Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

RIM: A Busy Prelude to the Launch

The company that brought us the fashionable BlackBerry Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), has launched its PlayBook Tablet, but it will only be widely available in the first quarter of 2011. The company has caused a stir within the corporate community and online forums for two very different reasons in the months leading up to the tablet’s release.

Recently RIM began a “war of words” with Apple, publicly claiming that the iPad is a “rubbish concept”. In a bold move they launched an online video in which the shortcomings of the iPad are pronounced. The video methodically portrays the PlayBook as better than the iPad in every way. It’s 3 minutes and 16 seconds long, and demonstrates how its browser and features are far superior to its opponent’s. The video shows the PlayBook browser beating the iPad’s speed when opening a web page.

Viewers can see RIM’s tablet browser opening up faster than iPad’s. The PlayBook also promises to provide healthier content with their Adobe Flash support. The video also demonstrates how boring the iPad’s downloaded content looks in comparison to the PlayBook content, which looks more exciting and richer.

Aside from its guerrilla tactics to ensure the online community is aware of the superiority of its product, RIM’s PlayBook has also caused a stir in the business world. Many companies are already planning on testing the device, and are thinking of ways to deploy the PlayBook. The vice president of Employee Technology and Network Services at TD Bank Financial Group, Dave Codack, has already managed to get his hands on one of the units and expects to get some demo units in December.

Those at TD who are candidates for the Playbook include executives, knowledge workers who use basic productivity applications like Microsoft Word, mortgage specialists who deal directly with clients and contact-centre employees who use basic applications to provide services to customers.

Codack commented that if the PlayBook can serve as a replacement to laptops, TD may end up providing the device to as many as 10-15% of its 75 000 employees. If the device cannot replace laptops he said it will have a “minimal footprint”.

In RIM’s 26-year history, the PlayBook is the most important product launched. The firm is facing fierce competition in the form of Apple Inc.’s iPhone juggernaut and a number of devices running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. But RIM is fighting back with the recent release of a new BlackBerry operating system and the unveiling of the PlayBook in September. With their newly acquired guerrilla marketing tactics, they’ll be a fine phone company to beat.

Explained: How OCR Receipt Scanning Technology Is Transforming Digital Marketing

The increasing demand for digital marketing and fintech businesses has evolved all the sectors with the advancing technology. New and existing businesses have resorted to social media and online marketing as the first priority for advertising their products and services.

Along with the evolving technology, various administrative tasks like receipt management, etc. have also been digitized. Even if you have a full-proof digital marketing strategy for your fintech business, without a smooth cashless mode of receipts you cannot scale your business.

That’s why OCR receipt scanning technology has become a major influencer in both these sectors. This way you can improve your processing efficiency while reducing the issues with the physical receipts management process. The technology allows digitization by transforming existing printed information or receipts into a computer-readable electronic format.

What is OCR Technology?

Technically, OCR or Optical Character Recognition, allows users to read text from images and convert them into textual information for digital content administration for different sectors. It is primarily used as a data input system, along with information collection, receipt scanning, verification, and many other important administrative tasks.

It provides a commercial solution which extracts data from a digitally scanned image or document containing the written or printed text. Once the system scans the required information, it translates that into a machine-readable format. The information extracted helps in data gathering, expense receipts processing and expense reports analysis.

Let’s understand why OCR has become the choice for businesses.

Why is OCR The Need Of The Hour?

The requirement of OCR technology for receipt scanning can be understood by presuming the scenario before the OCR technology.

Businesses used to deploy human resources for manual extraction and input of data from the physical receipts and invoices. This affected productivity due to higher consumption of money and time resources. This led to hiring more human resources to tackle the workload increasing due to the scaling of the businesses. And this led to the accumulation of human errors in the reporting and audit processes.

To tackle these challenges, OCR was developed. It allowed us to save precious human and time resources, along with improving the accuracy of the information. Eventually, it leads to smooth and faster accomplishment of expense management works in an efficient manner.

The advanced version of OCR technology allows users to access the information from the receipt scanning process by extracting data from texts, including contracts, invoices, financial statements, receipts, documents, papers and much more. The digital files created can be retrieved from the repository, which can be examined, edited, and reused for further communication to the required systems. It acts as a user-friendly option with a wide range of applications for sustainable expense management, along with multi-language support access.

How OCR Receipt Scanning Is Transforming Digital Marketing and Fintech Business?

1. Effective Data Handling, Usability, and Searchability
The major benefit of OCR technology is its enhanced data accessibility. You can easily store and save the file you want after receipt scanning and converting the receipts to any accessible form such as a word or pdf file. This way you can easily search files on your computer system, and with the required authorization, any person can view the file. This feature has significantly helped the banking and other fintech industries in a sustainable manner, as it saves a lot of paper usage, and improves transparency in the system. With the help of OCR technology, the reviewing of previous records, expense receipts, credit records, and payment receipts has become simplified.

Also, when compared to the paper formats, accessing and maintaining the digitized files is easy. This way you can easily find the files on a digital network or device, saving a lot of human and money resources.

2. Resource Conservation
You must forget about the classic physical file shelf system. To compete with the changing business landscape, digital marketing and fintech businesses resorted to storing their receipts on the cloud to save money and time.

You must not believe that renting a digital cloud storage space is far less costly than a physical storage space. It also helps in avoiding the chaos of arranging paper records and saving a lot of space. Because, unless your business needs you to save original and tangible physical receipt files, maintaining physical paper documents is useless and futile. It has been amongst the most costly and time-consuming administrative tasks in any organization. Moreover, the biggest risk with this physical storage is human error, which cannot be avoided.

Fintech companies cannot survive without digitizing their manual data management stages and errors. Employing OCR technology by firms dealing in banking, insurance, and other finance companies is both customer-centric and environment-friendly. Along with this, it also helps in saving the usage of ink, paper, and printing machines, which leads to the conservation of the environment.

3. Improved Data Security
Shifting to OCR technology for payment and receipts management requires a lot of security trust by the software providers. The software installed with OCR technology allows for various security measures in digital networks, especially for sensitive financial data controlled by organizations or personal data.

It also helps you detect and prevent non-compliant and fraudulent receipts attempts by comparing the data with previously recorded data, which is not possible with manual receipts management.

4. Enhances Customer Satisfaction
Today the fintech and digital marketing companies have to give the most priority to customer-centric service, which is the tackiest job. Imagine customers bombarding you with their queries through emails and calls, but you cannot attend to them all in a timely manner.

But, with the help of OCR technology, you can easily configure customer queries and provide solutions with just a few clicks.

Final Thoughts
The fintech industries like banking, insurance, etc. have relied a lot on paper printed documents for all of their operations – client records, monthly bills, invoices, and many more, But, the OCR technology has a solution to all of this.

It makes the complete receipt scanning process – recording, verifying, and organizing, simple and systematic. It boosts security, data administration, along with customer satisfaction.

Also, the digital marketing sector could scale its network with OCR by collecting data from invoices, receipts, spreadsheets, and other documents with fraud detection and loyalty programs.