Starting a Woodworking Business With Little or No Related Experience Will Require a Proven Plan

If you have little or no woodworking experience it is possible to start a profitable business in this trade. There are guides available on the internet that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to start-up such a business.

To start your woodworking business you will need a materials list that help you access wood and tools from local sources. These materials and tools will have to be affordable and of good quality. Having a resource to guide you with this challenge will help you save time and money. Materials that you will need, do not have to be from the local hardware store. Some of these materials can be found at a garage sale. I know a person who found a pile of two-by-fours that a home owner left on his curb. This wood was pine. He made this pile of discarded pine into a picnic table and sold it for $250.

There are a number of steps to consider when starting a woodworking business. The key to starting such a business requires a proven plan. You need to know what types of products to build and will give you consistent sales. The types of woodworking project you get involved in will be determined by the area you live in. Oe course knowing what your potential customers needs are will go along way with regards to making sales.

How to build these woodworking projects, in a timely and cost-effective way, will while require that you master certain woodworking skills. Of course you will need to learn which types of tools to purchase that will make constructing these various woodworking project in the most efficient manner

This knowledge of how to use these various tools can be found on the internet. These various tools need to be used with safety in mind, Various tools you will to learn how to use complete you woodworking projects can cause serious hard to your body if used in a safe manner. A proven woodworking resource will teach how to use these tools in a safe manner

These tools will be critical in completing these various projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. Such tools will include a circular saw, chisel, hammer, drill, various drill bits, impact driver and even a miter saw. Of course you will need a place to work such a backyard shed.

Of course you will have to consider what types of wood you will be using to construct your woodworking project. Certain types of wood are more to certain projects than others. Good woodworking plan will help you to make the best choices with regards to this.

Whatever woodworking project you decide to start your business with, will require some planning. Having a proven woodworking plan to start this endeavour would be a good step.

Best Regards


Stress, The Silent Enemy in the Workplace

People in general are strong and resilient to certain levels of stress, in fact some stress can be healthy and motivating. That deadline for the project can push you to work the extra hour to complete it. That success feels good.

Let’s look at when stress isn’t healthy, for example bullying in the workplace, belittling from management, staff cutbacks, financial cutbacks, traumatic events to name a few. These are just a few of the underlying causes of chronic stress that is unhealthy and creates negative work environments.

Studies and statistics say that 58% of the work force feel overworked and 46% are stressed? One in four people leave a job due to stress. Workplace stress in the States costs an average 26 billion in medical fees and $95 billion in lost productivity

Businesses and Corporations spend millions of dollars on Health and Safety Training, with little feedback and participation from employees. It’s needed, it’s required, it’s mandated, and it’s boring. Workplaces are becoming safer because of the training and the mandates. Employees are experiencing fewer serious injuries on the job. So why is there still an issue of negativity and stress in the workplace?

The old line of “Be kind, because you never know what war another person is battling comes to mind.” Some stress comes to work with the employees. Some stress can’t be avoided. Statistics in the United States say that 85% of all accidents at work are caused by stress. That’s outstanding. With the millions spent on avoiding accidents, would it not be better spent on teaching employees how to deal with and counteract the effects of stress?

We cannot escape stress, it’s in our environment, it’s in our food (preservatives, chemicals), it’s in our relationships, it’s everywhere. If it’s everywhere, it is certainly being brought into and fostered in the workplace.

It’s time to counteract it. Time to bring healthy activities, habits and beliefs into the workplace to encourage employees to stay grounded and connected within. It’s cheaper in the long run to encourage an employee to say meditate to relieve stress, than it is to pay out a WSIB claim for an accident that occurred due to stress.

Rather than sweeping stress under the rug, hoping it will go away, like has been happening in the workplace for years, maybe it’s time to start creating an atmosphere that looks stress in the eye, and offers activities to counter act it. Why not shift the attention to supporting employees through stress so they feel safe, validated and comfortable in finding balance.

Jenn Prothero transforms the lives of her clients. She assists them in re-connecting with their inner truth through meditation, reiki, and sound therapy. This inner balance and connection is key to their wellness journey.

Jenn also offers Workplace Wellness Workshops that assist businesses and corporations to create an environment and attitude that supports employees in their overall well-being. She believes that when employees feel supported in their wellness they are happier and healthier resulting in more productivity, creativity and less sick time.

Facebook’s $5 Billion Fine Encourages Executive Misdeeds

Facebook’s $5 billion fine by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for serial privacy abuses doesn’t go far enough. After the market received news of the fine, Facebook’s market value spiked $10 billion, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth rose $1 billion. Facebook’s leaders rejoiced. Why not? Facebook did not agree to wrongdoing, and the market price rose. FTC charged the firm with the crime because it “deceived users” that users could control the privacy of their personal information. This result was good for Facebook. The firm pays, not an executive or executives; now they can continue greed-induced policies, unconcerned. A $5 billion fine is not a significant penalty. It’s 23% of last year’s profit ($22 billion) and less than 10% of revenues.

Facebook’s $5 billion Fine Excuses Its Leaders

Who or what is Facebook? It doesn’t walk, talk, or think; so how did it commit this breach? Its senior executives, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg and other leaders decided matters; they are the culprits. Thus, the law must hold them accountable, not the shell, the vessel, the inanimate corporation, Facebook. To fine the company and not its executives sends a terrible message that leaders exploit. They get a free pass when their greed and other acts lead to wrongs. And they gain until it’s stopped; then the “vehicle” pays. That’s akin to the law giving a drunk driver’s car a ticket while exonerating the driver.

Supreme Court Made Corporations People

To fine a company and excuse its leaders is part of a broken system that needs urgent repair. But that repair won’t happen because the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling reaffirmed companies as people. I understand the rationale. It is easier to tax, sue, and fine companies than people. It’s harder for prosecutors to convict people in companies than their firms. Sometimes, it’s hard to prove who committed these crimes. So, it means we must work smarter and harder where evidence shows the firm’s widespread misconduct. The law must hold at least the CEO and the board chair to account.

The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t prevent penalties for executives. It goes beyond the executive’s legal liability. But, because it’s easier to assign blame to the firm, leaders take dangerous risks and get a free ride when those risks cause crimes. So, leaders abuse people’s privacy, commit fraud, collect bonuses and investors pay for the misdeeds. Big Pharma is an excellent example that crime pays. But, their behavior hurt, and sometimes kill people. It must stop; prosecutors must sue the firm and its leaders.

Big Pharma Gets Away With Much

Corporations are not humans; they don’t decide. Where “a firm” harms people with products or services, the law must pursue a person or persons. It’s improper to charge the firm alone when the firm did not decide. The board chair, CEO and COO must account. Prosecutors did not accuse or jail one senior executive on Wall Street for the crimes that caused the Great Recession. I am not referring to bad decisions but corrupt practices. Wall Street executives will continue to ruin lives and make huge profits. That’s wrong! How can people commit crimes, collect big bonuses, and continue unscathed?

Pfizer, Wells Fargo, financial firms before 2008 are poster children for how people commit crimes but pay no penalties. If the law charges firms alone for wrongdoings, company leaders have a natural incentive to accept risks that might even take people’s lives. While executives don’t design products to kill, they know the vast profit potential from new “breakthrough” drugs, for instance, with no downside. That’s the Pfizer, Big Pharma way!

Pfizer’s Trangressions

Pfizer paid billions for its many misdeeds, yet, no executive got jail time. Several deaths linked to Pfizer’s heart valves concerned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but that did not stop Pfizer from distributing these valves. It took 300 deaths before Pfizer stopped production. By then, thousands of people had implants. By 1994, Pfizer spent around $200 million to settle related lawsuits.

Pfizer’s sins continued in the 2000s. In 2009, it agreed to pay a record $2.3 billion to settle criminal and civil liability for illegally promoting certain drugs. American Greed April 7, 2010, featured these crimes. Two of its subsidiaries pleaded guilty to a felony for misbranding Bextra with the intent to defraud or mislead. Pfizer’s corrupt practices continued. In 2016 it had two big events. First, it paid $784 million to settle underpaid Medicaid rebate charges. Second, it agreed to pay $486 million to settle a class-action securities lawsuit that it misled investors about Celebrex and Bextra’s safety. Then in May 2018, it agreed to pay $23.85 million to resolve assertions it infringed the False Claims Act by “paying kickbacks to Medicare patients… ” Pfizer had pricing, safety, marketing and other misdeeds and paid billions in fines. But, its executives escaped jail in each case.

Big Pharma Fined Billions But Nobody Jailed

The facts show greed and lack of integrity permeate Pfizer and Big Pharma’s culture. Can we trust Pfizer or other drug companies? Why does the FDA allow them to put the public at risk with their aggressive and coercive tactics? Do their lobbying activities shield them? The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America spent $28 million to Pfizer’s $11.5 million lobbying Washington in 2018. And Pfizer spent $1 million on Trump’s inauguration gig. Are these amounts Pfizer’s insurance premiums?

It’s a disgrace that Big Pharma’s crimes hurt so many people while leaders and politicians gain. What will it take for Pfizer and others to behave in an ethical matter? The system condones their behavior. The issue isn’t their profit motive. I support firms making profits, but not while lying, cheating, and destroying lives.

Wells Fargo Fined $1 billion Nobody Jailed

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo $1 billion in 2018 for “conduct [that] caused and was likely to cause substantial injury to consumers.” Wells Fargo broke the law and hurt its clients. It over-charged mortgage interest rate-lock extensions and ran a mandatory insurance program to hike clients’ auto loans. The scheme pervaded the firm, so leaders knew. Did they approve it? Or did they ignore it? Either way, a person or persons must pay. But no senior person did; not the CEO or board member. This abuse followed the earlier 2016 one where the CFPB fined $185 million to settle “the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.” Again, no person jailed or fined, but they fired lower-level staff. Today, Wells Fargo seeks to rebuild its brand, but some employees see no systemic change.

Firms Should Keep Limited Liability But Hold Leaders To Account

When we treat firms as people, serious negatives result. First, it stokes leaders innate greed that’s obvious by Big Pharma’s actions which hurt the public. They break the law confident the law won’t punish them as they pocket hefty bonuses. Second, it drives lobbyists to bribe dishonest politicians to block needed laws to protect the public. Third, district attorneys don’t charge CEO’s whose “support” they might need to reelect them; so they penalize their firms instead. The umbrella effect is people decide, but their firms pay for their conscious decisions that hurt people and the environment. I repeat: I do not refer to bad choices, but illicit ones.

Business is an entity that offers services to clients. While employees present these services and goods, they take various risks; that’s normal. Business is the only wealth-creating entity in society. We must encourage firms to grow and create jobs. But we should recognize business as a wealth-creating vehicle driven by people. Companies should get no welfare benefits, pay no taxes, and pay fines only when the CEO, board members, or other senior executives do. The firm’s fine should send a message to the owners to remove the leadership and get them to return bonus earned for fraudulent activities. We must penalize a person or persons for the firm’s illegal acts. Does this idea remove investors’ limited liability? No, it sees people in firms who decide and who should go to jail and pay fines for their crimes.

Proposals To Resolve Negative Effects Of Treating Firms As People

I support a limited state’s role in business and the economy, few but applied rules, and leaders held liable for their illicit acts. Limited liability corporations’ (LLCs) present status is vital. But leaders decide, and the law must hold them to account for their crimes, not their firms alone. Firms must pay fines for harm to the environment and people. But in every case, a senior person or persons in the firm must pay in money and jail time.

After I studied several corporate crimes where only the firm paid a fine, I don’t know why leaders avoided jail time. That baffles me! People in those firms saw breaches, and leaders fired whistleblowers. And yet, Pfizer, Big Pharma, Wells Fargo, Facebook’s leaders saw their firms fined, and they kept their rewards. They got big bonuses from their decisions until the government stopped them. Sometimes, as Wells Fargo did, leaders blame and fire low-level staff for the harmful results.

Facebook’s $5 billion fine is a wake-up call. We must hold people accountable for their firms’ crimes. Here are summary proposals to do that:

Seven Steops To Fix The Problem

  1. Don’t break up big tech firms. Politicians want to break up big tech and other large firms. That’s a bad idea because it does not consider the real issue. If we split these companies, we will multiply the problem. What is the problem? Unaccountable boards and executives. So, we must enforce existing laws. We must carry out the principle that when we assign collective responsibility to a firm and charge it, we must punish the CEO and board, too. The CEO gets massive rewards for that job, and we must hold him and her to account for the firm’s crimes. They get the credit for the boom, so it’s only fair they accept the blame.
  2. Don’t assign blame to companies. That’s absurd; never fine a company alone. A person or persons, the CEO, board, and, or other senior leaders in the firm committed the wrong. Fine the company only after charging a person or persons. And only to penalize shareholders, who must remove the CEO and others, and recover damages from them.
  3. Compel executives to repay bonus from sales of drugs for non-FDA approved purposes and other illicit gain. Leaders would have less reason to push risky drug sales to make short-term gains. Thus, Pfizer’s executives should repay the bonus earned from Bextra’s massive profits, for instance. Wells Fargo’s leaders profited from illegal accounts and other offenses. So, they must repay their bonuses, too.
  4. Get rid of corporate taxes and corporate welfare. Firms should pay no taxes on their earnings. Tax people at their marginal rates on income and benefits gained from their firms. So, tax income, dividends, and exercised stock options at the same tax rate. The principle here is to tax people, not the wealth-creating vehicle, the company.
  5. Stop former Congressmen and women and White House staff from direct lobbying, or indirect lobbying in a law firm, for ten years after leaving office. Jail people who break this rule. Ban them from presenting and voting on laws that involve people and firms from whom they have or might benefit in cash or kind.
  6. Ban advertising of pharmaceutical products unless the headline shows three things:
    1. FDA approves the drug for the advertised purpose.
    2. Side effects with the same prominence as benefits.
    3. Current issues linked to the drug. So, for Bextra, state reported problems.

  7. Ask doctors to show in their reception and offices, their relation with drug companies. This relationship creates a conflict of interest that can affect drugs doctors dispense. It has in the past. So, let’s remove the temptation. Patients must know.

Conclusions

It is absurd to fine a company for wrongdoing and not charge a person in the firm. I have been part of several securities class-action lawsuits. Companies paid hefty fines for lying, but the CEO, board and others kept their jobs and the law did not fine or jail them. That’s not right! Somebody lied, that person must pay. No wonder the public has a wrong opinion of business.

Today, the left clamors for socialism and demonize business. They see corrupt executives get away with much and their firms reward them with big bucks. That’s not normal! The left doesn’t know small firms are the major job creators in the economy. And that Wall Street’s greedy rogues’ behavior does not reflect these small firms or the majority of firms. The left believes the government is the answer. But, the government is inept, wasteful, and part of the problem. Greedy, dishonest politicians protect rogue executives while they collect substantial campaign funds and bribes.

We need to rid business of people who commit crimes. And we need less government involvement in business with proper oversight and effective law enforcement when executives commit crimes. Business drives the economy. It creates jobs while governments destroy jobs with corporate taxes and dumb rules.


How To Create A Business Website

How to create a business website is an important question to ask if you are looking to build a web presence for your business. Before going through the steps of creating a website, it is important to be clear on your goals for building a business website.

Most businesses want customers/clients to be able to find the business when searching the web for their product or service. Also, businesses want to provide information to help customers/clients learn more about their products and services to determine if their product or service can help them. Businesses can also want their website to help with important businesses functions.

Some of the important business functions are creating a platform to contact the business, keeping track of inventory, allowing consumers to order from the website, providing a platform to download software, helping potential investors learn more, and delivering quality branding for the business. The first step in how to create a business website is to determine what business functions your website needs. After you’ve determined what business functions your website needs, the next in determining how to create a business website is determining how you are going to build the business website.

For most businesses, the smart choice is to hire a development agency with experience in building quality websites. If you have an extremely technically competent staff member, there is a possibility to use someone internally. But today, the need to have a website work across many different types of browsers and devices, it can be a very expensive mistake to have someone internally learn what to do and can be even more expensive if there are mistakes on a live website that damages your business.

After you have your website built, the next step in the process of how to create a business website is to find hosting for your website. If you have hired a website development company, the website development company can often handle the hosting for your website. There are some good hosts out there, but there are also some bad hosts out there as well, so it is important to make sure the host can handle all the required technologies needed for your website. Using a CDN to speed up the speed of your site could also be a good choice depending on the size and requirements of your business.

All About Windshield Repairs

When it comes to the safety or durability of a vehicle, the windshield is the last thing to pop into the minds of people. However, this ignorance might lead you into forking out hundreds of dollars’ worth of money. Even slight damage or a windshield scratch can end up costing you very much. Needless to say, it is also a very important part that needs to be taken care of for the proper functioning of the vehicle.

Why Windshields Are Important To The Vehicle?

The windshield of the car has a major role in the safety and also affects the power of the firewall, thus preventing the foreign objects from gaining entry into the passenger compartment as well as the passengers from being freed. They make up to about 30% of roof strength in a rollover accident. A windshield that is installed properly can also aid the airbag in employing accurately.

This is why there arises a need for windshield crack repair and auto glass repair amongst the other services. For the proper management and wear and tear of your vehicle, you need to contact a repair center that has an experience of many years in the field.

Windshield Repair

For the creation of a stronger piece of material, the windshield is made up of laminate that is clear safety and two sheets of glass. The windshield is placed between these two materials in such a way that it appears to be sandwiched between both of them. This is because it is meant for the purpose of protecting one from the bugs, dust, and rocks at the same time whilst preventing the roof of the car from crushing in case if the vehicle rolls over. These days it has become easy to acquire windshield replacements at your fingertips.

Windshields can be easily damaged by tree branches plus rocks and pebbles if one is driving fast off the road. For avoiding scenarios like these you should refrain from driving the vehicle rashly and drive while taking extra care. Windshields are also one part out of the framework of the vehicle structurally. When you have a windshield that is cracked, the chances of an accident being caused or windshield being shattered are doubled.

Windshield Cracks

In case of serious windshield cracks, you can drive over to the repairs or contact a local-auto glass replacement in the neighborhood. Within a matter of minutes, the technicians will arrive at your service. Take for example, if an iron pipe is responsible for shattering the windshield to pieces, then during this period safe driving is illegal.

Auto Glass Repairs

Auto glass repair shops provide both repairs as well as replacements. The reason as to why the service auto glass repair shops shouldn’t repair cracks more than the size of one-half dollar is that the cracks are very simple to spread in a short amount of time after we are done with the repairing process.

Windshield Chip Repairs

The best thing you can do is to get a windshield repair done the earliest you can in case of damage of the windshield. If you want to see the windshield chip clearer then you should go for the windshield chip repair, it depends upon how soon you get it done. You can also look for ‘windshield repair near me’ and ‘auto glass replacement near me’ to learn more about the services offered by the skilled technicians in your respective state/city.


Small Business Property Insurance Info: What Are Factors That Affect the Cost of Coverage?

No matter how big or small your business property is, it’s a good idea to have it insured. You never know when somebody might become injured on it, or when a thief might steal something or cause damage to it. There are also natural disasters to worry about, like fire and hail. Like any type of insurance, the internet is filled with information about small business property insurance, some of which is useless information and some very helpful.

The cost of insurance varies depending on multiple factors. Some providers will allow small business owners to include commercial property insurance in a BOP (business owner’s policy), which is basically a bundled package of various types of insurance. In some instances, the cost of the package as a whole is actually less than the underlying policies if you were to purchase them separately.

Here are some of the factors that will affect the price:

• Size of the premise. Obviously, a large commercial property will typically cost more to cover than a small property or single unit of office space.

• The geography. Where, exactly, your business is physically located plays an important role in how much small business property insurance you’ll have to pay. This includes the state and city, crime rate in that neighborhood, land value, and so forth.

Safety and Security Demands for Small Business Property Insurance

• The amount of safety and security. Do you have any security equipment setup on the property? Are there any hazardous materials stored in the facility or nearby? Is the landscape kept neat and clean? Is there any object someone could potentially trip over?

• Age and type of equipment. Obviously, heavy industrial equipment is going to cost more to insure than an at-home desktop. As for age, you’ll probably have to pay a higher premium if the equipment is older and contains parts that are difficult to come by now, therefore making it more difficult to repair or replace.

• Age of the building. Older buildings are more susceptible to damage and will cost more to insure. Find out if you could save money in the long run by investing in renovations and remodeling, or if any discounts are available for making certain upgrades.


Why Money Is Failing

Anything invented by man has a short life before it fades away, and money is no exception. Invented for trade and then the wealth of those who made it their god they become so attached that it occupies their mind constantly. That means they have no room for listening to the Spirit voice within them, and they suffer the consequences. As their wealth grows many die horrible deaths from incurable diseases, suicide, or other.

The world’s economic future is now dire as manipulation of currencies and such take priorities. Wars are about money and power and we are rapidly coming to a major confrontation that will see the planet change as never before.

Already with climate change, scarcity of water, draught, famine, disease, and other things mounting pressure on countries and their economy the last thing it required was a war on trade. How will that play out in the light of the other problems the world faces?

The only place money is generated is from the environment. Whether its crops replacing forests, or animals targeted for food or pleasure, nothing about it is good for the planet. Mining minerals, oil, gas, and other things is depleting the air of oxygen while causing CO2 to dominate the atmosphere.

Overfishing of oceans and the inexcusable destruction of unwanted species is horrendous. The wastage of excesses is disgusting while the extinction of species of animals and plants the benefit of which is not yet understood is horrifying. Yet man continues on his destruction because he does not know and possibly cannot now live without money.

While its initial purpose was trade it has become so entrenched in our lives that we are asked to pay for just about everything we depend on to survive. That forces everyone to earn it or come by it in some other way. So how long can we survive with it?

The reality it that countries are already so corrupt that the governments are syphoning off the profits and people are starving. This is seen in several place as the rest of the world watches. In some regions so-called civil wars rage on as populations flee while seeking refuge and safety. As they go many of their numbers fall and die.

Money is the root of corruption and criminality and, like religion, it is so entrenched in the human psyche that nothing short of complete annihilation of the species will end it. That is rapidly coming to fruition as the planet struggles to survive, people die in their millions, but the birth rate overtakes the numbers of deaths by millions more. That is why money is failing as it’s a death sentence humans have inflicted upon themselves.


The Ups and Downs of Parking Lot Control Arms

My office is contacted many times a month regarding a parking lot control arm or barrier gate injury of some sort. These terms are generally interchangeable; however, some standards do not use the term control arm, only barrier arm. Usually, the attorney starts by explaining that the plaintiff was hit by a descending parking lot arm without any advance warning. Sometimes the injured party is riding a motorcycle, sometimes walking as a pedestrian under the arm. In other claims the gate arm does not fully cycle open before returning to the horizontal position. There are also cases where the gate appears to have been left in an open position, turned off, and is remaining in the upright position for extended periods of time and suddenly descends just as a pedestrian begins to pass under it. There are numerous variations of the same type of accident, but there are big differences in who the responsible party is for the cause of injury. Some of the first questions asked pertain to how the device works, and why the arm did not detect the person as they walked through the driveway.

FULLY AUTOMATED OR ATTENDED, BOTH SHARE SOME CHARACTERISTICS

Manufacturers of most barrier arm gates build their devices to activate in one of two different ways. Fully automated by remote stimulus and/or manually controlled by a parking lot attendant.

Many parking lot control arms are activated when a driver pulls up to a parking lot gate in a vehicle. As the vehicle arrives, an electronic signal is sent to the arm mechanism due to the detection of that vehicles large metallic presence interacting with an in-ground magnetic field. This

in- ground magnetic field is created from buried wires known in the trade as an induction loop. The signal generated from this “activation or approach magnetic induction flux loop” often is connected to a ticket printing device. This piece of equipment is commonly referred to as a “Ticket Spitter”. The “Spitter” issues a ticket, usually for single vehicle access prior to activating the barrier arm gate mechanism causing the arm to raise. An alternative method to get the control arm raised requires a driver to reach out of the car and push a button to receive a parking lot access ticket from the “Spitter”. (In that mode of operation, it is probable that there is no magnetic loop in place.) In either case, once the ticket is taken by the driver, the “Spitter” sends a control signal to the gate arm mechanism, and the arm is supposed to raise, generally for a single vehicle to control access to the parking lot.

As the vehicle transitions from the approach location where the ticket is issued, once the control arm raises, there is usually a functioning magnetic flux or induction “Safety Loop” located under the control arm swing location which provides protection for a vehicle until it has cleared the “Zone of Danger” underneath the active arm. The control arm may also be kept in the open position by a timer that holds the gate arm up for a predetermined time prior to closing. Using a timer function in place of an in-ground magnetic loop is risky, as vehicles may not clear the opening, or another vehicle can attempt to gain access without receiving a usage ticket. Older, non-current standard compliant installations have been seen without any consistency of design or operational function.

There are multiple installation variables that can alter the basic loop positions and quantities, but most basic systems operate as described above using at least two control loops. One underneath the control arm, and one egress or approach loop. In some installations, all three loops will be present. This triple looped system offers the most comprehensive safety for a vehicle, NOT A PEDESTRIAN!

MANUAL VERSIONS OF PARKING LOT CONTROL ARMS

A parking lot attendant, usually positioned inside an adjacent booth, has a control switch that activates the parking arm. The attendant has a switch that raises the arm, lowers the arm, and keeps the arm inactive, either up or down. Some manually controlled arms also have magnetic induction loops connected to the parking lot control arm when the parking lot is unmanned after hours, in which case, the arm should function in the fully automatic mode, as described above.

BARRIER ARMS ARE WEIGHT ACTIVATED, RIGHT?

Contrary to popular belief, most are activated due to a change in a magnetic field which is generated by twisted energized wires positioned below the adjacent pavement of the control arm. Modern arms are not usually controlled by pneumatic pressure like an old-fashioned gas station bell hose. It is unlikely that the weight of a vehicle or a pedestrian walking underneath the arm will stop an active arm. Modern parking arms are triggered by a change in the magnetic induction loop return. Modern induction loops are manufactured from a relatively light gauge of wire, placed in a rectangular shape that is calibrated and sized to detect a change in the magnetic field when a metallic object such as a vehicle enters or covers that field.

Many attorneys insist to me during their initial call that a pedestrian walked next one and activated the arm due to their client’s weight, and the arm failed to remain open as they walked under the arm. This scenario is generally incorrect. Weight of a vehicle, or weight of a pedestrian cannot activate most modern parking control arms. A trigger of an arm or activation of a street traffic light due to weight has not been in practice for many years. It is highly unlikely that a pressure pad sensitive to weight is ever controlling a parking lot arm today.

UL 325/ASTM F2200

There are several standards that are used to design and install parking control/barrier arm devices. In the most basic sense, UL 325 (Underwriters Laboratories) in conjunction with ASTM F2200 (American Society of Testing Materials) as well as other trade organizations have compiled standards that are designed to make a control/barrier arm installation safe and user friendly. Most of the regulations that are referenced in these standards have been adopted and in common trade practice and usage since the year 2000. There are numerous revisions of these standards, and industry best practices for service providers and installers should be to bring any of these past installed products up to date with the latest revision of the standards for entrapment and function.

A UL 325 COMPLIANT INSTALLATION

A UL 325 compliant barrier arm or parking control arm installation requires several conditions to be met. The mechanism is generally installed atop a concrete island (not a UL requirement). All conduits and control circuits are routed into the base of the barrier arm mechanism through this elevated platform. This is not always the observed situation; however, it seems to be the most encountered condition as the elevated platform provides protection from vehicle impact for the arm housing. When this island is placed by a concrete contractor, it is the perfect time for the facility to install a dedicated pedestrian walkway.

This dedicated pedestrian walkway must be away from the “danger zone” of the active control arm. This dedicated pathway is one of the most important factors to having a UL 325 compliant installation. Another significant safety device required for a UL 325 compliant installation is blatant painted warnings on the pavement located adjacent to both sides (ingress and egress) of the control arm. For instance: “Not a Pedestrian Walkway” or “Motor Vehicles Only” along with bright stripes and designs to draw the attention of a pedestrian to indicate danger prior to coming into the “danger zone”. Signage is also required, on the arm itself, the cabinet that houses the activation equipment, and on a placard in front of the control arm equipment.

PEDESTRIAN SIGNAGE, NOT ALWAYS EFFECTIVE

I have observed for many years that pedestrians are often walking while distracted by their cell phones, other people they are engaged in conversation with, or low lighting conditions. Although a UL requirement for a compliant installation is having a warning sign placed in several areas adjacent to and attached to the control arm, that warning is often unseen for many reasons. Pedestrians often look to the location that they are planning to reach without seeing their immediate surroundings. When this occurs, any warning signage has no value to them. A sign that is attached to a vertically elevated arm is out of the field of view for a pedestrian in most cases so that warning label is ineffective. A distracted pedestrian is as likely to walk off a curb in front of oncoming traffic or walk under a raised parking control arm without realizing that the danger exists. Blatant pavement signage has also been ignored by distracted pedestrians focused on getting to where they want to go.

WHO IS AT FAULT?

There are a variety of cases where a parking lot barrier arm has malfunctioned due to a complete lack of maintenance awareness. Most manufacturers suggest they should be inspected and evaluated for function by a professional service provider at least once a year. This interval inspection routine is questionable in a parking area with high usage of the control arm. In a case of continual usage, a professional service provider should be in place to inspect the device every quarter. Usually, some malfunction occurs that requires professional visits more frequently than every 3 or 4 months in a high usage installation.

Sometimes property management or an owner employs a maintenance person to make repairs. This can be problematic, as that maintenance person may not have adequate skills or training as to how to properly inspect the functions of the control arm mechanism and related systems correctly. In other low usage areas, where the arm is either occasionally used, unused and left in an open condition, or there is minimal parking lot activity, property owners never get them serviced. They are unaware of the need for service, feel that the arm is operating correctly when it is used, or just do not want to expense the services of a professional due to budgetary constraints or an ignorance of how the device functions.

Most owners of parking control lot arms do not understand or have the skills to properly check all functions of the arm control mechanism. They may be capable of replacing a broken arm component when damaged by a vehicle, but rarely understand the actual electronic requirements. When a competent, qualified professional service provider is used to make proactive inspections of a parking control arm, there are numerous tests and electronic evaluations that are made with dedicated service equipment that the average equipment owner would not possess.

One of the most basic critical evaluations to ensure that a parking control arm is properly functioning involves checking the resistance capacity of the in-ground magnetic flux loops. These loops are one of the primary controls for avoiding vehicular/arm impact collisions. There is an electronic meter known as a “megohm meter” or “meggar” that checks the condition of the in-ground loop insulation material of all system loops. It measures millions of ohms of resistance by placing a signal onto the flux loop when tested. The unbroken condition of the insulation that is the outside coating of these in ground wires is essential to have a properly functioning flux loop.

Electrical leakage to the surrounding ground due to partial loss of the protective insulation creates false imaging to the controls of the parking arm equipment. The insulation of these flux wire loops has an expected life. This is due to corrosive aspects of the material that the wires are encased in. Concrete, asphalt, various cement, sands and gravel all have corrosive components to their chemical composition. These acids can affect the lifetime of the flux wire insulation. Depending upon how much water leaches through the pavement, these flux wires will eventually be exposed to chemicals that will break down the insulation protection that is required. When that insulation breakdown finally happens, the operation of the magnetic flux loop is inconsistent and often becomes a danger to vehicles of all kinds (cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, trailers, etc.) using the control arm.

Defective operation of parking lot control systems has been frequently observed following flooding due to driven rains or adjacent sprinkler systems. In several past cases, service providers and owners that failed to take critical tests to determine insulation quality of magnetic loops have been responsible for damage caused as a result of those unknown wire conditions. In some claims, the service provider was aware that the loops were not functioning up to specifications of the loop manufacturer yet failed to take any proactive action to have them replaced, or minimally alert the owner of the arm that the condition existed. To save money, some service providers fabricate their own loops for these installations. When that is the case, the service provider needs to regularly verify the condition of the loops to make certain that the performance is as required.

ADDING ADDITIONAL SAFETY FEATURES

It is usually a goal to make a product that is as safe as is possible for all users. The UL 325 standards attempt to keep current with technological advances but are not always up to date. Basic requirements as described above do make control arms reasonably safe, but there are additional safety devices that can be added to most parking control systems.

  • Cross threshold optical sensor beams. These beams function in the same way that a common residential automatic garage door bottom beam sensor works. They provide an additional protection to both vehicles and pedestrians as they stop the control arm from descending when the beam is obstructed. To be effective, they need to be properly positioned and in enough quantity.
  • Audible alarms are being installed to alert pedestrians and drivers in proximity to the control arm that it is about to descend.
  • Visible alarms that provide strobe or flashing light action alert pedestrians and drivers that the barrier arm is about to descend.
  • Contact safety switches attached to the bottom edge of a parking control arm cause the descending arm to reverse when 10 pounds of force from an obstruction occurs.

These added safety devices are not part of any standard requirement but are relatively inexpensive to add to a control arm system and tend to be more effective in warning pedestrians that something is about to happen. Both alarms begin working a few seconds before any activation movement of the arm starts. A properly positioned beam or beams can be effective in stopping the descent of a control arm when a pedestrian is obstructing the beam but is not fully reliable due to user interactions. It is best practice to avoid having any pedestrian walk under the pathway of a control arm.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING THE ACTIVE CONDITION OF ALL MAGNETIC LOOPS

Many motorcycle injuries from parking arms have occurred as a direct result of magnetic loop degeneration. Properly operating control loops should have enough sensitivity to “notice” most metallic objects. I have been able to test magnetic fields for gates and control arms using a one-foot square piece of sheet steel with positive results that have activated the devices. Cars and trucks obviously have larger footprints than a motorcycle, scooter or bicycle, but if the loops are sensitive enough and the module that controls those loops is properly adjusted, it is not unreasonable to get a big enough change in the magnetic field to trigger the operator mechanism. Unless there are specific access and egress points for motorcycles and other two wheeled conveyances, most riders will expect that a control arm will react to their rides. It is critically important to have competent professional service providers evaluate control arm systems on a regular basis. Changes to sensitivity of the magnetic fields that can occur suddenly create problems resulting in cosmetic damage to cars but can cause catastrophic dangerous conditions for two wheeled vehicles. Motorcycle accidents with barrier arms are particularly dangerous when the safety loops that are positioned under the control arm fail or work intermittently. A rider will gain access, the arm will lift, and without warning it will descend into the face or on top of the head of the rider leading to potentially severe injuries. It is a reasonable expectation on the part of a motorcycle operator that the arm will remain open and the in-ground loops will detect the presence of a motorcycle. Dangerous conditions that exist as a result of deferred or non-existent maintenance of parking control arms have created many motorcycle rider impact injury claims.

VARIETY OF OBLIGATIONS ON ALL PARTIES

THE OWNERS OBLIGATIONS

When there is no proactive maintenance of any device or piece of equipment in a facility the owner is negligent for failing to make the effort to ensure that the property will be safe for all invitees. Failing to employ competent professional service providers due to cost, ignorance, laziness or stupidity is negligent. Having properly maintained and properly operating equipment is responsible and meets the standard of care expected of an owner that invites the public on to the property. Having a proactive plan to provide inspections and maintenance of all equipment is responsible and diligent. If the professional service provider has not met the standard of care, the owner may ultimately have the responsibility for the defective condition of the control arm. Whether or not there is an indemnification policy between the service provider and owner can determine who is financially responsible for the injury claim. If the owner has been informed of operational or functional deficiencies by others and has refused to upgrade or make the control arm standard compliant, it is more probable than not that the owner will become a responsible party.

A SERVICE PROVIDERS OBLIGATIONS

If a professional service provider does not make the property owner aware of changes in standards or advise the owner of possible safety upgrades, that professional is not acting up to industry expectations. The service provider is also not taking the opportunity for increased sales revenues derived from making those suggestions. If a service provider has offered limited services to an owner (such as an on-call / as-needed basis), it is hard to place the blame on the service provider that was just providing specific work. It is still recommended that all deficiencies in an operating barrier arm system be identified, specified, and described so that the service provider can transfer the liability onto the owner of the now non-compliant control arm.

When a professional service provider installs a parking control arm in a non-compliant installation (for example there is no dedicated walkway or signage), the obligations for that deficiency depend upon the communication and working relationship with the owner of the property. There are several different scenarios that determine the responsible parties for the non-compliant conditions.

  • Was the service provider only called upon to install a specific product?
  • Was the service provider limited by the owner of the property to only do a specified job?
  • Did the service provider make the owner aware of the deficiencies of the installation prior to, during or after the work was performed?
  • Did the service provider attempt to make the installation current standard compliant, but was told not to?
  • What portion of the installation was the service provider involved with? For example, the service provider was contracted by a general contractor and told to specifically provide a portion of the products required to make the installation compliant. The representations made by the general contractor was that the general would place all signs when the project was turned over to the owner, the general would have appropriate pavement warnings painted and placed when the paving was completed, and the general would install a dedicated walk way for pedestrians at a later date.

If the service provider acted in a trade appropriate manner, fulfilled all duties and obligations informing the owner or management of the non-compliant conditions encountered, that service provider has met the industry standard of care. In that case, the service provider is not responsible for a non- compliant control arm installation.

PEDESTRIANS INVOLVED IN A PARKING CONTROL ARM INJURY

WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES?

This condition has been seen so many times that multiple injuries were caused in the exact same way. In several past claims, a pedestrian was essentially forced to walk under a parking control arm because there was no other way to exit the lot or garage space. There was no dedicated pedestrian walkway, no openings in a fence, no indicated paths for people to exit, no special stairways or other means of egress, and in those cases, the control arm was unavoidable. In other claims, a remotely operated control arm, that was activated by a guard in an adjacent hut came down upon several pedestrians due to the guard being careless. The gate was routinely in an upright position, the guard never meant to have the gate close upon the pedestrians, yet the injury took place as a direct result of the guard’s negligence.

ACTUAL CASES OF PEDESTRIANS BEING STRUCK BY PARKING CONTROL ARMS

A group of pedestrians walking into a concert venue walked under a control arm, which came down just as they walked under it. There was plenty of space on either side of the control arm, but there was no signage or painted warnings on the pavement showing where the arm could come down.

A pedestrian going to work in a hospital, caused her own injury. She watched as a car went through the control arm entry point and did not realize that the gate would close upon her. In her deposition statements she said she thought that the arm would stay up because she had seen other people walk through the same opening in the past without the arm descending. There was a dedicated walkway a few feet away from where this incident occurred, going through the vehicle path was a shortcut that saved a few steps and caused her major injury.

Tenant of an apartment complex gets hit with control arm gate after helping a neighbor gain access when the neighbor had forgotten her card key access pass. The injured party stood adjacent to the control arm, swiped her access card, watched her friend drive through the opening and then without thought proceeded into the lot following the car. Once the car cleared the magnetic loops, the arm descended as designed, only it struck the tenant, knocking her out only seconds after her good deed.

INTENDED USE OF CONTROL ARMS

Control arms are designed for restricting the flow of vehicles into or out of a location that desires regulation of traffic. The equipment functions based upon activation signals received as described above. Access points that have control arms are not intended for pedestrian traffic at any time. While most vehicles are metallic, most pedestrians are non-metallic. The machines that operate these control arms are dumb robots without any capabilities of intervention in the event of a non- conforming use. A pedestrian attempting to walk through a parking control arm location is a non- conforming use, and there must be some common sense exercised when assessing an interaction with any robotic machine.

PROPERTY OWNER OR PROPERTY MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES

All owners that have public, commercial, or residential community properties can expect usage by thousands of different people. If proactive maintenance and evaluation of the location setting as well as the condition of the equipment that people interact with is made routinely, an owner can take the needed steps to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. An owner should enlist the services of qualified and competent service providers to make certain that all access control arms are properly functioning, and the site is totally compliant. If an owner takes responsibility and hires professional service providers to make a property fully compliant, that owner has met his obligations to all invitees of the property. Failing to proactively evaluate a potentially dangerous condition is negligent. Maintenance saves money in the long run. Keeping equipment of all kinds in good condition is responsible and indicates good ownership. Safety to all invitees should be of prime importance to a concerned owner.

TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Magnetic induction flux loop: A wire of specific size and design placed below the pavement surface to create a magnetic field which is altered when a metal object (vehicle) is in proximity or on top of the wire field.

Ticket Spitter: A printing device used to dispense parking tickets to patrons of a parking lot. Manual (push button by user) or automatic (triggered by presence of vehicle on top of magnetic loop in ground), records date and time of entry onto a paper ticket and then when removed from the slot activates a control arm mechanism to gain access into the lot.

Control arm device: All electronic and mechanical equipment combined to allow a gate arm to raise and lower.

Approach loop: Magnetic loop placed in ground to trigger activation of a control device.

Safety Loop: Magnetic loop placed directly under the path of a parking control arm to protect vehicles from impact by a descending gate arm when the zone is occupied by a vehicle.

Egress loop: Magnetic loop placed in ground to hold a control device in the open position until the area can be cleared. Usually in place in high traffic or cross traffic locations.

Megohm meter (Megger): An electronic meter designed to determine resistance in millions of ohms, relevant to this article, checking for leakage due to the breaking down of insulation on in ground magnetic flux loop wires used to control parking control arm actions.

Zone of Danger: The area immediately under the path of a descending parking control arm and any immediate area where a pedestrian could be struck by a descending arm without notice.


How To Use, The DRINK, Of Planning A Home Purchase?

Many of us, decide, it’s time, to enjoy, the major component of the so – called, American Dream, which is, buying a home, of one’s own. In order to make the wisest, possible decision, and smartest approach, which will work for you, it might make sense, to understand fully, and follow/ use, the DRINK of wisely, purchasing a house. This concept, combines a well – considered, determination of your true needs, future considerations, economic realities, and, your personal comfort zone. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, review, examine, consider, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and how it might help one, achieve this dream (and avoid having a nightmare, instead).

1. Delve deeply; down – payment/ closing costs; determine: Go beyond the surface, and avoid any, rush, to judgment! This requires a willingness to delve deeply, and determine, whether you are financially, and emotionally, prepared, with becoming a homeowner. Begin, by knowing, if you will be able to afford the down – payment, and closing costs, but, avoid the possibility of becoming house – rich, but, in, over – your – head!

2. Real estate; reserves; relief: Shouldn’t any real estate purchase, you make, focus on, and emphasize, providing you, with meaningful, reliable, relief? Begin, in a prepared way, and ensure, you have all the necessary funds, including, those, for several types, and varieties of reserves. Some of these, should be, for emergencies, such as income interruption, while others, must be, for maintenance, repairs, renovations, appliances, and other home systems, etc.

3. Intentions: Begin, by focusing on your personal intentions, especially, as they relate, to how long, you plan, to live, at the specific house. Are you hoping, to make this, your home – for – life, or, do you consider it, a starter – house, and/ or, stepping – stone? Examine, whether this makes sense, in terms of your personal needs, priorities, and economic realities!

4. Neighborhood; needs: Why have you selected the specific location, of this house? Have you closely, examined, and considered, both, the strengths, and weaknesses of the region, area, neighborhood, etc, in terms of fulfilling your needs, especially as they relate, to conveniences, shopping, transportation, safety, and security?

5. Knowledge: Prepare thoroughly, and determine, whether it’s the right place, for you, now, and into the foreseeable future! Have the knowledge, and/ or acquire it, so you are best able, to proceed, wisely!

Making a smarter decision, in terms of purchasing a house, means following the DRINK of planning properly. Since, for most, the value of their home, represents their single – biggest asset, doesn’t it make sense, to proceed, wisely?


Negative Thinking Balances Your Decision

Worrying is different from thinking. Worrying dwells on bad thoughts created from one conceptual situation, while thinking is processing useful judgment to avoid the unfavorable situation. Many people keep on telling to avoid negative thinker because they attract negative vibes. I am not disparaging the good side of positive attitude and optimism, what I want to emphasize is to try looking at the other views of a person labeled as a negative thinker. In the law of attraction, we are manipulating our mind to create things eventually so it depends on a person’s mind on what he thinks to materialize them into reality, but the law of attraction is realizable if you take action to put all things the way you want it to be. You could serve as a driving force to others by sending out your opinion, feeling, and attracting back more of what you have planned. Your action will either create a good or bad outcome from your decisions.

With all due respect to people trying to avoid negative thinker, I am more challenged by someone saying a contrary outcome, I understand what they are dealing with, and they are just being a defensive pessimist. Individuals behaving in defensive pessimism are strategically preparing themselves how to handle uneasiness or discomfort to an uncertain outcome. There have been many “ifs” and “buts” on their minds to make a clear decision just like when making a computer program flowchart, they stop and logically process what is inside the decision box that there is certain action if you decide to go here and there. When they are in defensive thinking, low expectations would arise in a way they plan of what action to do to avoid the uncertain events. In doing this, is helping them to prevent anxiety overcomes their feelings.

Negative people are well aware of the possible problem and thinking ahead would lead them for possible actions to avoid worst-case scenarios.

There are two kinds of negative thinker:

  • A negative thinker with the same trait as with positive thinker. These people are thinking of imaginary events but the traits they both apply are doing nothing and just wait until the situation comes, they do not have a systematic plan to solve or mitigate the unpleasant situation.
  • A negative thinker with a solution to apply. This kind of person is thinking ahead what might be the problem and from imaginary thoughts, he will plan activities to solve or alleviate the problem.

Here is where things get fascinating about a negative thinker: A defensive pessimist heard the news that he must register his job position in an authorized committee to renew his residential identity card in a foreign country. His thought flooded with many “ifs” even though not sure if his job position is included among the professions to be registered, in no time he immediately applied for a Special Power of Attorney for a family member and sent this to his home country to get all his credentials as requirements to be submitted to the committee. When the time comes to renew his residential identity. He had now on his hands all the supporting documents and timely submitted this to the committee; the hassle of chasing time to prepare all the documents are being replaced by convenience.

In one occasion, he read news about the possible nationalization scheme as a new policy. All expatriates will be replaced by its local citizens, even though not sure that his job position is included among the list of professions to be replaced, he created plans on how to abate his worries about filling the gaps of years will be lost in his retirement years. He started to save money every payday and sent it back home to deposit in the bank or investing it in government bonds. In just a few years, his money earned interest and as expected the nationalization scheme came, without any hesitation, he accepted his fate and went home with his family with enough savings to sustain a family business.

Negative thinkers deal with realism and rationalism because they behave toward the actual situation, gathering information and taking conscious action. While being positive thinker dwells on being complacent with the imaginary concept until it is too late to suppress the bad outcome.

When events are not yet sure to happen, be specific on your goals and try to get in touch with reality because it will probably fall somewhere in between. Beyond positive and negative retrospect, planning is best to get you through countless roadblocks. If someone tells you to set your mind positively, acknowledge and warn them that negative thinker is another friend reminding you to anticipate possible outcomes before the situation controls you.