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Four Types Of Gravel and Stone That Will Give Your Backyard A Natural Look

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Use these four types of gravel and small stones to create your own backyard oasis. Each of these items adds its own texture and visual interest and can be used in almost any backyard space. They add a certain pizzazz but still keep things looking delightfully natural. The projects are suitable for the average DIY type, but calling a professional doesn’t hurt. Crushed Granite Gravel Natural granite comes in a variety of colours. Crush it into gravel sized chunks and those colours all blend together. Crushed granite gravel has a rough texture and works well on patios and pathways. The rough texture holds the rocks together, making them easier to walk on. Water doesn’t puddle on top of the granite, it filters through, just like it does in nature. Choose the colour to fit your home décor. For example, if you have a white or cream-coloured Queenslander, a mixed white, gray and black granite provides a nice contrast. Decomposed Granite Gravel This is granite that’s been allowed to weather. The rocks break into smaller pieces and the edges get smoothed out. If it weathers long enough, it takes on the texture of coarse sand. This is another option for those patios and pathways, where decomposed granite gravel adds a more rustic look. This type of gravel is easier to walk on because of the smoother edges, but its sand-like texture also makes it easy to track into your home. Just remember to take off your shoes before going inside and the problem is solved. Weeds also tend to like this type of gravel. Putting down landscaping paper before you add the gravel really helps. So does pulling a weed as soon as you find one. Pea Gravel This is a mix of small rounded pebbles that is used mostly as a filler between larger paving stones and to highlight individual plants and trees. It’s also a favourite of Japanese dry garden enthusiasts because it “rakes well”.  The gravel represents water. The water is “raked” to give the appearance of waves. The smooth pebbles create less friction when the rake is pulled across the surface. But the smooth surface also means that pea gravel is more difficult to walk on, making it a poorer choice for pathways and patios. River Rock River rock has the same smoothness as the pea gravel and comes in just as many colours. The pieces are larger, and it is even more difficult to walk on. They are often used to frame plants because they help control drainage. You might consider using them to build a waterfall or a backyard pond because, just as in the wild, the colours really come out when the rocks are wet. These are also used in Japanese dry gardens, but only as accents. For more information, contact a business such as Quincan...

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Yeild to Your Wanderlust: How to Take a Year-Round Trip Around Australia With The Whole Family

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you always had wanderlust? Are you feeling stuck now that you have children and responsibilities? Instead of feeling stuck, do something innovative. Convince your boss to let you telecommute to work or grab your savings. Then, buy an RV, take your kids out of school and hit the road in Australia for a year. This amazing adventure is easier than you think. Here’s the plan: 1. Register your children as homeschoolers In Australia, children are allowed to homeschool if their parents address eight areas of learning and meet a few other requirements. To learn more about the requirements and to file an exemption from school, contact the Home Education Officer in your province. 2. Choose an Educational Angle There are all kinds of ways to educate children. Some parents choose to buy a curriculum similar to those used in schools, and they guide their children through math, geography, reading and history lessons. Others choose to make the world their classroom – they let their children learn math through shopping or baking, history comes through movies, visiting historical sites and watching the news and other subjects are approached in similarly holistic ways. Others opt for a blend of those approaches. 3. Create a Community There are peer groups of homeschooling families throughout Australia, and these groups are a great place to meet other families and hear how they approach their curriculums. As you are travelling, you can meet different families from across the country, and you may even find some other people “roadschooling”. 4. Buy your home-away-from-home Instead of staying at hotels every night or going through the hassle of setting up a tent, buy a camper. Even a small camper provides your family with a place to sleep, a kitchen to make dinners (which is far cheaper than eating in restaurants) and a table, perfect for math lessons or family game nights when you need a break from being a tourist. 5. Decide between a caravan and a trailer As you select your camper, you will need to decide between a caravan and a camper trailer. A camping trailer is slightly more advantageous. You can haul it to your destination, unhook it from your vehicle and leave it at the campsite while you explore the area with your other vehicle. That uses less fuel than driving a caravan with all of your stuff in it everywhere you go. It also lets the family split-up more easily for different activities. An off-road camper trailer is especially great as it lets you get into all of the free camping spots off the beaten path. For more information, contact a company such as Outback Campers. 6. Make your travel plans Ideally, you want to explore the flora, fauna and geography of each area you visit, and you can also study the unique history of each area. Take some time before the trip to note what you want to cover at each location and where you want to...

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Exhibiting At Your First International Trade Show

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Trade shows can be a great opportunity to showcase your products and services. As global trade grows though, it is important to visit your buyers in their location and make sure they are aware of your products and services. Even for experienced trade show presenters organising an international trade show can have challenges compared to a local show. Here are some tips to help you through the process. Do some research Whilst you have no doubt done some research into why this is the most suitable trade show for you, do some research into the best places to stay in the vicinity and how you will be able to travel to and from the show. Also look into nearby bars and restaurants that may be suitable for business meetings if you meet clients during the show that you would like to entertain that evening. If you will need some translating assistance, it is also worth conducting some video conferencing interviews before you arrive to see if you can find a translator that is a good personality fit for yourself and the customer base. Speak to the tradeshow organisers Let the organiser know early that you are coming from overseas and what the best times are to contact you with any changes to the show details. Make sure they know of any black out periods where you are not going to be available due to traveling. Ask for specific dimensions for your booth and for any restrictions that could limit your exhibition hire options. Select & on-board the exhibition hire company Due to the challenges of transporting your exhibition material overseas, it is usually easiest to use an exhibition hire company. Speak to multiple companies and explain if you will be communicating from a different time zone (and in a non-native language) so that you can build up a plan to deal with these additional challenges. Ask to speak to previous customers who can speak directly to the quality of the materials and the set up process. Also ask the trade show organisers if they have previously worked with your exhibition hire company and if they would recommend them. Follow up on all contacts After the trade show follow up with your new contacts with a quick note. Be sure and leave positive reviews for any of the service providers you have had good experiences with, as you may want to use them again for future trade shows. For more information, contact a company such as Go Hire The Event...

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Save Money & Safeguard Employee Health with Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Absenteeism costs Australasian employers an estimated $28 billion per year. Although it’s impossible to tell how much of this money is related to people who are actually out ill and how much is related to people skiving their duties, it is safe to say that the financial burden on employers should decrease if their employees are well. Part of keeping your employees well has to do with keeping the carpet in your office clean. Here is a look at how commercial carpet cleaners can help improve health and productivity in your office. 1. Virus-causing germs thrive on carpet. If your employees come to work while they are ill, they bring germs into your office. If they sneeze or accidentally vomit on the floor, they may leave the norovirus or other germs on your carpet. This stomach flu virus can live on your carpet for up to a month, infecting other employees, unless you have it commercially cleaned. 2. Thanks to micro adhesion, bacteria can jump from the carpet onto food. If one of your employees brings in the bacteria on a piece of food, on the bottom of their shoes or in another way, that bacteria can get into the carpet and live there for at least four weeks until the carpet has been cleaned. If another employee drops a sandwich, that bacteria will jump right onto their sandwich, regardless of how quickly they pick it up from the floor, and diarrhea and vomiting with ensue. 3. Carpet-loving dust mites can cause allergies. Dust mites are microscopic little creatures who live in carpet. As they hang out, they leave behind waste and residue that floats into the air. If any of your employees have allergies or asthma, these particles can increase or even cause allergies, and your employees may end up missing work as a result. Steam cleaning does not necessarily remove the dust from your carpet, but many commercial cleaners have high powered vacuums that they use before they start cleaning. This extra suction may be what your office carpet needs to safeguard the health of your employees. 4. Dirty carpet decreases worker productivity. In addition to the billions of dollars that are lost every year due to absenteeism, money is also lost due to decreased worker productivity. If your employees are starting to get ill or recovering from an illness, they may not be able to provide you with the effort you need. However, if they are surrounded by dirty carpet, they are also likely to be inefficient regardless of whether they feel ill or not. In fact, controlled laboratory studies show that workers are at least 4 percent more accurate when they are not around dirty carpet than when they...

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What to Expect During Pressure Equipment Inspections

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you operate a business where boilers and pressure vessels are in use, you will be required by law to have this equipment inspected regularly. Not only are you required to do this by Work Health & Safety Act/Regulation in Australia, you may also be required to do so by the Workcover/Worksafe Authority, depending on the territory or state you are working in. All types of pressure vessels and boilers are inspected, including boilers of all types, steam generators, ammonia tanks, heat exchangers, sterilizers, air compressors, fired heaters, pipelines, storage tanks, and refrigeration equipment. Read on to learn more about why these inspections are carried out, and what to expect. Why Pressure Equipment is Inspected Working around pressure equipment can be dangerous, especially if there are any faults in the equipment. A third-party inspection will help to ensure that anyone who works around this equipment is going to be safe in doing so. An inspection will show if you are complying with all of the required safety regulations. If there are any potential problems with your equipment, you will know about it following the inspection, and you will be able to take the appropriate steps to correct those problems. This can actually help you to save money, because the sooner you learn about problems and repair them, the less the repairs are going to cost. Mandatory inspections may seem like a pain, but just think about how much money they will help you save, not to mention preventing workplace injuries. Inspections also help to ensure that there is going to be no property damage due to malfunctioning pressure vessels, as well as ensuring no environmental damage that can be caused by escaping gases and fluids from malfunctioning vessels. What is Inspected? There are many things that are going to be checked during a pressure equipment inspection. The third-party inspector will review all of the numbers on the vessels, including certificate and heat/cast numbers. They will check for chemical compositions in fluids and gases, as well as all of the machinery mechanical properties. Once the pressure equipment inspection has been completed, you will receive a copy of the final report, which will also be sent to the governing workplace safety authorities. All tests that have been performed will be listed on the report, as well as the test results. Any problems will be noted, as well as recommendations for eliminating those problems and expected time periods for repairs to be performed. For more information about the inspection and how you can prepare, contact inspectors such as Adept; Engineering...

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How to Keep Your Congregation Safe by Running Safety Audits in Your Church

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Churches, like many not-for-profit organisations, can find complying to OHS legislation challenging with limited resources. Even after implementing a safety management system the management team of the church—including the pastors and other church leaders—need to go back and regularly check that the system is being adhered to and all risks are being addressed so that volunteers and worshippers are safe within your church. Safety training audits Once you have implemented your training program and decided what training each role needs. For example, greeters need a general induction, cleaners need a manual handling course and handling hazardous materials course, kitchen volunteers need a food safety course. Then, you need to check the records to see everyone has done the relevant course and check that they are using the skills. This could involve observing the cleaners as they clean, then checking how the cleaning chemicals have been stored after the job is done. Building safety audits Building safety audits involve checking the building to ensure that regular maintenance has been carried out on schedule, such as cleaning gutters and testing and tagging of electrical equipment has been carried out. It also involves check the ares that people use for hazards, for example slippery areas of floor or loose floor coverings which can become trip hazards. It is a good idea to have a register and form so that anyone using the facilities out of your standard hours (for example if your youth team is having a “sleepover” camp at church) can let you know when they discover equipment that needs repair. You can conduct ‘paper’ building audits by going through this register and seeing how long it has taken to get items repaired and back in service. Compliance and vulnerable person safety audits   Another important aspect of safety within a church is ensuring that everyone who works with children or vulnerable people (for example the elderly, or people with special needs) has had relevant training and a police check. Spot audits of everyone’s qualifications help ensure the safety of the most vulnerable members, as well as sensible precautions such as always working in groups of two when dealing when working with children or other vulnerable groups. Initially building in safety audits may feel forced, but as you proceed and build them into your church management it becomes a natural extension of your church’s commitment to caring for its congregation. For more information about safety audits, talk to companies like Australian Quality Control Services who perform...

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The Top 3 Factors To Consider Before You Build A Cafe Coolroom

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So, you are new to the cafe business. You might have bought or leased a cafe already fitted out – in which case – congratulations on your new business venture. If, however, you are looking to build a cafe from scratch, there’s one room that needs special consideration: the cool room. The cool room will house all your valuable food stock that requires refrigeration and freezing. Getting the cool room right will ensure you have one less thing to worry about as you begin your journey as a cafe owner. So before you hire a cool room builder, take a look at these top 3 factors to consider when it comes to the installation of a cool room.  1. Size The size of your cool room essentially depends on two things: The size of your cafe (how many people are you aiming to serve per day) and the size of the space where the cool room will be positioned. If you are intending to operate a small cafe, you would opt for one of the smaller sized cool rooms available, such as a 1.2 m x 1.2 m with a height of 2.1 m. When it comes to the space available for the placement of the cool room, you will need to allow an additional 100 mm on every dimension to build. Running a cool room is an expensive business. Basically, the larger your cool room, the larger the motor you will need to run it, and the more expensive your power bill.  2. Product types The second main factor is to consider the kinds of products that will require refrigeration. An ice cream eatery, for example, will need a much bigger freezer capacity. A licensed cafe may require larger refrigeration areas for drinks. You will need to discuss the types of products you are intending to store with your builder to ensure the correct ratio of fridge/freezer space. 3. Shelving The installation of shelving is an important component of the cool room build as the addition of shelving greatly increases your storage capacity. Again, consider the kinds of products you intend to stock. Your cool room needs to able to store large quantities of bulky items or boxes. It’s a good idea to get your shelving space correct from the get go. If you want to offer fresh prawns on your menu, 5 kg carton of prawns has a dimension of 400 mm x 30 mm x 20 mm. The storage area for these cartons will need to have a height of greater than 20 mm. The last thing you want to be doing is shoving boxes of valuable produce into spaces where they won’t fit or dangerously stacking them on the floor of the cool room.  As a proud new cafe owner, your fresh produce is your most vital commodity. Ensuring your chosen cool room is professionally installed and has temperature control settings will enable to you to focus on the most important factor of all – your customers. For more information, contact a business like Adgemis...

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Automations to Make Your Business Telephone System More Efficient

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your telephone system is more than just a way for your customers to reach you. When it is properly set up, the system can act as a virtual receptionist and ensure that your business is running smoothly. With the right automations in place, you can answer basic questions and provide useful customer service feedback without ever picking up the phone and handling a call yourself. Here are some automated actions to consider adding to your telephone system to make it more efficient. Billing Automation One of the customer service issues that can take up a lot of your time is related to billing. Customers will have questions regarding how much they owe, if they can make a payment arrangement, and if they can pay their bill over the phone or online. All of these questions can be automated so when a customer calls they can choose the option they need and solve their issues without you or your employees having to stop and handle the call. If the automated system doesn’t handle the questions, then you can opt to have the call transferred to a representative. Office Questions Basic questions about office hours, contact information, address, or services can be automated into the telephone system. This allows your customers to call any time of day or night and find out the basic information they need regarding your business. This is ideal for customers who are new to your business, but need your services and need to know when is the best time to contact a live person. Document and Billing Request Some customers will need an invoice, printed documents, or something that shows that have done business with your company. Instead of spending time handling these requests, you can automate them. Your phone system can ask the customer’s name, address, phone number, and what information they need. This can then be automatically forwarded to your business mail and inbox as an urgent request. You can go in, pull the information, and get the information to them while handling similar requests made through the automated system. These are just a few of the options you can have for your customers as part of an automated telephone system, like those at Datavoice Communications. Depending on the type of business you run, you could also create an automation for order placement, pick-up requests, and delivery requests. For example, someone with a writing business may automate the system to handle price estimates and article requests with the option of paying over the phone or online for the service.  If you are ready to move forward with automating your system, contact your telephone service...

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Tips For Installing A Digital TV Antenna

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Once you have chosen and purchased a digital TV antenna, it is time to get to work installing it. It is always better to install an antenna outside rather than inside, because you will get a better signal. When it comes to outdoor antenna installation, the first thing you want to think about is safety. Always avoid working near power lines, and always work in fair weather conditions. You don’t want to be working at heights in wet weather, because it is too easy to slip and fall. Make sure that you are wearing proper safety gear, including a harness. After taking all of the necessary safety precautions, you can begin the installation process. Here are some tips that will help: Place It As High As You Can The higher you place your antenna, the better the signal you are going to get. When it is placed on the side of your house near the top, or on the roof, there are going to be fewer obstructions that will block the signal. Another reason to mount it high is if you don’t live near a television signal tower. The further away you are, the less strong the signal is going to be. The Antenna Should Face The Transmitting Tower How the antenna is positioned will also affect the reception. For the best reception, make sure that the antenna is facing the tower. If you are unsure about where the nearest tower is located, you can contact your local digital television provider. You can also usually find this type of information on their websites. Seal All Connections If you are placing the antenna up high, and facing it towards the transmitter tower in order to get the best reception, you need to make sure that it stays that way. Always cover all of the connections with a sealant that is waterproof. That way, no water will get into those connections and cause corrosion. If you don’t use a sealant, the corrosion will eventually build up to the point where you lose reception. Ground The Antenna Once you have completed the antenna installation, you need to ground the antenna. This will prevent surges of electricity. To do this, you will need a coaxial cable, as well as a surge protector. This is going to protect your antenna from being destroyed during electrical storms. You may also want to consider installing a lightning arrester. This will prevent direct lightning strikes to your antenna. For assistance, contact a company like Antenna...

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2 Major Fire Defences for the Office

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most of us are fairly safety conscious when it comes to our own homes—we have a deeply personal, vested interest in not allowing the place to be vandalised, infested by pests, or burned down in a fire. When it comes to taking the right precautions, we’re sure to not leave candles burning unattended, we keep our smoke alarms in good condition, etc. When it comes to the workplace, however, it is all too often a different story. If you are a business owner or supervisor, here are some key tips in order to fire-proof your offices. Have the Right Fire Extinguishers at Hand Different fire-extinguishers have been designed to handle different types of fire, feeding off different types of fuel. Having the right fire-extinguisher at hand can make all of the difference between nipping the threat in the bud, and putting your life in dire jeopardy. Know what kind of fire-hazards exist in your workplace (gas leak, electrical failure, flammable textile, etc.) and plan accordingly. The leading fire-extinguisher varieties on the market, along with their specific uses, are as follows: Water—Effective only in the case of extinguishing burning carbonaceous material, such as wood or textile. Not to be used under any circumstances for electrical fires. Foam—Useful against both carbonaceous materials, and against flammable liquids such as petrol (though not cooking oil). Dry-Powder—The most diverse fire extinguisher type as a rule. Different forms of dry-powder fire extinguisher can tackle Carbonaceous materials, flammable liquids (i.e. petrol), gas fires, electrical fires, and sometimes even flammable metals. CO2—Used primarily against flammable liquids (i.e. petrol) and electrical fires.   You can contact suppliers such as Northern Fire Equipment Service to learn what fire safety equipment would best serve your place of work. Have a Fire Evacuation Plan in Place, & Practice Using It It is an Australian government standard that all work places should have certain measures in place to protect against the risk of a fire breaking out, yet it is not generally enforced that each individual office must have a detailed fire evacuation plan in place. Nonetheless, having such a plan will prove immeasurably beneficial when it comes to mitigating the potential safety hazards of a workplace fire. An evacuation plan will typically often rely on one of two different strategies, both of which should be practiced through regular safety drills and mock evacuations. Vertical Phased Evacuation: This evacuation strategy is normally used in larger office environments, where a mass-exodus of employees might congest the exits and hamper the evacuation process, or where a fire may be reasonably contained in one area (e.g. one floor of a building). The strategy involves evacuating personnel in waves, with those most at risk leaving first. In order for the strategy to work, members of staff must be drilled thoroughly in protocol and know how to evacuate depending on the risk in their immediate surroundings. Vertical phased evacuation also depends to a large degree on good inter-office communication systems, alarms, and fire-suppression mechanisms (such as sprinklers) being in place. Simultaneous Evacuation: For smaller and more low-tech offices, simultaneous evacuation is triggered through the announcement of a general fire warning or, more commonly, through the sounding of a fire alarm. In order for this evacuation method to be carried off safely and efficiently, regular fire drills are...

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