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Technology to Fight COVID-19

Posted: Monday 10 August 2020

Further to my last blog about getting back to work, I have written this one to provide some information on the new technology that is available to help business get back to work and fight the spread of covid-19. I have also provided some information about how it can be used effectively. As I stated in my last blog, the use of technology alone will not win this war, instead you should rely on a layered security approach to prevent the spread of this disease. Having 2 or 3 inexpensive layers is better than a single expensive layer. So, without further ado, let’s get into it. Handheld Thermal Cameras Handheld thermal cameras are exactly what they say they are: they are a handheld camera that can detect the temperature of exposed skin. These handheld cameras can be deployed in a couple of different ways. Firstly, they could be used in a static location as a targeted surveillance tool at your entry points. A skilled operator would point the camera at personnel walking into your establishment (one at a time) and would them be able to identify and interdict those with a raised temperature. Secondly, they can be used as a quick deployment surveillance tool to monitor high risk situations. For example, if an unknown visitor were due to arrive or a delivery was due, you would deploy the handheld device. Although these handheld devices are good to go out of the box, and do not require any professional installation, they all need to be calibrated correctly and operated by someone who knows what they are doing. Without either it is a complete waste of your money. Also, controlling those that are to be scanned (most devices can only scan one person at a time) and interdicting those with a raised temperature are things you need to carefully plan for. Static Thermal Cameras Unlike the handheld cameras, the static cameras require professional installation and calibration. Once installed though, they can accurately discover and track people with a higher body temperature amongst large crowds such as in public areas. These types of CCTV cameras can be very effective if used correctly. A lot of the newer technology of these cameras now sit with the Network Video Recorder (NVR), meaning that camera functionality can be augmented with an NVR upgrade. For example, new models of NVR now have Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Deep Learning Neural Networks that can assess if anyone is not wearing a facemask, or if people are closer than 2 m apart. Although this can sound a bit 'Big Brothery', the function is very useful to monitor hot spots where people often break the social distancing guidelines. The area can then be assessed, and measures put in place to ease the congestion. Again, thermal cameras on their own will not be effective, its what you do with the information that is important. For example, highlighting a person with a raised temperature and not having a process or means of safely interdicting them is a mistake. Access Control Face Recognition Terminal This face recognition technology is nothing new, its just been repurposed. Like most technology, it can be used in its basic form or integrated to enhance its abilities. In its most basic form, it is a standalone terminal that will assess whether the individual stood before it has a raised temperature. If a temperature is identified the machine will raise the alarm- a warning siren if you wish. If integrated with the access control system, it will recognise whether the user has a raised temperature and will open the door and allow access. If a raised temperate is detected, it will restrict access and raise an alarm (again, a siren if you wish). If you have facial recognition access control in your facility, the system can also be integrated further. The system will not only assess if the individual has a raised temperature, but also identify if the user is authorised to access the facility. Newer models will now also assess whether the person is wearing a face mask. Integrated Technology Although strictly not a technology, I thought it worthwhile writing a short paragraph on how these technologies can be integrated. As technology becomes more interoperable, the way technology is used is moving rapidly but rather than focus on whole range of developments, I'm a just going to point out those developments that are useful in fighting the spread of COVID-19. We have already mentioned facial recognition, but if integrated with a access control system, it can also be used to contract trace individuals that have come into contact with any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID. Along with a function called appearance search, you will be able to track any individual around a facility or multiple facilities. Occupancy management is a function that is really useful for larger establishments, where the number of individuals in a facility can be limited and controlled by the access system. In addition, if a onw way system is in place, this can be monitored for any deviances and hotspots identified of any areas that could cause an issue. As I mentioned, this is a fast moving area, so for the latest up to date information, please get in touch. Biofresh Cubo Although strictly speaking this technology has not be repurposed, it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, it is a technology that I have only recently become aware of. The Biofresh Cubo3 unit is a mobile and easy to use, decontamination system for indoor use. It is a small and lightweight portable unit that is ideal for carry between rooms. The unit uses a two stage operating cycle that creates ozone and then removes it, allowing quick reoccupation of treated areas. The ozone that the unit emits will treat contamination from many sources, including bacteria, fungi and viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Although the initial outlay can be daunting, the unit will be maintained free of charge if it breaks down. This unit is ideal for decontaminating high risk areas in the facility such as toilets, meeting areas and delivery locations and receptions. I hope you have found this information useful. If you require any assistance in getting staff back to work safely, please get in touch.
Posted by Equilibrium Risk Ltd
New recruit for growing cloud tech specialist

Posted: Tuesday 04 August 2020

Yorkshire-headquartered technology specialist Vapour Cloud has recruited James Hartley as a key account manager, as the company prepares for 30% growth by the end of 2020. As a university graduate, James first entered the industry as a telemarketer with Virgin Media Business. Eighteen months in, he progressed to corporate account management and subsequently a business development position, before moving to Gamma to become a data specialist. The transition to Vapour represents a newly-created role which reflects the increasing number of partners coming on board with the firm. The team expansion also follows hot on the heels of Vapour launching its new subscription-based cloud communications offering – centred around Avaya technologies – which came at the start of summer. Commenting on his appointment, James said: “When I started out in my career, I felt that the most exciting job prospects came from working in large companies with robust training programmes.” “I know I’ve learned a lot during my time with such organisations,” he continued. “However, fast forward to what I now look for in a role, and it’s clear that some of the most significant opportunities lie in smaller, ambitious and more agile firms. “Vapour has gone from being a bold new entrant in the market, only a few years ago, to a key brand known for disrupting the space. The team is not afraid to punch above its weight and neither am I. I’m excited about the impact I can have here.” Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer added: “We’re now working with partners and their customers the length and breadth of the UK. It’s therefore crucial that we continue to bolster our team, as we grow, so that we can respond to enquiries quickly, and deliver solutions with the level of quality and speed that fast-paced organisations really need – not least in the current climate. “James is an experienced, enthusiastic and personable colleague who fits in with the people-led culture within our organisation. He can speak the lingo and look beyond the obvious, but won’t promise anything we can’t deliver either. This straight-talking integrity is important in our world.” Established in 2013, Vapour Cloud delivers secure voice, video, networks and cloud infrastructures, to customers ranging from ambitious start-ups and SMEs through to household brands such as JCT600 and Betfred. The company’s solutions – powered by Vapour’s £2m MPLS networks – are designed to strengthen clients’ data security, while enabling greater business continuity, flexibility, productivity and growth potential.
Posted by Scriba PR
Synergos Consultancy Ltd, a Huddersfield-based compliance consultancy, welcomes two new recruits.

Posted: Thursday 30 July 2020

Synergos Consultancy Ltd have recently welcomed a new Compliance Support Officer and New Business Co-ordinator to deal with a recent increase in demand for their services. The firm has been extremely busy over the last few months looking after their existing clients and dealing with new business enquiries mainly focusing on ISO 9001; ISO 27001 and CHAS. They have in turn, grown their team to ensure that they are meeting their high quality customer service standards. Annalie Ellis will be focusing on new business and Emma Allen joins the team as a Compliance Support Officer. She says: ‘It is a very exciting time to be joining the business as we have recently launched a few new services to help customers deal with the aftermath of the pandemic. I am looking forward to getting to know our clients and helping to support them.” The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a disturbance on all businesses, but Synergos Consultancy have a team of fully qualified staff members who can help them to get their compliance needs in order. Annalie and Emma both bring valuable experience of customer service and account management and will play a vital role in the development and implementation of client compliance certifications. Jenny Kilburn, Managing Director of Synergos Consultancy adds: “We are back working in the office following social distancing guidelines and I am very proud to welcome the two new members to our team. I am confident that they will help us to achieve our business goals for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.”
Posted by Synergos Consultancy Ltd
Synergos Consultancy Ltd, a Huddersfield-based compliance consultancy, offers back-to-work risk assessments

Posted: Thursday 30 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a disturbance on all businesses, but Synergos Consultancy have a team of fully qualified Health and Safety Advisors who can carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, that will ensure businesses identify the necessary requirements to keep their customers and staff as safe as possible, as described in the current Government guidelines. This new service will include a risk assessment report of: The persons at risk – employees, site visitors, vulnerable groups such as the over 60’s and those with existing health conditions, and the potential outcomes - symptoms of Covid-19 infection can be mild, moderate, severe, or fatal. Existing controls such as hand washing facilities, office cleaning regimes, social distancing measures, including screens, staggered shift systems, signage and remote working, and advice on what to do if a member of staff becomes symptomatic. In a bid to support local business owners, Synergos have a special offer on these risk assessments, which includes two different options. The first could be to visit your premises and conduct a full COVID-19 risk assessment as outlined above or alternatively, if a business has already done the assessment themselves, Synergos can review their current risk assessment and have it signed off by their qualified Health and Safety Advisor. Client, Lee Meadowcroft, Managing Director of Croft Cargo Ltd says: “Synergos knew exactly what needed to be done and we found them to be very informative. We now feel COVID safe and happy that we are providing the safest possible environment for our employees and clients. Great job!” Jenny Kilburn, Managing Director of Synergos Consultancy Ltd. says: “We know that many businesses are starting to get back into their normal workplace in the next few weeks and want it to be as safe and secure as possible for their staff and customers. We have had a huge demand for back-to-work risk assessments from our current clients and wanted to offer this out as a service in order to support local business owners, to help them get back to some form of normality.”
Posted by Synergos Consultancy Ltd
Smith Brothers power system design team doubles in size

Posted: Wednesday 29 July 2020

High voltage electrical engineering firm Smith Brothers has added 39 years of power system design expertise to its portfolio with a quartet of specialist appointments at its Sheffield office – doubling the headcount from four to eight. Elland-headquartered Smith Brothers opened its second Yorkshire premises – on Parkway Avenue, Sheffield – in September 2018, to further bolster its extensive remit of turnkey electrical engineering services and has overseen the delivery of 16 projects since its inception. Having added civil design engineer Sameh Dawoud to the team earlier this year, Tom Kirkham has since joined as a primary electrical design engineer, bringing with him nine years of experience within the sector, from employers such as ABB Power Grids and Morrisons Utility Connections. Working part-time while studying for a PHD in electrical engineering and SMART grids at the University of Strathclyde, Kianoush Naraghipour has also come on board as an earthing design engineer. Having worked in UK-based electrical systems since 2010, he brings experience from BPI, Synergy, UKPS and Morrisons Utility Connections. The final appointment, senior protection and controls (P&C) design engineer Scott Walker, adds a further 20 years of experience to the team. His role will involve developing and reviewing technical specifications and drawings as well as aligning engineering deliverables with project requirements. Richard Furniss, senior design manager at Smith Brothers power system design said: “As our reputation as an ICP and EPC specialist flourishes, we are finding that clients which enlist us for complex connection projects also require extensive studies and expert design skills – including civil and structural alongside core electrical. “With a large number of high voltage connection projects currently in planning, design and construction, the demand for electrical design services has grown exponentially and we’re proud to be able to further enhance our offering and overall service to clients with these latest appointments.” In the wake of several significant project wins, the firm is still recruiting for high voltage cable jointers and electrical fitters, details of which can be found via the Smith Brothers website.
Posted by Scriba PR
The Bigger Boat welcomes a new face to its growing team

Posted: Thursday 23 July 2020

Creative digital marketing agency The Bigger Boat has bolstered its thriving workforce following the addition of a talented web developer – with further new recruits set to climb onboard soon. Vladislav Nikolov has become the 15th ‘crew mate’ at The Bigger Boat, having joined from Manchester-based firm Spotlight Studios. The junior web developer will play a key role in modernising and evolving websites for several high-profile clients on the Yorkshire agency’s books, including international toy brands BABY born and Baby Annabell. Following on from Vlad’s appointment, three further additions are set to be announced at the expanding Mirfield firm, as it searches for another quality web developer and a new digital account manager. Battling the economic challenges that businesses have faced during the pandemic, The Bigger Boat still managed to record an 125% increase in turnover in the first six months of 2020. New recruit Vlad, a former University of Bradford Digital Media Working Academy designer, said: “I feel part of a group that is highly creative, analytical and intelligent. I love the team’s work ethic, ambitions and the welcome I’ve received. “The Bigger Boat is the perfect organisation to help me grow in my role and develop vital creative skills – that will further enhance our clients’ online offerings to their customers.” Believing the creative community has a vital role to play to help businesses standout – especially post-COVID-19 – 23-year-old Vlad commented: “There’s a real opportunity for web design and digital marketing agencies to continue to grow. Brands will require these services more, as they work hard to get back on their feet and still meet consumer demand. “Now is the time for organisations to embrace creativity and trust the experts to help them to produce high-quality content at a rapid pace. I’m excited to be a part of a crucial industry that is being constantly challenged to evolve and adapt to new ways of working.” Speaking about The Bigger Boat’s growing ambitions, digital director Lee Boothroyd, added: “Vlad signals a huge step in a positive direction for us and is exactly the type of team-mate we’re looking for. He’s a hugely talented young developer, who has settled in well and has a brilliant eye for transforming how a brand looks and feels. “The challenging climate has made every business re-evaluate how it speaks to customers, and we’re seeing a real shift in mindset from many organisations. Brands are beginning to truly understand how creative marketing can reinvigorate consumer loyalty and produce vital bottom line results.” Established in 2010, The Bigger Boat is a 15-strong creative agency – based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire – working for global and national brands such as Little Tikes, Company Shop Group and Zapf Creation UK.
Posted by Scriba PR
Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd Launches NEBOSH International General Certificate

Posted: Thursday 23 July 2020

We are pleased to announce the addition of NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (IGC) course to our NEBOSH courses portfolio. Available as classroom, distance, blended and e-learning, we can help you to achieve the IGC whatever your study requirements may be. The NEBOSH IGC is the most widely respected health and safety qualification of its kind in the world and relevant to every workplace. We have also seen an increase in demand for the IGC course in foreign languages, especially Mandarin, from China and Asia. Due to this demand we will also deliver the IGC course in Mandarin Chinese. This globally recognised qualification helps organizations demonstrate their commitment to health and safety, and it can help win business! The IGC provides essential knowledge and skills to prevent and reduce workplace injuries and illness, boost employee wellbeing and reduce the financial, personal and organizational cost of incidents. It also gives learners invaluable knowledge and skills to support their current role and long-term career. Sandy Lu, Managing Director of Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd comments: “The NEBOSH IGC course is the most popular health and safety qualification internationally. With our professional health and safety experience in leading global organizations operating in China, we are proud to be able to deliver this course in multiple languages to our learners, both in the UK and internationally to meet their specific needs.’’ The NEBOSH International General Certificate course in Chinese will be available soon, please contact us to express an interest. As a NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner we are committed to developing our range of NEBOSH courses to suit the needs of our learners. The addition of the NEBOSH International General Certificate in English and Mandarin will provide our learners with a wider range of choices and enhance their careers. This course will be delivered by our highly experienced NEBOSH Accredited Tutor who is fluent in both English and Mandarin. Find out more about the full range of NEBOSH courses we offer on our website. https://horizonriskconsultancy.com/training/nebosh-courses/
Posted by Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd
Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd Launches NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Safety Management

Posted: Wednesday 22 July 2020

We are proud to announce the addition of NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Safety Management qualification to our NEBOSH courses portfolio. The Certificate in Process Safety Management is the result of collaboration between two leading health and safety experts, NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) and Health and Safety Executive (Great Britain’s Health and Safety Regulator). NEBOSH’s ability to deliver strong vocational OSH qualifications combined with HSE’s technical ‘high hazard’ expertise make this course invaluable for managers, supervisors and health and safety professionals around the world who work in process industries such as oil and gas, chemicals, plastics and pharmaceuticals. The course focuses on the prevention of catastrophic accidents and near misses associated with loss of containment of energy or dangerous substances such as chemicals and hydrocarbons. It consists of one unit split into four elements: - Process safety leadership - Management of process risk - Process safety hazard control - Fire and explosion protection Currently available for classroom learning, we will be introducing e-learning and distance learning options from September to offer flexible solutions to suit our learner’s needs. Sandy Lu, Managing Director of Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd comments: “Our extensive experience in process safety management with leading global organizations makes this course a natural addition to our portfolio. We are pleased to be able to use our expertise to enhance this course for our learners both in the UK and internationally to meet their specific needs.’’ As a NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner we want to keep developing our range of NEBOSH courses to suit the needs of our learners. The addition of the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Safety Management will provide our learners with a wider range of choices, enhancing their career prospects and helping them to deliver process safety excellence at their workplace. This course will be delivered by our highly experienced NEBOSH Accredited Tutor who has extensive process safety management experience in oil and gas and chemical sector. Find out more about the full range of NEBOSH courses we offer on our website. https://horizonriskconsultancy.com/nebosh-courses/ More about us. Based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd provide practical health and safety and environmental risk management consultancy and training services to help business reducing risks and improve resilience by implementing internationally recognised best practice.
Posted by Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd
Got an idea for an app?

Posted: Tuesday 21 July 2020

You think it. We code it! Fresh, inspiring and innovative end-to-end digital design- Tailored Application Software Our creative team will work with you to understand, define and design the best solution for your objectives without limiting the user experience. Bespoke Product Development Taking the agreed concepts, we will develop primary stage prototypes to beta test and prove your app design and service before it goes live. www.torchbearer.dev
Posted by Torchbearer Interactive Ltd
Covid made me take the leap.

Posted: Monday 20 July 2020

After being made redundant from a large Yorkshire based company due to the coronavirus downturn I decided to offer a dying skill to the Local area in the form of Mechanical Maintenance and Repair of industrial machinery, small welding and fabrication work too...it's all a bit daunting but a challenge I am looking forward to, I now need help and advice on the admin side of things, tax and accounting etc, all help appreciated.
Posted by Whitehead, David
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