so that you don’t need to worry about paying separate bills. Until you pay your existing debt, you should avoid accumulating new debt, or the situation may get worse in the long run. You need to set goals for the next year to pay off a certain part of your debt, based on a simple calculus – how much you afford to pay at the end of each month. During such situations, you may want to minimize the amount of money you include in your saving accounts and spend more money on paying off debt. In this situation, needs overcome wants, so you need to reduce your monthly spending. Seeking financial advice from a professional may also help. You should give the 30-day money challenge a try. This challenge involves participating in activities that don’t require as much money and opting for low-budget variants instead of more expensive ones. Reevaluating goals every now and then is required, along with a new calculus regarding how much debt is left. Depending on how quickly you want to get rid of it, you can set how much money to pay monthly on this goal. Read personal finance books to find more creative ways to improve your financial situation in the meantime and keep in mind that balancing everything out will take some time.

Will Ramaphosa’s Investment Summit Deal Major Changes in South Africa’s Development?

Will Ramaphosa’s Investment Summit Deal Major Changes in South Africa’s Development?
Ramaphosa’s job isn’t an easy one, the current president of South Africa having to pick up from where Jacob Zuma left off in February of 2018, trying to gradually undo all past mistakes by committing the government to allow private investments. Some criticize the current president for holding meetings and summits where nothing really appears to get done, but a little patience should be granted in this case, especially considering that there are at least 10 companies willing to invest in the progress and development of the country, helping create new jobs in the process to aid resolve the issue of high unemployment stats. As there was a great loss of credibility during the Zuma era, the country facing a severe image damage inflicted by the opaque and unpredictable government formed by the prior ruler. Thus, Ramaphosa has been facing a great challenge since the get-go under the form of credibility recovery. For this reason, summits and meetings are held often, the president trying to convince investors to drop a dime and aid the country’s development process go smoothly.

Companies have already pledged to invest

On the second day of the Investment Summit, 10 pledges had already been amassed. Rain Mobile commits R1 billion to build a new 5G network that would help improve the telecommunications sector considerably, while the Mara company is said to invest R1.5 billion towards the same sector, putting a bigger emphasis on creating more jobs to concomitantly help lower the unemployment rate as much as possible. Ivanplats, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, is willing to invest R4.5 billion in the local economy, Sappi pledging R7.7 billion for the same purpose with the added intent of focusing on manufacture and textiles more. Naspers intends to invest R4.6 billion while setting up a tech innovation hub to create more jobs. Vedanta offered a staggering R21.4 billion for the metal industry, while Mercedes-Benz South Africa gave R10 billion and Mondi pledged R8 billion for the country. The biggest surprise yet came from Anglo American, a mining company that commits an R71.5 billion investment in the mining industry that spans over the next 5 years. Up to this point, R134.1 billion have been raised and the good news keeps rolling in, a positive outlook on the country’s situation not seeming as impossible as it did the past years. As long as Ramaphosa will have a strong hold over government and not allow the internal situation to decay as his predecessor did, investors are bound to aid as they won’t fear losses, and South Africa will be on the right path to economic growth and development.

Oppressing developmental issues that Ramaphosa must tend to

Poor regulation of the energy, telecommunications, and water industries must be fixed under his presidency for him to regain credibility in the eyes of foreign investors. Evidently, when discussing these industries we must take into account the impact held on country inhabitants as some major issues emerge:
  • People don’t have the same access to information and communication means as those in better-developed countries do, which harms a number of life quality aspects, education receiving the biggest blow.
  • Water pollution is a major issue that has led to serious health detriments for inhabitants, thus decimating the number of people who are apt to work and who would have otherwise contributed to a more rapid development. At home sanitation doesn’t come as easily for inhabitants as it does in developed countries as earnings are significantly lower, so it is up to the state to fix this oppressing matter.
  • There can be no real development without the energy department thriving as it is needed not only for life quality increase among the populous but for sustaining the rest of the industries that can help South Africa in its developmental process. As it basically stands at the core of all actions, energy is the department where Ramaphosa and the government must get most heavily involved.

What the future holds

Aware of how important Africa’s development is for Europe as well as the rest of the world, Chancellor Angela Merkel has personally urged companies to shift their focus towards this continent to back efforts in prosperity so that the people of the continent will finally enjoy the same luxuries as the rest of the world. With backing from one of the most respected political figures at the moment and Ramaphosa on the right track towards winning trust, the future seems brighter than ever for South Africa in particular. The summit might have seemed a bit too pretentious to some as its showbiz style scene and the fanfare were indeed over the top, but this isn’t what we should take away from it. The vast audience that tended to the event, which was composed of approximately 1300 business and government leaders, was pleased with the outcome as pressing issues regarding the country’s reliability when it comes to investment were clarified, the president reassuring the business community that their properties and investments are now safer than ever and will remain this way. In the event that even more businesses commit to aiding South Africa in its journey toward growth, people who live in unsanitary conditions, who are faced with pollution-induced health issues, who live in poverty, and who don’t have proper access to education will likely see an end to their troubles as not only will new jobs invade the market, but life expectancy and quality will grow as a result of industrial and economic growth. Summary: With South Africa’s economy struggling, the recent investment summit led by Cyril Ramaphosa was intended to revive economic growth in the region. Addressing the structural weaknesses in the economy and improving the investment framework could be the moves that will eventually lead to a fix, especially with the right external help.

Things You Should Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

Things You Should Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer
Although the paycheck is the only thing people think about before accepting a job, there is more than this involved in the equation. Of course, salary matters, but other parts of the compensation package or even training opportunities matter enormously. Besides, you want to make sure that the employer is a reliable one. You want to be sure that for that paycheck you won’t have to take extra working hours or double shifts. And most certainly, you want to make sure that your employer’s workplace attitude is a positive one. Here are some things that you may want to consider before jumping into that boat and accepting a job offer.

Carefully assess the job offer

Before you say yes to any job offer give yourself some time to think of the offer as a whole. Consider the whole compensation scheme. The salary, benefits, work environment and working hours matter enormously, not only how much you’ll be paid from month to month. The monthly salary may allow you to pay your expenses and food, but the perks are those that will help you raise your living standard. Also, the work environment matters enormously. This is what will determine your workplace productivity and your future mental state. Think about how happy you will be working the job you are about to accept. Is the job description making you happy? The schedule is another thing you should pay attention to. If you will have to work extra hours on a frequent basis, you may want to reconsider your decision. Think of the pros and cons of working that job and compare it to other offers you might have received. You may be surprised to find out that other jobs are better, although, at first glance, they didn’t look like.

Employee benefits matter

Health insurance, retirement plans, these are things that you should consider before accepting a job offer. Other perks that might make a job appealing are vacation plans and disability plans, sick leave and other similar compensations. Take your time and compare different job offers. You won’t be asked to accept the offer right away so this won’t damage your employment chances. A good retirement plan is more important than a bigger salary, in most of the cases. But make sure that you assess your retirement plan carefully. A great retirement plan should weigh more than a generous salary at another employer, so make sure that you make a good decision.

The history of your employer matters

Have you ever thought of checking your employer’s history and background? A background check matters enormously and you should perform it before accepting the job. This will offer more information on your future employer and the company if they previously had any sort of legal issues and so on. It will help you get a better image of how your activity in their enterprise will look like and the company’s stability.

Assess which are the perks and benefits you give up by leaving your current job

Unless you are working a horrible job, there are most probably some things that you love about your current employer. Assess the perks and see if you will still have them by switching jobs. Make a list of the pros and cons of your current job and compare those to the ones you will have at your potential future job. Maybe at your current job, you have short commute intervals. This should matter more than a couple of extra bucks offered by your future employer. In the end, comparing the two jobs will be fairly easy.

Will you have growth and development opportunities?

This is a topic that should be one of the main determinants before accepting a job. If you have growth and development opportunities, the company offers training programs for their employees and the promotion chances are real, you should most probably take the job. You have to think of your future career as well, not only what you currently have. It has been proven that employees that enjoy more development and growth opportunities are happier with the employer and their career choices. They also seem to deliver better in the workplace and be more productive. New challenges and new skills will make you more valuable on the human resources market and will offer you more profitable and advantageous employment opportunities in the future. The pace at which employees are promoted inside the company also matters, thus, assess that carefully as well.

Do you feel comfortable in with your future employer’s corporate culture?

Everyone has their own idea about a positive corporate culture, so if yours doesn’t match your employer’s you may have a hard time in in the future. If you’re unproductive in an open-floor company, you will have a difficult time working in such work environments is you are the introverted type. If the workplace environment encourages collaboration, creativity and interaction and you’re not inclined to such behaviors, you will have a difficult time adapting, so assess this aspect carefully. Other variables that you should pay attention to are the noise level, the physical space available, the behavior of your colleagues and employer. These all will determine how comfortable you’ll be feeling in your new workplace but also how fast you will adapt.

Why do current employees leave your potential employer?

If you hate stress but this job is the one that makes people leave in herds because of it? Well, you may want to reconsider the whole employment opportunity. This is unlikely to bring any long-term benefits to your career or financial status. Search for a company that values diversity and pay big attention to why former employees have left the workplace. It may be a manager with a toxic leadership mentality or it may be something worse, but inform yourself. These are some of the most important things that you should do and consider before accepting a job offer. If you don’t pay close attention, you may end up in the worst workplace environment until then and you will most likely regret the decision.