Safety in the Lab – Essential Equipment You Need

Safety in the Lab – Essential Equipment You Need

Any laboratory that practises good safety will take care to ensure it has the right equipment on hand at all times.

No matter the industry – pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial engineering or food production – the same safety precautions must be taken to create a safe, productive and enjoyable working environment for all.

Below are some of the main safety clothing and equipment that should be found in most laboratories. Though the needs and requirements of labs will vary, many of these will lend themselves to a variety of processes and uses.

The equipment can be roughly categorised into three groups:

–          General PPE (used daily)

–          General purpose equipment

–          Specialised equipment, if required.

General PPE

  1. Safety shoes/boots        Safety shoes or boots are used for a number of reasons in the lab.

First, they improve grip performance on the lab floor, helping to avoid slips and trips.

Second, they protect the feet against falling heavy or sharp objects, which would otherwise puncture normal shoes.

Safety boots incorporate protective toe caps as well as other protective features such as slip-resistant soles and insulation against extremes. Safety shoes, meanwhile, incorporate protective toe caps like boots but are available metal-free as “composite footwear”. This makes them much more lightweight.

There are many different types of safety shoes on the market, which can make choosing the right ones overwhelming. However, all in all, safety shoes must:

–          Meet the legal requirements

–          Be the correct type for the task or worker

–          Be sued or worn correctly by all staff required.

Safety shoes ideally need to be slip-resistant, avoid static build-up and suit the main contaminants and surfaces in your workplace.

  1.    Safety Glasses/Goggles

Safety glasses and goggles protect against foreign objects that may splash into the eye, as well as cuts and scrapes to the cornea.

Some of the most common workplace injuries happen to the eyes, 90% of which could be easily avoided by the correct safety eyewear being worn.

The most common types of eye injury include splashes from grease and oil; burns from steam; ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure, and flying wood or metal chips.

Also, some lab staff may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure.

Types of safety eyewear include:

–          Safety glasses with side shields (worn in areas with flying particles and dust)

–          Goggles (work when working with chemicals)

–          Special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets (for working near hazardous radiation).

Eyewear should be selected based on the hazards of each activity. Prescription safety glasses are also available for those that usually wear spectacles, with safety glasses having much stronger lenses and frames than regular glasses.

The most common materials for safety glasses are plastic, polycarbonate and Trivex, with polycarbonate offering the most protection.

  1.    Safety Gloves

As with other PPE, safety gloves need to be suited to the hazards workers will be working with. They will usually be made of nitrile or latex, depending on allergies, but different gloves are more suited to different types of chemicals.

Glove selection can be determined by:

–          Chemical type

–          Temperature extremes and cryogenic properties

–          Physical hazards (piercing objects)

–          pH

–          Toxicity

–          Infectious potential of biological hazards.

It’s also necessary to consider whether contact with the chemical will be incidental or extended.

If the contact will be incidental (short-lived), disposable gloves are usually fine. Nitrile gloves are generally preferred over latex due to their chemical resistance and easy visibility when ripped.

If contact will be extended, norfoil gloves are recommended for highly toxic or easily absorbed through skin. These are usually reusable, but must be washed, left to air-dry and checked for punctures and tips after each use.

  1.    Lab Coat

A lab coat should fit properly and chosen according to the type of hazard and chemicals. There are various styles available, including women’s fit and varying sleeve lengths, so it’s always possible to find the fit you need.

Lab coats should be worn in the work area at all times buttoned or snapped, with the sleeves rolled down. They should be removed whenever one exits the work area, for example, when leaving work or going to the restroom.

If contaminated by spills or splashes, the lab coat should be removed immediately and disposed of as hazardous waste. They come in a range of materials – from flame-resistant Nomex and cotton, to traditional materials like polycotton blends and polyester (a good barrier).

General Purpose Equipment

 5. Fume Extraction

Fume extraction can be acquired in the form of either a cabinet or localised fume hood.

When choosing between the two, a hazard analysis will need to be done first of all to see what contaminants need to be removed, as well as air monitoring, which will determine what chemicals workers are exposed to.

The pertinent data obtained will determine what type of fume extraction system you need.

Ducted hood extraction systems are ventilated enclosures, where the ducting connects to the outside so contaminants are pulled out of the building. They are safe and easy to maintain and usually made up of a base, work surface, hood, blower and ducting.

Biosafety cabinets are another form of fume extraction that use HEPA filtration. They are categorised by three classes:

  • Class I – air is drawn away from the lab worker and across the work surface
  • Class II – air is drawn safely around operator, whilst sterile air flows downwards onto the work surface and exhaust air is HEPA filtered before either being recirculated into the lab or released into the atmosphere through ductwork or a canopy.
  • Class III – a gas-tight enclosure, with both intake of air and exhaust air passing through HEPA filtration.

Biosafety cabinets provide a safe environment for the research and examination of infectious microorganisms or other hazardous particulates.

Specialised Equipment

Full Face Respirators

These are highly recommended for all clandestine lab decontamination jobs, as eyes and nostrils can be an entry point for hazardous chemicals.

It is important to choose the right type of respirator. In secondary areas (where contamination has spread but no actual cooking took place), it may be acceptable to wear a half-face respirator with protective glasses.

Consider also the type of filter to be used with the respirator. Some only work in certain situations; for example, clan lab remediation jobs require the use of an ammonia filter.

  1. Tyvek Suits

When it comes to protective suits, Tyvek make an excellent choice. As the trusted leader for a variety of products, Tyvek suits offers high protection along with comfort, being made from versatile materials which are tough yet lightweight.

Tyvek’s creator DuPoint are widely known for their extensive testing against things like inward leakage, penetration and permeation. The suits are an excellent barrier against liquids and aerosols, are anti statically treated, and are “low linting” thanks to the non-woven fabric.

Because Tyvek suits aren’t made from films or laminates that can wear off over time, they are extremely long-lasting and abrasion-resistant.

Tyvek suits can provide protection against chemicals, oils, liquids, dust particles and fibres and airborne elements. They can be used for a variety of scenarios, including chemical safety, pharmaceuticals, biological hazard protection and chemical protection.

Different suits are tailored to different hazards, so as with anything else, always determine the type of hazard and select the correct suit accordingly.

  1. Dust Mask

Processes such as grinding, sieving sediment or plant materials or polishing can generate fine dust particles in the air.

Dust masks protect against these particles, which can be potentially harmful, and cause allergic reactions and asthma, if these processes cannot be carried out in a fume cupboard.

Dust masks can also be worn when handling or transferring powders in bulk.

  1. Chemical Absorbant granules

Chemical spill cleanup is something that must always be planned for in any lab, with the right tools on hand to control and manage spills when they occur.

Different industries require different types of spill cleanup processes, but chemical absorbent granules serve many different purposes and carry many advantages over other spill cleanup substances, with a simplistic and flexible application to small spills.

There are a few different types od chemical absorbent granules on the market. These are:

  • Multi-zorb – an industrial spillage absorbant quality granule clay. Multi-zorb absorbs spillages without granular breakdown, and is clean, dry and safe.
  • New Safety thread – this is non-marking, non-dusting, and suitable for strong chemicals.
  • Light Plus – paper pellet granules.
  • E-Sorb – fire retardant wood fibre granules.
  • ELCEF fibre – biodegradable oil selective fibre.
  1. Saline Eye wash

The first 10-15 seconds after a hazardous chemical coming into contact with the eye can often be the most critical. If immediate flushing is carried out, this greatly minimises the likelihood of any serious damage being done.

Emergency eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination, helping workers flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury to the eye. They are an essential addition to the lab as they provide a necessary backup in the case of exposure to chemicals.

Saline is a very popular “flushing fluid” that is medically approved, and often used as a solution for eye washes.

The worker should use the eye wash station to flush the eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes, or 20 minutes if substance is not known.

The total flushing time may vary for different types of chemicals. For example, non-irritable substances may be flushed for only five minutes, whilst corrosives will need 30 and strong alkalis will need to be flushed for 60 minutes.

Whilst flushing, the user must keep eyes open and rotate numerous times in all directions to thoroughly remove the contamination.

About ReAgent

ReAgent has been producing chemicals for the food and construction industries for the last 40 years. As well as the supply of raw chemicals and materials, they also specialise in the production of chemical solutions, mixing, blending, filling and packing.

ReAgent is particularly proud of its high quality policies and transparent working relationship with its customers.

They are currently ISO accredited in both the 9001 Quality Standard and 14001 Environmental Standard, and are proactively working towards accreditation in ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Standard.

5 Must-Follow Safety Tips While Doing Electrical Work

5 Must-Follow Safety Tips While Doing Electrical Work

Image Source: https://www.logicum.co

Did you know that about 97% of all electricians have been either shocked or injured while working? Shocking, isn’t it (no pun intended)! There is always some risk when you are working around electrical products, which is why you must maintain safety and work with extreme caution.

Being careless around electrical equipment can cause serious injuries, some of which may even lead to death. You must maintain strict safety standards in the workplace so that no one is at risk. Here are 5 safety tips that you must follow if you work with electrical equipment.

  • Maintain Situational Awareness

You must be absolutely aware of your surroundings. Make a habit of locating overhead power lines and knowing where they are. You must keep a distance of 10 feet between the equipment and overhead lines when you move tall equipment near overhead power cables.

Don’t forget something basic like avoiding contact with live electrical wires or circuits. Keep a track of what’s live and what isn’t. It would be better to treat all electrical circuits as if they were live to be on the safe side. You must be aware of the condensation on a job site. Be aware of the rooms temperature as condensation occurs when the room gets cold. You must avoid using electrical equipment in these rooms whenever possible. If there’s no workaround, mount the equipment vertically.

Lastly, take note of all the safety signs on the job site and follow the instructions without fail.

  • Always Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you work around electricity, make sure you wear something that fits you well and isn’t too baggy or loose as ill-fitting clothes put you at a risk of getting entangled by moving parts of the machinery. Moreover, baggy pants may also put you at a risk of tripping over electrical cables, which is dangerous while working around electricity.

Apart from that, it is imperative that you wear clothes that are designed for electrical work such as non-conductive gloves, shoes with insulated soles, etc. Opt for 100% cotton or wool as they are less likely to catch fire and stay away from fabrics like polyester, nylon, etc.

  • Take Necessary Precautions when Digging

If you undertake digging, you must first report to the relevant authorities so that you can get the area surveyed and mark the utilities within or near the job site. Once you are on the site, you must maintain minimum 2 feet from the marks that identify the utility. If it is absolutely necessary to dig near the utility line marks, avoid using electrical devices and rather do it by hand.

  • Perform Equipment Service Regularly

You must perform regular maintenance on all the electrical equipment to make sure that everything is working properly. Identify if there is any breakdown or wear and tear on the equipment which can put you at risk and fix the issue through inspections and service. If your electrical product is old, get in touch with your nearest electric service provider to change it.

  • Avoid Touching Things You Aren’t Familiar With

If you are not familiar with any piece of equipment, do not touch it. Never handle electrical equipment with wet hands or feet or if condensation is formed on it. If you are working in a hot environment, your perspiration may also become a hazard near electricity.

If a co-worker comes in contact with a live conductor, disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or use a non-conductive material to pull the plug. Do not grab the person getting electrocuted, the electrical conductor or the cord.

You must maintain workplace safety at all times when you use electrical products. Service the electrical wires and electrical conduit fittings regularly to be on the safe side.

Author Bio:

Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area has to offer.

Trucking Safety Tips

Trucking Safety Tips

Safety is a subject that all truckers need to keep at the top of their list of things to think about when on the road. Truck driving is a profession that not only comes with a decent salary, but it’s also one that comes with risks for injury and even fatality in the line of work. According to the FMCSA, there were more than 4300 fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses as well as more than 87,000 involved in accidents that resulted in injury in 2015.

Below are tips to keep truckers and motorists on the road safe from harm on the road.

  1. Stay Alert! Truck drivers need to stay alert and keep an eye on their surroundings. When traffic is heavy and congested, check for safe ways to slide out of line to avoid a crash. To stay alert, it’s important to get enough sleep before jumping behind the wheel. Fatigued driving is a huge contributor to fatal crashes and can be avoided with rest and paying attention when driving.

 

  1. If a trucker needs to park the truck, it should never be parked on the side of the road without using flashers, safety triangles and flares to alert other drivers that the truck is parked. Unless the truck is having a mechanical issue and is not able to pull off the road at the next exit, it should not park on the side of any road where the speed limit is higher than 30 mph or where it will obstruct the view for other motorists to safely drive. If the truck breaks down, it is best to contact a licensed heavy duty truck transporter to make sure it can be safely moved off the roadway as fast as possible to reduce the risk of an accident.

 

  1. Slow Down! Big trucks simply do not maneuver like a small sports car will around a curve and they certainly won’t stop on a dime if someone abruptly stops in front of them. Truckers need to watch their speed and reduce it around curves, in work zones and when traffic is congested to avoid a crash.

 

  1. Blind Spots. All vehicles have blind spots, but for a big truck, it can be difficult to see small vehicles on the road. Truckers need to check their blind spots frequently because cars often do not realize that there are certain areas that truck drivers just cannot see them. For car and small vehicle drivers, truck drivers may not be able to see you when your vehicle is positioned in the following areas around the truck:
  • Behind the truck.
  • Beside the truck at the front of the cab.
  • Beside the truck but in a bad location that is too close for the side mirrors to see.

 

  1. Weather Updates! Whether the sun is bright and shining when you head out in the truck or you see cloudy skies ahead, a trucker always needs to stay updated on the weather report for all areas the truck will be driven. Knowing what the weather has in store can help a driver know what to expect and allows the driver to plan on how fast the truck can be driven and how long a delivery may take.

Are you a licensed truck driver who works long hours on the road each day? If so, it is up to you to take safety seriously and stay on top of the things that can cause crashes and pose a risk to your safety and the safety of other motorists on the road.

 

 

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

Lead testing in the workplace: why is it so important?

For a long time, lead appeared to be something of a miracle metal. One of the earliest metals discovered by humans, it’s soft, malleable, and has a low melting temperature, making it perfect for a variety of applications. Back in the days of the Roman Empire it was used to build water pipes, aqueducts and even cooking pots (apparently to enhance the flavour of food!), whilst the ancient Egyptians used it as an ingredient in kohl, a cosmetic applied to the eyes. In more modern times, it was used in ammunition, ceramic glazes, paints and protective coatings.

Unfortunately, in the late 19th century it was discovered that lead is actually incredibly toxic to mammals. A potent neurotoxin, it accumulates in the bones and soft tissues of the body. This can eventually lead to convulsions, coma and even death at dangerously high levels. This was a huge health hazard. For instance, it was often used as an additive in paint, which it oddly gave a sweet taste to. This made tasting lead paint very tempting for young children, leading to childhood lead poisoning becoming endemic in certain areas. It’s also since been theorised that the Roman’s fondness for lead hastened the Empire’s downfall!

Children are most susceptible to lead poisoning simply because their bodies are smaller. However, bans and regulations around the world mean children are now unlikely to come into contact with lead in their day to day lives. In fact, the group now most at risk of lead poisoning are adults working in the smelting, refining, alloying and casting industries.

Lead is impossible to smell, see or taste, so until symptoms of lead poisoning appear it’s hard to know it’s there. This means lead testing is essential in high risk workplaces to protect against long-term health problems. If it’s present, adequate guidelines should be put in place for the healthy, safety, and general wellbeing of the workforce. Paint Inspection Ltd have created this handy infographic which goes into more detail about the dangers of lead in the workplace…

 

Top Health and Safety FAILS

Top Health and Safety FAILS

Author: Beth Meakin

So, it seems like some of us don’t take Health and Safety as seriously as others. There are some workers, whether they are in the construction industry or an office role, who completely ignore the rules and regulations put in place for their safety. According to the OSHA, around 4,850 people are killed on the job each year in the US, which works out more than 93 workers a week! A lot of these could have been avoided with appropriate health and safety training and compliance.

Ladders

Ladders should be safe and the correct height for the task in hand. We recommended you also have another person hold the ladder steady – don’t improvise like these guys!

Confined Space

When entering confined spaces, it’s important that workers have adequate training and the correct equipment is used. Remember this next time you find yourself lifting your buddy out a manhole by his pants!

Protective Wear

Protective wear or personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial for anyone working in a hazardous environment. Using (highly flammable) paper as a mask, or an air-restricting plastic water bottle for head protection is definitely not recommended.

 Flammables

Flammable liquids and materials should be kept away from all sources of ignition. It’s common sense really, but these guys are clearly lacking in that area! What are they thinking?

Electricity

Whether it’s computer leads in an office or wiring on a construction site, electrics are present in nearly every workplace. The risk of fatalities is significantly increased with the presence of electricity, so working safely should be a main priority. Water + electricity = disaster.

 Vehicle Safety

Unsafe loads on vehicles cause thousands of accidents and damage to goods every year, costing people and businesses millions. Secure all loads safely and appropriately within your vehicle, and if you ever think about carrying flammable liquid on the back on your scooter.

 

The Importance of Personal Safety Equipment in the Workplace

The Importance of Personal Safety Equipment in the Workplace

Personal safety equipment is important for both the safety of employees as well as the company. Hard hats, safety gloves, and other devices can make a huge impact on your personal well-being.

But what are some of the most commonly used safety equipment? How exactly does it go about keeping you safe? Read on to learn more about the history of PPE and discover the important role personal protective equipment has played in the workplace.

 

The history of workplace PPE

While the history of personal protective equipment dates back beyond modern times, it wasn’t until 1970 that the US Government passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. From that day, it put forth a new era where the entire US workforce would become protected from job-related injuries, illness, and even death.

After OSHA became established in 1971, the new agency set forth on a unique mission. To create a thorough program which would meet the legislative intent of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. After creating the program, they then went on to define the appropriate list of PPE for every job description a company could have. Since then, OSHA has continued to make extravagant advances in workplace safety and safety equipment.

Personal protective equipment

Even though laws have passed requiring the use of personal safety equipment, accidents still occur every year. But what are the most commonly used PPE that can keep skilled laborers safe while on the job?

Head protection

Most common on constructions sites, it’s easy to identify day laborers and skilled laborers by the hard hats they wear at work. Design to protect your head from falling objects such as equipment or materials. Protective head wear has protected workers for years from objects that would otherwise impact or penetrate them.

While some hard hats cover only your head, they can become quite intricate. Options are available offering extra protections with face shields, earmuffs, and more. For optimal protection, it’s important to wear head protection that is well-fitted and fits snugly on your head.

Eye and face protection

As important as head protection, laborers should take precautionary measures to keep their eye and face safe too. Products such as full-face shields protect your face from flying debris. Eye protection like safety goggles are necessary for skilled laborers who work with metal, wood, and hot temperatures.

Hand and skin protection

Important in just about every line of skilled labor or day labor, hand and skin protection can literally save the skin on your hands. Typically required by all jobs in the construction industry, it’s important to have adequate PPE such as gloves to avoid skin injury. Use hand and skin protection that help you avoid occupational hazards. Good skin protection would include rubber gloves, cut-resistant gloves, and heat-resistant gloves.

Respiratory protection

If you work on a site where toxic substances are present, it’s important to wear proper respiratory protection. You’ll want to keep vital organs like your lungs in good working order. Remember, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you. PPE like respirators are not only designed to protect you from paint spray and dust, but they can also protect you from other danger. These can include substances such as pesticides, fumes, and other hazardous contaminants.

While those in the workforce may not be able to escape dangerous conditions all the time, you can do your best to protect yourself. Doing so, you’ll be able to take part in the workforce longer, get out alive, and remain healthy.

Author bio:

Ron Robbins is an online marketing specialist at Leadhub based in San Antonio Texas. He actively represents companies such as Dooley Tackaberry who provide quality personal protective equipment for those in the gas and oil industry.

How to be Safe in The Trade Industry – A Professional Guide

Working in trade is tough and each job comes with its own challenges and tasks that make it unique. From plumbers to builders you have to be skilled, qualified but most importantly, safe. Safety in the workplace has become a huge part of a day to day trade now and each profession is different. Lucky for you, we have teamed up with TradesmenTricks.com to provide a guide on safety for some of the top trades in the industry.

 Plumber

There are many aspects of being a plumber which can cause danger which will need equipment to prevent hazardous materials damaging items of clothing or even skin.

Full overalls or protective clothing is required, with minimal points that can be caught by obstructions as this can cause an issue if caught on nails for example. When working with possible electrical currents, non-conductive clothing should be worn for the safety of the plumber. The eyes should also be protected from sparks, drips, and dust, and leather or latex gloves are a necessity to guard against any injury to the hands or contact with hazardous or unpleasant materials.

Electrician

Electricians are tasked with a whole host of jobs and tasks including fitting, repairing and inspections just to name a few. Often working in confined spaces and will handle dangerous products which can cause electric shocks! So, remaining safe with PPE is vital.

Electricians should be equipped with rubber insulating gloves, with liner gloves used inside to diminish discomfort and leather protective gloves optionally worn over the top to protect against cuts, scratches, and punctures. Gloves should fit well and maintain flexibility to allow for dexterous handling of smaller items.

Plasterer

From walls and ceilings appliance to overseeing larger projects on construction site, plasterers are working with equipment which can cause damage to clothing and risk to the tradesmen’s health and well-being. With risks of developing problems such as rhinitis which can be solved by using a face mask to avoid breathing in harmful air containing dust.

Dust can also cause damage to the eyes so an eye mask or goggles and the perfect protective item to prevent danger, along with a hard hat being used at all times.

Plasterers can also be exposed to chemicals through skin contact, so full-body coverings are recommended, as are thick gloves to prevent injuring or irritating the hands.

Carpenter

Carpenters are in need of major protection as coming in contact with wood is dangerous. Producing sawdust, wood chipping and splinters are just a few minor risks. With working with power tools which can cause harm to the worker which will need protecting against also.

Anyone working extensively with wood needs to protect both their eyes and their ears. On-site carpentry involves lots of cutting and shaping, so safety glasses should be used to prevent sawdust invading the eyes, and proper hearing protectors must guard against the constant noise created by power tools.

Power tools are also a danger but can’t be avoided for the job, we recommend making sure that the surface you work on is clear and no obstructions are around which could lead to dangerous complications.

Post provided by  Oliver at  TradesmenTricks

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Office Hygiene – What’s Hiding On Your Desk?

Where does your mind goes when you hear the words bacteria ridden? Does it go to toilet seats? The mushy tomato in the fridge? The sweaty gym shorts under the bed? The dog’s toy that he someone keeps managing to get out of the bin?

Well, have you ever thought about your office desk?

I bet you’re looking at it right now. Notebooks scattered around. Half a bag of crisps. A pen in between your teeth.

A recent study carried out by The Cleaning Services Group, has claimed that the average office desk is 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

The Average Worker

According to the study, 8 in 10 people in the UK work in offices. Those 8 in 10 people spend an average of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In their offices.

If we spend so much of our time in the office then how come we treat it so badly? Even our toilet seat at home is cleaner than our office?

Is it because our office it isn’t our home? Do we care a bit less?

It isn’t our job to clean the office? It isn’t our responsibility.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but when it comes to office hygiene we’re all responsible.

Can I really get sick from a dirty desk?

We all know that if someone comes in with the cold, there is a very good chance everyone else will get sick too.

Sure, the risk of getting the cold or flu increases, but what about everyone’s least favourite friend, the norovirus? Also known as the stomach bug?

Or even worse you could get Hep A&B or Influenza!

You might think it’s not a big deal to come into work with a little cold, you can struggle through your shift, and at worse take a day or two off work. But if you’re taking a day off work then who is picking up your work?

Productivity decreases as people are stretched with workloads or when feeling under the weather, and stress increases. Â

And what about absenteeism?

In one year in the UK 131 million days were lost due to sickness, costing the economy £29 BILLION.

Bad office hygiene can make you sick, make others sick, and decrease productivity, as well as causing unnecessary stress.

And to think, most of it is avoidable with some common sense, and by promoting a healthy and hygienic office environment.

The facts behind the germs

A huge  80% of infections are spread through contaminated surfaces, rather than through coughing and sneezing as most people believe.

It is the surfaces that people touch most, where the germs are lurking in their thousands if not millions!  The office phone, the buttons on the microwave, the printer, and don’t forget the door handles.

Unfortunately for us, bacteria and viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Plenty of time to spread through the entire office.

An appalling statistic has been established that 32% of office workers don’t wash their hands after visiting the toilet! And these are the hands that come in contact with more than 10 million bacteria per day!

So you can imagine how easy it is for germs to spread.

The most commonly touched surfaces in the workspace is your Desk.

The average office desk has more than 10 million bacteria hiding on it.

Your keyboard containing 3, 295 bacteria per square inch and the mouse adding an extra 1676 per square inch.

To contrast this, the average toilet seat only has 49 bacteria microbes per square inch!

And would you eat your lunch of a toilet seat? No, that’s disgusting! Yet 2 in 3 office workers eat at their bacteria ridden desks, and 1 in 5 don’t even wipe it down before doing so.

One person carrying a virus will infect 50% of all equipment and employees in their vicinity in just FOUR HOURS!

Who is responsible?

You are! Everyone in the office is responsible to ensure their is a healthy and hygienic working environment.

Management is responsible to communicate the facts with the staff to involve the staff to take accountability.

The management should also provide solutions such as bins, soap, cleaning stations, and ensure cleaning regimes take place.

Staff should take responsibility for their personal hygiene and their work station. Be proactive by preventing the spread of bacteria by using bins and washing hands. Staff should also take accountability and call in sick to work if sick with a spreadable illness.

About Safety Training Scotland

Since Safety Training Scotland was founded in 2013, it has delivered courses to over 2000 successful delegates. At Safety Training we’re passionate about changing the negative perception of health and safety training. Our highest priority is not just to inform, but also to engage and inspire. We are transforming the safety training industry and putting an end to “death by powerpoint”.

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

The Economic and Health Implications of Workplace Stress

 

Did you know that about four in ten working adults, or 44% employees, said in response to a survey that their current job affected their overall health? In addition, more than four in ten people also mentioned that their job had a major impact on their family and social life, their weight issues, eating patterns and sleeping habits. This was found in a survey of working adults in the US, conducted jointly by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Work-related stress among employees is known to have an adverse effect on their health, the well-being of their family as well as economic implications for the business and the nation as well.

Stress Impacts the Health of an Employee

  • Psychological Disorders – Depression and burnout, as a result of work-related stress, can have a negative impact on the health of a worker and can even affect personal relationships.  “It’s not just your body that is affected by stress, your relationships and overall life satisfaction are also significantly impacted,” says an expert at Nature’s Wellness.

 

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse – The onset of depression, due to workplace stress, has also been known to act as a trigger for alcohol and substance abuse in an individual. Working erratic shift timings, putting in excessively long working hours, taking up more than one job and constant job insecurity are some of the main reasons that drive people towards becoming heavy drinkers and using drugs for the perceived ‘stress-relieving’ effects, which any physician will tell you is a false notion.

 

  • Chronic Diseases  –  Constant levels of stress, be it because of an inability to strike a perfect work-life balance or any other reason, can have long-term health complications, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

How Workplace Stress Affects the Bottom Line

  • Economic Costs of Workplace Stress –  In the United States, an estimated one million workers are absent every day from work due to stress, according to survey findings published by The American Institute of Stress (AIS). The AIS goes on to report that this last-minute absenteeism tends to cost companies, on an average, around $602 per worker each year, which in the case of large companies could even reach $3.5 million annually.

 

  • Loss in Productivity –  It is interesting to note that loss in productivity is not only due to absenteeism but also occurs in the case of what is known as “presenteeism” or a situation where workers are reporting to work but are not working at their optimum levels because of stress-induced medical conditions like depression.

 

  • Workplace Injury –  Whether it is an individual’s inability to handle stress or the prevalence of stressful working conditions, it could lead to low levels of concentration and result in workplace injuries. In fact, in 2014 alone, there were more than 3 million work-related injuries and more than 4,800 occupational fatalities, costing the US exchequer a sum of $50 billion, according to Glorian Sorensen, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

 

The AIS survey findings cited above estimate that the US economy loses over $300 billion annually on account of absenteeism, reduced productivity, workplace accidents, healthcare costs and workers’ compensation. It, therefore, becomes important for employees experiencing work stress and the company they are working for to work in tandem and find ways to lower stress through identifying the causes and working on solutions. This in turn would have a positive impact on the well-being of the employees and the financial health of the business.

 

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

How Criminals Think – 4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe

Winning is rarely an accident.

The best sport teams in the world work hard to get there. I.m not talking about simply practicing hard. Winning requires studying the opposition.

Sports teams can usually predict their opponents’ reactions. They can counter these actions to limit the opponents’ success.

Criminals do this with you. They study your home and workplace. They know your weaknesses. If they know how you or your security system will react they can counter or bypass it.

Do you now the criminals that are studying you?

You’ll build a safer environment if you think the way they do.

Consider these viewpoints. It will help you build a stronger offensive.

  1. How Daily Activities Put You in Danger

Criminals are opportunists.

They know which situations are more beneficial to them. They look for:

  • People who aren’t giving attention to their surroundings
  • Premises with a lot of traffic so they can disappear in a crowd
  • Roads that lead to highways for a quick getaway

Here are two general activities that criminals take advantage of.

Moving or Renovating

When you’re moving or renovating you’re preoccupied. There’s a change in routine and you give less attention to security.

It’s easy to see which buildings owners prepare for a move. Moving vans, boxes and bubble wrap outside are tell tale signs. The same relates to building supplies. Chances are your security system is disconnected if you’re busy with a construction project.

Criminals take note.

They can highjack a moving truck or follow it to your new premises. While your security system isn’t in place they can easily break in and rob you.

They can partner with moving company employees or construction workers. These individuals can leave your doors unlocked or allow certain boxes to disappear.

Driving

Many attacks or high-jackings take place in the early evening. On your way home from work you’re tired and distracted. Your reactions are slow.

This makes you an easy target. Before you can call the authorities criminals can overpower you.

Stay in control by being extra vigilant in these situations. Criminals are trained to read human behavior. If they see you looking around they’ll most likely back off.

Now think. What other activities at home or at your office make you and easy victim?

  1. Criminal Communication Methods

It pays off to be observant.

Criminals notice where we let our guard down. Luckily they sometimes do too.

Many criminals work in syndicates. They have to communicate with each other but what methods are safe to them?

  • Talking via Smartphones creates proof of their criminal activities.
  • There are usually members of the public who know one or two petty criminals. Crime organizers don’t want to be seen with petty criminals. The connection can get them caught.

So what’s their solution?

Have you ever driven past a premises with odd features on the exterior of the walls or lawn? These can be signs criminals create to signal others in the syndicate. While one group finds ideal targets others break in.

Signs include:

  • Markings on walls
  • Stacked garbage
  • Broken plants

Each sign represents a unique feature. This can show robbers where women stay alone or where large dogs are.

You can protect yourself by removing signs and checking your vulnerabilities. If you realize there’s a syndicate in your area improve your security.

  1. Out of Sight

If your backyard can’t be seen from the street’s secure right? Wrong.

Privacy gives criminals time. They may not be able to scout properly beforehand. But if no one can see what they’re up to they have time to figure out how to gain access to the building.

Don’t assume any area of your premises is secure. Installing adequate security features built by professionals is vital. This relates to doors and windows. Steel doors or security grilles take a while to get past. If they didn’t know these features were there before entering the premises they won’t be prepared to deal with them.

Criminals know they’re at risk if they take too long. Waste their time so they have to give up in the end.

  1. Acting Skills

Don’t think you’ll recognize a criminal for what he or she is.

They’re corrupted enough to hurt or steal from others. They can put up a good act too.

Criminals know what groups of people garner sympathy from the public:

  • Widowed women
  • Religious groups
  • Charity foundations

Criminals even use children in their syndicates.

Don’t open a door to someone you don’t know. Not even if they seem to be in trouble. They want access to your premises.

Security cameras even fake ones are an excellent deterrent. No criminal wants irrefutable proof that can be used in court.

The more you understand criminals the more you can limit their actions. Be on the offence instead of defending. It’s possible to win the fight against crime. Let no criminal take advantage because one player neglects his or her duty. Make sure everyone on the premises is part of your plan.

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