Jan
26
2015

Employee Motivation During Winter

The holidays are over, a new year is upon us and now is the time to hit the ground running for most businesses. Unfortunately it’s also the dead of winter, dead being the operative word! Employees may find themselves a bit sluggish this time of the year so OSHATOES® has put together a list of  ways to increase their motivation.

  1. Comfort Counts – Thermostat control is essential to everyone’s comfort. Set it too high and the office may be sweltering, too low and it’s freezing. Find a happy medium so everyone is comfy. Lighting is important for employee comfort as well. Too bright and it may cause washout, too low and it can make working difficult. 
  2. Bonding Bonus – With so many of us stuck indoors, this is a great time to encourage some casual interaction. Create a company sports team. Start up a trivia team or organize another social outing.
  3. Educational Endeavors – This is a great season to enhance employee skills with extra training and development. Relax, this doesn’t have to be boring. If the budget allows, winter is the perfect time to find a warm locale to attend a conference.
  4. Snack Healthy – Morning doughnut runs are a definite treat but one that should only be indulged occasionally. If your company has an employee break room make sure it’s stocked with healthy alternatives. Granola, yogurt and water should be standard fare along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy eating helps fuel the body allowing for greater productivity.
  5. Go For Goals – Set some seasonal goals and encourage everyone to strive to meet them. Encourage and push employees in a positive way. Many employees complain of boredom and complacency during the winter. Give them challenges that are tough yet attainable.

 

Let’s face it, not all companies are as amazing as OSHATOES®. Not only do we have top-quality products but we have a top-notch staff of highly motivated employees dedicated to keeping you safe!

Happy Winter Everyone.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

Jan
22
2015

Think Before You Renovate

 

A new house is on many people’s wish list but for most it’s not on their horizon. Do you pine after Home Depot commercials? Are you longing for new flooring or a deck? Could you use a man cave, kids’ playroom or an extra bathroom? In short, does your home need some renovating? Whether just some simple updating or full on remodeling, now is the time to think before you renovate. My biggest rule of thumb is this : Are you renovating for yourself or to add value to your home? There are certain home improvement jobs that don’t add value to your home but will make you happy. If that’s the case, I say – Go For It. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, consider how this renovation will affect potential buyers.

  1. Budget – Before you begin any project you must create a budget. Never begin without one and don’t go thinking you’ll figure it out along the way. Those are recipes for disaster. Remember, quality materials and labor costs more than cheaper alternatives so that should be factored into your costs. Once you have a budget in mind, add another 20-25% to that. 
  2. Get Real – Turning a 1,500 sq. ft. ranch into a 10,000 sq. ft. mansion is not going to happen. However, there is a lot you can do to give your home a palatial feel. Also realize that renovations don’t happen overnight. It can be a timely process so be patient and keep your cool.
  3. Get the Right Contractor –  If ever there was a time to do your homework, it is now. Never assume a contractor is licensed. You need to see it for yourself. Always, ALWAYS check references. Most contractors are happy to provide you with a list satisfied customers. The key is checking them out. You need to speak with other customers. Find out if the work was done on time and did it stay close to the estimate. Also get several estimates before choosing a contractor.
  4. Get it in Writing – Once you’ve  accepted an estimate, get a contract! Verbal contracts are no good and open the door to disagreements, misunderstandings and disappointment.
  5. Communicate – If you live offsite, communicate with your contractor often. Ask for daily updates on how the job is progressing. Do onsite checks every day or every other day. Many contractors will tell you to stop by weekly but you need to be there more often. This helps quickly nip wrong turns before they become catastrophes.

SAFETY – As always, keep safety at the forefront when renovating. Anyone working on your property should wear safety gear. Hard hats, safety goggles, work gloves, etc. are important to your health and safety. OSHATOES® is happy to provide top quality safety gear at competitive prices.

Check us out at www.OSHATOES.com.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

 

Jan
19
2015

Not Just Another Day Off

Martin Luther King Day (MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the U.S. and is celebrated the third Monday in January. To learn why today isn’t just another day off, let’s look at the man behind the day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most important civil rights activists in history. He was a proponent of non-violent protests and was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in America. As a result of his tireless work, MLK Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He gave his famous “I have a dream” speech in front of 250,000 people in Washington, D.C. On April 4, 1968, while in Memphis to lead a protest march in support of the city’s striking garbage workers, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on his motel balcony.

 

The Adoption of the King Holiday—a Timeline ( http://school.familyeducation.com/martin-luther-king-jr/african-american-history/47441.html#ixzz3PHbq6wiJ)

  • April 4, 1968 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • April 8, 1968 Rep. John Conyers of Michigan proposes legislation to make King’s birthday a national holiday. The sitting Congress ignores the bill.
  • January 1969 Over a thousand auto workers at a Tarrytown, New York, plant take a day off from work to celebrate King’s birthday. Suspensions greet 60 of the workers; management threatens many other workers with formal reprisals.
  • March 1970 Six million signatures in support of a national King holiday arrive in Washington. Representative Conyers and Representative Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, begin the process of conducting Congressional hearings.
  • January 1981 Seattle dockworkers are fired shortly after passing out literature in support of a formal King holiday.
  • 1982 and 1983 Major marches in support of voting rights and the King legacy continue to place pressure on Congress. Petition drives continue.
  • August 1983 The House of Representatives passes a bill honoring Dr. King’s birthday.
  • October 1983 Despite persistent efforts by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, the Senate passes the King holiday bill.
  • November 1983 President Reagan signs the measure into law.
  • January 20, 1986 Dr. King’s birthday is observed as a federal holiday for the first time.

So here we are. MLK Day. Federal facilities, schools and banks are closed. Is it just another day off? Not at all.

Today is a day to :

“Remember! Celebrate! Act!
A Day On…Not A Day Off”

This is a day to Remember MLK. Celebrate his works. Act by getting out into our community and helping others. Now get off that couch and get out there!

Go online to find out what MLK activities may be happening in your area.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

Read more on MLK at FamilyEducation: http://school.familyeducation.com/martin-luther-king-jr/african-american-history/47441.html#ixzz3PHbq6wiJ

Jan
15
2015

Ensuring Workplace Safety

 

The goal of every safety manager is creating a safe work environment. Sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, complacency is often their biggest threat. As a result, managers may find the need to constantly push safety. Then employees may feel so “safety-ed” to death that they become lackadaisical about it. It is a challenge to be sure. Some top complaints from employees regarding safety training are :

  • We’ve always done it this way.
  • Don’t tell me how to do my job.
  • I’ve done it this way for years and have never been injured.
  • Why are we required to attend safety meetings when our supervisors don’t attend?
  • I’m not in charge of safety.
  • I’m so worried I’ll make a mistake, it’s hard for me to focus on my job.

OSHATOES® knows safety so, of course, we’re sharing our tips to ensure workplace safety.

  1. Assess the actual risks your employees encounter and focus on those the most.
  2. Educate everyone on safety goals and objectives.
  3. Set an example. Now is the time for owners, managers and supervisors to step up. Attend all training sessions and follow safety guidelines.
  4. Educate everyone on emergency protocols. An emergency is not the time to find out employees haven’t received the proper training.
  5. Empower employees by embracing suggestions and feedback. Let them know their opinions and ideas are valued by the company.

Lastly, Reward Safety. In a perfect world, we would all follow the safety rules for the plain and simple reason of safety. And in truth, most employees do follow them because they are the rules and in their best interest. On the other hand, Safety is important and should be rewarded. But sometimes people need a boost. Incentive programs are a great way to recognize and reward positive behaviors but there are some pitfalls. For instance, an incentive program should never be based upon not reporting injuries. That never benefits anyone. Keep incentive programs positive and healthy for everyone.

OSHATOES® knows Safety.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

 

 

 

Jan
12
2015

Fog Dangers

If you live in San Francisco, fog is likely part of your life. Let’s face it, most of us have to deal with fog at least occasionally. Fog can be a dangerous hazard so you need to be prepared. Fog is basically a ground level cloud. It occurs when the surrounding air is so saturated that it cannot hold water vapor. Fog decreases visibility and can distort or muffle sound making it difficult to hear certain dangers such as an approaching vehicle.

Where is fog found mostly in the U.S.? According to The Weather Channel the most fog-prone areas are the Appalachians, parts of northern New England and the Pacific Northwest each typically see at least 40 days a year with dense fog (at least one-quarter mile visibility or lower). Of course, morning fog makes up the lion’s share of these days, after which late-morning/afternoon sunshine is plentiful. Parts of the northern Gulf Coast and California coast can also have frequent fog, if not always dense fog. In winter, valley fog can hang stubbornly in lower elevations of the Great Basin, as well as California’s Central Valley, as the combination of warmer air aloft moves over an area just soaked by the storm. Add an Arctic air mass spilling over the Continental Divide into the Great Basin, and this so-called “inversion” fog can hang in for days in places like Salt Lake City and Boise, trapping pollution near the ground, as well. The least foggy location in the Lower 48 is the Desert Southwest, from southern Nevada and southwest Utah into Arizona and southwest New Mexico, averaging only a few days a year of dense fog.  - The Weather Channel (http://www.weather.com/science/news/how-does-fog-form-20131010)

Here are 3 Tips when encountering Fog.

  1. Slow Down – Fog can move in quickly catching drivers off guard. If this happens the first thing to do is NOT panic. Slow your vehicle. Drive under the speed limit. Understand that you’re not the only one on the road.  Be vigilant and prepared for other drivers who may not be have their lights on. Animals can easily become confused in the fog and may dart into the road. Watch carefully for pedestrians. Be ready to brake. 
  2. Be Seen - Turn on headlights and fog lamps if equipped. If the fog is very thick turn on your hazard lights as well. The key is making yourself as visible as possible to others. Use low beams instead of high beams. This increases your ground visibility.
  3. Stop – Generally the fog will clear. If you’re able to wait it out, do just that. Pull off the road and park awhile. If in a boat, dock or toss out the anchor near shore. There is nothing in this world that is more important than your safety. Wherever you’re headed, whatever you’re doing…can wait.

Although you may do everything correctly, others may not. You cannot make others turn on their lights or slow down.

If you work outdoors make yourself as visible as possible and wear High Visibility clothing. OSHATOES® carries Class 2 Hi-Viz Safety Vests and Shirts designed to get you noticed.

Class 2 High Visibility T-Shirts 

ANSI 107 compliance is easy with our high visibility apparel. High visibility T-Shirts utilize Birds Eye polyester high wicking moisture management fabric.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
  • ANSI/ISEA 107 Class 2 Compliant T-Shirts
  • Short Sleeve
  • Birds Eye Polyester Material
  • 2″ Silver Reflective Tape
  • 1 Left Breast Pocket

Large - Orange - High Visibility Wicking T-Shirt / Class 2

 

Class 2 High Visibility Vests

ANSI 107 compliance is easy with our high visibility vests.

 

FEATURES & BENEFITS
  • ANSI/ISEA 107 Class 2 Compliant Vests
  • Polyester Mesh
  • 2″ Silver Reflective Tape
  • Zipper Closure
  • 4 Interior Pockets

Large / X-Large - Lime - High Visibility Vest / Class 2

 

OSHATOES® knows Safety.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

 

 

Jan
8
2015

Cold Weather Tips for Outdoor Workers

 

Brrrrrrrrrrr it’s cold out there!! If you work indoors this may not matter all that much to you. However, if you work outdoors, the cold weather can be dangerous. OSHATOES® wants you to be safe during this cold weather blast so we’ve put together a few tips to keep you chugging along and productive while on-the-job.

  1. Layering – Your mother was right, dressing in layers is where it’s at in terms of warmth. Dress in several loose layers beginning with a long sleeved t-shirt or thermal underwear.  Add a sweatshirt or flannel, then a winter jacket or coat to top it off. Several layers of loose clothing will keep you warmer than those that fit snugly or are too bulky.
  2. Hands, Head and Face – You can lose heat through your head so cover it up. Put on a hat, we don’t care if it’s ugly. Safety first. Wear gloves that warm your hands and allow for good movement and range of motion. You can’t work if you can’t use your hands. Use a scarf to cover your face and try to breathe through it. This helps to warm the air before it reaches your lungs.
  3. Hydration and Nutrition – Drink plenty of water and practice healthy eating when the temperature drops. The body is a machine that requires fuel (food and water). The harsh winter conditions can zap you of energy. It can also dehydrate you. Be sure you’re taking in an adequate amount of water and incorporating healthy eating habits daily.
  4. Drink Heat – Hot beverages such as coffee, tea and cocoa will also help warm your core so drink up. Try to drink a hot beverage every hour or two when possible. Don’t forget to drink some water as well.
  5. Boot Up – If you work outdoors chances are you’re on your feet so keep ‘em toasty. Wear a couple of pairs of socks and warm boots. Invest in a pair that are water-resistant. Additionally, consider adding a pair of OSHATOES® Steel Toe Overshoes. They’re slip-resistant, waterproof, lightweight and altogether AWESOME!!! OSHATOES® make a perfect cold weather companion for your feet.

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Take care and Prepare for Winter Weather.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

www.OSHATOES.com

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.