Risk Assessment in The Workplace. Part 1.

What is risk assessment?

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of your workplace, to identify what could cause harm to people, so that you can decide as to whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm from being caused.

Work accidents and work related ill health, can ruin lives, and seriously affect your business also, if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or you have to go to court.

You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace.

The important thing you need to decide is whether a hazard is significant, and whether you have taken satisfactory precautions to minimize the risk.

If you are a small firm owner, and you are confident you understand what is involved, you can carry out a risk assessment yourself. You do not have to be a Health and Safety expert. If you are a larger firm, then you may want to assign a responsible employee, safety representative or safety officer to carry out the task. You can also obtain advice from outside companies, who have specialised in this type of work.

What is Hazard and Risk?

A hazard means anything that can cause harm. To give you a basic idea, think of chemicals, electricity, working at heights etc etc.

A risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard.

There are five steps in a risk assessment:

Step 1. Look for the hazards.

Step 2. Decide who might be harmed and how.

Step 3. Evaluate the risk and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

Step 4. Record your findings.

Step 5. Review your assessment and revise it if required.

Do not overcomplicate matters. In the majority of firms in the commercial, service and light industrial sectors, the hazards are few, and those that do exist are fairly obvious. Checking them is mainly a matter of common sense, but also a required and necessary action.

You probably know already, whether you have machinery that could cause harm, or if there is an awkward entrance or stairway where someone could be hurt. If so, check that you have taken all reasonable precautions you can to avoid accidents and prevent injury.

Lets take a closer look at Steps 1 and 2.

Step 1. Look for the hazards.

If you are doing the assessment yourself, walk around your workplace and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ignore the trivial (for now) and concentrate on significant hazards which could result in serious harm.

Ask your employees what they think. They are the ones who are working with the various components on a daily basis, and will therefore know where the problems are. They may have noticed things which are not immediately obvious. Manufacturers instructions or data sheets can also help you spot hazards and put risks in their proper perspective.

Step 2. Decide who might be harmed and how.

For each identified hazard you should then decide who might be harmed and how. And of course you will then be able to decide on a course or action that will prevent the hazard from causing risk.

Do not forget about young workers, trainees, expectant mothers etc who may be at particular risk.

Do not forget cleaners, visitors, contractors, maintenance workers etc who may not be in the workplace all the time.

Do not forget members of the public, or people you share the workplace with, if there is any chance they could be injured by your activity.

The Development of the Cosmeticians’ and Cosmetologists’ Professions, and Their

The Development of the Cosmeticians’ and Cosmetologists’ Professions, and Their Application to Professional Liability Insurance

Insurance companies do not tend to differentiate between cosmeticians and cosmetologists when it comes to providing professional liability insurance. The difference is actually important, and should be reflected in the insurance policies provided to cover professional liability insurance.

The concept of professional liability insurance is that it is provided to professionals only. The basics of professional liability insurance is to cover malpractice or the unfortunate results of the excellent practice of well trained and certified professionals, who acquired their certification according to high standards and well-known institutions. This should have led the insurance industry to prefer the higher trained professionals, and in the beauty field these are the cosmetologists.

What differentiates between cosmeticians and cosmetologists is that a cosmetician is someone who sells or applies cosmetics or works in a beauty parlor, while cosmetologists are experts in the use of cosmetics, or beauty specialists.
Not everyone will agree with the different definitions, and we received many responses claiming that the difference is the need of the cosmeticians to improve their public image and, not necessarily the result of better education or expertise.

The first use of cosmetics was in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians created a number of cosmetics: oils, herbs, fragrances for both beauty and religious purposes. Both women and men would use kohl (a black powder kept in a small jar) to outline their eyes and eyebrows. Throughout history, there has been a constant, consistent increase in the use of cosmetics, and the cosmetician’s profession was increasingly in demand, with ever-growing status for not just a professional, but for an artist.

The increase in the cost of cosmetics along with the increase in public awareness to consumerism has created the need for protection of the cosmetician from public lawsuit in more complex ways than ever.

Professional liability insurance used to be the main answer to the needs of the cosmetician, but nowadays, this excellent coverage provides only a fraction of the protection required by the cosmetician of the 21st century: The use of applied products and the development of consumer protection laws has elevated the need to provide protection from lawsuits involving the products used (and many cosmeticians still use self-made products, and cannot rely on product liability of a manufacturer). The emergence of hair and beauty salons has created the need to include public or general liability as well, and in the age of gender awareness, a certain protection is required against discrimination and gender harassment.

It is an opportunity, both for the insurance world and for the professionals in the beauty industry to recognize the potential of cosmetologists and to elevate the level of professionals in the beauty industry. Better training, regulated education and instruction, continuous updating all these will create a better environment for cosmeticians and their customers, and will forge a broader way for protection solutions by the insurance industry.

Today, people are much more aware of their looks. They purchase expensive products, pay a lot for beauty treatments and expect their cosmetician or cosmetologist to be a highly trained and excellent practitioner. The insurance world will either go with this trend and support the enhancement of the beauty practitioners’ professionalism or will pay the price of old fashioned protection products. The one who will pay the price in this case may very well be the cosmetician who did not continue to develop professionally.

Panama Quality and Cost of Living

Introduction – Mercer Human Resource Consulting has released their 2007 findings. These are surveys which rate cities according to certain criteria they elect to use. They use New York City as a baseline with a rating of 100 for their surveys. Cities coming in under that are worse and over that are better. Mercer is a well-respected source of this information.

Panama Standings for Quality of Living – Mercer uses 39 criteria to determine quality of living. These criteria include social, economic, crime, police, banking, currency and related controls, censorship by the government, personal freedoms, medical facilities, doctors and pharmacies, education, transportation, public services, weather, climate, and other criteria. It is not based on the number of bars, restaurants, ballparks etc although these are factors in the equation. It is not a surprise that Baghdad is the worst city in this survey with a score of 14.5. Zurich hit the number one spot for quality of life with a score of 108.1 and Geneva comes in close with a score of 108. Vancouver and Vienna follow with a score of 107 tied for third place. Panama comes in with a score of 82.9 situating it in 92nd place. So mercer feels that there are 91 better cities to live in.

For a frame of reference Budapest came in with a score of 90.2 giving is 74th place. Detroit came in 64th place with a score of 96.1. Pittsburg came in with a score of 99.7 giving it 52nd place. The craziest thing yet is Los Angeles, which came in with a score of 98.3 giving it 55th place. Detroit, Los Angeles is extremely dangerous place. Their homicide and violent crime rates are through the roof. In certain sections of Los Angeles the police go on calls in groups of four squad cars. They have awful smog. Their cost of living is insane with many homes selling for over three million dollars. Their traffic jams are world class. Their public schools are beyond bad, they are not safe. They have police with metal detectors in their schools. Then we can get into drug addiction, gang violence, and on the list grows. How in the world could this be a nice place to live beats me. So what is Mercer thinking anyway?

Panama Cost of Living – Panama has not made it into the top fifty most expensive cities to live in. In 2007 Panama ranked 124 out of 143, which is fairly low. San Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the most expensive cities in Latin America with positions 62 and 63. Asuncion Paraguay continues to hold place 143 as the cheapest place to live. Following closely is Buenos Aires in position 139, Montevideo Uruguay in position 140 and Quito Ecuador in position 141. Mercer does this survey using 200 different criteria such as cost of husing, food, medical, transportation and so forth.

Discussion – Panama is going through a housing boom. Most of the new homes are not yet completed or occupied. This would mean they are not yet included into the study. If one puts a deposit on a home paying $3500 a sq. meter this is not a completed transaction and thus would not be included in any statistics concerning real estate prices which are based on actual sales, not based on deposits. When these new projects get certificates of occupancy then we will see the cost of living spike up sharply. Housing is the largest expenditure one generally makes. This will then rack Panama up there in the cost of living index.

Evaluating Work At Home Jobs

Check out every listing you review. Find out if there’s a salary or if you’re paid on commission. Ask how often are you paid and how you are paid. Ask what equipment (hardware/software) you need to provide.

Avoid listings that guarantee you wealth, financial success or that will help you get rich fast from home. Stay clear of listings that offer you high income for part-time hours. They will do none of the above.

Ask for references – request a list of other employees or contractors to find out how this has worked for them. Then contact the references to ask how this is working out.

If the company isn’t willing to provide references (names, email addresses and phone numbers) do not consider the opportunity.

If it sounds too good to be true, you can be sure it is!

The Work at Home Jobs You Don’t Want

Data Entry Jobs – You’ll see lots of listings for data entry jobs. They are usually either positions posting ads or a sales pitch for a kit that will get you started.

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) which involves recruiting new people, and more new people, to sell the product. If all you are doing is trying to find more people to do what you’re doing, keep in mind that there are probably thousands of other people attempting to do the same thing. None of them are getting rich.

Online Businesses – Do you want to start your own online business and get rich? Be very wary of these type of ads too. What ‘ll you do is end up paying for a guide to working at home which duplicates information you can find free.

Posting Ads – There are lots of ads saying workers are needed to post ads on online bulletin boards and forums. You don’t get paid to post, rather you may get paid if other people sign-up.

Processing Claims – In order to get “hired” you’ll need to buy equipment, software and pay for training.

Stuffing Envelopes – Believe it, or not, there are still people saying that you can earn $3 or $4 per envelope to stuff them. You can’t. All major companies have postage machines which stuff, sort and meter mail.

The winner in the scam contest are the sites that offer to sell provide you with information on only legitimate work at home jobs – for a nominal fee, of course. Don’t do it!

How to Find Out

How do you find out if the posting you are responding to is legitimate or a scam? Check our Work at Home Scam information to research companies before you apply.