Which Regulations Cover the Provisions of Welfare in Your Office?

Health and safety

Health and safetyWelfare, health, and safety are the major aspects of workplace regulations, which apply to most workstations excluding construction sites, underground mining sites, and in/on ship working environments. It is the duty of an employer to ensure safety, welfare, and health of the employees at work. Individuals who manage the non-domestic premises have an obligation towards those who do not work there but use the premises. The regulations are intended to look after the health and safety of the people in the workstation by ensuring adequate safety facilities are provided for the individuals at work.

The regulations also apply to any office, even if it is one person who works from it. This is because clients and other guests are likely to visit the office, and therefore the regulations ensure their safety, welfare, and health needs are met. The big part of the regulations requires a suitable workplace for all people including those with disabilities. Therefore, the welfare provisions in any office should include the following;

Appropriately designed ventilations

ventilations in an officeAn office should be well ventilated so that fresh and clean air can circulate properly. The air should be drawn from an uncontaminated outdoor environment. It is a duty for the office owner to ensure that ventilation system is installed taking into considerations the situation of the outside environment. This means the freshening vents should face away from smoke chimneys and any other air pollutant outlets, as well as ensuring that humid air is driven away from the indoor space to create a sense of freshness.

Well-controlled indoor temperature

office and temperatureThis is very important to ensure a comfortable working environment is maintained. The environmental elements such as humidity can influence your personal comfort in the office. Depending on the kind of task you are doing, a suitable thermal environment may differ from time to time. According to workplace regulations, if your office duties involve more sitting than walking around, the ideal temperature should be at least 16 degrees Celsius. When you are in active duties, regulating the indoor temperatures to at least 13 degrees Celsius is recommended.

The seating comfort

office and sittingAccording to office health and welfare experts, people who work in offices are likely to suffer from neck-related pains and back pains due to prolonged sitting. That is why they recommend every office to have suitable seats that can provide adequate support for the lower back and neck. For a contemporary office setting, ergonomic office chairs are the best pick to ensure safety and health of your workers. These chairs come with backrest, footrest, and armrest to enhance the comfort of the user.

Sanitary and washing facilities

It is a requirement by workplace regulations to have sufficient and suitable sanitary and washing facilities located at easily accessible places. The rooms and the facilities themselves should be kept clean, lit, and well ventilated. If possible, the washing facilities should have adequate and functional cold and hot (warm) water, clean towels, and soap. Depending on the type of work that is done in your office, showers can also be provided. Apparently, it is a requirement to have separate facilities for ladies and gents if there are many people working from the same office. Otherwise, the facilities should be located in different rooms with lockable doors and for use by one individual at a time.

Safe drinking water

The workplace regulations require every office to have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, either with clean cups or upward drinking jets. There should be refillable enclosed jugs whereby no one can access water directly from the main supply. It is the duty of the office management to refill the jugs on a daily basis unless the office uses water dispenser containers. However, water dispensing system is required as an additional source of drinking water.

Workplace maintenance

The office equipment, devices, and systems should be well-maintained to enhance safety, health, and welfare of the workers. For instance, regular inspections in the ventilation systems ensure proper air circulation into the rooms is maintained. Those devices that can risk the health of the workers should be assessed properly and faulty parts fixed immediately. If the office has installed safety equipment, they should be examined often to ensure they stay functional. Lastly, it is a requirement to monitor the condition of the building to ensure that it is stable and safe for use.

Where the Bacteria Live Most in Your Kitchen

kitchen cleaning

bacteria in the kitchenWhen a kitchen appears clean, it does not mean it is safe. There are many areas where bacteria can reside; on the countertops, in the refrigerators, in the garbage disposals, and on other surfaces. However, did you know that kitchen sinks and drains are some of the areas where bacteria inhabit most? According to a recent study on domestic health, gunk and food materials that buildup in the pipes under your sink attracts bacteria.

Cleaning and disinfecting the pipes is highly recommended, though, the two are different things. Cleaning removes food residues, creams, dirt, and some bacteria. However, cleaning has been found to spread bacteria to other surfaces around the kitchen. That is why disinfecting is quite important. Disinfectants and sanitizers kill disease-causing organisms, and are available as sprays, liquids, and wipes. There are also homemade disinfectants that work well.

kitchen cleaningIf you have old pipes that are connected to a local sewage plant, water is not enough to clean them. In such cases, bleaches such as chlorine are the best to clean and disinfect the drains and dissolve clogs. You can do this once in every month by pouring 12 ounces of bleach directly into the drain, but the bleach should not be allowed to settle in a stainless steel bowl of your sink. After about 6 to 8 hours, flush the pipes thoroughly with water. But, you should not use bleaches to clean the pipes if you have cleaned your sink using products containing ammonia.

There are other environmentally friendly cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. If the sink is producing some bad odor, pour half-cup of baking soda and then add half-cup of white vinegar. Close the drain and wait for about 5 minutes. Pour a few cups of boiling water into the drain. Baking soda is best for scouring while vinegar disinfects, leaving your sink drains clean and bacteria free.

Kitchen Sinks

Now you have known how to clean and maintain your sink and the pipes. Below are 4 types of sinks based on materials used to make them.

Types of kitchen sinks

Stainless steel sinks

Stainless steel sinksThese are the most popular sinks, taking more than 60% of all sinks on the market. Stainless steel is relatively cheaper compared to other materials, except the expensive designer brands such as Blanco. The material is versatile, and therefore the sinks are available in a range of installation types. Stainless steel is categorized in terms of the gauge; low gauge is heavier while higher gauge is lighter. The gauge falls within 15 – 24, and most of the residential sinks are normally between 18 and 22. The thickness of the stainless steel sheet ranges from 0.048 inches to 0.030 inches. Even though they are said to be durable, they can scratch easily compared to other materials.

Cast iron sinks

Cast iron sinksThis is one of the oldest materials used to make kitchen sinks but remains popular even today. It has a glossy and bright enamel coating that makes it more appealing. They are made of cast iron and are highly durable.  The porcelain layer used on the finishing prevents iron from rusting, as well as resisting scratches and stains. It is imperative to note that the finish is a melted glass that is fused to the cast iron material. The finish offers ease of cleaning and does not show spots of dried water. However, cast iron sinks are heavier than the stainless steel sinks. This makes it difficult during installation, especially the under-mount sinks that need an additional support to hold the sink firmly under the counter.

Composite sinks

These are quartz or granite composite sinks. They are made using a mixture of crushed quartz or granite and resin fillers. The combination makes the material aesthetically attractive, and also highly durable. Both the quartz or granite composite sinks are highly resistant to stains and scratches. Many homeowners like granite composite, though both varieties are rosy and long lasting.

Fireclay

These are made of ceramic clay, which is molded into a sink shape and then allowed to dry at high temperatures for a period of 30 to 40 hours. Once it dries, a porcelain enamel coat is applied and the sink is placed in a tunnel kiln at extreme temperatures for a period of 15 to 20 hours. The process helps to fuse the enamel and the clay, as well as increasing the overall strength of the materials. That is why they are said to be more durable compared to iron cast sinks. However, the fireclay is not permanent and the coat may chip from a bang of a dropped object like glass.

What are the Riskiest Areas of the Body to Apply Deep Massage?

neck or back massage therapy

deep massageAs the demand for natural therapies continues to escalate, massage treatment has become one of the top picks for many people. Due to its long history, several modern medical practitioners have endorsed it as an effective procedure to cure and prevent various health disorders. It is now popular around the world, and even education facilities have been established in different places to train people with interest in massage therapy career.

However, anything that has its own advantages must have a few shortcomings that cannot be overlooked. These drawbacks are not only based on negatives of massage therapy, but also on the way different masseuses do it. And the fundamental concern among patients is the “pressure issue”. Generally, massage involves shallow and deep treatment. Some areas require shallow massage while others need deep tissue massaging for better results.

massage pressureBut people are different when it comes to massage pressure. The pressure that is comfortable for you may be totally bleak in another person. The same differences apply to body parts. The pressure that works well on the back might be dreadful on the lower legs. Also, pressure tolerance can change with time. The pressure that feels good today could be disastrous after a week.

So, what can we deduce in regard to this? A good massage therapy should be done professionally. The massage therapist should talk to the patient about pressure in order to know whether or not it is too deep. Also, the therapist must show respect by respecting the patient’s preferences and paying attention to those areas that require less pressure for comfort purposes or more pressure for full satisfaction. But, almost every part of the body can be delicate if not handled with care.

Alright, let’s get back to the core subject “the riskiest body parts that don’t deserve deep massage”.

Neck and the upper part of the back are the most known riskiest areas to apply deep massage therapy. Based on massage therapy experts, people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure can lead to health complications after a massage therapy. Though massage therapy is so good for people, medical experts have been cautioning massage therapists about the risks associated with massaging clients with such specific disorders.

Patients with high blood pressure can be affected by the pressure exerted during a neck or back massage, which could potentially trigger the release of blood clots into the circulation system. High blood pressure is a disease that causes plaques to build up in the blood vessels (usually arteries). So, the blood clots can be transported to highly sensitive organs such as brain or heart, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

neck or back massage therapyPatients with profound vein thrombosis (DVT) may be at risk of health problems after neck or back massage therapy. This is a condition that causes the development of blood clots in the veins. According to clinical studies, people with DVT may not be aware they have the condition. During a massage therapy, the pressure exerted may trigger the release of blood clots, which could be transported to the lungs. The clots are highly harmful to the overall respiratory system.

Another ruinous impact of massage is the potential of nerve damage, especially during a deep tissue massage. The procedure requires pressure deeper beyond the skin layer so that the connective tissues and muscles are well manipulated. If the patient and therapist do not communicate about pressure, too much pressure can lead to temporary nerve damage. According to experts, nerve damage can potentially occur in any part of the body except in the feet areas.

As much as we recommend a communicate massage therapy (between the therapist and the client), proper training on massage therapy is also required. Many therapists who have been trained to work with patients under certain medical treatments are the best choice. They understand the areas that require deep and shallow massage therapy depending on the condition of a patient.

What about feet massage therapy?

This is a common question as many people prefer feet massaging even if it means doing it on daily basis. Of course, it is nice to relax after a long day standing up and walking around. There is an array of health benefits, whether you go for a traditional therapeutic methods or aromatherapy which involves the use of feet massage experts and products. As mentioned earlier, it is one of the safest areas to get deep massage therapy. However, you need to read the advice below from professional massage therapists. Or, simply you can choose a foot massager to purchase.

Advice from Experts

There are some medical conditions that may deter you from massage therapy before consulting your medical doctor. These include fractured bones, cancer, blood clots, burns, lesions, arthritis, skin rashes, osteoporosis, and certain skin infections. If you have any these disorders, it is highly advisable to consult your physician before receiving massage therapy.

New Generation Thermostats and Their Impact on Our Lives

use of smart thermostats

use of smart thermostatsAccording to a research carried out last year, the use of smart thermostats has been escalating among homeowners since 2014. They are ‘clever’ gadgets that represent the modern trend in controlling home heating, which in turn help lower the energy consumption. A home with smart thermostat means that the temperature of the house can be adjusted and monitored from any device such smartphone, tablet, or a computer connected to the Internet.

A traditional thermostat allows you to control space temperature using a control panel. A Wi-Fi thermostat (smart thermostat) offers a more effective and user-friendly control over your house’s heating using three fundamental components. The first component is plugged directly into the boiler and can communicate to the second component – thermostat – wirelessly. The third component is an application, which can be downloaded to any smart device such as a smartphone. The user can control the thermostat through the app remotely, and thus allow you to adjust your home heating from anywhere.

Apart from the basic structure of the smart thermostat, there are newer models with advanced features such as ‘learning’ ability to monitor your daily schedules. They can detect when your smartphone is around the house, or even sense while you are at a distance on your way going home. So, depending on how it is programmed, it will start controlling the heating so that you can find a suitable temperature when you reach home. The technology is quite interesting, and every homeowner should consider having a smart thermostat.

Benefits of Wi-Fi Thermostats

Benefits of Wi-Fi ThermostatsAccording to a study on domestic energy consumption, nearly half of home’s energy is consumed through heating and cooling. Homeowners with thermostats use less energy in heating and cooling because they can control temperature, and thus reduce energy wastage when heating or cooling is not required. Interestingly, those who have smart thermostats use the least energy in heating and cooling.

A Wi-Fi thermostat provides both control and automation. They can be controlled from anywhere using a device connected to the internet, meaning you have control over your house’s climate and temperature. This automated and remote-enabled control can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill. Moreover, it enables more than just climate and temperature automation.

So, there are several advantages to owning one;

Offers a more organized temperature control

Sometimes, you might leave the AC running. If you have a smart thermostat, you will comfortably switch off by a few taps on your smartphone. The new models can learn your schedules, and then the thermostat handles the raising and dropping of temperature without your intervention. They can as well learn your preference, and therefore manage the home’s climate on its own.

Ability to monitor your home

A Wi-Fi thermostat will be your ‘house observer’ while not in at home. You have an app on your mobile device, which allows you to see the home’s temperature conditions. In case the system is turned on and there is no one in the house, you can just turn it off in order to save energy. For those who just bought new homes, a smart thermostat will help you to oversee the home while you are away.

Adjust home’s temperature remotely

It doesn’t matter where you are in order to control your home’s climate. Whether you are coming from work or you just landed at the airport and you want to get a suitable climate when you reach home. With a smartphone at hand, you can just control the thermostat.

Get alerts via emails

The new smart thermostats support email notification whenever there is a change in temperature in your home. The thermostat detects your temperature preference, and you will get alerts in the event of temperature rising or falling in your home. Interestingly, you will be notified when the thermostat is disconnected from the network, probably due to power supply failure.

Save energy

One of the most reasons to have a smart thermostat is to save a few bucks on your cooling and heating bills. New thermostats come with energy saving settings, which learn your habits and preferences. This means your home’s climate is controlled automatically, hence helping to control energy consumption.

Easy to use

Smart thermostats are programmable, and the recent models have sizeable screens and well-designed mobile apps. You can navigate the apps easily and make settings that you need. The touch screen on the gadget is also user-friendly.

Analyze energy consumption

The newest smart thermostats can read the energy consumption and prepare a simple report for that. This is interesting because you can learn the best habit that can achieve a low energy usage over time. Another attractive feature is the energy efficient settings that allow you to save more on energy!

Does it Really Help to Drink Cold White Wine before Bed?

white wine

Drink Cold White Wine before BedUnless nights are quite chilly, drinking a glass of cold white wine before bed can be a healthy plan. There are many ways to get resveratrol through diet, and several studies have confirmed that. An earlier study in 2012 indicated that drinking wine later in the day can reduce your cravings for snacks in the evening. As reported by various clinical studies, snacking is one of the common ways to boost weight gain. They tend to interrupt metabolic conditions, forcing the body to digest food instead of taking a break.

When your body is actively digesting and absorbing food, it creates a wave rhythm that denies you a good sleep. When more calories are being added to your body during the night, you are likely to stay awake for several hours. Sleep disruptions have also been linked to excessive eating, which stimulates prolonged digestion process until late at night. This means you are taking in more calories than the recommended amount per 24 hours. So, reducing your hunger with a glass of cold white wine in the evening can be the best way to eliminate snacking!

Health Benefits of Cold White Wine

Natural resveratrol

white wineThe functions of resveratrol are similar to phytoalexin, which is an antimicrobial and antioxidant compound that is produced by plants (including berries used to make wine) naturally to protect them from adverse environmental elements and infections. If the compound is consumed by humans, the antioxidants and antimicrobial properties offer different health benefits such as preventing obesity, diabetes, and blood clots.

Control blood sugar level

As reported by various natural health institutes, people suffering from diabetes type 2 should drink white wine to help in controlling blood sugar level. It improves insulin resistance, and hence reducing the excess amount of glucose in the blood.

Improves skin looks

Resveratrol contains anti-aging properties derived from the release of SIRT1, a compound that slows aging and increases cell metabolic reactions. As the overall body goes to rest for the night, giving it a boost with a glass of wine can improve the overall relaxation and moods, as well as enhancing your skin texture.

Improved heart health

Based on studies on health benefits of resveratrol, white wine has been severally linked to increasing heart health. Alongside improving heart health, white wine also strengthens bones same way as workouts. Another study has also shown that drinking a glass of white wine in the evening is good to relax the exhausted mind.

Reduces risk of cancer

Various reports show that drinking white wine helps to suppress the activity of aromatase, an enzyme known for causing cancer. The same report indicates that many people who drink a glass of white wine reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Also, men who drink about 4 to 7 glasses of white wine are not likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Keep Your Wine in Wine Coolers to Preserve Quality

The above benefits are interesting to every wine lover out there. If you are a wine fanatic, perhaps you store a few bottles in your house. However, many people have issues with the quality of their wines. Remember, how and where you keep your wine determines its quality once it stays for a few days. So, you need to look for a wine cooler.

Several homes have wine coolers, as long as there are wine drinkers around. Wine coolers chill your wine to the preferred temperature. Some of the coolers are portable, meaning you can just put it anywhere. If you are a starter, it is worth noting that wine coolers can store your wine at the appropriate condition for a long very long time. They have an array of advantages due to their advanced features that are not found in the ordinary refrigerators.

There are also environmentally-friendly designed coolers with thermoelectric medium cooling features to help in saving on energy bills. This is also a significant benefit towards environmental protection. With the wine coolers, there is neither use of harmful chemicals nor release of emissions in the cooling process.

For those that do not prefer drinking wine, there are other ways to consume resveratrol. After all, white wine is made of berries, grapes, or apples. These plants release those essential antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds, which can help your body to burn calories, increase energy production, and other many health benefits.