Get Your Sky-Bound Business Off The Ground By Taking Care Of Health And Safety

We all deal with different hazards when we’re working. For some people, daily use of heavy machinery poses risks on a regular basis. For others, dangerous building tools stand to do damage. And, sometimes, it’s the sheer elevation we work at which poses risks.

We are, of course, talking about when business takes to the sky. There’s a multitude of careers which involve working above-ground. And, whether your business comprises of cleaning windows or cutting down trees, you should consider health and safety.

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This is crucial in business at the best of times. But, when the very nature of the job is dangerous, it becomes even more important. Should anything happen because you didn’t put the right procedures in place, you could lose a lot of money through legal action. Not to mention that staff will soon stop feeling safe when working. Before you know it, neglecting this area could lead to shutting up shop.

Instead, it’s time to have a long and hard think about how you could keep staff safe when they’re up in the clouds. To get you started, let’s consider some of the leading safety points worth focusing on.

A sensible workforce behind you

Before you even get your business off the ground, you need to take time over the people you employ. While health and safety does fall on your shoulders, you also need to ensure your staff can be trusted. That means, each time you hire an employee, you need to consider how sensible they seem. A good judge of this would be their experience. Workers who’ve already done similar jobs are proven entities. You won’t have to worry about such people working in the right way. Those without experience, however, are unknown quantities. In this instance, pay close attention to mannerisms during interviews. Does that candidate seem giggly and unprepared, or serious and reliable?

Of course, observation isn’t always a sure art. So, to protect yourself further, it’s worth employing people on probationary periods. That way, you’re within your rights to let go staff who don’t seem suited to the work. Ask your trusted team members to keep an eye. If they notice worrying behavior, or a new team member messing around, they can let you know. Signs like these in the early days are sure to lead to trouble. So, if this is the case, it’s time to let people go. It may seem harsh, but you can’t take chances in a dangerous career like this. If you find it hard to break the news, remind yourself that you’re only doing to keep the person in question safe.

A safe way to get up there

Then, you need to consider the safety of the method your staff use to get up high. Once upon a time, ladders were the only option here. And, these could still serve you well in some cases. Window cleaners working on residential properties could get away with one of these. Equally some builders and gardening companies could put ladders to good use. These have the benefit of not relying on electronics to do the job. But, there is a downside as well. On unsteady ground, this is far from a safe option. What’s more, a damaged ladder might not make itself known until someone’s already received an injury. But, that doesn’t mean this can’t be a safe option. By training staff on where to set up ladders, you can ensure they only ever make use of stable and reliable ground. And, by carrying out regular equipment checks, you can rest easy that no ladders will malfunction.

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But, the days when this was your only option are long gone. Now, telescopic boom lifts like those found at could also serve you well. These are ideal for getting up higher than a ladder can go. If your company cleans windows on commercial skyscrapers, for instance, a machine like this could serve you well. The benefit here is that these lifts provide stable foundations for staff to stand on. To ensure even more safety, train all staff members in proper use. And, do regular checks on the state of your machine. If you notice a glitch, don’t hesitate to call out a mechanic who can take a closer look. You owe it to your team to keep on top of things like these.

The right clothes to wear

Of course, worrying about the method of elevation itself isn’t enough. You also have a legal responsibility to provide the correct safety gear. As height is the name of the game in your enterprise, helmets should be your primary priority here. Options like the Petzl Vertex Best Helmet, as found at, are your best bet. Hard shells like these are ideal for those who work at height as they offer complete protection. It’s worth keeping these in the workplace so that you can be sure of condition. Given that these are essential to what you do, it’s also worth keeping some helmets aside for emergency use. That way, you can rest easy that you’re always covered should there be any breakages.

Of course, safety gear doesn’t end with helmets. Workers up high also need standard options such as work goggles. These are especially crucial at height. Getting something in the eye could leave a colleague unable to see. If that happens when elevated, an accident could ensue. Think, too, about supplying options such as safety boots and hi-vis jackets. While less specific to the level at which workers operate, these are part and parcel of a safe working environment.

AR RAMADI, Iraq (Dec. 21, 2007) Builder 3rd Class Adam Turbeville, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, connects his safety harness to a truss while working on the construction of a fellowship hall at Camp Ramadi. The hall will be used to host conferences, celebrations, and worship services, and will also serve as a place for service members to relax. NMCB 1 is deployed to several locations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Micronesia providing responsive construction support to U.S. military operations. NMCB 1 is also part of nearly 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical construction efforts in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chad Runge (Released)

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And, last but by no means least, you should provide safety harnesses for those out in the field. This will ensure an added level of safety, and can also put worker’s minds at ease. You should provide in-depth training on harness use to every new employee. Make sure, too, that you regularly check all your workers are following procedure. Cutting corners here could cost lives. And, that would be on your shoulders.


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Stay A Step Ahead Of These Common Runner Health Issues

Running can be fantastic for your health. It’s a great way to lose weight, build lean muscle, improve your stamina, your cardiovascular health, and much, much more. It’s also free, easy, and you can do it just about anywhere. But there are dangers to running and ignoring them is an easy way to put yourself at more risk of encountering them head-on. So, what are the common health risks running alongside you and how do you leave them in the dust?


Runner’s knee

Perhaps the most common issue of them all, patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, happens when you irritate the knee joint. It presents as pain and physical tenderness around the joint and if you don’t take care of it, it can end up doing lasting damage to your knees. Running is a high-impact exercise, so it’s important to take care of the joints that are feeling the impact. Look into improving your running form, but you can also make sure you’re looking after your knees with the right exercises. If you end up getting runner’s knee, it’s best to treat it with an ice pack. Apply it for twenty minutes every three hours and it should feel much better within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, you might need a trip to the doctor.


Blood pressure issues

On a more serious note, though they are uncommon, blood clots have been known to occur more regularly in runners that in people that do other exercises. If one of these blood clots breaks off, it can move to the lung where it becomes a pulmonary embolism, which is both incredibly painful and potentially fatal. Otherwise, there are a lot of issues with swelling when running due to blood pressure that can lead to further joint pain. There are socks to buy that compress the area, keeping your blood pressure at safe levels and helping to relieve swelling. They may look a little odd, but if you want to run as best you can, you better get used to wearing things that look a little odd.


Something painful is afoot

If you’re part of a running group, you might have already seen it. If not, you probably will at some point. Everyone’s doing fine, until someone suddenly collapses, howling and clutching their foot. The most likely explanation, unless they’ve somehow broken a toe, is plantar fasciitis. This is an incredibly painful injury that occurs when the plantar fascia is inflamed and will put you off your feet for around six to eight weeks. It may even require surgery to fix. The best prevention for plantar fasciitis, as well as a good ward against runner’s knee and other joint damage, is to get proper running shoes with good arch support.

As with all exercise, if you want to get the most out of it, you have to inform yourself and do it responsibly. Running can bring some health risks with it, but the tips above should help you nimbly navigate around them.

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Easy Self Care for Entrepreneurs

You would be hard pressed to find a business owner who would disagree if you said starting a business takes up all your time. When you launch a business, and as you put your energy into growing it, it feels like you need to use every available hour of the day to increase your chances of success. While you might be thriving on the effort you’re putting into your work, spending all your time working isn’t a good idea. You need to look after yourself if you want to be healthy enough to run your business. A plan for self-care helps you stay on track.

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Get the Right Business Support

If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll be doing pretty much everything yourself, by definition. However, even someone single-handedly running a business can get help in the right places. The right support for tasks both big and small will stop you taking on too much. You might start off outsourcing some of your work to freelancers. As your business grows, you might require some supportive computer services for your office, and some permanent employees. No one can do everything entirely alone, so you should look for business services that can support you on your journey, from mentors to contractors.

Give Yourself a Routine

How often do you find yourself burning the midnight oil? While you sometimes need to work a late night or two, it’s not healthy to do it all the time. Being in control of your schedule is great too, but if your days are all over the place, it might not be doing a lot for your health. Setting up a routine for yourself could be what you need. You get to decide when you do what, but you can craft a routine that helps you meet your goals and stay on track each day. The good news is, you could work from noon to 8 pm if you wanted to, and fit everything else around your work.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

Busy entrepreneurs have a tendency to forget to look after themselves while they’re working. If you’ve ever looked up from your desk to realize you haven’t moved for five hours or eaten all day, you might need to give your habits a rethink. Eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise are both important if you want to take care of yourself. A good routine can help with these things because you can schedule your exercise and healthy meals every day.

Don’t Cut Yourself Off

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Even if you’re communicating with clients or people you work with, it’s not the same as socializing. Your business might need your attention, but it’s important not to neglect your social life. Getting out and meeting people is essential. It stops you getting lonely, and if you work at home, it makes sure you leave the house occasionally too.

Self care is often something you need to work at. Not everyone realizes that they need to take better care of themselves, so think about whether you’re looking out for your own needs.

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All About Allergies: Silent Suffering, Public Perception & More


Allergy by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Allergies can be incredibly troublesome. They bring forth a huge number of symptoms, ranging from the mildly inconvenient to the outright unpleasant. They can make you fearful of coming into contact with the substance that causes you so many problems, and even reduce your willingness to try new things due to a risk of exposure to an allergen.

The perception of allergies

Yet despite all of the information in the above paragraph being true, somehow, allergies aren’t quite taken seriously by the general public. Food allergies, for example, have long been the subject of ridicule, with general consensus suggesting that “food allergy” is just a term for “picky eater”. Even those with severe allergies report that they have experienced people deliberately trying to trigger their allergy.

Allergies are also seen as easy to control. Antihistamines, for the most part, work well to reduce allergic symptoms, so the condition itself is not given its dues. The thought process seems to go: why would someone be bothered about having allergies, when there’s an easy treatment for the issue? Even for those with potentially life-threatening illnesses, Epi-Pen exists, so why would it be of that much of a concern to a person’s life?

Of course, this is flawed thinking, but it has crept into public consciousness and refuses to quite let go. The result of this is that many allergy sufferers find themselves without support, feeling ostracized and unable to truly express what it’s like to live with an allergy. Whether an allergy is mild, serious, or something in between, it does impact people’s lives, and it’s a shame that these issues are not addressed with the focus they deserve.

Silent allergies

Those who are diagnosed with a specific allergy — usually via a skin patch test — can, in some ways, be viewed as the fortunate ones. Millions of people are living with undiagnosed allergies, dealing with a myriad of symptoms that can hamper their enjoyment of life.

These symptoms are generally mild; severe allergies, such as those that can cause anaphylaxis, are fairly easy to diagnose. Milder allergies are more difficult, as sufferers may be allergic to something that is not tested for on specific skin patch tests, and the fact the symptoms are mild mean many doctors just prescribe an antihistamine rather than trying to find the root cause. The somewhat “anti-allergy” mindset of the general public means that sufferers are often disinclined to ask for more information, accepting the antihistamine to help control the worst of the symptoms, and never entirely being sure of what it actually is that they are allergic to.

Signs of allergies

You may be experiencing an issue with allergies if you have chronic issues with any of the following:

  • Frequently blocked nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling of the lips (particularly after eating)
  • Frequent indigestion or abdominal issues
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Bodily itching
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Fatigue

Obviously, many different conditions can produce these symptoms, so you should always check things out with a medical professional. If you are otherwise found to be healthy, however, it’s worth considering that allergies might be the cause of your discomfort.

You may experience these symptoms occasionally, or they may be a daily concern.

Is it important to know exactly what you are allergic to?

If you identify with the signs on the list, you may find yourself feeling curious about what it is you are actually allergic to. The standard skin patch test only measures a tiny selection of allergens; it focuses on those that are most common, rather than a broad-spectrum approach.

As a result of this curiosity, and standard testing not delivering answers, many people find themselves trying to obtain a full diagnosis through other methods. Many “alternative health” gurus claim to be able to identify allergies, but this has no scientific background, and should generally not be considered. You may find yourself being diagnosed with an allergy you don’t suffer from, leading to you unnecessarily cutting a product, food, or activity from your life.

What you can do to help determine the cause is keep an allergy diary. Every day, write a brief list of the things you have done and eaten, as well as a note on the different places you have been. You should then note down when your allergic symptoms are at their worst. Over time, you may begin to see a pattern which can help you zone in on a culprit. If you ask for specific testing for an allergy, backed by evidence in a diary, then your doctor will likely acquiesce.

However, for the most part, no: you don’t need to know what you’re specifically allergic to if the symptoms are mild. You just need to know how to deal with it and improve your quality of life.

Focusing on the fix



There are a variety of different treatments for allergies, with by far the most common being antihistamines. Antihistamines are a range of medication that specifically try to eradicate the bodily response to an allergen, by lowering the production of histamine in the body.

Antihistamines are generally considered to be safe and effective; some forms, such as Certirizine, can even be sold over-the-counter due to their mild nature. This might be an option for you, but remember: you should always consult a doctor prior to taking over-the-counter medication, especially if you are also taking prescribed medication.

If the over-the-counter antihistamines don’t solve the problem, then you may need to move to prescribed medications such as Hydroxyzine. These antihistamines are more effective, and should eliminate even severe allergy symptoms, but they do have a downside: they have more side effects. Over-the-counter antihistamines are relatively side effect free, but stronger versions can cause drowsiness and usually cannot be taken when you are planning to, or already have, consumed alcohol. However, if you are uncomfortable and want an end to the allergy symptoms you are experiencing, then these remain a good option.

Elimination diets

If you have reason to believe you have a food allergy, the best way of ascertaining exactly what you’re allergic to is to try an elimination diet. This is a long process, that often involves eating a range of rather dull food, but it can be effective. The idea is that you strip back to a very basic diet, then slowly add foods back into your diet. If you add a food back in and suddenly experience an upswing in your symptoms, then you can safely conclude you are allergic to this food.

As useful as elimination diets can be, they are also notorious for giving false positives. Say, for example, your allergic symptoms were not being caused by a food allergy as you suspected, but a dust mite problem. On the day you introduce avocados back to your diet, you empty the household vacuum; as a result, your symptoms spike, and you conclude avocados are the cause. You should therefore only use an elimination diet as a guide to future medical testing; always have a food allergy verified by a medical professional before eliminating that food from your diet.

Nevertheless, elimination diets can be useful if used correctly. If you want to find out more, then you can read up on the subject here; just remember to inform your doctor you will be trying an elimination diet before you actually begin.

Environment changes


There are millions of different fibers, chemicals, toxins, and particles that you come into contact with every day. Narrowing the field of all this exposure to determine the exact cause of your allergy can be nigh-on impossible. However, there are a few environmental changes you can make that can eradicate some of the more well-known allergens.

If you have skin rashes and itching issues, then the first suspect should always be your laundry detergent. There are thousands of different chemicals in laundry detergent, so a process of elimination for each component is impossible. However, you can give eliminate some of the most common chemical allergens by choosing to opt for a natural detergent such as those made by BetterLife; natural products like this don’t use parabens, SLS, dyes, and other known allergens. An SLS/paraben/dye allergy won’t be tested for on a patch test, but it is still considered fairly common, so switching to a natural product could give you the answer you have been searching for.

You should also carefully examine the cleaning products that you use around your home. If you experience issues with rashes, redness, coughing, or itching when cleaning, then switching to all-natural cleaning products is a good place to start. As with the laundry detergent, natural products tend to opt for a simpler ingredients list that eliminates a number of potential allergens, so they’re worth giving a try to see if that makes a difference.

In conclusion

Allergies are very difficult to live with, especially for those who do not have a definitive answer as to what they are actually allergic to. However, the ideas above will hopefully have altered your perception of allergy sufferers, as well as provided some helpful advice to living with an undiagnosed allergy yourself.

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Strong On The Outside But Crumbling Inside: Dealing With Your Demons

You can’t remember the last time you woke up, looked at yourself in the mirror and liked what stood before you. You see a drawn, unhealthy, sad specimen in front of you and you’ve lost track of how you got to this point. Everyone has their bad days, but you’re battling something much deeper. You’re an addict and you don’t know how to escape from the tiny person inside your mind which makes you carry out these harmful habits. Addiction is not easy to fight and it can be a contributing factor to depression and mental illness. Once you have dug yourself into a deep, dark hole it can take a while to climb out. Please don’t punish yourself as you are not alone. Start by addressing your problem and take the initial steps towards recovery.

Start Small

When you are an addict, attempting to recover even the smallest things can seem like the biggest mountain. Set yourself small and achievable goals each day that will help you get up and running. It may be that you struggle getting out of bed in a morning. Why not challenge yourself with the task of getting up and taking a shower? Reward yourself and be proud when you achieve each step and try not to turn to the crutch of the substance that you often rely on so heavily. When you have tackled your smallest battles you can start to aim a little higher. Take a walk in the fresh air with a friend or call up a family member that you have neglected recently. You will find that these little changes will help you on your path to rehabilitation.


Talk, Talk and Talk Some More

Keeping your feelings and problems locked up tight in a box inside your body will not be beneficial to your health or wellbeing. Find someone you trust and approach them for a chat. It might be someone who you live with or maybe a professional councillor who can hear you out. It is true when they say a problem shared is a problem halved, so speak up and don’t be afraid to put your feelings out there. People will be willing to listen and help will soon follow suit.

Find The Help You Need

Once you have spoken to someone about your addiction you will be on the path to recovery, Remember to take every piece of advice you’re given even if it seems like a tricky thing to tackle. You may need to go to one of the many successful detox centers in your area. There will be people on hand here which specialise in helping addicts to recover. This is one of the bravest things you can do, so if you find yourself checking in, you have already overcome a huge hurdle.

Someone is always on your side, no matter what the demons inside your body are telling you. Try to tune them out and get on board with the people that truly care about you. Everyone wants to see you thrive and you deserve to live the happiest and healthiest life you can. You only get one life, so take the chance to regain it while you can.

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Baroque Of Ages: Music, Its Health Benefits (And Drawbacks)


Music is many things to many people, as well as it being the “food of love”, “it’s medicine”, to quote Kanye West. But also for all of its benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks, so let’s give you a rundown of why music is great for you, but how it can be bad for you.

A Major Key: The Benefits

There are many benefits to music, almost too many to list. Listening to music, especially classical music has been shown to improve the study habits of school children. In addition to this, taking music or singing lessons at a very young age can have a positive effect on academic performance as well as raise their IQ. It has a fantastic effect on stress, and this has been evidenced in people who listen to heavy metal music are actually more relaxed than the average person! Music also has the power to help you process information, have you ever listened to a song and been instantly catapulted back in time to a specific moment? That’s the power of music! It’s also been beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s. There is a non-profit organization called Music and Memory who are using music to help patients with dementia or in cognitive decline to remember a certain part of their life by being played a specific song.

A Minor Key: The Drawbacks

For all of its positives, there have to be a few negatives to listening to music. Mainly, the issue lies in listening to too much music, especially in how you listen to it. The one main problem with listening to too much music is that it can severely impact your hearing. There have been many cases of rock and pop stars who now suffer from tinnitus, such as Chris Martin of Coldplay, Will.I.Am, and Pete Townshend from The Who. For those that don’t know much about tinnitus, you can look at these tinnitus FAQs, just in case you suspect you may be suffering from tinnitus or a related hearing problem. Preventing hearing loss can be achieved by listening to music at an appropriate volume, as well as making sure you are not overexposed to loud noises and don’t listen to music at loud volumes through your earphones.

We all benefit from music in so many different ways, and this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting the benefits of listening to your favorite artist. But in enjoying your favorite artist, it’s always beneficial to listen to it at a safe volume, but also it’s a fantastic well of information. From the mathematically complex structures of baroque and early classical music, all the way through to densely layered information via bands like Radiohead and Manic Street Preachers, music is one of those things that you can get constant gratification from. You can find new things every time you listen back to a song you’ve heard a million times before. And that’s one of the wonderful things about music, not to mention the fact that you can dance to it!

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Simplifying Your Health Care Regime

Nowadays we live such hectic lifestyles that it’s easy to allow our health care regime to fall by the wayside. With demanding work deadlines, little ones to look after, and social lives to maintain, we can end up prioritising these areas and neglecting our own health and wellbeing. Sure, if a problem isn’t severe and doesn’t require immediate attention, we’re likely to put it off in favour of other ventures. But this can often happen time and time again until the problem becomes a major cause for concern, which is ridiculous seeing as it could have been prevented in the first place. So how do you go about ticking all of your lifestyle boxes without putting your own health and well-being on the back burner? Well, the key to balance is to simplify your healthcare regime. This organisation will reduce that amount of time that you dedicate to monitoring your health without cutting the process short. Here are a few ideas to help you along the way.

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Online Consultations and Prescription Services

While your local health practice may be relatively near, you can often still find it difficult to get the time to book in for a face-to-face consultation. Appointments generally have to be booked on the day, and you might not be able to get there at such last minute notice while still getting to your nine to five position. Luckily, many practices have taken this into account and now offer online consultations. This is essentially an extension of telemedicine (where you communicate with your general practitioner over the phone). Before engaging in telemedicine or online medicine, you need to assess whether your situation is appropriate. If you are in severe pain or discomfort, are experiencing bleeding or difficulty breathing, or have had an injury or knock to the head, you’re going to need to contact the emergency services. However, if you are experiencing less urgent issues such as seasonal allergies, chronic illnesses, cough and sinus problems, or have dermatological concerns, online physician consultations are likely to be a good option for you! A qualified health practitioner will be able to deal with these cases from a distance. Online prescription services are also boosting in popularity. So if you have a regular prescription, you can fill in your request online, then simply have to pop into the surgery to pick up your slip. Perfect!

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Taking it Easy When Needs Be

When it comes to your health, you need to show a little initiative from time to time. If you’re beginning to feel a little run down or worse for wear, chances are that you need a break! So rather than attempting to keep up with your usual routine, take a break and take it easy. Slow down your social calendar and show yourself a little TLC at home with your feet up, good quality healthy food, and plenty of liquids. This short period of relaxation, rest, and recuperation could prevent a more serious and debilitating onslaught of illness.

Don’t let life get in the way of a healthy and relaxed lifestyle for yourself. If you feel that things are getting out of hand, take back control. Following just these two simple steps can make all the difference!

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