New Manufacturing Guidelines for Window Blind Safety

Three new European Standards have been announced which will help manufacturers in the improvement of internal window blinds safety. These standards are particularly aimed towards reducing the risk of accidents which are associated with the cords utilized for window blind operation.

The reason behind the development of these latest European Standards for internal window blinds was due to a request made by the European Commission issued on September 4, 2012 — Standardized Mandate 505. The CEN Technical Board accepted this request in October 2012, this was done with a sense of urgency after there had been reports of young children undergoing fatal accidents die to strangulation by the cords which hung loosely. New products are able to apply these solutions the CEN defined as can blinds which have already been installed.

CEN released the following three new European Standards today:

• Internal Blinds — Requirements for Performance Which Include Safety (EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.)
• Internal Blinds — Test Methods for Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16433:2014)
• Internal Blinds — Test Methods and requirements for Forms for Safety Device Methods Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16434:2014)

The European Commission will now be offered the standards to be referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, this way the products that are manufactured adhering to these standards are able to benefit from the EU’s Directive on General Product Safety´s `presumption of conformity.´

The updated European Standards for internal window blinds were created by the Working Group for ´Blinds and Shutters’ of the Technical Committee at CEN (CEN/TC 33/WG 3) on `windows, doors, building hardware, shutters and curtain walling. The Working Group were able to benefit for the experts who participated and represented the manufacturers and testing laboratories for window blinds, as well as from ANEC nominated child safety experts who are the voice in standardization for the European consumer. There have also been benefits for CEN form the close cooperation provided by Australian, Canadian and American product safety regulators, towards the framework of an Pilot Alignment Initiative that is International and on the Safety of Window Coverings that are Corded.

Patio Blinds

The new standards will also cover the highly popular outdoor patio blinds and zip screens. Sydney outdoor blinds will need to be fitted with the same safety mechanisms.

Today on February, 19 the CEN Members will be provided with the new European Standards. Over the following six months, these will also be implemented, meaning published by all CEB members, signifying the thirty three European countries National Standard Bodies that include all EFTA and EU Member States — in accordance to the Internal Regulations provided by CEN. These European Standards may also be translated by CEN Members into the national languages of each of their countries.

The previously existing internal blinds requirements are amended by EN 13120:2009+A1:2014 including safety and published on 2009, these specify the requirements which should be fulfilled by internal blinds when they are being fit in a building. Being as the scope of this text is considerably extended by the amendment, it not only covers roller blinds, pleated blinds, venetian blinds and vertical blinds — but also Roman shades, panel blinds, roll-up blinds, honeycomb blinds, Australian/Festoon blinds and plantation shutters. The clause of `protection from strangulation´ is also significantly expanded to address specific hazards that cords pose.

Internal Blinds — Test Methods for Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16433:2014) is a new standard in which test methods that are able to be used to make certain that window blinds conform the related requirements which are specified in EN 13129 in relation to `protection from strangulation´ are specified

Internal Blinds — Test Methods and requirements for Forms for Safety Device Methods Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16434:2014) is a new standard in which requirements and test methods are specified for safety devices which are able to improve the safety associated with window blinds as well as prevent accidents from occurring. These safety devices are able to be fitted to window blinds through the process of manufacturing or they may also be retrofitted to a window blind that has already been installed.

Synthetic Grass Manufacturing Selection Process

Many factories throughout China have been turning to artificial turf production as it gains extreme popularity in western nations like Australia. Australian cities like Perth in particular have been turning to artificial grass because of their harsh climate.

fake grass in Perth

Choosing the best artificial turf Perth, that resembles natural grass, can be intimidating. We have however outlined some factors you should look for when shopping for this artificial grass.

1. Check out its color
Synthetic grass comes in varying colors, which is the reason you need to pick yours very carefully. Unlike natural grass that shapes itself, you need to choose a color that will blend in with other natural shades in the homestead. It is however advisable to choose a green shade that resembles the natural beauty of living grass. There are synthetic grass variables that incorporate green and dried grass for a more realistic look and feel.

2. Distinguish between different artificial grass varieties
Just like natural grass, synthetic grass is available in various types and quality. The differences mostly come in the shapes of the grass blades, length, and grass types. The most commonly mimicked grass in this area are buffalo and couch grass types. In your selection process, consider choosing synthetic grass that resembles natural grass already in your lawn, or its surroundings. This will at least make it look realistic and very hard for visitors to notice it is synthetic. Understanding which grass types to use during cool or warm climate is a plus as well.

3. The grass’ Look and feel
Most people tend to overlook this factor and buy just any synthetic lawn they can find. You however shouldn’t make such a mistake but buy what you really wish for in your lawn. Synthetic lawn comes in two forms, the springy (just as natural grass) and firm grass. The two types of lawn are designed for a reason. The springy synthetic grass, for example, emulates natural grass and is great to lie on, or for children to play on. The tough grass however is for lawns that are rarely used, and whose main purpose is to keep the surrounding neat.

Choosing the right synthetic grass for your needs
Some people buy synthetic grass to help beautify their lawn and reduce the manual work required to maintain natural grass while others buy the springy natural grass as it feels great under the feet. While shopping for this grass type, look for the variety that can last a minimum of 10 years, and one that is easy to install. These are some of the many factors and features one should consider when looking for synthetic lawn to buy. Of course, your budget will dictate what type of lawn you will be able to buy. If you are working with a limited budget, some window-shopping will be required to find dealers who sell high-quality grass and at reasonable prices.

Manufacturing and Your Online Presence

I remember back in the 90s when trade shows were quite robust. They were the spine of the B2B industry, not only for Manufacturing, but the wider B2B community.

Enter: The Internet

It’s taken a lot longer for the manufacturing industry to catch on to online communication and social networking when compared to other industries. I’m not quite sure why that is but you can see by the outdated 90s’esque websites littered throughout the manufacturing sector that, not a lot of investment has been thrown into this area.

Here’s 3 Ways You can bring your Manufacturing Company into the Social Age:


This is perhaps the most important of the social profiles for manufacturers in the B2B sector. If your BDM is not active on LinkedIN, then something is up. You need to have 1 or two guys on Premium, sending INMail to potential customers, generating new business, if they don’t reply, your INMail gets credited back to you.


Google is still, and will be for many years to come, the most frequently used online resource for Searching for things online. If your site is not on page #1, then it might as well not exist. Robyn from Robyn Archer SEO Sydney says “it’s really easy to la the foundations for SEO without too much investment, you can really start to see some excellent visibility in your industry”.

Update: People need to be wary about the current SEO landscape as there is always updates in the algorithm, the best way to make sure you are safe is to be natural and don’t over-do your SEO. Hire a Sydney SEO Consultant that knows how to market your content appropriately.

Email Marketing

Perhaps the most cost effective and highest ROI is something that nobody does.


I don’t mean to get snarkey but if you had a list 3,000 potential customers who you could email at will about your new products or new technologies.

Australia Needs More Innovation

We haven’t seen it since the Industrial Revolution; however once again, although technological capacity increases have led to increased productivity, they have not necessarily resulted in the average income and employment.

We cannot ignore that the nature of manufacturing is changing thanks to the development of 3-D printing and robotics. The challenge is to make use of these advantages in ways that, instead of shrinking wealth and jobs, they generate them.

In addition, as Glenn Stevens (governor of the Reserve Bank) has warned repeatedly, focus needs to be placed on accelerating growth in the non-mining sectors.

Two reminders of this have come up recently in the steep fall in the iron ore price, and the introduction of the Global Innovation Index. This demonstrates that although there has been improvement, Australia continues to lag behind OECD countries when it comes to providing an innovative environment.

Both of these examples are significant signs towards the future of Australia’s economic framework.

In order to secure an economic future for this country, we need to find ways to ensure that other sectors, beside mining, are able to flourish, particularly the manufacturing sector.

Accounting for nearly a quarter of all business expenditure on research and development, manufacturing in Australia employs almost a million people. This sector is both the fourth largest contributor to our gross domestic product and the fourth largest employer in the country.

Manufacturing industries contribute triple the the industry value added by fishing, forestry and agriculture combined.

Australia’s economic circumstances are ignored in the debate around whether the country needs a manufacturing industry. Australia will continue to be at the mercy of fluctuating commodity prices without its own strong manufacturing sector. The answer is to build an economic base that is as diverse as possible, and focus on innovation.

An innovation agenda is a crucial inclusion in the economic framework of any 21st-century government. In order to boost innovation in Australia, there are a range of measures that need to be taken, including considering the possibilities of crowd-funding and entrepreneur’s visa, as well as sectoral approaches.

It is important to clarify that a national innovation agenda does not mean awarding subsidies to companies with no consideration for their performance; it means providing companies with a strong incentive that will motivate them to become more competitive and innovative. This will give Australian companies a competitive advantage worldwide as international governments bring in policies that are designed to attract new investment while building new capabilities and maintaining vital industries.

In addition to this, there is recognition worldwide that developing capabilities in technology, mathematics, engineering and science is key to growth; yet, despite this, the Australian government is proposing to shift the cost of degrees in these subjects to the the students instead of increasing their public investment in STEM as other countries are doing.

Although Australia is ranked 17th in the Global Innovation Index, out of the 143 economics measured, we are ranked at 73 for the percentage of the population who are engineering and science graduates.

Don’t Let Your Manufacturing Project Get You in Debt

Everyone runs across a time or a situation where they need money that they don’t have. It could be that a new piece of factory equipment that was unexpected came up, or it could be that you need money to repair existing production equipment. Sometimes you just don’t have enough, and this is where the idea to get a short term cash loan can begin to seem pretty appealing. The trouble is that fast cash loans can often be more trouble than the immediate coverage that they offer.

Before you get a loan you should checkout the list of available government grants – sometimes you can find something that applies to your industry.


Beware of Short Term Cash Loans

Short term cash loans, also known as payday loans, can be dangerous to under take. The average person can get trapped in a cycle easily of relying on these loans or not being able to pay them back on time. Once you take out a loan, the entire amount of that loan is owed when you get your paycheck. The loans can be for small amounts, but those who take out the loans are already in need of the money. When the money is due, that comes out of their paycheck and they have to also pay their living expenses for the month. Often times, borrowing one time to handle an emergency or need leads to having to borrow again to make up for what they took on loan. The cycle gets worse when you use more than one loan store and can end up being very difficult to break out of.

Consumer advocacy groups often talk about fast cash loans bad credit in a negative light due to the fees and high interest rates associated with them. Consumers may get charged high fees for anything from loan extension to check cashing fees. The high rates can often end up costing more than the loan itself. This can be avoided by saving up a certain amount and having at least $500 or more on hand to help you out in an emergency situation. An emergency fund will serve the same purpose that a short term loan store will and can save you all the nasty fees and interest of a third party. There are also other options available, such as borrowing from a relative or going to your local credit union to see what options for a loan are available to you.

Do the best that you can to avoid having to take these short term cash loans by going over your essential expenses every month. When you cover the basics, you can put the rest of your money aside to paying the loans to get out of them or saving towards an emergency funds. Try to set aside extra money so that you don’t have to get a short term loan, and everything that comes along with it. Even if you must change over to a credit card, it’s a better option than a short term loan if you’re looking to build towards financial stability.


Manufacturing Asbestos Management Plans

Every workplace having identified asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) is required by law to have a written plan for its maintenance in such a way that there is no release of asbestos fibres. Written specific to a portion of the facility or the entire facility, the asbestos management plan (AMP) should also contain response procedures for any possible episodes of asbestos fibre release. Details of materials assumed to contain asbestos by the asbestos assessor are also to be included in the plan, unless they have been tested and proven to be safe. An asbestos management plan is not required for domestic premises. For more info on developing your plan (for Victorian companies) visit


Everyone in the building must be aware of the presence of asbestos which must be clearly labelled and signs posted. They should also know the consequences of asbestos exposure and appropriate control measures required.

Aim of the plan: To prevent exposure of staff and site visitors to airborne asbestos fibres. To achieve this, it should contain information on what will be done – when and how the asbestos is going to be managed. The plan must be updated regularly to keep the information current. The plan should be maintained by a person who has management and control of the workplace.

What it must contain?

There are clear guidelines as to what is contained in an asbestos management plan. The law specifies that an AMP must contain:

  • The workplace’s asbestos register. This document records each and every occurrence of asbestos or ACM throughout the building.
  • Details on any maintenance or service work done. This includes details on what was done, who did the work, when it was done and any necessary clearance certificates.
  • Safe work procedures, control measures and procedure for handling accidents or emergencies involving asbestos.
  • Information and training arrangements for workers and contractors who carry out work involving ACM.
  • Clear-cut division of responsibilities for each person included in the asbestos management.
  • Air monitoring procedure, if required.
  • An action time table which includes priorities and risk assessment review dates.
  • Any special circumstance which might affect the time table.
  • Procedure and time table for review and update of the management plan as well as the asbestos register.
  • Details and costs of asbestos removal as well as any contractor details.

Review of AMP

The AMP must be reviewed and revised at least once in five years or when:

  • There is a control measure or a review of the asbestos register.
  • There is any disturbance, removal, sealing or enclosing of asbestos at the workplace.
  • The plan proves to be inadequate for asbestos management at a future date.
  • A review is requested by a health and safety representative if they feel that the health and safety of any member of the work force is affected or that the AMP was not reviewed adequately.


Access to the AMP

The person responsible for maintaining the AMP must ensure that it is kept at the workplace and is easily accessible to:

  • Any worker, who has worked, is working or intends to work at the facility.
  • All health and safety representatives who represent those workers.
  • A person conducting a business who might work at the workplace or require work to be carried out at the workplace.

For more info on asbestos testing Brisbane cost for your Manufacturing business please visit the Asbestos Clear website.

Car Manufacturing Dies a Slow Death

As Holden announces this week it’s closure, it puts another nail in the coffin of a dying car manufacturing sector.

Months after Ford announced it would be shutting the doors on it’s Australian-based manufacturing operation, Holden decided to call it quits.

One thing is for certain – Bathurst will never be the same.


Ford Australia left many punters devastated a few months ago at news it was closing down it’s Aussie operations. Here is the video of the announcement.