All posts by Jamie Brewer

5 Ways to Make a Construction Site Hazard-Free

Construction sites are considered as one of the most dangerous workplaces in the world. But that’s not really surprising. After all, people in construction sites are dealing with gigantic pieces of machinery and tools. However, there are plenty of ways to make a construction site safe and hazard-free.

In this article, we will share with you five effective ways to make a construction site free of any danger and accident. If you are working at a construction site or you have a construction firm and manage several workers, be sure to follow these tips.

Tip #1: Use Only Equipment that Are in Good Working Condition

One of the best ways to prevent mishaps and accidents from happening in a construction site is to ensure that all equipment and tools being used are in top condition.

So, how do you ensure that all construction machinery is in good condition? By checking each and every one of them before utilizing them. Another thing, when it comes to buying construction equipment or looking for dump truck or Bobcat track skid steer for sale, see to it that they are of superior quality and performance. As much as possible, buy only from a reliable dealer and check the machine thoroughly before you purchase it.

Yes, that is right. Safety in a construction site starts from the machines that you are utilizing. So make sure you use only a machine that is in proper working order.

Tip #2: Wear Prescribed Protective Gear While at the Site

Next on our list of precautionary measures to promote safety in the construction site is to wear protective gear all the time while you’re at the site. Protective gear such as a hard helmet, high-grip boots and gloves, a safety vest, and the like are essential not just for employees stationed at the construction site, but also for people visiting or inspecting the place every now and then.

Wearing protective gear will not just prevent mishaps, but also protect workers in case accidents occur.

Tip #3: Set Up Effective Communication Systems in the Construction Site

Communication is really important in a construction site. When a load is being lifted by a crane, or the ground at the site needs to be dug, everyone in the workplace should be alerted in order for them to be aware of what will happen and what they need to do to keep safe. This is the reason why most workers, especially machine operators, are given either a walkie-talkie or a two-way radio to be able to give a heads-up to all the other people on the site.

Setting up a proper communication system within the construction site will ensure that everyone is alerted of safety procedures and potential hazards. Every construction company is required to follow this protocol in order to reduce risks inside the project site.

Tip #4: Provide Proper Safety Training to Employees

Another effective way of ensuring safety at the project site is by providing all employees with extensive safety training. As a matter of fact, one safety training or seminar should be conducted at least every quarter in order to make sure that every worker is well aware of the basic dos and don’ts to avoid accidents from occurring in the project site. Every new employee should also be required to undergo safety training.

Part of the safety training involves a discussion on the importance of wearing safety gear, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to safely operate heavy machinery.

Tip #5: Observe Safety When Operating Construction Equipment

As we have mentioned before, construction equipment, when not used properly, can result in havoc and accidents. This is the reason why operators are also required to undergo training and workshops on how to safely control these gigantic machines. Construction companies should only hire qualified and skilled operators in order to ensure the safety of everyone working at the project site. Among the most essential things that operators must learn is boarding and descending the machine properly, parking the heavy equipment in the right way, familiarizing the safety features of the machine, and properly operating the machine.

As a general rule, all equipment should not be overworked; capacity limit must also be followed, especially among lifting equipment such as cranes and forklifts. To have enough knowledge about these things, reading the manufacturer’s manual is a must.

With thousands of construction workers getting injured or being involved in accidents, it is imperative that construction companies follow proper safety procedures in the workplace more than ever. The five tips discussed above are just some of the things you can do to ensure everyone’s safety.

Do you have other safety tips that you can share? Write it in the comments section below.

Guidelines on Heavy Equipment Parts Supplier Philippines

No matter how well you care for your heavy equipment, there will come a time when it will break down and some of its parts will need to be repaired or replaced. When this happens, you will most definitely need the expertise of an experienced mechanic who knows exactly how to get your machinery back in shape. An experienced mechanic is the best person who can identify the root of the problem with your machine and determine which particular parts need repair/replacement. He is also the best person who can tell you where to find the necessary replacement parts.

Heavy Equipment Parts

It’s a good thing that when you’re looking for a reliable heavy equipment parts supplier, the Philippines can offer a lot of options. Several known global brands of heavy equipment parts are available in the country via a number of direct distributors. There are also a lot of online sellers that offer these parts at discounted prices. Furthermore, there are salvage companies that take fully functioning parts from non-functioning machinery and sell them for very low prices. Continue reading

Maintenance Tips for Your Moisture Analyzer Equipment

Having clean and well-maintained moisture balance equipment is crucial to the accuracy of the readings it provides. If a certain process requires the ability to precisely maintain acceptable levels of moisture using a moisture analyzer, then it is important to establish and abide by a suitable maintenance program for the equipment itself. With a good maintenance routine that is regularly observed, you are not just extending the life of the equipment, you are essentially protecting an investment.

Moisture analyzers, otherwise known as moisture balance equipment, are incredibly sensitive tools that need to be kept clean, especially if you want to maintain their accuracy in measuring moisture levels. In a lab, for instance, moisture analyzers are ideally placed in a clean, protected area away from dust and other substances that could be detrimental to the equipment and may affect their accuracy and repeatability.

However, the lab is not the only place where moisture analyzers are used. There are many applications and processes that may require the use of such instruments; and some of the places that utilize moisture analyzers may not always have a clean and safe area or ideal conditions for such a sensitive tool. That is why having a good maintenance program is still necessary.

Additionally, when conducting moisture analysis, some of the samples being tested may end up spilling from the sample plate and onto other parts of the equipment itself. And certain samples, especially liquids and fine powdery substances, can present real hazards to the performance and condition of the equipment.

Moisture Analyzer Cleaning Tips

Before you start cleaning the instrument, you need to make sure that it’s unplugged from any power source. You then have to refer to the owner’s manual as to the manufacturer’s directions for the step-by-step cleaning process. Normally, you will be required to remove accessories and parts that can be detached from the equipment and clean those parts separately. The most common removable parts are the sample dish, the sample dish holder, the dish retainer, and the draft shield, as well as the base plate in certain models.

These parts can then be cleaned individually, using soft cloth dipped in soapy water. Make sure to wring out the cloth before you start cleaning the accessories. Use mild dishwashing liquid. Never use strong cleaning solutions, unless specified by the manufacturer. You then rinse the parts with a fresh piece of cloth dipped in clean water. Dry the accessories using a clean piece of dry, soft cloth.

As for the body of the equipment, the same caution should be applied. Remove any lose dirt or substances using a soft bristle brush or a handheld vacuum cleaner. Once the lose material has been successfully removed, you can start wiping down the surface of the equipment with your soapy water. Be careful not to let the solution penetrate the interior electronics of the instrument, so you have to make sure to wring the cloth first before you start wiping.

When cleaning sensitive equipment, it is always best to consult the user’s guide and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how you should clean the device.

Stem Cell-Grown Blood Could Revolutionize Medical Transfusions

Stem cell technology is one of the most promising discoveries in the medical field. It’s been used as a platform to develop a variety of medical applications. Nowadays, it has been successfully used to grow fresh human blood.

In response to a request from the US military, researchers from the UK and Irish Blood services have teamed together last 2007 to build a machine that could be easily dropped off from a helicopter to a battlefield to supply wounded soldiers with stem cell-derived blood. Unfortunately, their first attempt was unsuccessful.

However, refusing to abort the mission, the team decided to refocus their efforts and came up with a similar technology that enables clinics all over the world to gain access to a limitless supply of lab-grown blood. The use of blood grown from stem cells would be highly beneficial to the field of medicine. As the blood supply is guaranteed to be fresh at all times, it would remove the risks of getting any infections from a transfusion.

The team has chosen to work with induced pluripotent or embryonic stem cells, which have the capacity to differentiate into various types of cells when placed in the right culture conditions. The team has changed their protocol to focus more on red blood cells after a year from human testing.

The project is led by the medical director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service along with Joanne Mountford of the University of Glasgow. According to Mountford, they are simply executing as what nature intended since they are making blood from human cells. “It’s the same thing your body makes but we’re just doing it in a lab.” She says.

She also went further to explain the advantages of using lab-grown blood over the traditional way of obtaining blood from a human donor. Mountford and her team propose that recipients of engineered red blood cells will receive “fresher and potentially more effective blood” as compared to blood taken from a donor, which are likely 110 or more days old. The latter batch is more likely to die sooner and won’t do the recipient much good. Aside from that, the team is also making type-O blood, which means it can be transfused to all types of patients even those with the rare AB-negative blood type.

Having a limitless supply of this stem cell-grown blood will take away the hassle of segregating and rearranging the different types of blood. Simplifying the logistics of global distribution, this process allows vital blood supply to flow faster and more efficiently to whoever needs it in whichever part of the world.

However, there are also challenges in implementing the fruits of the study into actual clinical practice. According to Mountford, it is possible for her team to produce around 10 billion red blood cells per batch. However, they still have a long way to go to beat the trillion cells contained in a single bag of blood coming from an average human donor. Moreover, in order for the actual process to be effective all over the world, her team would have to figure out a way to get it done at a cost that would suit the capacities of the developing world.

Top Free Live Stream Video Apps for iOS and Android Devices

There’s a whole crop of lightweight live stream apps for mobile devices. These apps are specifically designed to broadcast video in real-time using only your smartphone or tablet. They don’t require camera add-ons – the camera on your device is sufficient enough; and they don’t need special microphones, just the built-in microphone on your smartphone.

If you want to try out these apps on your smartphone and perhaps stream real-time video over the Internet and share it with your friends, here are several free live stream video apps that are designed for the iOS and Android platforms.

  1. Periscope is a new live mobile video app recently acquired by Twitter early this year. It’s free to download in the iTunes apps store. The app is relatively easier to use than most live stream video applications available in the market. It offers public or private live stream options, as well as the ability to record your streams to be broadcast at a later time.
  1. Meerkat is a free app for iOS devices that was released earlier this year. It allows users to transmit live video on Twitter. It basically allows you to create a special video channel that your followers can interact with via tweets. This app, however, only broadcasts on Twitter.
  1. Bambuser is a relatively older live video app that’s been around for quite some time. It gained significant attention back in 2011 and 2012, during the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and neighboring countries, when protestors used the app to broadcast live video of the street protests. Bambuser is available for free on the Play Store and iTunes Apps Store.
  1. Stre.am is also a live stream video app for smartphones. It allows users to transmit live video from their mobile devices as well as view other people’s live streams. This free app is available for iOS and Android users.

With these apps, you can literally broadcast your videos live for hundreds, if not thousands of people. As the Stre.am’s motto goes, “Stre.am life as it happens.”

Windows Laptop/Desktop Computer Organizational Tips

Whether you’re working, playing games, updating social media status, surfing the web, or streaming the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix, doing system maintenance and organizing files and folders will be the last thing on your mind.

Backing up data, getting rid of unnecessary files to free up a few gigabytes of storage space, running antivirus programs, defragmenting hard drives; these are tedious but necessary tasks if you want your computer well-optimized. Below are a few tips that will help you organize and maintain your Windows PC.

Organizing Important Data in Your Computer System

Before you can effectively backup your data or sync your files to another system, it has to be well-organized to avoid potential issues in the future. This is also essential for a well-maintained high performance machine.

Reasons why organizing data is important:

  • Locating files manually becomes easier.
  • Finding groups of similar files is a lot less stressful.
  • Moving important data to a new computer will not be a hassle.
  • Syncing files and other data to other systems is easier.
  • Determining which files to backup is quick and simple.

Organizational tips to help you get started:

1. Decide on an organizational system that works for you and stick to it. Choosing the right organizational system takes time. You have to figure out what works for you and what does not. Once you’ve decided on a filing system, stick to it. Otherwise, all these will be pointless.

2. Choose a root folder for your files carefully. Don’t be afraid to use subfolders. Think of the root folder as the gateway to all of your data. If your hard drive is partitioned, for instance, you can choose whether to use drive C: or D: for your root folder. If you choose the latter, then your structure should look like D:\My Files or D:\<Your Name > if the computer has multiple users. Once you have your root folder, organize files contained within it by creating subfolders and housing files of similar purpose in their designated folders.

3. Avoid grouping files based on file type. Instead, group your files based on purpose, i.e., your work files should be in a different folder from your family vacation photos, and your mp3 files should not be in the same folder as your video collection.

4. Name your files and folders intelligently and avoid long filenames. Names like New Folder (2) or Document2.doc are lazy names. That extra 20 seconds you spend thinking of a meaningful name for your file/folder is nothing compared to 30 minutes of scouring through New Folder (2) all the way to New Folder (12) just to look for a single file.

5. Separate software application files from the data files you’ve created. When you install a particular program, the components needed to make that software function properly is called application files. Some software programs will store saved files in the same location as the application files, as a default save location. Take a few seconds to check where you’re saving your data file to be sure it is in the right location.

Building Trends – Top 5 Green Construction Materials

During these past few years, construction firms and developers are becoming more and more focused on building sustainable homes and structures. With global warming getting worse than ever, it is imperative that the whole world must take immediate action to lessen carbon dioxide emission, which is one of the major causes of this phenomenon. By developing eco-friendly infrastructure, construction companies are helping reduce the world’s carbon footprint.

Here’s a list of the top five eco-friendly and green construction materials that are currently available in the market:

Recycled Steel

Instead of the usual steel used in making trusses or a structure’s foundation, recycled steel is more environment-friendly because it is made from scrap steel. Every year, the world throws away tons of scrap metal. In order to make use of them and also help empty the landfills occupied by scrap metals, the Steel Recycling Institute created recycled steel. By simply replacing traditional metal beams, recycled steel helps reduce the energy that is used in producing steel by 75%.

Plant-Based Insulation

Chemical foams are the ones commonly used in filling a building’s walls when installing insulation or making the building sound-proof, but there are actually plenty of options in the market now regarding the type of foam to use. Currently, the most popular is paper-based insulation, but just a few years ago, a surfboard maker from San Diego actually invented foam material made from plants (bamboo, kelp, and hemp). Construction developers have also started making use of this plant-based polyurethane rigid foam for insulation. The foam is heat-resistant and has high moisture content; it is also pest-repellent and has higher R-value compared to polystyrene and fiberglass.

Cool Roofing

Have you ever heard about why it is best to wear white shirts during hot days and why you should avoid dark-colored shirts? Scientifically, white is a better color to wear when the weather is sweltering because it reflects the heat; dark colors, such as black, absorb the heat. Cool Roof works in a similar manner. Instead of absorbing the sun’s heat and bringing it into the house, it reflects the heat. This makes the building or house stay cooler and transfer less heat inside. With the advent of technology, there are now dark-colored roofs that can also reflect the heat of the sun.

Recycled Plastic-Wood Lumber

Another construction material that promotes sustainability is the recycled plastic and wood lumber. Made with a 50-50 combination of plastic and wood, this type of lumber is more durable and strong; it is also less toxic compared to traditional treated lumber. This type of lumber is also mold-resistant, but it is also more expensive.

Low-E Windows

Another brilliant construction material that helps reduce carbon footprint is the low-E windows. It keeps the heat inside the building/house during the winter season and outside during the summer season. It is effective in regulating the temperature inside a home. Low-E stands for low emissivity; it uses metallic oxide as the window’s coating. This type of window has already been proven to reduce the heat flow and heat cost in a home, but compared to the common clear glass storm windows, they are more expensive.

These are just some of the eco-friendly construction materials available in the market today and are currently used by contractors and developers in building sustainable structures all over the world.

Software Business Tips for Non-Techies

Non-techies: people who are not completely adept with technology, including those who know how to create and manage blogs but are not coders or programmers. These people are considered non-techies. For a lot of non-techies, especially those who have products and entrepreneurial vision but do not have developer skills, starting a software company is a challenge.

Even if a non-techie has a good business background, if he or she does not know how to manage the technical aspect of his company, he will have a difficult time achieving business goals. In some cases, non-techie software business founders can even be considered unqualified, and this makes it hard for them to find partners, investors, and potential employees. For many industry insiders, a software business owner should know how to make software for him to be effective.

However, there are things that you can do to ensure the security of your software business. If you want your business to be successful, you need to follow several tips that are meant specifically for non-techie founders and leaders.

What Non-Techies Should Do

A non-techie software business owner needs to consider doing the following:

  • Find/Identify your ideal market. As a business person, this is important for you. With your niche or market clearly targeted, you will be able to easily identify your clients or customers. And this, in turn, will help you decide what your company should focus on.

It will be a good idea to start by catering to a small niche so the company can build opportunities and offer products to a dedicated customer group. Product development will be easier, too, as you won’t have to contend with a large market yet. Later on, as your company develops, you can start expanding and catering to a larger niche.

  • Find a technical team that can dedicate their time to building your company’s software product. You cannot start your business without creating the software you are offering. As you are a non-techie, you have to find someone—or several persons—who can take this role from you.

Additionally, your technical team will be responsible for responding to customers’ needs and requests. The team’s task is to develop the company’s product and keep refining it until it becomes the best fit for the market you have targeted.

A dedicated technical team, one that is tasked only on this particular project, is the most ideal.

  • Do not wait for your technical team to finish what they’re doing before you go out and find prospective clients. You need to talk to possible customers even when the software or product is in development, because this is the best way to build interest in what you are offering. If you give prospects a good picture of what they are to expect, curiosity will build up and by the time your product is finished and is ready to be unveiled, you would have created a buzz. And prospective clients will be eager to sign up with your company.

Pre-selling your product is a good way of drumming up interest and building anticipation.

  • Remember, first and foremost, you are a business person. As such, your focus should be on the business side of things. It is, of course, all right to keep an open line of communication with your technical team. It is all right to fish for updates. But, always remember to leave all the technical details to the team. Do not meddle with their work; do not control them. You can provide guidance and help them understand what the clients want, but never interfere with their expertise.

What you should do instead is support them, try to understand what they are aiming to achieve, and give them your trust. Your task is to sell the product. Their job is to execute the company’s visions.

  • Before you decide to push through with your software business, you have to make sure that you have the budget for it. And this does not pertain to a budget that’s “just enough.” You need to have more than enough so that your technical team can keep working on the company’s product/s.

In the planning stage, you have to visualize your company’s development for a period of at least one year.

  • Finally, make sure that your expectations are realistic. In setting business goals, try not to go overboard. Focus on what can be done and what needs to be done. Do not yet focus on multiple goals. As yours is a new company, your main goal should be to make the business take off, attract customers and investors, and survive its first year. In addition, continuous product development should also be in the list.

While it’s true that you do not have 100% technical knowhow, it is possible to build a software company and translate your business dreams to reality. All you need to do is focus on your non-technical tasks and leave the tech stuff to the tech experts.

Selling Your House – Making A Deal

Buying and selling a house is a gamble. Add to this is the necessity that you’ve to hire a real estate agent and you’re facing the prospect of shelling out significant amounts of cash during the preparation phase alone. If you wish to cut costs when hiring a real estate agent and selling your house, be sure to follow the tips below.

Provide Necessary Documents

The key to any successful transaction is transparency. That is why it is imperative that you need to secure and keep all the documents related to the property. Also, keep in mind that most buyers prefer purchasing houses that don’t force them to shell out extra cash for stuff like government-related fees.  Therefore, it’s critical that you wrap up all the loose ends on your end before you sell the property to make it more appealing to buyers.

Always Communicate

A buyer and seller relationship strengthens when communication is always open and there are no hidden agendas involved. As much as possible do not fool your buyer on things that are too good to be true. It’s understandable that this undertaking is hard. However, with a little patience—and if the terms are agreeable to both you and the buyer—you are sure to get a complete sale soon enough.

Be Open to a Lower Price

Being open to lower price points is important especially if you need to get rid of the property fast. When the buyer offers a lesser amount than your offer, do consider the proposal. Why? Because buyers who ask for a lower price of the house are—in all probability—very interested in buying your property.

The Pet’s List – Three Unusual Animals You Can Take Home as Pets

Almost every one nowadays is either a cat owner or a dog owner, but aside from these usual furry creatures, there are other unusual kinds of adorable animals that you can take home with you as your pet, and here are some of them:

Capybara

Considered as the world’s largest rodent, a capybara is one of the most peculiar creatures to have as a pet. This giant rodent, which can grow to an average of four feet, is quite hard to find (even in zoos) but there’s one woman from Texas, Melanie Typaldos, who managed to get one and named it Caplin Rous.  Although capybaras cannot be fully domesticated, they are still perfect as your pet companion. When planning to domesticate your own capybara, you have to remember that this kind of animal needs a lot of outdoor space including a place to swim in. Its diet includes healthy green grasses.

Hedgehog

Another interesting animal to have as a pet is the hedgehog. A lot of people nowadays are fascinated by this small pet after the popular video game Sonic the Hedgehog was launched. This little creature is known to be very gentle and needs less maintenance relative to most pets, making it the perfect animal companion. It can live in a tiny cage and you can feed it with insects (but you can also buy hedgehog food in some pet supply stores). However, although this creature is undeniably adorable, some states in the USA prohibit making the hedgehog as a pet.

Potbellied Pig

Unlike the pigs we see in farms, a potbellied pig is quite small, very easy to train, and does not smell weird. In case you don’t know, potbellied pigs are among the smartest animals in the world; they are even used as drug sniffers by some police departments. Potbellied pigs are very much the same with dogs; they need a balanced diet, they love walking and exercising, and they are very trainable.