“Health & Safety In The Workplace”

Health and safety in the workplace is taken very seriously due to a variety of quite obvious reasons including; protection of workers/employees, protection of the public/visitors.

Business owners must comply with the 1974 health and safety at work act with those who fail to do so being in breach of the law as well as being responsible for putting others at risk which leaves them open to being prosecuted in the event of an accident.

Health and Safety at Work Act – 1974

The Health and Safety at work act has many guidelines, rules and laws to follow and can become rather complex in terms of what your business needs to comply with. The Health and Safety at work act is divided up into different laws and rules depending on the industry that your business is in.

However, there are safety management systems that can be put in place or reviewed in order to ensure that your business complies with and is acceptable in terms of Health and Safety for both your employees and your customers/visitors.

Key elements of a health and safety management system include;

  • Policy
  • Organising
  • Planning and Implementing
  • Measuring Performance
  • Audit and Reviewing Performance

If the steps shown above are adhered to and are carried out correctly, your business should at least be in compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Heath and Safety at Work Act covers areas such as, fire certificates, carbon emission levels, health and safety executive elements, mode of trial and maximum penalties for failure to adhering to certain laws and regulations etc.

In House / External Health and Safety Reps

In house or external health and safety representatives are used when carrying out safety auditing and inspections. Depending on whether or not you have in house fully trained and qualified health and safety representatives, you must have safety auditing and inspections carried out by one or the other. Not only do they cover the current health and safety at work laws, but they also provide businesses with information on industry best practice procedures and regulations.

Safe Systems of Work / Method Statements

A safe system of work can be a variety of documents and procedures that need to be followed, in order to ensure the potential dangers and hazards are minimised: –

  • Safety Rules
  • Selection of People
  • Training Requirements
  • Permits to Work
  • Risk Assessments
  • Written Procedures

Whatever your business or industry UK health and Safety laws must be complied with, otherwise may find yourself falling foul of the law.

Prepare Properly For IELTS Examinations

What are IELTS?

IELTS are also known as the International English Language Testing System and are a globally accepted and proven English language test. The IELTS programme enables you to take a test in order for you to submit your score to Universities in Britain (and a number of other major English speaking countries such as the USA, New Zealand & Australia).

The duration of the course is approximately 12 weeks and it offers students the chance to brush up on the English Language skills that are required to be accepted to study at a UK university.

IELTS also provide overseas students with the opportunity to get to know other students in the same boat as them. Business professionals are also recommended to take the course as there are aspects on the course that will help with their English Business conversations. The IELTS course allows you to brush up on: –

–       English Language Skills

–       English Reading Skills

–       English Writing Skills

–       General English Comprehension & Communication

IETLS are taken by students from across the world and are a very popular programme for overseas students wanting to increase their knowledge and understanding of the English Language.

How Best to Prepare When Taking IELTS

IELTS courses are comprised of specially picked course materials so that IELTS students can be as well prepared for their examinations as is possible. There are also text books and other materials available for students to use along with other interactive learning materials, such as, DVD’s.

Language schools usually provide excellent facilities and course materials as well as being able to accommodate a range of different learning needs and levels. So it is advised that when students are looking to prepare to take an IELTS examination they ensure that the language school has adequate learning facilities as well as providing good quality support materials for your course.

IELTS Course Types

If you are a student planning on attending a University in Britain, you must take the IELTS test and submit your score. Being accepted to train or study in a British University that is English speaking will hinge on you attaining a good enough test score to meet the requirements of your chosen university. This is known as the academic training course.

The general training IELTS course is for those wanting to live, work, study in Australia, Canada or New Zealand. The test must be passed in order to migrate to those countries.

What Do You Do With Water?

During the hot summer months, there is almost nothing better than spending some time in the water.  Whether you are water skiing, boating, spending time in the pool or even just having an all-out water fight, water can save you from the misery of the scorching sun.

There are so many other things you can do with water we wanted to help you find uses for your favorite summer-time refresher.

7 Water Activities that Will Keep you Entertained
Now, before you get all grumpy about spending a few extra bucks on water, most of the things we suggest don’t take that much water at all and you can have tons of fun by yourself or with friends.  Most of these activities can actually keep children entertained as well.

Water-color painting.  Water color painting allows you to have a creative outlet, while spending very little money.  Some people find it to be stress relieving to just create art (whether horrible or beautiful), while others find it to be a great avenue to release their aggression and anger.  Whatever the case may be, water color is a great use of your precious water resource.
What kids don’t love water guns? That’s right, let loose, use some of your pent up energy from being blocked up in an office all day to run around having water-gun fights.
Add a little water to some dirt and you’ve got a whole load of ways to make a mess.  Mud is fun, mud castles and mud pies are even more fun.  Mud is a simple three letter word that can keep anyone from small children to grown men entertained for hours.
Probably the least fun of the water activities is of course, cleaning. No matter what you are cleaning, chances are good that water will be used. It is an additive all spray cleaners and is necessary to get the job done right.
Cooking, while it may not be playing with water guns, can be fun in its own way.  Doing it with someone you enjoy being with can make it even more pleasant and the rewards you get are priceless.
Go wading in a river or stream.  This can not only cool you off, but can be quite fun and can keep you busy for a long time.
While you’re at the stream, why not take along some homemade boats and have a race?
Last, but not least, take a boat to the lake, go water skiing, swimming, cliff diving (if you’re feeling lucky), surfing, or whatever you can do to cool down.  This doesn’t even require you to have your own source of water!
There are so many amazing things you can do with the help of a little water.

However, no matter how many crazy ways you find to use water, whether it be strictly for fun, to sustain life or to take care of the necessities, it is best to have a water softener to help keep harmful materials out of your body.

Using a simple water softener in your home can not only help keep you healthy but my improve the quality of your play time.

Hard water will wear out your clothes more quickly, cause stains on the tub and significantly dry out the skin.  It also carries minerals in it, which can cause build-up in pipes, in addition to having a slightly bad taste and sometimes smell.

After all is said and done it really doesn’t matter whether you choose to have a water softener in your home, you can still have fun in the sun with all of the many options we’ve given you and many more you’ll find for yourself.

Blinds For Stylish Window Treatments

Blinds and window shades are a great way to add a touch of style to any home, and there are many options to choose from in today’s window treatment options. There are vertical blinds that work well on sliding glass doors and large windows, energy efficient solar blinds that keep the heat out and allow for soft natural lighting, black out blinds that allow for ultimate light control, and wood blinds that provide a cozy look and natural feel to any room in the home. You can easily purchase blinds online, and they come with easy to follow installation instructions. Whether you are looking to cover your sliding glass door or wish to revamp every window in the house, there are a wide variety of choices that will match your personal style and window covering needs.

Real Wood Blinds
Blinds made from real wood create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere in the room, and allow for privacy and energy conservation. When closed, they work well to block out light and heat, and can be easily adjusted when opened for balanced light control. Wood blinds look great in home offices and kitchens, and colors and shades include ebony, golden oak, pecan, french roast, cinnamon, sedona, and red mahogany. Their rich deep colors provide a natural, stylish look, and all it takes is a little dusting to keep them looking clean and brand new.

Cellular Blinds/Shades
Cellular blinds/ shades are a popular window treatment, as their flowing fabrics and crisp, clean colors create a bright and comfortable look. They are designed with special light filtering fabrics, allowing for beautiful natural light to come in during the day while blocking out harmful UV rays and excess heat. Cellular shades use a cordless lift system, making them a great choice for homes with small children or pets, and they are also dust proof, allowing for long life and easy cleaning.

Sheer Vertical Blinds
Sheer vertical blinds are elegant and classy, and they look great when installed over a sliding glass door or large front window. Designed with soft, light filtering fabrics, sheer vertical blinds create a lovely ambience while keeping out excess light and heat. Sheer vertical blinds are truly the best of both worlds, combining the ease and convenience of vertical blinds with the luxurious look of sheer drapes. When the sheer verticals are completely closed, they block out external light, and when opened, they can be adjusted to various levels according to your specific light control needs.

Stylish and Versatile Blinds
Today’s blinds are versatile and stylish, making it easy to give the entire home a new look and feel. If you are interested in buying blinds online, you can request fabric and color samples beforehand in order to determine what will work best for your particular home style, and once you have decided on a color and style, simply include the height and width of the windows you will be covering, and your blinds will be shipped directly to your location. You will be truly amazed at how simply changing your window coverings can create a great new look and completely transform the style of your home.

Understanding the Importance of Learning and Development for Employees

As new generations leave education and join the workplace, there is one thing that remains clear: the desire for career progression remains. Not only does learning and development add new skills to your workforce, it communicates to your employees that you are happy to invest in them. Despite the obvious benefits, some employers still shy away from making the often expensive investment in learning and development programmes, so it’s important to underline just how valuable it is.

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It Addresses Weak Points

Even the best of the best have improvements to make, and everyone has weaknesses in certain areas. By acknowledging and tackling this, you’re filling skills gaps in your business from the inside. This isn’t to say it should be viewed as a negative by employees – more as a supporting them in fulfilling their job description as best they can given your support.

Improving Performance

Training doesn’t just have to apply to new skills. By being able to access training for even the most basic and common procedures, you’re investing in the productivity of your business. There are some tasks that need to be done thoroughly and to an extremely high standard, such as in the case of health and safety, so it’s a tool to ensure employees are performing to the best of their ability.

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Consistency Is Improved

Access to a structured learning and development programme offered by companies like ensures consistency across all areas of your business. Not only does this keep things constant in your team’s minds, but it can also cover any change in policy or procedures that need to be addressed. You can do this in-house or by online training courses for businesses.

A Happy, Satisfied Workforce

It’s vital to never underestimate the importance of a happy and fulfilled workforce. People who are motivated and satisfied with what they are doing are more productive and contribute to lower absenteeism. By taking the time and money to invest in the future of employees, you’re clearly communicating that you care about their development, and that can be a far more powerful motivator than any other incentive. Being able to do their job capably and with the knowledge that career progression is an option can be a key driver that gives a business the best workforce possible.

High Profile Criminal Cases That Held The World Spellbound

Crime is crime, right? Why is it, then, that certain tales of wrongdoing capture the interest of thousands – even millions – of people from all spheres of life? Could it be the drama around certain crimes that causes people to be drawn into the saga of capture, trial, and sentencing? Is it the nature of the crime, the reasons behind the crime, or a certain feeling of empathy for the perpetrator that draws people? In some cases the horrific nature of the crime draws people to see if justice will be properly served. Whatever the reason, here are a few crimes that arrested the attention of people around the globe.

Barefoot Bandit

A teen on the run, pulling off stunts enviable by many – such is the tale of Colton Harris-Moore, aka the “Barefoot Bandit.” Hailed as a hero for his survivalist ability, his rebellion against the wrongs of society, and his ability to evade capture for two amazing years, Colton captured the hearts and attention of many. Over those two years, the young man, who had escaped from a juvenile center, evaded police while conducting a string of thefts in homes and stores in his home state of Washington (1). His hero status soared when he stole and flew planes, eventually ending up in the Bahamas where he was finally caught. While the news portrayed his bravado, professionals were concerned over the troubled home life that brought him to the point of lawbreaking (2). His dance with the law ended in a 6 ½ year prison sentence, a book deal, and a forthcoming movie (3).

Drew Peterson

In some cases, the fascination with crime stems from a disappointment in someone we believed to be better. Take for instance the case of a former Chicago policeman, a person who spent his career preventing crime. His third wife’s death was considered accidental until his fourth wife disappeared, sparking an investigation into the first death. What made Peterson’s case particularly fascinating was the use of the so-called Peterson law which allowed conviction based on hearsay, a critical factor in this case.

Elizabeth Smart

Most instances of child kidnappings have tragic endings or no endings at all. Remains are found, or the bereft parents endure endless years of an unclosed book, never knowing what happened to their child. The Elizabeth Smart case was different. While all that she endured from her kidnappers was horrific, the fact that she was found made this case exceptional. The perpetrators were seen walking with the girl in a town not far from Elizabeth’s home (4).


The Austrian story of a man keeping his daughter in a dungeon was truly astounding. Claiming his daughter had run away to join a sect, Josef Fritzl actually hid his daughter in an elaborate dungeon for 24 years, fathering her children and claiming they had been left by her on his doorstep. Things finally fell apart when he took a child and then the daughter to the hospital. An anonymous tip led police to his arrest. Fritzl’s house of horror became a tourist attraction before it was torn down by local authorities (5,6).

Small Space Living Trends For The Upwardly Mobile

A growing trend in designing living spaces is the determination to use less space and obtain more freedom. This means freedom for work, social activities and the myriad other hobbies humans pursue, beyond the accumulation and care of stuff. Meeting this need for carving a home-place from compact spaces, while providing a comfortable and open environment, is the challenge of small design.

Meeting the challenge, Murray Hill, New York apartments offers ways to maximize any living space within a small footprint:

One room can serve many functions. A living room by day can become a bedroom at night, utilizing modular furniture to make the transition. A dining table can become an office desk, a make-up table or a work bench. Multiple-room use reduces utility costs as well; no more heating unused rooms. Everything has a place and everything has a usefulness. This is what small-space living is all about: Efficiency.

Creative Space Use
Entire walls can contain useful features. A cabinet pulled away from a wall can contain extra beds, offer a dining table or provide needed work space. Cabinets can house electronics, extra bedding and out-of-season clothes. Steps can be tucked into drawers and seating pulled down from a wall. Using space in unique ways offers creative solutions.

Maximizing Usefulness
Built-ins such as window seats can offer under-seat storage as well as additional seating when guests come to call. Kitchen appliances can be fit into drawers or cupboards making floor and counter-consuming appliances obsolete.

Stack-able Features
When floor space is at a minimum, the place to go is Up. Stacking chairs can provide seating for a dinner party, taking up little space in a closet. Nesting bins can provide instant storage for canned goods or hobby supplies. Bins can stack in a closet or work as a handy table. They re-nest to save space when the contents are used up.

Separation and Privacy
To reduce a sense of claustrophobia among roommates, a sense of privacy is essential. Curtains separating private area allow for sleeping, bathing and dressing, making sharing a small space a possibility for the modest.

Hidden Assets
Doing away with clutter in a small space is essential. Thoughtful organization makes use of cabinets and cupboards for hiding away kitchen wares and appliances, while freeing up counter and work spaces for other activities.

Office Space
Small spaces needn’t be devoid of an office. Pull-out worktables, clip-on lights, rolling file cabinets and folding chairs make bringing work home a manageable and comfortable endeavor.

Sharing Space
Whether a shared space for students or the gainfully employed, small spaces can be fit with locking cabinets to protect valuables and sound-proofing to reduce noise. Two people on different schedules may well experience the feeling of living alone, even in a small apartment. Adequate storage and a streamlined approach to choosing personal items keeps common areas open and free from clutter. Best of all, house-keeping in a small space is a breeze. And that could be the best benefit of all.

A Shortage of Doctors Means That One in Six Are Being Forced to Cancel Appointments

Getting appointments at your local GP’s surgery is increasingly challenging. The combination of a lack of doctors and government cuts is making things increasingly difficult. The pressure for appointments is so great that surgeries are filling their slots within minutes of opening their phone lines.

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Why Does the Problem Exist?

There are certain times within a doctor’s surgery, such as staff holidays, when patients will get asked questions about their illness to see if they are serious enough to require an appointment. Routine appointments have been cancelled in the past 12 months due to a shortage of doctors. The cause for this is often due to doctors leaving their roles and GP locum jobs not being filled.

There is currently a recruitment dilemma within England. This is due to the GP population retiring as early as 50. The inconvenience of this is made greater because of heightened immigration and the population reaching a higher age than ever before. Surgeries that are imposing constraints are allowing patients to make emergency appointments on the same day. GPs are now seeing so many patients each day that their stress levels are rising, risking illness and an even greater shortfall in surgery staffing. The onus now falls on reception staff to manage the flow of patients. However, these individuals are not trained, so is this really fair?

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The professional balance of the medical profession is not as it should be. The number of consultants within the medical world has increased, but the number of GPs is slowly declining.

Closures and Out-of-Hours Services

The effects of the pressures on surgeries mean that some are having to close. As a result of the closures, other parts of the NHS are being placed under pressure to provide support to fill the gaps. Patients are, therefore, becoming reliant on locums and out-of-hours services, meaning a less personal overall service. See for more information.

In some regions, private companies are taking advantage of the situation by offering alternative membership options to patients at certain surgeries. This allows patients to buy appointments in bulk and use them when they need too. The shortage of doctors means the ‘rich’ can gain benefits and the ‘poor’ have to suffer in silence.

Offbeat Things to Do in Istanbul

Istanbul is a glorious city to visit, steeped in history and buzzing with a heady blend of multicultural food, culture and sights. Every year thousands of tourists flock to major attractions like the Blue Mosque and the Spice Market, and these are definitely worth a visit.

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However, if you like to see and do more than the most obvious things when travelling, there are plenty of unusual, quirky, or offbeat things to do in Istanbul. It’s always worth asking local staff in nearby restaurants for suggestions, but in the meantime here are a few ideas to get you started.

Have a Genuine Turkish Bath (Hamman)

Skip the tourist-targeting hotel baths and experience the real deal. Men and women are generally separated, but even alone it’s a fun thing to do, and there will be plenty of regulars who will help you understand what to do.

Visit the Prince Islands

Just a short ferry ride away from the busy city streets, these nine islands are a haven of tranquillity. The four largest are the main stop-off points, and each has good food, attractive architecture and a slice of history to offer visitors. Cars are banned, but there are bikes and pony traps to get around on.

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Explore Istanbul on a Vintage Motorbike

Get a different perspective of the city by roaring around it in the sidecar of a WWII motorbike! Driver, safety equipment and a camera recording the trip are all provided.

Learn More About Jewish History

In the Galata and Balat areas of Istanbul there are some amazing museums which commemorate the lives and culture of the Jewish community, established in Turkey for many thousands of years.

Go Underground – If You Dare!

Underneath the main streets of Istanbul there’s an ancient, now unused, water reservoir – the Basilica Cistern. It’s a must-see for anyone with the nerves to negotiate dim spaces and lots of steps.

This is a country of fascinating contrasts. Visitors can take advantage of all it offers by choosing to stay in luxury villas in Turkey. There are plenty on offer from specialist companies such as, making day trips to the many exciting places the average tourist may well not see.

From hidden caves and bustling streets to peaceful havens and communal bathing, Istanbul has many layers to unpeel.

The UK’s favourite wedding first dance songs

Next to the bride’s wedding dress and the colour theme of the wedding, one of the biggest questions facing a couple getting married is their choice of music. We’re not just talking about the wedding service itself, although the choice of hymns or other musical interludes during the ceremony all have their part to play in creating a day to remember.

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The first dance

No, the question on everyone’s lips is saved for the wedding reception, after the wedding breakfast and the speeches have taken place, as the DJ or band prepare to get everyone dancing, is what song will the happy couple choose for their first dance together?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent wedding brought the subject to the forefront, as pundits clamoured to guess which piece of music they would select as they embarked on their lives together. According to The Telegraph, the happy couple chose Whitney Houston’s classic “I Want To Dance With Somebody” to sway around the dancefloor to, which caused some raised eyebrows as it’s not renowned for being first dance material, but it’s known to be one of Meghan’s favourite songs, so perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.

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Top favourites

The first dance is traditionally a time when couples make a statement about their feelings for each other, so it’s a particularly emotional and poignant moment in their big day. This is something that most wedding photographers are only too aware of, with Kent wedding photographer, Tyler Made Photography (, including the first dance in both budget and premium wedding packages.

So what is the nation’s favourite song for couples embarking on their lives together? Depending on who you ask, the answer is either “Can’t Help Falling In Love” performed by Elvis Presley, or “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Other popular choices include “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.

“At Last” by Etta James speaks of brides who feel they have waited a long time for this moment in their lives to arrive, along with “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. But as you might expect, every song that appears on a list of first dances speaks of happiness, love and fulfilment, which is, after all, the point of the wedding day.


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