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ISMS is one of the most essential aspects of an organization. Now that the predominant form of communication is done electronically and files are all stored online, making ensuring that your systems are secure is absolutely vital. Many thieves and hackers are constantly attacking your systems. They are seeking business secrets, financial information, consumer credit card numbers and many other pieces of data. They may just be trying to hijack your systems and hold them for ransom (in untraceable bitcoin). For that reason, all firms should conduct a thorough ISMS risk assessment.

Team

First and foremost, establishing a team that will be involved in the process of the risk assessment is necessary. There are a few key people that must be involved.

CIO – The CIO runs the risk assessment team and outlines the key areas which much be covered.

Analyst(s) – The team includes several analysts that collect all of the results and actually write the report. They are in charge of uncovering key findings.

Developers or IT Staff – These personnel run through the code, logs and history and systems based on the request of the CIO. They create the output for the analysts to comb through.

Compliance or Legal – The legal and compliance staff ensure that the risk assessment accords with all laws and regulations. Additionally, they make sure that the firm is safe from any other legal liability that could come from a civil lawsuit.

CEO – The CEO or President must evaluate the assessment when it is complete and inform of any other areas that may have been overlooked. They also must commit to dedicating the time and resources required to implement the recommendations of the assessment.

Process

Once the team is assembled, the risk assessment can begin. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is accountable for outlining the key areas of the assessment that are particular to the firm.  Traditionally, there are a few areas that all companies must deal with.

Firstly, companies need a robust anti-spam and anti-virus tool installed on every device. The company needs to understand what solutions have been installed and on how many devices. They also need to know if any devices have been corrupted or documents stolen.

Secondly, the company needs an encrypted network with different levels of access. Different personnel in the organization must enter different passwords (that are regularly changed) and verify their authenticity through multiple devices.

Thirdly, the firm must create a redundant external system to save all data so it is not subject to a catastrophic loss.  Cloud security systems must be in place as well.

There are a number of other miscellaneous security concerns based on the physical location, network and corporate structure which also must be considered.

After the CIO prepares the list of possible risks, they instruct their staff to undergo a thorough check of all systems. The IT staff and developers are responsible for looking up all the information and gathering it together in an organized way.

Once the information is aggregated, analysts can look through the data to find the true state of the company. They will then begin to write the actual risk assessment report based on their findings. Next, the legal or compliance team reads the analyst report. They contribute edits and add additional risks from a compliance stand point.

The draft risk assessment is now complete and ready to go to the CIO. The CIO takes a deep dive and adds their own risks or contributions.

Finally, the CEO reads the report and implements any recommendations. They may need board approval for any major expenditures. However, the CEO is legally responsible for implementing all tasks that will prevent a major breach or loss of private data.

For more information ISMS please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

Feel Free to call Sustainable Certification on 1800024940

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The winter is one of the most precarious times of year for construction work but, of course, progress and repairs don’t stop just because the sky decides to drop some frozen water on everything. For the vast majority of construction crews, it has to get pretty cold and the snow quite deep before the foreman are really convinced the work has to stop. After all, there are deadlines to meet, paychecks to collect, and work to be completed. While this hearty attitude is great for your bottom line, it also puts everyone at much greater risk for injuries like slips and falls, dropping cold or slippery items, and contracting frostbite from staying out in the cold too long.

Here are the top seven winter construction safety tips.

1) Maintain Awareness of the Cold

It has become a fallacy that over time as days get warmer that this must be universally true. Days can get colder after dawn and wind speed can increase the chill. Stay aware of exactly how cold it is for your guys on the worksite and make sure everyone else is paying attention as well. If anyone allows themselves to get too cold, this can lead to stiff fingers and clumsiness followed by frostbite and hypothermia. Your number one priority is to ensure everyone remains warm.

2) Warm Break Room and Shorter Shifts

Create a warm and dry place to sit down and heat up, preferably large enough for everyone on the job if the weather gets bad and you need to wait out a flurry. It’s very important that your team regain their correct body temperature regularly which means shorter shifts out in the cold with frequent retreats to a warm break room where they can hang up coats and warm up their fingers.

3) Coffee and Alcohol Offer ‘False Heat’

Most construction sites offer coffee for a nice hot drink and your guys will want it, but you really should offer a non-caffeine alternative. Caffeine (and alcohol) speeds up the heart rate and creates a false sense of warmth while allowing easier hypothermia and frostbite. Instead, try offering hot cider and herbal tea to keep your team warm and hydrated.

4) Require Warm, Heavy Gear

Do not, under any circumstances, let one of your guys go into a serious winter worksite with lightweight Personal protective equipment. When the temperature is low and there is ice everywhere, a jacket and thin gloves simply aren’t enough. Make sure everyone has thick socks, boots, heavy jackets, lined leather gloves, and ample protection for the head and ears.

5) Dry Off Immediately

If anyone gets wet for any reason, they should retreat to the warm break room and dry off and warm up immediately in order to avoid hypothermia. Have a few large blankets available and advise the guys to have a change of clothing just in case someone gets covered in a falling pile of snow and winds up soaked and freezing.

6) Clear the Snow and Ice

Before you start each day on a snowy worksite, make sure to clear the entire work area and reinforce it for traction. You can put down large rubber mats, use road salt, or even sprinkle a little kitty litter around to keep your pathways clean and slip-free. This ensures that no one comes across a patch of unexpected ice later on when their hands are full.

7) Prepare Your First Aid Kit for Frostbite

If frostbite happens, you want to be ready for it right away. You will need warm water and a bowl, bandages, hot beverages, and over the counter pain medication as well as a quick line to a local hospital just in case the frostbite is serious or there are signs of hypothermia. Pack your first aid kit and break room accordingly, then train the team to know the signs in themselves and others and to seek treatment immediately.

The biggest risk when working on construction projects in the winter is the possibility of frostbite or hypothermia, followed by the risk of slipping on something icy. If you go out of your way to prepare for these eventualities, your team should be safe and everyone can enjoy running back into the break room regularly for cups of cider and a quick finger check.

For more information on Process controls that will aid in prevention and elimination of construction injuries during winter, please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

Feel Free to call Sustainable Certification on 1800024940

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Construction is one of the predominant sources of pollution, especially in dense areas where the dust and debris is accumulated within a small area. The chief contributors include materials such as concrete, cement, wood, stone, sand and silica which are blown into the air in the form of dust during the construction process. These materials qualify for the PM-10 standard. That means they are less than 10 microns in diameter and particularly dangerous to the human health. However, there are steps that a construction company can partake in to reduce the harmful impacts of its work and comply with the laws and guidelines in Australia.

Screens and Covers

First and foremost, every site should have copious screens covers and walls to ensure that dust is contained primarily in the work area. There must be a fresh mesh screen put over the primary work area, especially if heavy machinery is being operated.

Trucks should have cover skips in place to help minimize these particles from spraying into the air. These are especially significant to protect because they are traveling through residential areas and expose so many number of people as they pass by. Protecting transportation with covers is just as important if not more so than the construction site itself.

Water

Every day and periodically, all sites should be tamped down with water. Fine water sprays using a hose help to provide a solvent to the particles and bring them crashing to the ground, where they are less harmful to humans. Similarly, cover skips on vehicles need to be damped down with water every once in a while.

Importantly, sites using water to prevent aerial pollution should ensure there is a safe sewage and filtration system already in place. Otherwise, these materials will eventually make their way into the dirt, rivers and streams. This hurts the natural environment as well as the food chain which will eventually be detrimental for humans.

Inspections and Audits

Construction teams must run regular inspections and audits of the site. They have to ensure that the major areas are contained with screens as mentioned above. They also have to look for spills or messes that could lead to problems in the future.

Materials

Where possible, a reduction in the amount of dangerous materials used in the construction of the property is encouraged. There are now green building organizations that certify materials that are good for the environment and not harmful to humans through air or water pollution.  In particular, you should be seeking out non-toxic paints, solvents and other non hazardous materials.

Segregation

The hazardous materials that are used should be segregated from one another and from the other less hazardous resources. That reduces the likelihood that theirs will be a dangerous reaction. Additionally, it prevents the spread of dangerous materials throughout the entire project. Hazardous resources should be used sparingly in any case.

Fuel

Use fuels that are not as toxic to the environment to run heavy equipment and trucks. Generally, most heavy equipment, construction machines and other tools can now use low sulphur diesel oil. That reduces the air pollution and helps the health of workers and neighbours. More and more hybrid and electric vehicles are now on the market as reasonable transportation options. There are even electric 16 wheel trailers coming onto the market.

Using all of these methods, construction firms can dramatically reduce the air pollution on their sites. They can improve the workers health and the nearby residents. The firm might even make more money by using high quality materials and charging more for construction.

To learn more please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

Feel Free to call Sustainable Certification on 1800024940

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Construction inevitably produces waste. Managing waste is, thus a continuous challenge for any site. Many projects employ a waste management company to haul away the waste, but there is still the matter of containing and managing waste on-site.

For large quantities of waste, a roll-on skip is commonly the solution. Most removal companies will handle splitting the waste into recyclable and non-recyclable streams. However, for more minor projects, it may be cost ineffective to hire a waste or debris removal company. In this case, waste should be split on-site into items which can be reused, items which can be recycled and things that are going to be waste. Clients, these days, expect that anything which can be recycled should be.

This means a waste assessment should be undertaken before commencing the project and decide what can be reused on future projects (or for some projects even sell), establish what can be recycled and work out in advance if you will have hazardous waste (for example, if you are demolishing an older building it is quite likely you will encounter asbestos). You can then hire the appropriate size and number of skip bins, which should be properly labelled for each kind of waste.

For hazardous waste, you need waste bins assessed for the kind of waste, and will need to comply with the disposal regulations for your area. Likely hazardous waste from demolition or remodelling work includes asbestos, lead (pipes or paint), PCBs, solvents, chemicals, electronics and fluorescent lights (even CFLs are considered hazardous). A debris removal company will generally not take hazardous waste, and the best option is to involve a specialist. Australian law specifies that hazardous waste be labelled and risk mitigated, which may involve using closed drums instead of open bins, removing the waste from the site promptly as well as correct transportation.

For non-hazardous waste, open bins or skips are generally sufficient. Remember that man-portable bins have to stay man-liftable and consider using roll-on skips for all heavy waste (asphalt, metal, etc). Also, make sure that bins are solid enough to handle the weight of the waste you intend to deposit and that you have enough of them to keep up productivity (a worker who is walking across the site finding a waste bin is not working on anything important). Locate small bins for light waste appropriately.

Finally, green waste should be handled separately. Green waste is comprised of grass clippings, twigs, branches, plants, etc. A sustainable company should establish arrangements to compost green waste, which should thus be stored separately. Green waste is best stored in a bin that can be covered as it can develop an unpleasant odor quickly. Consider adding food waste (from employee lunches) to the bin as this is suitable for composting. If you do, place a clearly labeled small bin in the break room or break area for food waste, making sure to educate employees on what can and cannot be placed in it. Talk to your debris removal company about whether they can take compostable waste and what other options you have.

In short – construction waste should be separated if possible and placed in appropriate skips or bins. Non-hazardous debris can be placed in open bins but, due to its weight, is best transported in “roll-on” skips which can be pulled straight onto a vehicle. Hazardous waste must be placed in appropriately-rated storage containers. Green waste should be kept separate and put in bins that have a lid or cover to reduce odors. A responsible construction company uses the right bin for the right job – and also takes reasonable steps to reuse, recycle and reduce waste.


To learn more please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

Feel free to call Sustainable Certification on 1800024940

Read More

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