The Benefits of Assessment Centers Revealed

The Benefits of Assessment Centers Revealed

Sep 13

Recruitment and selection is an important process that every business should undertake. Traditionally, the job applicant will undergo a series of tests, get interviewed, and if lucky, hired by the recruiter. Unfortunately, there is no assurance that the newly hired was indeed the right candidate to fill up the vacant position. There is proof that the traditional method of hiring a prospective employee lacks credibility. The fact that the interviewer relies on their gut feel already puts their decision in doubt.

This is where an assessment center can come in handy. Whereas the traditional interviewer does not have formal training on conducting interviews, assessment centers specialize on recruitment and selection. At the same time, they bring objectivity to the selection process. In addition, these methods of hiring prospective employees deliver reliability when it comes to assessing the qualification of a candidate.

Assessment centers utilize a wide range of techniques in order to judge the fitness of a candidate in the job they are applying for. Some of the techniques may include functional employment testing, competency-based interviewing, psychometrics, situational judgment tests, and others. Interviews alone can be as low as 15% accurate while using multiple tests in selecting the right candidate increases accuracy by more than 60%.

A major benefit of assessment centers is that more than one person assesses the job applicant. This makes the decision making process more open and objective. Aside from that, it allows management to gauge both current and future job performance. It also provides the recruiter with an opportunity to differentiate one candidate from another and determine the fit applicant for the position. With assessment centers, organizations can save on recruitment and selection costs.

While there are some pitfalls associated with assessment centers, the benefits far outweigh the liabilities. So it is high time to evaluate your recruitment and selection process and let the experts do the choosing for you.

Ways To Possibly Avoid Workplace Injuries

Ways To Possibly Avoid Workplace Injuries

Apr 17

As the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimated that 12 workers are killed and over 9,000 workers are sustaining injuries in their workplace everyday, it is important for workers to practice extreme safety precaution in doing their income generating jobs regardless of work environment.

Workers and their families are often struck with great financial loss after being involved in a workplace accident. In the 2,953,500 non-fatal workplace injuries recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2014, there were 916,400 injured workers required to stay at home for an average of nine days. Though employers are required to promote safety and protection to their workers, workers themselves should follow regulations for them to avoid accidents that can cause injuries to themselves or to fellow workers. Regardless of the work environment, workers everyday are at high risk of sustaining slip, fall, and trip injuries.

In the office, employees should make sure that there are no cables or office supplies on the floor that can trip employees. Employees who are required to seat for a long period of time may possibly avoid back or spine injuries if they use ergonomically designed office chairs and if they are given short breaks from time to time during shifts. On the other hand people whose work demand strenuous physical activity  like in construction sites or industrial facilities are advised to be more careful in doing their jobs. Machinery malfunctions for example can be prevented through regular maintenance and qualified operators handling such machinery. However, if a worker suffered amputation or broken bone injuries from an accident caused by a machinery malfunction, he or she may file for a claim to possibly recover income loss, a lawyer of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm said. Other work safety practices like maintaining the work area clean, wearing protection gears and following safety precautions in the workplace are some of the ways workers may do to prevent income loss that can be caused by workplace accidents.

What triggers your asthma?

What triggers your asthma?

Nov 08

WebMD recently released its list of top ten worst cities for asthma. They are Chicago, New Orleans, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Augusta, Oklahoma, Detroit, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Tennessee. If you are living in one of these cities, you are more likely to develop an asthma attack. But more than city where you live, there are other factors that could increase your risk of asthma. Here are some of them.

Poor air quality

Pollution coming from cars, factories, and other sources is among the primary asthma triggers in the country. Manufacturers have the moral obligation to keep their emissions level within legal standards. However, some companies choose to be part of the problem instead. This can be true for German automaker Volkswagen. According to the website of the Volkswagen emissions lawsuit attorneys of the Driscoll Firm, the auto maker deliberately manufactured cars equipped with software that could defeat emissions testing, making them compliant even though they really aren’t.

Allergies

Allergies to pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold can trigger asthma attack. Is your asthma attack more frequent during pollen season? Are you having asthma attacks when air is humid? Does having a pet around trigger your asthma? List all the possible causes of your asthma to know which allergens to avoid.

Strenuous physical activities

Asthma attacks can also be triggered by too much physical activity. Learn to pace yourself during your exercise. Also, warming up slowly may prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks.

Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes and being exposed to second hand smoke are among the most common asthma triggers in the country. If you have asthma and can’t quit smoking, speak with your doctor about safe ways on how to cut down your habit.

Other possible triggers

Some asthma attacks develop because of acid reflux, while some are caused by influenza virus. Breathing in certain types of fumes, being in a cold, dry air, and sinus infection may also contribute to an attack. Consult with your doctor to know what triggers your asthma and the ways on how you may prevent them.

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Jul 05

Asbestos was once recognized for its fire resistant properties and thus widely used in a number of building and other materials. Its growing popularity was ended as asbestos exposure was linked to the development of asbestosis and even more serious mesothelioma cancer. After regulation took place, it was exposed that some professions were more at risk of asbestos exposure than others.

Military veterans are often noted as the most at risk for asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma. For a number of years, asbestos was used across all branches of the military. For Navy veterans, the risk lies in the building materials for the ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers that often included asbestos. These risks were also associated with Air Force Veterans and Marine Corp veterans exposed to hazardous aircrafts and ships. Even general Army Veterans are at risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development.

Commercial and industrial workers were also at an increased risk for asbestos exposure, according to the website of Williams Kherkher. The job sites where this was common include construction sites, oil refineries, power plants, steel mills, and chemical plants. These sites all had the risk of fire leading to the early use of asbestos to be common.

However, it is not just workers who are at risk for exposure to asbestos. With the increase of individuals taking on do-it-yourself renovations on older homes, the risk of asbestos exposure increases as well. Before the regulation of asbestos, it was widely used in the building of homes in insulation, flooring, roofing, and more. This means that when an individual cuts into or saws through these materials, asbestos dust and fibers are released into the air. Many of those who take on renovations do not take the proper safety precautions to avoid asbestos fibers and are at increased risk of inhaling them and developing mesothelioma.

It has even been found that asbestos exposure can occur second hand. When workers come home with asbestos fibers on their clothes or hair, other individuals can inhale them and experience the same risks as those directly in contact with asbestos. This exposure can lead to the fatal cancer Mesothelioma as well as other health problems.

Preventing Bicycle Accidents: Safety Tips for Cyclists

Preventing Bicycle Accidents: Safety Tips for Cyclists

Apr 05

With environmentalists pushing for stronger conservation efforts in the wake of global warming, plenty of Americans have begun opting to ride bicycles instead of driving their cars. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people riding their bikes to work increased from 488,000 to around 786,000 for 2000 to 2012, suggesting a notable 61 percent increase.

Now that a significant portion of the population is taking their bikes on the road, it should also be noted that the number of accidents involving cyclists have similarly increased. There is always some risk to being out on the road with other vehicles. However, the risk for cyclists increase for crashes involving vehicles that are much larger than the flimsy frames of bikes. The NHTSA notes that bicycle accidents account for 2 percent of all 33,561 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2012. This data only proves how important bicycle safety is. Thankfully, cyclists can protect themselves from unwanted accidents and injuries by following safety precautions.

One of the most important precautions cyclists should take is making sure they are perfectly visible to the vehicles around them. This is especially crucial when larger vehicles are sharing the same roadway because of the danger of blind spots. As a cyclist, you should always use hand signals and look over their shoulder when changing lanes or making a turn. Wearing bright and reflective clothing is equally important, as well as equipping your bicycle with lights and reflectors.

Another important tip is to make sure you’re riding with the flow of the traffic and not in the opposite direction. Again, it’s important to keep yourself visible to the vehicles sharing the round. Drivers will not expect someone else riding towards them and won’t be able to predict your intention to turn or change lanes. Similarly, you should always be ready to stop at driveways and intersections. Your bicycle might be small, but it’s extremely dangerous to try to run a stop.

Cyclists should also be wary of the roadway they’re riding. Always be on the lookout for cracks in the pavement, potholes, grates, and puddles that could cause you to lose control of your bike. It’s also important to stick to the paths and trails designated for bicycles.

Finally, it’s very crucial that you’re wearing proper safety gear and equipment. A properly fitted helmet can do a lot to save you from traumatic brain injuries. It’s also important to point out that you should avoid cycling while you’re distracted or impaired by alcohol. The NHTSA notes that 24 percent of cyclists involved in fatal accidents had a Blood Alcohol Concentration level of 0.08 percent or higher.

Still, the responsibility for preventing bicycle accidents does not rest solely on cyclists. Drivers sharing the road also have an equal share in ensuring everyone is kept safe from accidents that could lead to severe injuries. If you are a victim of a similar scenario, you will know firsthand how devastating a bicycle accident can be. Seeking compensation through legal channels can be your best recourse. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area to learn more. Residents of Florida can consult with West Palm Beach car accident attorneys.

The Worst Kinds of People on Airplanes

The Worst Kinds of People on Airplanes

Feb 07

You are finally out of school for the semester. You have a hotel room in Costa Rica waiting for you, as well as attractive people tanning poolside. The only thing in your way from paradise is that dreaded plane ride. Airplanes are definitely low on the list of people’s favorite places to be, and certain kinds of people make the experience even worse.

Babies are unbearable. At first, they seem harmless, possibly even adorable if you are not one of those people with a fear of babies. But soon enough, they will cry, and they will do it for a long time. Their poor parents will get glares from every direction, but if you must give an annoyed look to anyone, make sure it is that living, breathing alarm clock that cannot tell time yet.

At least babies have the excuse of not knowing any better. People who snore do not. Most people who snore are well aware of the fact that they do, so why do some of them think it is a good idea to fall asleep in a small, enclosed space? At the very least they could buy nasal strips in attempt to quiet their noisy sleeping habits.

Hopefully most people will never have to experience an irresponsible pilot, because as far as the worst people to be on an airplane with goes, this person takes the cake. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, airplanes require constant attention and focus in order to function properly. A bad pilot is more than an annoyance; They are a safety hazard and a serious liability for the airline.

Thankfully, plane rides are usually followed up by a pleasant vacation, a productive business meeting, or the comfort of sleeping in your own bed. Remember that when you are on your next flight.

Product Liability in Kentucky

Product Liability in Kentucky

Sep 19

Product liability is that area of tort law that governs any property damage, personal injury, or death that was caused by a product due to some aspect such as its design, construction, formulation, processing, warning, packaging, marketing, and so on. As mentioned on the website of the Sampson Law Firm in Louisville, product liability is a complex issue that may involve more than one defendant depending on the circumstances and the cause of action, and each state addresses these issues differently.

In Kentucky, product liability is embodied in the Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated (§ 411.300-340) known as the Product Liability Act of Kentucky. Under these statutes, causes of action include:

  • Strict Liability – for dealing with defendants who are involved in the manufacture and design of a product; the standard follows the 2nd Restatement of Torts where a product is considered defective when a reasonably prudent seller when made aware of the risks would not sell the product at all. Under this cause of action there are several possible claims including: design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure to warn.
  • Negligence – when the claim is made against a distributor or seller, mostly dealing with the failure to test or the failure to warn consumers about the risks before or after the sale, depending on when the seller became aware of the risks. It can also address faulty packaging or certification, and failure to modify or recall as the case demands
  • Breach of Warranty – typically brought against defendants from whom the claimant bought the product directly which establish privity (a relationship based on service) between the defendants and the plaintiff; claims are often made when the defendant fails to follow through with a promise (warranty, express or implied) or makes a faulty recommendation in the selection of the product.

When there is a clear breach of warranty i.e. product breaks down within the warranty period or when the manufacturer has already acknowledged the defect through a recall or other settlement offer i.e. GM’s faulty ignition switch, then it may be a simple matter to get compensation. However, these are the exceptions to the rule and as in most tort cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, so it is important that the case is consulted with a competent product liability lawyer that can determine if it is viable before any other step is taken.

Cross Stitching

Cross Stitching

Sep 03

Cross stitching is a form of needlework that most anyone can pick up. It’s popular for its simplicity and inexpensive entry costs.

That is not to say that it’s for amateurs. Cross stitches can also be complex and beautiful. It all depends on how detailed your pattern is, as well as the cloth you are stitching on. Most commonly, cross stitches are stitched onto Aida cloth, which is loosely woven fabric that helps you keep your stitches lined up. Depending on the weave’s spacing, your stitches will be bigger or smaller, with tighter spacing requiring more complex stitching.

We <3 cross stitching!

We <3 cross stitching!

Like I said, cross stitches can also be very complex. I’ll leave you with this beauty:

cross stitch floral

Prozac History

Prozac History

Aug 03

Prozac (fluoxetine), also known as “bottled sunshine” to many celebrities and millions of the depressed, is a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  It was first approved as an antidepressant in December 1987 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. The patent held by developer Eli Lilly and Company in August 2001.

The history of Prozac, which is also the background to fluoxetine which is now available under generic brands, is quite interesting and a bit disturbing. Originally documented in 1974, it was initially tested on humans as an antihypertensive, because it showed that it lowered the blood pressure in lab animals. However, it was a no-go in human testing. Eli Lilly did not give up on the drug, and tried it again as an anti-obesity drug. Again, no joy. But a strange thing happened during the human trials: five participants who exhibited mild depression reported feelings of upliftment while taking Prozac.

Quick to take advantage, Eli Lilly proposed the drug as an antidepressant for both adults and children, and Prozac became the stuff of legends. Or at least, it was promoted as such by the celebrities who swore by its positive effects, and by the time the drug was on the shelf for 3 years, it was considered a wonder drug, a problem-free quick fix. It also popularized the term SSRI to denote a class of antidepressants. Many more drugs were developed along this line as a result.

In the decades since it was approved, Prozac has become a panacea of all ills. Prescriptions for the drug increased four-fold between 1991 and 2009, and it was not restricted to treating depression. Other FDA approved uses were for the treatment of panic disorder, bulimia nervosa and obsessive compulsive disorder. Off-label uses included post traumatic stress disorders, obesity, and cataleptsy. It has even become standard to prescribe Prozac to the recently bereaved, although grief is not a pathologic condition.

That is the interesting part. The disturbing part is that no one really knows how Prozac actually works. SSRIs are thought to block the reabsorption of the feel-good chemical serotonin so that it stays longer in the brain, lifting one’s mood. But this is merely the theory, not the fact. The fact is, many scientists today contend that fluoxetine in particular does not work on patients with mild to moderate depression. Moreover, there are serious side-effects that accompany the indiscriminate use of Prozac, including birth defects, suicidality, and sexual dysfunction. Despite these ever-increasing concerns about the health effects of Prozac, it continues to be one of the most prescribed antidepressants in the market even with newer and “safer” alternatives.

How to Choose a Limo Service

How to Choose a Limo Service

Jul 03

Not all limo services are created equal. Just like anything in life, you get what you pay for. So if you just need a ride, then by all means use a Russian roulette way of choosing a limo service. But if it is crucial for your professional image, or it is for a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, then you had better follow these steps on how to choose a limo service that won’t have you pulling out your hair at crunch time.

Do Research

The first thing you need to do is to get a list of limousine services in your immediate area. If you get a lot of hits, you will want to narrow it down. You can do this initially by checking for recommendations or reviews from reputable sites like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. Not all of them will be there but that doesn’t really mean anything. However, the ones that are mentioned in a bad way you can cross out. As a rule of thumb, outfits that have been in the business for a while tend to give better service, so start with those before getting to the newbies.

Decide What You Need

There are small limousines that comfortably carry 3 people not including the driver, and there are huge ones that can carry up to 45 people (although these are more like busses than a car). There are also limousines that are comfy and those that are outright luxurious for a night out on the town. Depending on the occasion, you have to figure out what you need and for how long so that you know what to ask for in a quote. As pointed out in the website of Capital City Limousine, rates vary depending on the vehicle and the length of time it is needed.

Call

Most limo services have an online inquiry form, but will want to call them so that you can check out their customer service. A good service will invest in good front liners, who will not only help you book a limousine but also with any problems that may come up. If the person who answers your call is bored, surly or rude, you can cross that service off your list.