Don’t neglect ladder safety training

Ladders seem like simple, everyday items but they’re governed by specific and important OSHA rules.

A worker inspects a ladder according to a rulebook.

Ladders of all kinds have unique OSHA rules.

Ladders are a special category among workplace equipment with specific security instructions. On one hand, it’s clear how they can pose a threat to employee health and safety. Improper use of a ladder could lead to falls that cause permanent harm. On the other hand, ladders are so common and mundane that employers may accidentally neglect to treat them with the degree of focus and attention they deserve. Stepladders are used around the house, after all, so workers may believe they don’t need training in how to safely ascend a ladder.

If there is an incident involving a ladder in a workplace, however, a lack of preparation and training will be a real liability for the company. There are several Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for the appropriate use of ladders, with differing regulations depending on the type and size of equipment involved. Paying attention to these specifications is the responsible way to keep employees safe and limit liability. The following is a quick refresher on some of the OSHA considerations around ladder use. Continue reading

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Remembering the importance of lockout/tagout excellence

Lockout and tagout machine-guarding procedures are vital safety measures, but they are sometimes overlooked.

A factory worker uses a heavy machine.

Lockout and tagout procedures keep workers optimally safe.

Keeping a company in compliance with industry regulations over time should be a priority for managers at various levels: from the C-suite to individual team leaders and trainers. When those rules relate to worker safety, as with mechanical equipment lockout/tagout standards, getting everyone on the same page becomes doubly important.

Complying with the latest revisions of these important rules is an essential practice. However, there’s never a wrong time to examine current operations and see if improvement is needed. Better employee education is one step leaders can take to ensure their teams are not only meeting official expectations but exceeding them, displaying safety in every element of their duties. Continue reading

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Sales skills: Essential inside and outside the sales department

The skills required to succeed in business involve a focus on sales – and those abilities may cover more than leaders anticipate.

A businessman surrounded by symbols of sales ideas.

What do well-rounded sales skills encompass?

Making a sale is a complex, multi-step process that can be less straightforward than it seems. It takes a lot of knowledge – about customers, products and the company itself – to effectively complete a sale. Furthermore, a lack of interpersonal communication ability, one of the much-vaunted “soft skills” taking business by storm, can put a halt to this process. In an era when more parts of companies are functioning on a sales-styled model, imparting relevant soft skills can have a big impact on overall effectiveness.

Training is a major consideration for leaders who find their teams aren’t equipped with the abilities they need to make deals, whether that involves dealing with external customers or brokering agreements between internal departments. Becoming more adept at managing the sales process is a boost in ability that can linger with employees for years, providing benefits for them and their organizations alike. Continue reading

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Remember the importance of project management skills

Rather than taking project-based leadership for granted or assuming it will fall under the general umbrella of corporate competency, professionals can directly study the necessary skills and abilities.

A stakeholder team compares notes.

What does it take to keep a project on track?

Management may sometimes seem like a single, monolithic ability – either you have it or you don’t. However, there are many individual components to becoming a better leader in an office environment, ranging from the general to the very specific. Project management is one such skill. Keeping collaborators on track and making sure every task comes to a satisfactory close can be an absolutely critical part of an effective organization, and firms that have capable individuals may find themselves better able to meet their commitments.

Even as the exact processes required to be a project manager evolve over time, the importance of having someone at the helm has kept the role eternally relevant. Now, it’s up to professionals and companies to ensure they’re on track. Continue reading

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Virtual Team Management: An Essential Skill Today

Managing a virtual team requires slight twists on the classic leadership formulas.

Silhouettes of people emerge from a laptop.

Teams don’t have to be close to work together closely.

On the surface, team leadership may seem like a skill that doesn’t change much over time. People are people, and leading them takes the same psychological makeup it always has – up to a point. The fact is, the office environment is evolving, and some of the twists that have come in recent years have shifted the way colleagues connect and deal with one another. Having up-to-date leadership and management training can deliver distinct benefits when it comes to ensuring productivity.

Virtual meetings are an example of a new practice that could affect leadership style. When team leaders can’t speak to their group members in person, they have to work extra hard to ensure everyone stays motivated and productive.

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