There are many different variations of equipment in my work area. One of these include the fax machine, this is mainly used for sending documents instantly to another fax machine through a standard telephone line. Most fax machines can also be used to make copies of documents and some can also be used as a computer, printer and scanner. Within my office the other types of office equipment are, telephone, printer, computer, laminator and photocopier.The features of the fax machine include speed; fax machines can transit a documents data at various rates of speed. This ranges from 4,800 bps to 28,800 bps. It takes a 9,600 bps machine about 10 to 20 seconds to send one page. It also includes a printer. Early fax machines generally used direct thermal printers, but over the past ten years inkjet printers have also become popular. Colour fax machines can only transmit to machines that are made by the same manufacturer. If the fax machine uses rolls of thermal paper it should come with a paper cutter.
Most models come with some form of paper feed so you can transmit multiple page documents without having to feed each page into the machine one by one. Also most fax machines come with a wide variety of dialling features. Some of them let you send the fax at a specific time of the day when the telephone rates are lower. There are many other time saving and easy to use features on fax machines such as redialling, caller ID, speed dial, contrast settings, distinctive ringing, fax forwarding, size reduction and resolution settings. I just use this to fax patient’s information to their local doctors and just do a copy of something that doesn’t need to be copied by a big industrial photocopier.
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The computers have lots of important features. A lot of confidential information and documents are kept safe in protected electronic files on the computer such as PAS (patient attendance system). We also have intranet, which I mostly use to access email and employee online. The computers have a mouse and a keyboard; they also have a card slot, which you can use to put a Smartcard in. In my line of work I do not use this, it is generally used by admin staff that need to access patient information. We also have an electronic time sheet on the intranet on which I can request annual leave and put my hours a day in. Microsoft Word is also on the computers, which I use to type up references/application forms usually but I also use Microsoft word in training for my NVQ course work.
There is also a printer, which I just use to print off application letters and reference forms mostly. The printer is in the office where I work, me and my supervisor have a printer each so we can both print different documents at the same time.
One of the features includes picking up the telephone when it rings, or my supervisor isn’t available usually on the phone it is a voluntary enquiry or a present volunteer phoning to let us know if they can’t make a shift etc. Also other members of staff ring. To make an external call I press 9 then I dial the number, internal calls are simpler all I need to do is dial the number.
A scanner is an input device that scans documents such as photographs and pages of text. When a document is scanned, it is converted into digital format. This creates an electronic version of the document that can be viewed and edited on a computer. In my job I don’t use a scanner, I use a photocopier instead because I find them much easier to use and it is closer to the voluntary services office.
Different types of equipment are chosen for different tasks to make tasks easier and more efficient. For example, the big industrial photocopier is an essential piece of equipment and very practical. This is located in the photo copying room on the first floor next to the general office. If the photocopier breaks down I get a member of staff from the general office to come and see if they can fix it. If not they ring the photocopying company and someone comes to fix it.
It is important to follow manufacturers instructions for your own safety and protect your product or purchase. Some instructions are in warning form while others are on how to use the product. Warning instructions are like ‘do not place in contact with fire’ this is because the product is flammable and not following this instruction can cause an explosion resulting to injuries. Manufacturers include instructions in their products having consumer safety in mind. Not following instructions can have devastating consequences.
An individual may also lose valid information especially if dealing with complex products such as computers. For example, if I was to use the photocopier and it had black smears all over the page, I would follow the photocopiers instructions step by step. After doing this, if the problem still occurred I would go to the general office and explain to them the problem I am having. If a member of staff in the general office cannot solve the problem, then they would contact someone who could fix the problem. The purpose of following organisational instructions when using equipment can be to give a good and positive image.
For example, the organisational instruction when answering a telephone is to say ‘Voluntary Services’ in a kind manner, it is important to make the caller feel comfortable. It is also important to use organisational procedures such as the photocopier as it ensures me that I won’t damage or cause any faults with the equipment. If a fault does occur, I know that it is something to do with the equipment and it isn’t anything that I’ve done. Also, by following the basic guidance I will not do anything that may harm me or others around and the equipment will last longer.
There are many different types of procedures for different kinds of equipment. You must learn the procedures of your specific location and equipment by reading instructions, attending a training class if needed, or receiving instructions from your supervisor or another designated person. Some health and safety procedures when using equipment include things such as do not have ant liquids near any electrical equipment as this could cause people to be electrocuted and this could cause the equipment to blow up. Other health and safety procedures include turning off all the equipment off at the main switch so that the equipment doesn’t overheat over night. In the coffee shops, we have to make sure we all do this to reduce the risk of fires.
The purpose of following health and safety procedures when using equipment is to avoid injury or in some cases death, it is necessary to follow all applicable health and safety procedures when using any sort of equipment. Some of the points when you follow the correct procedures include;
- To stay healthy and safe
- To prevent or at least limit harm to humans
- To protect equipment and facilities
- To get the most accurate results from the equipment
- To extend the life of the researches and the equipment.
When using equipment it is important to maintain it and keep it clean to prolong the life of the machine and for you to get the most out of it. Cleaning your equipment after use can lead to less problems and increased efficiency. It is also courteous to clean something after you have used it to make it ready for the next user. Regularly cleaning the equipment can mean that it will last longer and save you money as well as producing a higher quality result. For example, if you did not clean a photocopier glass then you could end up with smear marks all over your work.
An example of waste when using equipment in the office is when most employees will leave the computer on standby all night. However, even though it is on standby it is still using electricity and this is waste and they can easily just shut it down. Other examples of waste when using equipment include; Pieces of paper being printed incorrectly
- Bits of paper that have been cut with the guillotine
- Old documents that are not needed anymore
- Ink cartridges and toners
One of the best ways to reduce waste in the workplace is to reduce the amount of waste that is generated to begin with. The paper that has incorrect printings on them should always be recycled, we also photocopy double sided which doesn’t use as much paper which means if something is copied incorrectly not as much waste is produced.
Waste in the workplace implies that something is discarded that has a cost to it, for example, office supplied, food etc. Because these items cost money, by minimizing waste, you are minimizing expenses. We reuse folders and envelopes if we can so then we won’t have to buy them as often which would save money.
- Some examples of office equipment problems include;
- Paper jams
- Electrical faults
- Ink cartridge/ toner failure
- Computer lead fault
- Faulty telephone line
- Button jam
These may occur with photocopiers, printers, fax machines, computers, telephones and scanners. The purpose of following manufacturer’s instructions and organisational procedures when dealing with problems with equipment is so that I ensure that I am not making the problem worse and to make sure that I also don’t damage the equipment by trying to fix the problem myself. I also follow manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that I don’t create any further problems in the future. By making sure that I follow instructions and procedures correctly, I know that the equipment should perform at its best when I have finished dealing with the problem and the equipment is working again.
If I have a problem with any piece of equipment such as the computer when I’ve switched it on as normal the most common problem is when it tells me to strike ‘F1’ which as happened to me many of times before windows loads up correctly and still happens, when I do strike F1 the computer loads fine though.
The purpose of meeting work standards and deadlines when using equipment saves money, cuts cost and saves time. Also it is to ensure that I don’t waste or delay other peoples working time by taking a large amount of time with equipment. The importance of meeting deadlines has far reaching consequences in organisations; it also shows that I am competent and reliable when using office equipment. When I know that I will be using the photocopier for a long time I let my supervisor know so he can see if there is anything else needed copying, doing this will save making two trips and will not waste any time. If someone needed to photocopy something urgently, then I would let them go in front of me before I start to do my task that I have been set to do.
The purpose of leaving equipment and the work area for the next user is to make sure that the documents do not get mixed up as they could be confidential information written in the documents. An example of this would be if I accidently left some documents around the photocopier that no one should have access to and one of my colleagues prints a lot of documents off too, they may get mixed up and picked up by mistake.
It is also really unfair to leave working areas and equipment untidy on other colleagues as I would be leaving them to tidy up my mess that wasn’t mine, which could result in wasting other people’s time. For example, if the photocopier had ran out of paper after I’d finished with it and I opened a new bag of paper and left the empty bag, someone else would have to dispose of this. The purpose of leaving work areas tidy is also for the health and safety of me and others; leaving things on the floor or not placing things back in their correct places may result in injury if someone slips or trips and falls on someone etc.
Depending on what the task is to be done, I would choose the equipment appropriate for the task. If I was asked to organise the rotas out for the following week I would need to use the telephone to get in contact with volunteers to see who would be available and willing to come in to do a shift.
If you don’t follow manufacture’s and organisational guidelines while using equipment, whatever guarantees or warranties will become null and void, and if you damage the equipment you will have to replace it out of your own pocket. Following organisational guidelines when using equipment is for the employees health and safety and to know what to do in certain situations.
One of the best ways to reduce waste in the workplace is to reduce the waste generated in the first place. Regular maintenance of equipment helps minimise wastes since it makes the machine last for long. Preventive maintenance keeps the machines in good working order and eliminates the chances of throwing a way parts every now and then. When it comes to using and printing paper, use scrap pieces of paper rather than post it notes and print double sided to save more paper when printing.
It is important to maintain your equipment and keep it clean to prolong the life of the machine and for you to get the most use out of it. Cleaning your equipment after use can lead to less problems and increased efficiency. It is also courteous to clean something after you have used it to make it ready for the next user. Regularly cleaning equipment can mean that it will last you longer and save you money as well as producing a higher quality result. For example if you did not clean a photocopier glass then you could end up with smear marks on your work.
When dealing with equipment problems, you need to take the correct action to fix the problem as quickly and safely as possible. If you follow manufacturer’s instructions then this will show you the best way to solve a problem and when the problem should be dealt with by a technician. If you do not follow these then you could cause more harm than good and further damage to the equipment. If you have been found to do this then it might invalidate your warranty and you will have to pay for a replacement.
Organisational procedures are there to protect the health and safety of all workers and make sure that the problems are dealt with by the appropriate person. If you do not follow these then you could hurt yourself or others and get into trouble at work. Both these procedures are put in place to keep you safe and to solve problems quickly and effectively.
If there were any problems required that i couldn’t solve myself, I would go to my supervisor for help. You would also then phone IT on the 4 digit extension number if it was something to do with the computer or fax machine. If it was the telephone or any other equipment then you would phone Estates on the 4 digit extension number and they would come out as soon as they could to deal with the problem. I make sure that all the final products meets and agreed requirements as it shows I am to follow all instructions properly and that I listen to what I am being asked to do to ensure that I complete my work tasks to the very best of my ability.
I make sure that product is delivered to the agreed timescale because if I don’t complete a task in the time I have been given by my colleague or supervisor then this could result in my colleague or supervisor not being able to complete the rest of the task that they asked me to do part of. It also shows that I am reliable and my colleagues may then be confident that they then can give me more tasks to do for them and complete the task in time for them to carry it on. I always make sure that all equipment resources and work areas are clean and tidy ready for the next user so that it makes their time more efficient and so that it doesn't cause them to run behind with certain tasks they are set to do.
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