Employee Polygraph Protection Act – Prohibitions, Exemptions and Rights

Employee polygraph protection act is a act which prohibits the private employers from using the lie detector tests on the employees during the course of the employment or pre-employment screening. There are several prohibitions and exemptions under this act and wherever this is permitted there they will have strict standards. So, if you are an employer or employee you must know this act.

Some of the prohibitions of this act are:

  • The employers shouldn’t request the employee or the applicant of the job to take this lie detector test.
  • Employers shouldn’t form disciplining, discharging or discriminating against the employee or the expected employee who refuse to take the test or those who exercise other rights under this act.

Exemptions of employee polygraph act:

  • However, state, federal and local governments are not effected by this law.
  • This law is not applicable to the tests given by federal government to some private individuals who are involved in national security related activities or handling drugs or for investigating theft or other suspected crime.
  • This act will permit the test to be apply in private sectors, to some expected employees of the firms related to security services and to pharmaceutical distributors, manufacturers and dispensers.
  • This act will allow testing, subject to restrictions of some employees who are involved n the workplace theft, embezzlement etc. which results in the loss of employer economically.

Rights of the examinee
As said above, the lie detector tests can be permitted for the jobs that are related to security or investigating theft cases etc. But, there are strict standards in conducting the test and on the length of the test. Here, the examinee has the few rights in taking this test. Some of them are listed below.

  • They have the right to a written notice before testing.
  • They have the right to refuse the test.
  • Right for discontinuing the test in the middle or at any time.
  • Right in not having the test results for disclosing the test results to unauthorized persons.
  • Right to be asked questions in such a way that it is not degrading.

But, if any one violates this act, they will be subjected to penalties by the secretary of labor by bringing the court actions on the violators. Here, there is also a right for the employees or the job applicants to bring their own court actions on the violators. So, if you are an employee or a job applicant know your rights and move forward.
Read the rest of this entry »


Hardscape Choices in Your Landscape Design

Outdoor living needs a good landscape design. To add beauty to your outdoor landscape you can make use of hardscape designs. There are various hardscape choices available for your landscape and here we have listed out few of them. Many people are not aware of this hardscape designs, so to make them conscious we came up with this article which gives them information regarding four different types of hardscape choices.

Traditional hardscape
In previous days, traditional hardscapes surfaces were laid with materials like concrete, wood, etc. Most people prefer using old and simple methods and for them, choosing this kind of traditional hardscape is good. For this traditional landscape you can make use of hard stone choices like concrete. This gives your landscape a simple look. These traditional hardscapes are strong enough for walking or standing. To give your landscape a traditional look you can choose this hardscape.

Soft hardscape
Soft hardscapes can be laid with the several choices of mulch or gravel stone materials. These stones are available in various colors and sizes and give stylish look to your landscape based on the size and color you have chosen. This gravel or mulch can be complimented with other stones like marble, glass mulch etc. Today most people are preferring this soft hardscape designs because of their unique look.

Mixed hardscape
Name itself is saying that, it is a combination of two types of hardscapes i.e., traditional hardscape is intertwined with the soft hardscape. Mixed hardscapes look more attractive as they are combination of two hardscapes. These can be created with hard stones choices along with gravel, or mulch. You can combine this both hardscapes in many ways, if you want to give more of decorative look to your landscape then, this can be done with soft hardscape materials of various colors, sizes and materials.

Green landscape
As most of the hardscapes are for garden side, green hardscape is more natural for your landscape design. Green hardscapes can be made by combining the stone with the small plants. Use stones like concrete in your landscape and leave the space in between the stones where soil is exposed and plant small grass or small plants in that little space left out. People looking for natural landscape designs can use this green hardscapes.

These are various types of hardscape choices available for your landscape design. So, choose the one according to your landscape needs.
Read the rest of this entry »


How to Reduce the HTTP Requests to Minimize the Page Loading Time?

The loading speed of a website depends on many factors and HTTP request is one of them. HTTP requests are made, when the browser requests the objects of the web page such as images, videos, flash files, CSS, etc. More number of requests reduces the speed or loading time of the website that is leading to the downtime. So, in order to reduce the downtime of the website and to speedup the loading speed we need to minimize the HTTP requests. So, do you want to know the ways to reduce the HTTP requests? Then, read this article.

There are three popular ways to reduce the HTTP requests from a web page and increase the speed of the website. This improves the overall performance of the website. Make sure to take the following steps:

1. Reduce the no. of images
2. Combine CSS files
3. Combine javascript files

Reduce the number of images
If your website is having many images in the theme then, it becomes complicated by increasing the size of image files. Each image in the web page is counted as one HTTP request so, as the no. of images increases the HTTP requests also increases affecting the loading time of the page. However, there is a way through which you can combine all the images and load as one file through CSS spriting or through image maps.

Here, the background images are combined into single background image. Here the size of the image remains same but, reduces the no. of HTTP requests increasing the speed. To perform this step you need to take the help of the developer. You can also remove the images which are not visible to the users and which are unnecessary from loading to make it more reliable and to reduce the loading speed.

Combine CSS files
Reducing the CSS files and combining it in to one file is a easy task. Just find out the CSS files in your coding and combine them in to one normal CSS file by copying the contents of all those files in one. Though you combine all the CSS files into one file the content will be the same without any changes.

Combine javascript files
Combining the js files is a difficult task to perform. You can try combining all the js files into a single js file and referencing that file in your web page with the help of some developer. You can also use some plugins to perform this task. But, performing this task manually is good because this will reduce the number of plugins in your website.

These three ways will have huge impact in increasing the loading speed of a website and you can also use CDN to improve the speed.
Read the rest of this entry »


OSHA: Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) for Fire Hazards

The probability of occurrence of fire at a workplace can be minimized to a considerable extent if some proper preliminary steps are taken. These steps will ensure that the conditions suitable for a fire hazard do not arise at a workplace. This is the basic objective of a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP). Just as in case with an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), OSHA does not mandate all the employers to have a FPP at workplace though it strongly recommends them to have one. OSHA only mandates employers to have a FPP if they are covered by any OSHA standard that requires a FPP. OSHA standards that require a FPP are as follows:

  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Methylenedianiline
  • 1,3-Butadiene

When it comes to the communication of a FPP to all the employees, it is always preferable to have a written and documented FPP that can be put up at the workplace for the employee review. If the number of employees is 10 or less, then the FPP can be communicated orally. However, as stated earlier, it is always preferred to have a written and documented FPP. When the number of employees is more than 10, then a written and documented FPP is mandatory that can be put at the workplace for employee review.

Features of a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP)
While an EAP is concerned with the plans and procedures for the safety and evacuation of the employees and have to be executed after the hazard has taken place, a FPP is a set of plans and preparations that will inhibit any such actions and circumstances that can potentially lead to a fire hazard. FPP also concerns with maintenance of tools necessary to counter a hazard after it has occurred. Features of a FPP are as follows:

  • It should provide procedures for storage and cleanup of flammable materials and waste.
  • It should also provide handling and packaging of flammable waste like paper. Such inflammable waste materials are encouraged to recycle.
  • Sources that can ignite a workplace like welding, burning and smoking should be covered with proper procedures.
  • Proper procedures for cleaning and maintenance of heat producing equipment like ovens, stoves, geysers etc. should be addressed and flammable objects should be kept and stored away from such sources.
  • Workers should be trained and informed about the potential fire hazards of their job and the plans and procedures to counter them.
  • The plan should be kept for review and should be reviewed in case new employees join the firm or the plan is changed.

Read the rest of this entry »


Regenerative Braking System of an Automobile – Pros and Cons

Regenerative braking system can be mostly found in electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles. Its main objective is to recapture the energy produced when brakes are applied. The electric motor used to drive the engine plays a major role during braking operation. When the brake pedal is pressed, the regenerative braking circuit switches the electric motor operates in reverse to charge the battery, when driver applies the brake.

In this article, we are going to discuss regenerative system in an automobile and the pros and cons. Most common form of regenerative brake technology reprocess an electric motor as a generator, this is the main reason, why regenerative brakes are found in hybrid and electric vehicles.

During normal operation, the electric motor draws power from the battery and uses it to move the vehicle. When the brake pedal is pressed, the electric motor is able to reverse this process and feed electricity back into the battery. This process will help charge the battery without any plug-ins in an electric vehicle, which results in increasing the efficiency of the vehicle. In traditional set of brake shoes or calipers clamp can decrease a vehicles wheel rotation. Due to this lots of friction and energy is released in the form of heat. That energy goes to waste. The regenerative braking can be 90% efficient to capture the kinetic energy and can convert it to electric energy.

Regenerative brakes can effectively convert kinetic energy into electricity, they are able to slow a vehicle down at the same interval. The main issue with a regenerative braking system, they don’t work well at low speeds as they do at high speeds.

Pros and cons of a regenerative barking system

  • The advantages of regenerative braking are you will notice better fuel economy, reduce in carbon dioxide emission and also they are saving energy.The electric motor works in reverse during regenerative braking.
  • The electric motor act as a generator to recharge batteries with the energy that would normally be lost, when you press the brake pedal.
  • The main problem with the regenerative braking is it still relies on friction braking system.
  • For example, the effect of regenerative braking system decreases at lower speeds. For this a friction brake is required to bring the vehicle to a complete rest.
  • Friction braking system is required along with regenerative brakes in case of regenerative system failure.

Regenerative braking system should be developed in compressed air cars. Compressed air cars have a similarity with the electric vehicles with zero emissions. Compressed air engines also reduce the cost of vehicle production by around 20 per cent as there is no need for a fuel tank, cooling system, spark plugs or silencers. By installing regenerative system the efficiency of the car also increases.

There’s still room for improvement with regenerative braking.In near by feature we can see more efficient regenerative system.
Read the rest of this entry »