Wednesday, 18 October 2017

How Can Retailers Survive The Millennial Apocalypse?

Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in American history. They are the generation that grew up in a serious economic crisis. They went to college at a time when public funding for education was drying up but they still had to go to college to get a job, so they dutifully took on all the expenses through student loans.

Then, they graduated and found out that there were no jobs, so they moved back in with their parents to save money until things got better. They have put off things like getting married, buying houses, and starting families to focus on getting their student loans paid off. This proved to be a much more difficult task than they ever could have imagined.

But, rather than foregoing any sort of human experience in favor of the “work, pay bills and die” cycle, Millennials have come up with some creative ways to thrive under difficult circumstances.

How Do Millennials Afford Stuff?

More accurately, Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences than on stuff. Rather than filling homes with brand new consumer goods, Millennials opt to share things they want via the sharing economy.

Many Millennials have figured out they don’t need to own cars when they have Lyft. They don’t need to own DVDs and CDs when they can stream movies and music online. They don’t need to own vacation homes when there’s Airbnb. And they don’t need to buy an expensive cocktail dress when they can rent one.

Millennials are still getting all the things they need and want in life, but they are just doing it in a way that is disruptive to retailers.

How Is This Affecting Retail?

Retailers are scrambling to understand how to sell things to Millennials. Brick and mortar stores are failing at alarming rates. But, there is one sector that is growing faster than traditional brick and mortar retailers – secondhand retailers.

Millennials are solving the problem of having nothing to wear and no money to spend on anything by buying secondhand. They find it easier to find unique and high-quality things through the online secondhand retail sector.

thrift store

According to ThredUp:

  • 78% of women are bored by traditional retail and 63% say they prefer secondhand because of the thrill of the hunt
  • Secondhand stores are growing 5 times as fast as discount retailers
  • 52% of secondhand shoppers do so for environmental reasons
  • 50% of secondhand shoppers say their purchases take the place of discount store purchases

There Is A Definite Environmental Reason For Secondhand Shopping Among Millennials

millennial generation values

Millennials and those over 65 share a love of shopping secondhand for different reasons. Both grew up during economic hardships. While that is the main influencing factor for older folks who shop secondhand, Millennials are strongly motivated by environmental concerns.

See Also: 6 Things That Can Help You In Understanding Millennials Better

How Can Retailers Survive Millennial Apocalypse?

Retailers will need to change their game plan if they want to stay in the game at all. The largest and most diverse generation in American history wants to buy secondhand and major brick and mortar retailers are starting to take notice.

Sure, you’ve always been able to sell back your used video games and accessories at Gamestop, which is probably why the specialty retailer is still in business. But now, more traditional retailers are starting to follow suit. REI and Patagonia have both recently launched online retail sites to sell used outdoor gear and repaired clothing.

We have always been able to buy factory refurbished cell phones from the carriers, so it just makes sense that retailers of all kinds of merchandise could follow suit and offer repaired returns and used items at a discount. After all, that is clearly what the consumers want.

So, is this really a Millennial-induced retail apocalypse?

Only if retailers aren’t willing to listen to what consumers want and adjust their strategies accordingly. Forcing new merchandise on consumers who clearly don’t want it and don’t have the money to spend on it anyway is not going to be a worthwhile business strategy for this generation.

Are you listening to your customers?

Learn more about Millennial shoppers from this infographic.

Millennial shopping habits [infographic]

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Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

As a woman, it is only natural that your health is one of the most important parts of your life. Once you pass a certain age, you might have to deal with specific problems, such as arthritis. Left untreated, this condition can cause serious damage to your health and lifestyle. The inflammatory process will lead to symptoms such as reduced range of motion, joint pain, and stiffness.

For this, it is for the best to educate yourself about the condition. So, keep on reading and find out how you can keep your joints healthy.

What is a joint pain?

Joint pain is the type of pain that appears at the level of a joint. This is commonly a symptom of an underlying condition, such as arthritis. However, it can also appear as a result of an injury.

The important thing here is to differentiate acute joint pain from chronic pain. This is important since it will guide you in choosing which treatment to take.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you can experience with joint pain:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling and redness
  • Sensation of warmth
  • Tenderness or pain

Types of joint pain

types of joint pain

These are different types of joint pain:

  • Arthritis joint pain – It can impair the quality of life as it restricts movement. In advanced cases, the patient presents severe inflammation and pain at the level of the affected joints.
  • Osteoarthritis joint pain – The pain commonly happens at the level of the hip or knee joint(s). It’s often accompanied by loss of function in the respective joint.
  • Gout joint pain – The accumulation of uric acid leads to pain, inflammation, and redness in the affected joint. It commonly affects the joints of the big toe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis pain – This pain frequently affects the joints of the hands and feet. It usually leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis pain – This appears as a result of an injury or fracture. It’s typically accompanied by inflammation, redness, and movement restriction in the respective joint.
  • Other types of joint pain – This includes migratory arthritis pain, bursitis pain, neuropathic arthropathy pain (Charcot disease), temporomandibular joint disorder pain, etc.

Causes of joint pain

These are some of the most common causes of joint pain:

  • Wear and tear associated with the physiological aging process
  • Infection at the level of the respective joint(s)
  • Injuries or fractures
  • Inadequate functioning of the immune system (autoimmune disorder – rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Lack of adequate lubrication at the level of the joint cartilage, bone & cartilage destruction
  • Loss of cartilage
  • Accumulation of uric acid at the level of the joint (gout)
  • Nerve ending(s) irritation
  • Intense physical effort & repeated trauma (contact sports)

How can you manage joint pain?

manage joint pain

The first and most important thing is that you obtain a correct diagnosis for your joint pain. Get your symptoms checked by a doctor, so you can get the right treatment.

These are some of the typical ways to manage pain in the joints:

Oral medications

NSAIDs

Recommended choices include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These oral medications can cause liver damage, so you should only take them as prescribed.

Acetaminophen is a good alternative to those medications mentioned above. It’s good for less severe cases and has a lower risk of damaging the liver.

Opioids

This works best for severe cases, such as those with loss of function and intense pain. Take note that opioids can cause drowsiness.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants are the best choice for those who present muscle spasms and reduced range of motion.

Antidepressants

These are often prescribed for pain management and also to reduce the risk of depression.

Topical treatments

Capsaicin ointment

It can block the pain signals, giving it powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may cause a burning or stinging sensation on the area of application.

Injections

Corticosteroid injections

These are best recommended for patients who suffer from more severe forms of arthritis. These are performed every couple of months and they provide temporary relief.

Hyaluronan injections

These are meant to replace the natural fluid of the affected joints.

Arthroscopic fluid removal

This procedure involves the removal of the excess fluid that accumulated in the affected joints. It can be performed at the same time with the corticosteroid injection.

Physical therapy

A physical therapy program can improve the range of motion of the affected joints, reducing both the intensity and frequency of the symptoms experienced. It can be used to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints and also to relieve the pressure on the affected parts. It may be used in combination with heat/cold therapy, ultrasound therapy, manual therapy or swimming.

Home care measures

  • Brace/wraps for the affected joints, joint compression, and elevation are some of the ways you can manage joint pain at home. Resting the affected part can greatly help, too.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting and standing as these can cause quite a lot of damage to the joints.
  • Say goodbye to your sedentary lifestyle and engage in physical exercise on a regular basis. If you are not certain about the kind of physical exercise that is good for the joints, pay a visit to a physical therapist.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods, like refined/excessively processed foods, sugary drinks, sweets, fast food, and junk food. Opt for a diet that is mostly based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and other healthy choices.
  • If you play contact sports, reduce the risk of joint injuries by wearing the proper equipment. You should also get adequate training, like practicing safe playing and avoiding being too aggressive.
  • Avoid eating too much red meat. This will cause uric acid to accumulate at the level of the joints, increasing the risk for gout and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Give up smoking and alcohol. These are two of the main factors which can accelerate the aging process of the joints, leaving them vulnerable to damage and inflammation.
  • Treat all infections. Untreated infections can cause harmful microorganism to travel to various joints, causing a wide range of symptoms.

Final word

Just because you are aging, this does not mean you cannot keep your joints healthy and functioning. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of inflammatory condition early on and do not hesitate to seek out the best forms of treatment. Pay attention to the prevention methods as well since these can help you enjoy healthy joints for as long as it is possible.

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5 Practical Tips to Help You Save For Your Dream Car

Don’t you sometimes wish you can go around the city driving your car?

We all do at some point. But, you wake up from that wishful thinking into the sad reality that you just can’t afford it. For now, at least.

Buying a car, especially your dream car always comes with a price. Unless you won the lottery and had millions of cash, to buy a dream car would mean a long-term commitment to saving, saving and saving. But with all the bills you need to pay, it might take you years to save up for that dream car.

Fret not! Here are a few tips to help you quickly achieve that goal.

Create a budget

budgeting money

At this point, you’ve probably checked the price of your dream car already. So, it’s time to create a budget plan.

First, consider how much you earn in a month and how much you’re willing to set aside for your car. Keep in mind that you also need to save for your car’s insurance, gas, and maintenance. It would be great to set aside a few savings for these even before you have your car.

Then, project and designate a budget for all your expenses. Aside from your car, you also have bills and other necessities to pay for.

See Also: How To Get The Best Deal From Your Local Used Cars Dealership

Spend less

Think of other ways you can cut off some of your expenses so you can set aside more money for your car. If you are thinking of buying something, ask yourself first if you’re spending for a want or a need. If you don’t need it, maybe you can take a pass at purchasing something.

It would also help to compare prices, like when you’re in the grocery. You can save a few more bucks if you pay attention to prices.

Open a savings account

The bank is still the safest place to keep your money, whether you believe that or not. So, open an account and keep all your savings there.

But, before you do, make sure to look for accounts where you can earn high interests. Also, consider getting a passbook savings account so it wouldn’t be easy to withdraw anytime.

If you already have an existing bank account, it’s still highly recommendable to open a separate one for your car budget.

Apply for Alternative Financing

So, you already saved but you’re still a long way from purchasing your dream car. Why not speed it up a little?

You can apply for alternative financing, like salary or pay-day loans, bank loans, auto loans and car title loans. These can help you acquire fast cash with less paperwork.
You still have to continue saving, though.

These alternative modes of financing could only give you a fraction of the cost you need. You can opt for a car title loan to borrow a higher amount, but this would require a car title in the first place. Also, you should remember that it is still a loan. You will still have a monthly payable even after you already bought your car.

Always try to inquire first on the payment terms, collateral needed and the interest rates before you resort to alternative financing.

Invest Your Money

saving money

Consider this:

You have loaned an amount of money, but maybe it’s still not enough to buy your dream car. Well, how about investing part of it for the meantime?

Look for ways where you can invest around 10% to 20% of your loaned money and expect a good ROI from it at the end of a quarter or even a year. Make sure that your ROI will be higher than the interest you pay each month for your loan.

This way, your horizons expand and your money grows. By the time you’re ready to buy that car, you have more than what you hoped for. You now have your dream car and a great business investment to boot.

Conclusion

With all these considered, are you ready to commit yourself to saving money so you can buy your dream car?

Start saving now and learn to cut off some of your expenses. You’ll see yourself in the driver’s seat, maneuvering that steering wheel in the future.

For now, save and invest. Be frugal, if you must.

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive

 

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

Productivity is an interesting thing.

Some people keep themselves busy all day and consider themselves productive. In reality, however, they focus on so many different things that the end result isn’t satisfying.

Others prefer to analyze their behavior closely so that they can see what they’re doing wrong and what can be optimized. That’s the right approach if you want to ditch some bad practices and succeed with your ventures in all aspects.

Our online habits make a great example.

What you do while working on your laptop or when you’re just using the Internet can kill your focus. To change that, you first need to define those time-wasting activities that affect your work productivity and start doing something about them.

Browsing without a purpose

online habits

It’s a common scenario to have many tabs open in your browser while working. Every now and then, you’d open a new one, read something and then distract yourself. After some time, you’ll find it hard to get back to what you were doing. That leads to hours of wasted time when you review what you did each week.

How to fix that?

If you really want a quick solution, then install and activate a software that blocks access to certain platforms. You can also do that to your browsers if you want to do some work that doesn’t require research.

There are plenty of tools out there that can do this for you and even notify you when you’re using certain websites too much. Some tools will even let you set limits as to how long you want them to block things so that you can focus on more important tasks.

Not being selective enough

If you don’t know what you need to do and why you’re doing it, you’ll end up indulging in many unproductive activities. Watching random YouTube videos, clicking spammy links, reading newsletters, and checking unimportant notifications in your social media can eat away your focus, energy, and time.

It’s time to get rid of the unnecessary things so that you can concentrate on the essentials. This will help you double your results when working. Apart from that, taking the steps below will also help you have more peace of mind.

Here’s what you should say ‘no’ to when online:

  • Unsubscribe from any site or service sending you their newsletters or offers. From now on, if you need anything, simply type the web address yourself and see what’s new.
  • Block ads from appearing on websites. You can do that by installing an ad blocker as an add-on. These differ depending on your browser, but each is effective enough.
  • Turn off notifications on Facebook and other social media networks you’re using daily. Go to the Settings tab and see what you can block, disable or remove. This way, there’ll be no more pointless news in your feed and you won’t hear alerts from your phone all day.

See Also: 7 Mentally Damaging Habits You Need To Let Go

Letting email become a distraction

Email is a powerful communication tool. But, if you don’t manage your inbox well, it might cost you time and compromise your focus on a daily basis.

To change that, set some limits. You can choose not to open your email first thing in the morning and do it twice a day instead. Open it right after you’re done with your most important tasks for the day and check it again in the late afternoon when your mind is clear.

Not knowing when to unplug

bad work habits

You can’t be productive online when you’re connected 24/7. Your mind needs a break from technology and the best time to do that seems to be around two hours before bedtime. That means not just ditching all devices from your evening ritual, but also not thinking about them. This will take some discipline and time.

In the beginning, you might crave checking Facebook when in bed or using your laptop right before that. Remember that devices can keep your brain activated long after you’ve put them away, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

To change that, unplug every evening after you’ve done all that you had to. In addition, don’t grab your phone or start checking sites first thing in the morning. Be distraction-free in the morning, so you’ll experience the solitude of the early hours. You should get online only when it’s time for work.

These practices will help you change not just your online habits, but your whole daily schedule. You’ll have more time for yourself as a focused mind gets things done in a shorter time.

See Also: 6 Simple Habits For More Productivity, Happiness And Fulfillment

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What Is SAP Certification And What Are Its Career Benefits?

SAP Certification is gaining popularity among young and experienced IT professionals due to its promising nature. Valued high, this certification is appreciated and recognized globally. It’s a known business platform in different serviceable fields, such as FICO (Financial Accounting and Controlling), Materials Management (MM) and Production Planning (PP).

See what it is and how it can benefit your career.

What is SAP Certification?

SAP Certification is a type of exam conducted by SAP AG, a known vendor of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). People who are planning to start an IT career should definitely go for this exam as it’s credible everywhere.

SAP systems are constantly adding up different product hand-outs, such as e-business applications, web interfaces and much more. There are several completely integrated modules in SAP systems that cover approximately each and every facet of business management.

SAP certification encompasses two types of courses: one course teaches more about functional prospects while the other one is more technical. Both the SAP courses have similar transaction but the structure of the courses may vary.

Eligibility Criteria for SAP Certification

  • If the applicant is applying for Certification after completing the SAP course, then he/she has to submit the proof of completion of the training. He/she can also submit a certificate of attendance issued by the institution that conducted the course.
  • If the applicant is directly applying for SAP certification without persuading any SAP Course, then he/she needs:
    -At least one year of SAP execution skill or two years of support knowledge together with at least six months of experience in the module or version in which the applicant is interested in taking up
    -At least 3 to 7 years of SAP implementation know-how with at least six months of experience in the version and module in which he/she is interested in getting certified
    -One year working experience under the current employer with the current employer being an associate or client of SAP

Career Benefits of Sap Certification

career benefits of sap certification

In current IT era, more than half of the companies in the world are adopting SAP for their business management way outs. So, after being SAP certified, your career will be more extensive and bright.

The SAP field is packed with more breaks and opportunities in the top and most urbanized metropolis of the globe. Being SAP certified will untie your profession, so you can acquire better jobs in the prominent nations across the world. The idea of having a superior paying work has gotten a lot of employees to part with their old professions and trail a novel and enhanced opportunity.

Professionals who are SAP certified get more admiration, status, and acknowledgment. One good reason is their advanced and higher level of proficiency. SAP Certification also permits you to proficiently employ the SAP software at the workplace without any guidance.

Individuals may acquire more new prospects in their career after obtaining SAP certification. It might open your line of business to various occupations, like SAP consultant, Network specialist as well as SAP Data Administrator.

The best part of SAP Certification is that it will help you get excellent remuneration and salary package than others. Since you are knowledgeable and experienced in applying the SAP software, you won’t require any pre-SAP training, too.

Therefore, we can only say that SAP certification can help you get hired for better jobs faster.

See Also: Top Jobs You Can Get With A Math Degree

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Entrepreneurship: A Better Career Choice For Generation Z?

Gen Z is struggling with a major life decision: To go to college or go directly into the workforce?

Gen Z has watched their elders, the Millennials, move back in with their parents after graduation and delay things, like buying homes and getting married, because of student loan debt and low wages. This is one of the reasons why many of them have decided to take a different path.

Generation Z Entrepreneurs Necessity

gen z entrepreneur

Millennials aren’t able to take the risks that come along with entrepreneurship, so there has been a marked dip in small business participation. But, Gen Z is making up for it.

This generation has watched business giants like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates drop out of college to build business empires and they want a piece of the action. In fact, around 60% of high school students and about 43% from college say that they want to be entrepreneurs than employees after they graduate. This explains why many are working hard to earn working experience as early as high school.

A large percentage of high school students claim that they have parents who push them into getting work experience while still at school. Unfortunately, only 54% of parents are helping them to do so.

In order to avoid the debt-to-stagnating-wages cycle, young people are trying their hand at entrepreneurship to blaze a better trail in life.

See Also: 9 Powerful Lessons from the Success Story of Bill Gates

Still, College Is Your Best Bet

While it is true that many notable business leaders have left college and gone on to do great things, statistically, going to college is still the best way to be successful in your career and in your life.

See these data why:

  • Since 2000 the unemployment rate for high school grads has gone up while wages have gone down
  • Since 2000 the unemployment rate for college grads has gone up only slightly while wages have increased
  • 99% of jobs created since the Great Recession require a college degree
  • College degree holders take home 57% of all wages

Freelancing Is A Great Way To Work A Business Around School

freelancing

Working your way through college isn’t easy and it can be downright impossible if you’re flipping burgers on someone else’s schedule for barely more than minimum wage. Fortunately, there is a better way.

Thanks to many of the innovations brought to us by the Internet, dipping your toes into the freelance world to test out your latest idea is simple. Sites like Fiverr and Etsy give you platforms where you can easily market your idea.

Today, 55 million Americans work as freelancers, which is more than a third of the workforce. What once was a lifestyle reserved for writers and photographers now adds $1 trillion in wages earned in a year. And freelancers are happier than their office-dwelling counterparts with 79% saying that it’s better than a traditional job.

And the best part about freelancing is that you can work it around your college schedule, so you can still go to school while getting real-world business experience.

See Also: The 6 Item Checklist for Effective Freelancing This Year

What About After College

So, let’s say you spent your college years freelancing and getting real-world experience. But now that you’re out, you want to start your own firm.

There are plenty of opportunities online for learning more about starting a small business. E-learning isn’t just about coding and online degrees anymore. You can literally learn anything you want online- from languages to entrepreneurial skills.

Some online resources for entrepreneurs include:

The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship
Thiel Fellowship
The Indus Entrepreneurs

These organizations can help with advice, mentoring, and funding for high school and college entrepreneurs. Most Gen Z’ers are not skipping school but the drive to find a better way has many opting for entrepreneurship.

Learn more about generation Z entrepreneurs from this infographic.

Skipping School
Source: Online Schools Center

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Monday, 16 October 2017

How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

Many of us think that safe and proper cleaning of blood spills is as simple as taking a mop and a bucket of water mixed with bleach. But to tell you a fact, there is no simple thing about a blood cleanup.

Aside from the fact that it can be potentially infectious, blood is hard to clean because of its ability to attach tightly to the fabric and penetrate into porous materials. As such, a stain might look clean but has dangerous bacteria just beneath the surface.

The harm caused by blood led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to publish the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. The BPS is a set of guidelines that aims to protect workers against health hazards made by bloodborne pathogens.

OSHA Standard

The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to comply with OSHA’s guidelines and encourages them to create an Exposure Control Plans if it is highly likely that workers and employees will have contact with blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids in the performance of their work duties.

Even though most workers and employees, such as those working in banks and financial institutions, do not perform duties in which there is an anticipation of contact with blood, employers should have the appropriate knowledge in case of bloody accidents.

In the guidelines, OSHA also demands employers to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection.

Employers should implement the use of universal precautions, treating all blood, bodily fluids, and items contaminated with blood as potentially infected with HIV, HBV, and other pathogens. Vaccinations for hepatitis B should also be available within ten days of initial work exposure.

blood contamination

Employers Imperative

If you own a particular business, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines and regulations made by OSHA concerning biohazard waste. One way of being a good citizen is to comply with government regulations that put importance on the health and safety of everyone.

Materials Needed to Manage Minor Spills

Before you start the process of blood cleanup, you will need these materials:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Registered disinfectant product that has a broad spectrum pathogen elimination
  • Biohazard bags
  • Biohazard labels
  • Brush and dustpan or forceps/tongs
  • Leak-proof sharps containers
  • And disinfectant wipes

biohazard suit

Here’s how to clean a blood spill on a surface:

Equip

It is necessary that you equip yourself with the proper protective materials, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and protective eyewear to protect yourself from any splashing. Be sure that your protective wear fits comfortably and does not have any holes so that no pathogens can penetrate your body.

Remove

Use your available materials, such as a brush and dustpan or forceps and tongs, to remove sharp shards of broken glasses that could cut through your protective gear. Then, place each piece into a leak-proof sharps container and do not remove them with your hands.

First Cleaning

Cover the blood spill with cloth towels to absorb as much blood as possible. Keep in mind that the disinfectant will not work if the blood still covers the surface. Then, throw the towels in a biohazard bag.

Second Cleaning

Before you proceed with the second cleaning, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room where the spill happens. Then, you can pour the disinfectant onto the surface and let it absorb for ten minutes. After that, scrub from the outside toward the center of the spill area with cloth towels. Again, discard the towels into a biohazard bag after the second cleaning.

Third Cleaning

Again, place some more towels and put disinfectant onto the surface of the spill. Then, put the towels in a biohazard bag and leave the surface to dry.

Dispose

Same as with the towels, you should dispose your protective equipment into a biohazard bag. Seal the bag and put it into a second container then label it. Call your local health department for proper disposal.

Decontaminate

You should use a registered disinfectant to decontaminate any reusable materials, such as brooms, dustpans, and buckets. Then, scrub the equipment and rinse it with water.

Check

Final checking is essential for you to be sure that your body is not contaminated. Check if there’s any drop of blood splashed onto your shirt or your feet.

Wash Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with water and disinfectant soap. You can also use disinfectant wipes.

Report

It is crucial that you fill out an incident report. Do this following any cleanup.

Takeaway

It is vital that you know how to clean blood spill in your workplace. It is one way of maintaining the health and safety of the workers and employees in your area. This guide can help you with that.

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