Archive for July, 2015

Avoid the Shrinking Profit Syndrome: Go Green

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

GRAND FORKS, ND – As many business leaders painfully discover, it is getter harder and harder to maintain profitability in today’s tough economy. Faced with skyrocketing costs, such as providing employee health care, it is a challenge to avoid the shrinking profit syndrome.

Yet there is good news for businesses who seek ways to grow with prosperity. The key to cutting costs and boosting productivity is to engage your employees to GO GREEN by becoming Earth-friendly. After all, Global Safety Network (GSN) has learned that preventing waste and pollution not only protects the world but also makes great economic sense.

Therefore, Global Safety Network offers 12 Tips to avoid the shrinking profit syndrome as part of the GSN KEEN GREEN PROJECT.

The Not-so-Dirty Dozen
Easy-to-implement tips to add profit to the bottom line of your business.

  1. Create digital records instead of paper files.
  2. Use both sides of paper for printing and copying.
  3. Use email as often as possible for inner office communication.
  4. Use the back of discarded documents for notes and scratch paper.
  5. Purchase and use recycled paper products exclusively.
  6. Purchase remanufactured toner cartridges to use in printers and copiers.
  7. Share copies of documents instead of creating one for each employee.
  8. Use reusable fax cover sheets instead of creating a new cover sheet for each fax.
  9. Use reusable interoffice envelopes.
  10. Install hand dryers in all company bathrooms.
  11. Proofread documents carefully before printing.
  12. Turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers and all electrical equipment when not in use.

Going green doesn’t only help the environment, it makes good money sense. Here are a few GREEN tips to conserve energy this summer.

  • Use a programmable thermostat to set temperature at 78° when you are home and 80° when you are out. Every degree cooler adds about five percent to your cooling bill.
  • Insulation, weather stripping and attic ventilation reduces loss of cold air.
  • Install storm windows and storm doors that reduce loss of cold air up to 20%.
  • Install adequate insulation: R-30 insulation in ceiling; R-18 in new wall and R-13 in existing wall; and R-19 under the floor. (Both cooling and heating)
  • Caulk all cracks between door and window frames. (Both cooling and heating)
  • In summer, close your shades and draperies during the day to keep the heat out of your home. Also, use awnings and overhangs to block the sun.
  • Locate your cooling units on the shady side of your home instead in direct sunlight. This reduces heat stress from the rays of the sun. A shade tree can help.
  • Don’t block air vents or intake vents with curtains, shades or furniture.
  • Check AC filters every 30 days to determine if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Dirty filters strain your air conditioner.
  • Check air ducts for tight joints and good insulation. Cool air wasted in a hot attic costs money.
  • Keep air circulating with a ceiling, oscillating or box fan. A good fan or fans enable you to place your thermostat at a higher setting.
  • Eliminate unnecessary interior heat by turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.
  • To avoid interior humidity, conduct moisture-generating jobs like mopping, dish washing and laundering in the cooler early morning or nighttime hours.
  • When painting your home or replacing the roof, use darker colors to absorb heat, which lowers your heating bill in winter but increases your cooling bill in summer. The reverse is true for lighter colors.
  • Your cooling system should be inspected and cleaned by a professional each spring.
  • When purchasing a new air conditioning unit, check the energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. Also, buy a unit with the correct capacity for your size home.

(From the book, ‘44 EZ Solutions to Stretch and Conserve Your Dollar’ written by GSN Regional Manager Jerry LePre)

Zero Tolerance: Still Best Company Policy

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

A well communicated ZERO TOLERANCE Drug and Alcohol Policy is an employer’s best defense against legal attacks.

GRAND FORKS, ND – Zero Tolerance Drug and Alcohol (D&A) Policies are still the most effective tool to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace. Despite several states allowing medical and recreational use of marijuana, State Supreme Courts have ruled that based on Federal law, which considers “pot” usage as illegal, companies, especially those with a Zero tolerance D&A policy, can terminate an employee who tested positive for illegal drugs.

In a recent article written by Rebecca Randall, a GoLocalPDX Contributor entitled Why Most Oregon Employers Will Keep Zero Tolerance Marijuana Policies, she quotes Ryan Orr, an HR and compliance consultant for the Cascade Employers Association who states “Employers still don’t have any obligation to allow exceptions to drug testing policy for marijuana because it’s still illegal federally.”

Randall’s article examines an Oregon Supreme Court decision that overturned an Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) earlier ruling that stated an employer cannot terminate an employee for testing positive for marijuana based on the fact that the state of Oregon has legalized marijuana usage. The high Court, in a decision similar to the recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, reversed the BOLI decision by determining employers can terminate an employee for a positive drug test for THC.

However, according to Randall, this issue was further complicated since drug testing cannot measure impairment caused by marijuana usage.

“Unlike alcohol breathalyzers, which test blood alcohol levels for current impairment levels, there is no way of knowing for certain whether someone is actually impaired by marijuana when they take a standard urine sample test given by employers,” Randall states.

Yet, despite this complication, both Courts ruled in favor of the employer. The Courts’ rulings reflect how important it  is to have a well communicated and enforced company drug and alcohol policy. A GSN representative can review your D&A policy to ensure that it will stand the test.

Global goes Green

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

GRAND FORKS, ND – During the past decade, Global Safety Network (GSN), has established a reputation of providing the highest level of professionalism based on our corporate values – Integrity, Passion, Excellence, Teamwork and Service. To the GSN team, these five values are not just words; they form the foundation upon which the GSN culture has grown and prospered.

This culture empowers each member of the GSN team to respect and value our loyal clients. As part of our on-going mission to consistently raise our level of customer service, GSN is aware that the same respect and value given to our client partners must also be given to our planet.
Therefore, Global Safety Network is proud to announce the GSN KEEN GREEN PROJECT.

The goal of the GSN KEEN GREEN PROJECT is to go paperless as of July 15, 2015. To reach our goal, future invoices will be sent electronically to your designated email address. As a reminder, invoices are also available in GlobalSoft, our secured proprietary database system.

Should you elect to not be part of our Earth-friendly project, we will continue to send your invoices through regular US Mail. A $5.00 Earth-friendly fee will apply per invoice, beginning August 1, 2015.

Also background check requests go GREEN. The preferred method of requesting a background is to submit electronically. However, if you rather send your requests by fax, a $3.00 Earth-friendly fee will apply per applicant, beginning August 1, 2015.

Added VALUE – Going Green Tips

GSN understands that we all can do our part in making our world a better and safer place. Over the next few months, GSN will be providing information to help you save money and conserve energy.

Future topics will include:

  • Lower Summer Cooling Bills
  • Decrease Energy Use in Winter
  • Reduce Energy Costs in the Kitchen

To switch your invoice from paper to email contact a GSN representative at 800-792-9808 or email customerservice@globalsafetynetwork.com.
We extend a special “thank you” to our existing Earth-friendly clients.