Health and Safety: How Messy is your Floor Box?

What would prompt any business to decide that a health check or even a simple desk tidy is a good idea?

Just a quick glance around your office may identify tangled wires and cables.  Are your floor boxes looking more like rubbish bins?

With a recent spate of enquires leading us to complete a number of under desk cable management projects for new clients we have been amazed at the contents of the average floor box.  The obvious fire hazards alone have made us shake our heads in amazement, aside from the damage caused to plugs, jacks and cables by stray objects.

But what are the wider implications of neglecting your workstations?  What are the health and safety issues that prompt ACCL to be called in to resolve such issues?

We have identified some areas of concern from the projects that we have recently been involved in but is there any other legislation under health and safety that could be posing potential problems?

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Wi-Fi Has Its Pluses and Minuses Over Copper

The Wi-Fi standard of network connectivity/communication is governed by the  802 working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE  802). Wi-Fi allows users to access your company or home network wirelessly.  Before the implementation of Wi-Fi, the only way to connect to a network was by  using copper wires. There are a variety of benefits and hazards that must be  considered before rolling out full wireless network access.

Plus: Enhanced Mobility

Laptop and notebook computers allow users to move around easily. Add in a  Wi-Fi connection, and they can stay connected to the network as long as they  have enough signal strength. This means your users can be online while eating  lunch while enjoying the sunshine outside. It also means that a user can stay  connected while carrying his or her laptop or notebook from the office to the  conference room.

Plus: No Wires to Trip Over or Limit Computer Placement

Wires are hazardous. You can roll over them with your chair and ruin them.  You can trip over them while carrying an arm load of papers from the printer to  your desk. This can be painful and injurious to both people and equipment.  Damaging equipment by yanking a wire caught under your foot is a common  occurrence. Also, using a wireless card in a desktop computer frees you from the  bondage of having to plug into a wall outlet

Plus: Add Users Without Adding Cable Runs

One of the biggest expenses when expanding the size of your network is adding  locations where users can connect to the network. In a network running a  traditional copper infrastructure, this means calling in a contractor to pull  and terminate cables. With a wireless network, it consists of installing a  wireless adapter card in the computer and supplying the user with an access key  and the name of the network being connected to.

Minus: Slower Network Speeds

Networks that are compliant with the latest cabling standard (Category 6/6  Augmented) are capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 10 Gigabit. The  previous standard, Cat 5e, is capable of Gigabit speeds. This is almost ten  times as fast as wireless networks, which are capable of a maximum of 150  Megabits. What this means is that if you will be transferring large data files  over the network, you would be better served by a wired network. However, there  aren’t many network interface controllers in use that are capable of these  speeds yet, especially when it comes to laptop computers.

Minus: Network Security Is Weaker on a Wireless Network

Anyone with a wireless adapter and computer or a Wi-Fi-enabled device, such  as an iPhone, can receive the wireless signal propagated by your network’s  wireless access points and routers. There are ways to enhance the security of a  network based upon wireless technology, but these aren’t fool-proof and can  actually be broken quite easily by someone who has the right knowledge and  desire. Network security in a wired network isn’t bullet-proof, either, but the  tools available much more robust and will keep out all but the most determined  of hackers. Also, they have to breach your security normally from the Internet,  which usually means multiple layers of security. Once the security of a wireless  network has been breached, that person is inside your network with the same  access as an authorized user. Typically, someone breaking in to your network  from the Internet has to breach that security and then be able to breach the  security between subnets as well.

With 25 year experience in putting together structured cabling project cost  for our client’s, Wayne Connors & ACCL offers you a free project cost  estimator download. Paired with our Technical Proposal tender document for Data  Cabling installation eBooks- you can save thousands! All aspects of your next  tender proposal are included.

Thanks for reading our articles and hurry over to get your free project cost  estimator: http://www.accl-ltd.com

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