Workplace Emergency Plans Part 1: What You Need to Know

Keeping the workplace safe benefits everyone, but while having your Alsco First Aid Kit in place, your higher levels of washroom hygiene achieved and plenty of non slip mats in appropriate areas, safety actually extends beyond this list. Having workplace emergency plans is also part of it.

The fact is that no-one is able to foresee when an accident, either large or small, is going to happen. So, should there be one, it is essential that everyone knows what has to be done and how to do it.

What needs to be understood, however, is that preparing emergency plans in the workplace is much bigger than jotting down a few instructions. A whole series of possible incidents need to be examined, and then a proactive response developed for each.

It’s a big undertaking, which is why we at the Alsco Greenroom have decided to run a 4-part series of articles guiding you through the process with each part looking at specific aspects of the task.

The first of the series looks at what elements go into an effective plan, with the following articles covering specific workplace incidents, incidents off the premises, and incidents caused by extreme weather conditions.

Key Elements of an Emergency Plan

An emergency plan needs to be extremely detailed, so it pays to take time to consider what needs to be included in it. The starting point is to assess the hazards that exist in your workplace.

But regardless of the type of hazards employees typically face, there is a standard list of elements universal to all emergency plans:

  1. Emergency procedures
  2. Evacuation procedures
  3. Contact numbers for emergency services
  4. Provision of medical treatment
  5. Delegate responsibilities to pre-appointed personnel
  6. Reviews and incident follow-ups

1. Emergency Procedures

These procedures are detailed and presented as a simple step-by-step guide for a specific type of incident. If there is an explosion, the procedure will be different to the procedure to handle stairs collapsing, for example. Stating the procedure clearly ensures there is no confusion.

2. Evacuation Procedures

It is the same with detailing the evacuation procedures. Providing a map as well as a step-by-step guide is a good idea, while an emphasis on evacuating calmly is equally important.

3. Emergency Services Contact Numbers

Be sure to appoint someone to call the emergency services (usually the first aider or PCBU). People tend to assume someone else will do it and the confusion can cause a delay which might prove to be the difference between life and death.

4. Provision of Medical Treatment

Ensure there is always a first aid kit close by, and a first aider on duty to use it. Taking time to send enough staff on first aid training courses is well worth the effort.

5. Delegating Responsibility

With so many facets, delegating responsibilities is highly important. Reliable staff who are properly instructed can move fast, so ensure that a selected number have specific tasks to do.

6. Reviews and Incident Follow-Ups

An essential part of the whole emergency planning process is to have regular reviews. Between staff turnover, and everyday workplace activities, things can change that can make a plan obsolete. In any case, revisiting plans provides the best chance of covering everything.

Of course, follow-ups are highly valuable as they provide a opportunity to examine how your plan performed after an incident.

For further reading on Emergency Plans and how to go about drawing them up, check out the official Safe Work Australia PDF file: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Documents/657/Emergency_plans_fact_sheet.pdf

First Aid Kits

To enhance the safety of your workplace, ensure that you have sufficient, ., high-quality first aid kits.

Alsco’s managed first aid service offers a full range of first aid kits – from food industry specific to mobile kits – and provides regular restocking with hospital grade first aid supplies. The rental system removes the financial burden of capital outlay and depreciation, replacing it with a tax deductible service.

That certainly sounds like a better solution than trying to do it yourself! So why wait to get them for your workplace? Right!

Further Reading:

Image Courtesy: Prepared BC

2016 Global Food Trends: What They Mean For Your Restaurant

2016 is knocking at our doorsteps. It is that time of the year when businesses are planning and strategising for the next year,  drawing up their goals, objectives and plans to achieve the same. As a restaurant owner, you are likely to be doing the same.

A critical element in your planning process is information about what your customers are looking for. You want to be in the know about the trends in food behaviour that will help you come up with the winning combinations of tastes and ingredients.

You need to have the insights and the inspirations that will keep you in tune with the times and in the forefront of food innovations. In order to help you plan better, you want to understand how the tastes and food preferences of your consumers are changing.

This post from Greenroom does just that for you!

Letting You Focus on Your Core Competence – Food

In order to help you deliver what you promise, your business also needs a trusted partner who can understand your needs and requirements.

  • How about someone who can help you save time and money in different aspects of your business?
  • How about if you had someone who could look after the non-food aspects of your business while you focussed on your core competency?

Alsco is there for you.

You can help Alsco understand the changing trends in the requirements of the food and beverage sector in order to help serve you better. A couple of minutes today will help Alsco get to know the opportunities and challenges you face.

This knowledge will help us design products and services that will save you time and effort, many times over, each single day.

Take the F&B Survey Button

What Food Trends Does 2016 Predict?

Mintel, a global market research agency has released its top predictions for 2016. Here is what they predict.

Vegetarianism Marches Toward the Mainstream

It wasn’t too long ago when a vegetarian person in a restaurant had to look at the very end of the menu to find an odd dish (or maybe two) to select from. However, that reality has changed and changed pretty fast. There is a huge improvement in the quality and selection of vegetarian and vegan food available on menus.

This shift is a direct result of the growing demand and popularity of such food. The number of people turning completely vegetarian is on the rise as is the number of people who while they continue to eat meat, want to either reduce its consumption or are attracted to vegetarian food because of its quality and taste and would like different options too.

The Wonderful Benefits of Natural Foods

Menu items which are full of processed foods are getting replaced with natural foods. Natural unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables have not lost their essential nutrients be they vitamins, minerals or fibres which disappear during the processing of foods.

Restaurant menus, which make people want to buy natural foods are becoming a common sight. These items are being given attractive labelling such as ‘Chef’s Recommendation’ or being drawn attention to attractive graphics, images or by placing them in strategic eye-catching positions on the menu.

Sustainability is Handy

Food sources from sustainable sources is a growing trend in restaurants and is being appreciated by their patrons. In fact, this has been a top trend for foods and menu for a few years now.

Chef’s increasing use local produce grown within a certain distance of the restaurant or at least within the state. Taking this a step further is the trend of hyper local produce, which is using produce grown on the premises itself.

Other ways to promote sustain

ability is by using products which are certified as ‘responsibly-sourced’ such as free range chickens.

The Purpose of Food

Food is no longer just a means to satisfy our daily calorie requirement. Increasingly, people are turning to specific food substances which help keep the body fit, the mind active, your heart healthy or help achieve a glowing skin.

From the benefits of green tea, raw foods, berries or brown rice, food is more than a means of getting our daily nutritional value.

Matching Food With Exercise Programs

As people move along in an exercise program, their requirement for food groups varies. Initially, the objective may be to reduce calories, later they may need to build muscle and protein consumption may take centre-stage.

Also, different kinds of exercise programs have their own food requirements depending on whether you are aiming for total body strength or aiming to beef up your body.

Verifying Claims

Origin of products is increasingly acquiring centre-stage and becoming important for both consumers and chefs. This has an impact on the labelling of foods.

With the new Green and Gold Kangaroo Labelling system, Australians have the opportunity to work out exactly how much of their food is Australian.

Matching Diets with DNA

Dieters are now being assigned a diet based on their genes and the sequences coded within those genes i.e. in their DNA. Studies have shown that diets based on their DNA are 33 percent more effective than those based on just counting calories.

People are assigned one of five plans based on the lab findings of their DIY swab test. The plans include which foods to eat and what exercises to follow based upon what your body will respond to best.

Social Media is Key

This has continued to grow in popularity and gain importance. We are living in the age of the Millenials, the younger, tech-savvy generation who are heavily engaged with the social media. According to estimates, the Millenials, typically between 15 and 35, comprise roughly one-third of the global population.

Quoting from Greenroom article on food trends for 2015, ‘Using social media to connect with customers has become imperative. According to Social Hospitality.com, almost all restaurants will be on Facebook within the next couple of years and four in every five will be on Twitter.

‘This is because consumers are increasingly using social media to enhance their restaurant experience, to choose, review or to opt for discounts, promotions or group-buying schemes. So encourage your customers to check-in on Facebook, leave an honest, good review and keep them coming back with regular promotions.’

Single Meal Portions

Practicing portion control is the key to eating healthy. Downsizing to healthy portions assists the body in downsizing to a healthy size too. It is important that the portions served are right for a person. People tend to eat more if larger portions are served.

Fat Is No Longer to Be Feared

There is increasing awareness about the types of fat. Unsaturated fats are gaining acceptance while saturated fats typically found in animals are disappearing from the shelves and pantries.

Products like low fat dairy, poultry, fish and nuts are gaining popularity while red meats etc. are losing theirs.

Appearance is Everything

If there is one thing that needs to be done after you have cooked your food perfectly, is to present it nicely. The way the food is plated could enhance or mar the appetite for the food. It is no wonder then that chefs lay so much emphasis on appearance.

This survey by Mintel helped us to recognise the changes that the food industry is seeing. Another useful survey for the food and beverage sector in Australia is being conducted by Alsco in order to help them understand the requirements of this sector. You can help by filling in this survey here

 

 

 

Green Office Reminder Poster: Save Paper, Email Memos

Alsco Green Office Reminder: Save Paper, Email Memos
Green Tip Poster
Downloadable A4 Poster

Going green demands that everyone get on board with changing office procedures and habits. We know your team is working hard enough already, so we created these handy posters to remind you of simple green ideas. You can download them here and then print them. All you need is blue-tack, pushpins or glue.

Download PDF file (758 KB)

Other simple ways to ‘green your office’ include using green products such as floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying.

Alsco Evolution Mats

Alsco’s range of commercial mats and industrial mats now includes the Evolution Mat. In addition to a great range of features including thicker pile and premium quality, these mats are made from recycled materials, eliminating the need for raw production materials. The re-engineered materials also generate a more efficient product which uses less water and energy in the cleaning process. For your convenience, Alsco provides a fully managed rental service, supplying clean, undamaged mats every time. Alsco is committed to improvements that promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Contact Alsco to enjoy a Free Evolution Mat Trial.

 

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

7 Unexpected Heart-Healthy Snacks for Workplaces

While at work, when hunger pangs strike, it is easy and tempting to reach out for either a sinful, calorie-laden sweet or cholesterol-rich deep fried snack. These hard-to-resist nibbles are available everywhere, your building cafes, neighbourhood shops, vending machines and even in office canteens.

Snacking isn’t “bad” if you do it in moderation and make the right choices. Tasty, good-for-you snacks can be a part of a healthy diet – which you need to do to have a good heartful life.

To snack the sensible way, choose these nutrients-rich snacks, especially those which do good for your heart.

Here are some snacks which are delicious, energising, full of healthy nutrients and are sure to make your heart sing a healthy song.

Keep this list handy. They are a good mix of nutrition and taste.

  1. Nuts
  2. Yogurt with fruit
  3. Apples and peanut butter
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Edamame
  6. Crudites
  7. Smoothies, Fro-yo, Parfait

Another extremely useful thing to remember is the website www.heartattackhelp.org.au.  It has a nifty map-based tool which helps you to locate the nearest defibrillator or a hospital in case a heart emergency strikes.

Nuts

Walnuts
Source: Flickr

Nuts are a heart-healthy snacking choice. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They’re inexpensive, easy to store and easy to pack when you’re on the go.

People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.

Eating nuts may reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries.

As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts in moderation. Ideally, you should use nuts as a substitute for saturated fats, such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products.

Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts or a tablespoon or two of a nut spread. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Select raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil.

Yogurt

Yogurt Fruit
Source: Flickr

A yogurt a day may keep heart disease away. According to a study reported in the Globe and Mail, the probiotic bacteria in curd reduced the plaque build-up on the walls of arteries. The thicker the plaque build-up, the lesser space there is for blood to move through.

This plaque build-up is what causes stroke, heart attack and death from heart disease.

The healthiest yogurt has no refined sugar added to it.

Add a healthy serving of berries on top. Not only do they add to the taste, but berries contain antioxidants which are known to reduce blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. A study found that women who ate a minimum of three servings of berries a week had a 32% percent lower risk of heart attack than those who ate lesser.

So go ahead, pile on those blueberries and strawberries.

Apples with peanut butter

Apples Peanut Butter
Source: Flickr

Apples do indeed keep the doctor away, at least the heart doctor. That is what studies are showing.

The reason for this is that apples contain compounds known as phytonutrients or phytochemicals. These act as antioxidants against the bad cholesterol – LDL (low-density lipoproteins).

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) transfers cholesterol away from your body and is therefore considered good. LDL transfers cholesterol throughout your body and into your cells and is therefore considered bad.

A higher level of LDL implies more cholesterol in your bodies. Cholesterol contributes to the obstruction and hardening of blood vessels which can eventually lead to coronary heart disease, stroke etc.

The process of oxidation is mechanism your body uses to transfer cholesterol throughout the body into harmful  plaque which deposits on the arterial walls and causes blockages. Antioxidants in apples help to fight and control this harmful process.

Add a dollop of yummy healthy natural peanut butter and you have your perfect snack.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal
Source: Public Domain Image.com

If you currently have or are trying to prevent heart disease, there is no better way to start the day than with a bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal.

Many a study have shown that eating just one bowl of oatmeal every day can reduce cholesterol by up to 23%. Given that every percentage point reduction in cholesterol levels implies a 2% point decrease in the risk of developing heart disease, this is pretty significant.

Oats, via their high fibre content, remove cholesterol from the digestive system and prevent it from building up in the bloodstream and ending up as plaque in the arteries.

Oats contain antioxidants too, which slow down the time it takes the LDL to become oxidised and hence aid in preventing the building up of plaque in the arteries.

Edamame

Edamame
Source: Flickr

Edamame is simply soybeans which have been harvested while they are still tender and green. They can be eaten either shelled as beans or in the pods.

Edamame is an excellent source of protein and a healthier alternative to animal protein as it contains relatively lower levels of the bad LDL, which in turn lowers the risk of atherosclerosis or the building up of plaque. The Food and Drug Administration recommends eating 25 grams of soy protein every day as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and protein.

Soybeans also contain the essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. In fact, soybeans are one of the best non-fish sources of Omega-3.

Crudites with hummus

Vegetables for the heart
Source: Flickr

Vegetables contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can strengthen and protect your heart.

Bell peppers contain folate, a nutrient that can reduce homocysteine, a form of amino acid that is linked to heart disease. Carrots are rich in carotenoid, which is a powerful antioxidant. Tomatoes contain lycopene which has been known to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Serve these vegetables with a bowl of hummus. Hummus is made of protein-rich garbanzo beans which have been proven to reduce cholesterol levels. In a study done by Jane Pittaway at the University of Tasmania’s School of Human Life Sciences, a group of people on a chickpea diet had reduced cholesterol levels compared to another set of people who got their daily fibre intake from wheat products.

Smoothies, Fro-yo and Parfait

Smoothies
Source: Flickr

Combine some of the above ingredients in tasty ways to make an altogether different tasty and yummy snack. With some yogurt, fruits, nuts and oats make a delicious parfait. Freeze the yogurt with some berries for your very own fro-yo or churn the berries with some milk, add a few crunchy nuts to make a lip-smacking smoothie.

Here’s wishing you some happy snacking days in office. However, for that emergency do keep a portable defibrillator handy at your workplace. The easiest way is to rent one. Just call Alsco to find out how convenient it is to keep, use and maintain.

Opportunity for a Rewarding Career as a Sales Executive

If you are a sales representative who is looking to supercharge your sales career, working for a great organisation that recognises and reward hard work, then you are looking for Alsco.

Alsco provides professional, friendly and premier textile, floorcare, first aid, washroom solutions for workplaces throughout Australia. It is present in 27 branches nationwide and is looking for talented people to work in sales.

Alsco offers a rewarding sales career. Jennifer Stirling, who has had a fulfilling sales career with Alsco for over 8 years, says “My Alsco career started as a delivery driver in Auckland and then when I moved to Perth there was an opportunity to become a Sales Rep. Alsco offered great support when progressing departments and the financial awards as a Sales Rep have been fantastic.”

So, if you are a sales executive, you cannot afford to miss out on this fantastic opportunity. Apply early before the job vacancies get filled up. Your career as an Alsco Sales Rep begins with just one step. Send in your resume today.

27 Guides to Help You Enjoy Workplace Wellbeing

Wins Supplier of the Year Award

Greenroom has turned 200. Yes, your friendly, article-breathing buddy has turned 200 posts old. On this occasion, Alsco has chosen a few guides which Australian businesses such as yours have relied upon in their quest to make their workplace a better working environment.

Employee wellbeing is an amorphous, multi-faceted concept that is integral to every workplace. Even if you do not have the time or the resources to build and implement a comprehensive employee wellbeing program, there are several things you can do to show your employees that you value them. Do you know these?

These wide-ranging, informative resources will aid you in your journey towards a happier and safer workplace. To prevent staff absenteeism and disruptions to productivity, to have happy motivated employees, make these a part of your day-to-day life. 

And remember, Greenroom is always there to help your workplace become healthier, safer, greener.

Benefit from Wondrous Washrooms

Alsco Making Music in Your Washroom

Workplace Bathroom Etiquette: How it Keeps Your Workmates Happier and Safer
Do’s and do not’s for bathrooms? Yes, please! Pass this article around to your employees and spread the message.

Making Music in Your Washroom: 4 Key Notes
Do the washrooms at your workplace make you want to sing a few songs? Implement these easy ideas for a pitch perfect washroom.

Do You Smell The Sweet Smell of Success?
Eliminate foul odours from not just from washrooms but from everywhere in your office with this CFC-free technology.

The Pillars of Great Hand Hygiene

clean hands soap or sanitiser

5 Reasons Why You Need Hand Sanitisers in the Workplace
Hand hygiene is the gateway to health and wellbeing. Do hand sanitisers really live up to their promise? Discover right here. 

Hand Sanitisers or Hand Soap: The Debate Ends Here
Hand soaps or sanitisers? Who wins in the quest for better hand hygiene?

The Principles of Floor Safety Every Workplace Ought to Know

Alsco-Caution-Wet-Floor-Slips-Mats

Floor Mats – 3 Reasons to NOT Buy Them!
Proper floor mat solutions can help reduce slips and trips, the cause of 28% of all workplace injuries. However, Alsco is convinced you do NOT need to buy mats. Find out why.

How to Choose the Right Entrance Floor Mat
Choosing the right entrance floor mat can be plain sailing. Here is how.

Top 6 Tips For Managing Wet Floors in Washrooms at Work
Slipping on a wet floor, while funny to watch in movies, is not so funny when it happens in real-life  to you or a colleague. Share this article with your housekeeping team for a safer workplace.

(Rapidly) Improve the Winter Safety in Your Workplace

Alsco Flu Hand Sanitiser

5 Tips For Greater Winter Safety In The Workplace
Does winter mean more illnesses and injuries that hamper your business? Here is how to make your workplace safer next winter.

A Simple Way To Keep the Dreaded Flu at Bay!
Do you associate the onset of winter with the arrival of the flu, the associated absenteeism and loss of productivity? Get the complete lowdown on this dreaded disease and how to keep it at bay.

Solving Your First Aid Compliance Conundrum

Alsco First Aid Compliance

Are You First Aid Compliant?
Wondering how compliant workplaces in your state or territory are to the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act? Here is a quick recap.

Quick Guide to First Aid Compliance for Australian Workplaces
Having trouble understanding your first aid and safety compliance needs? This article is a quick and handy guide to first aid compliance for Australian businesses.

Quick First Aid Checklist for the Australian Workplace
Find out where your first aid processes and systems stand in relation to the requirements. We bet this checklist will help you do just that.

The Secret Behind Risk Assessment and Choosing First Aid Kits

Chef_Wth_Hurt_Thumb

Choosing the Correct First Aid Kit for Your Workplace (In 3 Easy Steps)
Looking for the first aid kit that is best suited to the requirements of your workplace. Alsco makes it as easy as 1-2-3, literally. 

The 5-Steps to Risk Assessment in the Australian Workplace
Risk assessment simplified. Follow our process and you will not have to think twice about how to do one, ever again!

A Gentle Reminder: Fire Safety – It’s IMPORTANT!

Alsco-Fire Safety Compliance

Is Your Workplace Fire Safety Compliant?
Confused by the multiplicity of laws, codes and standards or about information to be stored for fire safety compliance? The Alsco Online Administration Tool is just what you need.

Why Fire Warden Training Matters?
Not sure what a fire warden really does or how a managed fire warden training like that of Alsco’s adds value to your business? Find out right here.

Restaurant Fires: Top Tips to Keep Yours Safe
The single most common hazard in restaurants is fire. It could be dangerous to underestimate the damage it causes. Stay safe with these tips.

How Every Organisation Must Approach Safety Communication

Alsco Safety Communication

10 Ways to Improve Safety Communication in Your Workplace
Wish to build a culture of safety in your organisation? Enhancing your safety communication is essential. This article walks you through how to do just that.

What All Workplace Eye Safety Washes Down To

Alsco - Treating Eye Injuries

Your Guide to Treating Eye Injuries In the Workplace
Metal particle in your eye? or a splash of a chemical? Get your first aiders to familiarise themselves with this comprehensive guide to treating different types of eye injuries.

Why You Need an Eyewash Station in Your Workplace
Eyewash stations are a safety precaution that should never be overlooked. Find out why?

Revealed: The AED Ethics of Heart-Safe Workplaces

healthy heart workplace AED

AED: Does Your Workplace REALLY Need One?
Will your workplace benefit from an Automatic External Defibrillator? Which is the best way to make one available? Get your answers right here.

A Brief History of the Defibrillator and How It Saves Lives
Here is a brief history of the defibrillator – helping save human lives for nearly 70-years.

Saving Lives with Defibrillators
An inspiring, real-life story about the life-saving benefit of an AED installed in a workplace.

The Not-So-Surprising Ideas of Workplace Uniforms

Alsco Chef Whites

Work Uniforms or No Work Uniforms?
Why do uniforms make sense for businesses as well as for workers? Incase your employees have qualms about wearing them, use these ways to win them over.

Smart Uniforms: A Smart Business Idea
Protection from spills, fire, and heat are just some of the ways in which uniforms make sense for the food and beverage industry. Read this article to find out the other benefits.

Why Do Chefs Wear White? And More…
Ever wondered why chef’s wear white? Or how did the Toque Blanche or the neckerchief originate? This fun article delves into a bit of history.

Alsco, Your Workplace Wellbeing Partner and Guide

Remember Alsco is there to assist you at every step of your way and on each aspect as you work to make your workplace safer and better. Our brilliant, fully-managed solutions for employee safety are completely hassle-free and maintenance proof. 

Once you rent our first aid kits, sign on for our managed training programs, hire our floor safety solutions or protective uniforms for your workers you can completely forget about them. Alsco does everything else for you. It is no wonder that over 45,000 businesses across Australia trust Alsco.

Give us a call on 1300 659 892 and ask for a free personalised quote today. With Alsco as your partner, Greenroom as your friend, become another Australian workplace that takes care of its employees and their wellbeing. Start now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green(er) Star Office: Take The First Step

What is Green Star?

Green Star is an internationally recognised rating system to evaluate and rate the environmental impact of everything that is built-up be it buildings or entire communities. The rating system was started by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003. It is a completely voluntary rating system.

The Green Star rating assigns building, communities, interiors a rating of between 1 to 6 stars. A minimum rating of 4 stars is required to show that the building follows  best environmental practices. A rating of 5 stars means that the building has achieved Australian excellence in its environmental practices while a rating of 6 stars denotes that the building is a global leader in this field.

Why Green Star Rating?

Do building in Australia really need to go in for the Green Star rating? After all, it is a voluntary system. Why devote the time, effort and money to put the systems required to get a rating in place?

As a business owner, it would seem to make more sense to finish the construction and interiors work as fast as possible and start using the premises so as to start earning a return from the investment made into the property.

The Green Star rating makes immense sense for your business as well as for this planet for a lot of reasons. Consider this. The Australian built up sector is the largest contributor to greenhouses gas emissions. It consumes one-third of the country’s water  and contributes to 40 percent of the waste generated.

By adopting the standards required by the Green Star rating, building and communities are reducing their environmental impact and doing their bit to leave a greener world for tomorrow.

Alongside this, they are also creating employment opportunities and improving the health and well-being of communities and neighbourhoods.

Benefits for Owners

Today roughly 20 percent of Australia’s commercial buildings have been given a green rating. New buildings are being designed and constructed according to the highest environmental standards. They incorporate systems which assist in conserving water, consuming lesser energy or in generating lesser waste.

So what is the reason behind this thought process? It is quite simple to fathom. Building owners and businesses have realised that there are many benefits of achieving a Green Star Rating.

A Green Star rated building attracts tenants and buyers much faster than one which has not been rated. The IPD Green Investment Property Index found that Green Star-rated office building delivered returns of 10.9% as compared to 9.2% for ‘non-green’ buildings, a whopping 170 points better. Clearly, businesses in Australia want green buildings.

Why do businesses prefer Green Star-rated buildings and are even willing to offer better value for them as compared to their non-green brothers and sisters? Buildings with Green Star ratings consume 66% less energy and 51% less water. They produce 62% fewer greenhouse emissions. This directly translates into operational efficiencies and reduced costs for the businesses which reside in these buildings.

Green buildings are happier buildings to work in. A study of the employees of two tenants of a Green Star-rated building before and after they moved into the building found a significant reduction in common ailments such as cold, flu, headaches, etc. which ultimately affect the productivity of the employees.

Another study by CBRE found that employees working in green buildings took nearly 2.88 fewer sick days as compared to when the same companies worked in non-green buildings.

Factors like well-designed lighting systems, access to daylight and operable windows, improved ventilation, enhanced temperature control contributed to the increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

Taking the First Step

So how do building owner get their buildings rated?

As the first step, they need to measure the current environmental impact of their buildings. Find out how your building compares to other buildings and to benchmarks. Once you are able to figure this out, you can then draw up an action plan, set targets and measure your performance against these targets.

Once you have an understanding of how your building is performing, you can take practical steps to improve its operations and reduce its environmental impacts – and its costs.

Stepping into a Green Star Building

While you are in the process of evaluating your building and are taking steps towards getting it rated on its environmental practices, there is one practice that you can easily adopt immediately – the use of entrance mats.

Entrance mats act as dirt removal zones. They enable dirt and moisture to be stopped in their tracks, preventing them from entering your building. A cleaner building, then requires lesser energy, water and other resources to clean it. Lesser environmentally damaging chemicals are required to clean these building premises, thereby having a positive impact on the environment.

Alsco Evolution Mats are premium quality mats designed for heavy-duty performance. They are capable of capturing and retaining up to 3 kgs of dust, which is much more than other brands. What is more is that these mats are made from recycled materials and PET plastic, thereby helping you reduce your carbon footprint.

Improve the green quotient of your commercial building with the Evolution Mats. Alsco is even offering a no-obligation 14-day trial on these mats. Try them out today. 

 

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

 

 

Workwear – Do Your Employees Welcome Them?

Many companies, such as the manufacturing companies, have their employees wear uniforms. Wearing uniforms is a common practice followed by many Japanese manufacturing companies.

Uniformed employees are accepted in industries and jobs. This is true of the hospitality industries, be it their chef’s, waiters, other kitchen or service staff, people at their front desk, the housekeeping people.

What do employees feel about wearing uniforms? Do they find workwear a compulsion which restricts their freedom and individuality? Or do workers welcome it as a convenient time and effort saving technique?

There are many benefits of employees wear similar clothing. At the same time, there are a few drawbacks too. Through this article, Alsco helps you to decide if uniforms will benefit your workplace or not.

With a managed industrial clothing rental service like Alsco, your employees are sure to welcome them. Thousands of savvy businesses have chosen Alsco as their partner for trendy, form-fitting uniform. Have you? 

Why Workwear?

Industrial apparel serves many useful purposes – for both the businesses and the employees.

Professional Image

A uniformed team conveys a message of professionalism, cleanliness, reliability and organisation to its customers. This is the reason why many professions such as nurses, air hostesses, and restaurant and hotel staff wear smart looking uniforms.

Help Build Trust and Recognition

Uniforms enhance the image of the organisation in the eyes of its customers and suppliers. A sense of trust and recognition is built when they see your employees in uniforms. This is particularly important for industries like pest control, household appliances, etc. where employees visit homes of people for product delivery, installation and servicing.

Helps Customers to Identify Employees

A uniform also makes it easier for the customers distinguish and identify the employees of the establishment from its clients. This is very useful in hotels, restaurant, busy airports, bus terminals, etc. A customer knows exactly who he needs to approach for any query or assistance without having to wonder if the other person isn’t another customer like them.

Build Brands

Uniforms with logos of the company are great branding and marketing tools. Every time an employee of yours steps out in public, he is a walking billboard. Uniforms can have everything from the company name, logo and the corporate slogan on them. They will almost always have at least one of the above.

Common Identity and Pride

Uniforms help to foster a sense of pride in their jobs and a sense of belonging to an organisation. A common identity helps work towards common goals. Sports teams, in particular, are associated with their team uniforms and colours which are a symbol of their pride. The same philosophy applies at workplaces too.

Team Bonding

The common workwear helps iron out intra-team differences since no one is wearing different clothes which reflect the different ethnicities, race or status of the team members. Teams bond better.

Starbucks employees across the world can be recognised by their trademark uniform, irrespective of which country you go to. This helps the organisation to deliver a message of consistency in service quality across the globe.

Safety and Protection

In industries such as the construction or mining, workwear such as hi-vis clothing and hard caps can ensure that the employees are visible and protected. Employees feel safer and are able to work more productively without having to constantly be concerned about their safety.

The clothing for certain jobs is designed keeping in mind the specific requirements of these jobs. Chef’s jackets are a perfect example of this. They have pockets in specific areas, are full sleeved to offer protection and made from materials which allow for food stains to be cleaned easily.

Why Do Workers Resist Workwear?

Despite these advantages, employees often resist the idea of uniforms. However, Alsco can help you overcome their resistance through better design and features.

Limiting

Workers may find these clothes limit their individuality and personal style. Make sure you choose a company that has an array of contemporary workwear that you can select from.

Hamper Work

If not designed properly, uniforms may hamper with their work. Uniforms with long loose sleeves that keep dipping into food are no-good for waiters. Alsco has many form-fitting, careful thought of uniforms for different jobs designed by experts to help promote efficiency at work.

Cost and Effort Involved in Purchase and Maintenance

Having uniforms for employees implies a big investment of cash for the employers, not just on the uniforms themselves, but also on the equipment required to keep them clean. Well, not always!

With a managed rental service like that of Alsco, you pay one low fixed cost for everything. The uniforms are delivered to your doorstep each time after having been washed, repaired and replaced so that your employees look and feel their best day after day without the business feeling the pinch for the same.

So Why Delay?

Once the decision to adopt uniforms is taken, it may be advisable to let an external source manage the project – not only to benefit from the experts’ skills and market knowledge but also to lighten up the emotional weight linked to this corporate choice.

With an expert like Alsco to handle the design, hygiene, safety, and maintenance aspects of employee uniforms for you, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the benefits of a uniformed workforce. Get your own customised quote today. 

 

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

Energy Saving Reminders – If It’s Broken Then Fix It

If Its Broken Then Fix It
Downloadable Poster

Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement to continue striving for our green goals. In those times the right words can make a big difference … so we’ve created a range of Green posters to remind and motivate. Download, print and hang either an A4 or A3 version and hopefully you’ll never forget again!

Download A4 poster [283 KB]

Download A3 poster [279 KB]

The Ecosafe Washer from Alsco successfully uses the green Bio-remediation technology to clean machine parts of grease and grime. Bio-remediation is the use of oil-eating micro-organisms instead of harmful chemical, thus helping garages and factories become healthier and greener.

Want this technology for your auto garage? Get a free, zero obligation quote for your business now.

Image Courtesy: Daniel Oines

Green Office Reminder Poster: Utilise Natural Light When Possible

Dark is the new light
Downloadable A4 Poster

Going green demands that everyone get on board with changing office procedures and habits. We know your team is working hard enough already, so we created these handy posters to remind you of simple green ideas. You can download them here and then print them. All you need is blu-tack, pushpins or glue.

Download PDF file (786 KB)

Other simple ways to ‘green your office’ include using green products such as floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying.

Continuous Towels

At Alsco, we understand that cloth towels are not only the greener option, they are the preferred option for their comfort and absorbency as well. The smartly designed Continuous Towel dispenser ensures a hygienic dry with every use without the risk of cross-contamination. Do not delay in getting these for your workplace too. Go the greener way today. What are you waiting for?

 

Image Courtesy: Dave Brown