Category Archives: First Aid Safety

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

It is essential to maintain sobriety and avoid taking either drugs or alcohol within the workplace.

Whilst that sentence, in and of itself, sounds relatively obvious, maintaining concentration by avoiding the dangers of being under the influence of alcohol is absolutely essential for ensuring a safe work place. Alcohol and substance abuse is the number one health epidemic facing Americans, with statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggesting that alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the country: An incredible 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, and an additional 12 million individuals abuse alcohol through binge drinking or other risky drinking behaviour that could lead to addiction, an accident, or another form of self-harm. So how does this huge number of American drinkers affect safety within our workplaces? Well, of the 17.6 million alcoholics in the United States, a huge 75% of those individuals hold down a regular job, meaning that they are putting the health of themselves and their colleagues at risk because of their impaired status on a daily basis. It should come as no surprise that these statistics combine to ensure that in approximately 10% of the cases where employees are involved in a fatal accident at work, the deceased individual tested positive for either drug or alcohol use, or both.

How Workplace Alcoholism Affects Performance

In conjunction with the obvious safety issues, there are a myriad of ways in which workplace drug or alcohol use can negatively impact on the performance of your employees and ultimately on the productivity of your company. The use of illicit substances in the workplace can lead to: frequent tardiness or increased absenteeism, which can result in less work being achieved and in colleagues being expected to pick of the slack. Poor decision making within the work place, such as choosing to sleep on the job or even steal from the work place in order to fund their addiction, can also lead to the cost and trauma of disciplinary procedures and, if there is no choice but to let that individual go, to the cost of recruiting and training a new member of staff to fulfil that role. It is also important not to underestimate the effect that working with an alcoholic can have on the morale of the overall workforce, causing the level of satisfaction, particularly amongst close co workers, to diminish considerably.

Protecting Both the Alcoholic and Their Co-Workers

Much is made of ensuring that the individual impaired by alcohol is protected as much as possible and that they are supported in changing their habits (ie freeing themselves of their addiction) whilst simultaneously maintaining their role within the company, where that is feasibly possible. However it is just as important to ensure that their co-workers are protected from any potential harm as a result of working alongside an alcohol or drug-impaired individual. This is a huge problem regardless of what industry you are working within, with approximately 20% of workers and managers who were questioned across a wide range of industries and company sizes reporting that they felt a co-worker’s drinking (either on or off the job) was jeopardizing their own productivity and safety. This can be avoided by making use of workplace referral programmes within your company, so that those individuals abusing substances (either drugs or alcohol) in the workplace have immediate access to a referral to the resources and services that they need, improving their overall health, reducing their absenteeism, and ultimately improving their workplace productivity, making seeking support for your employees a more cost effective and economically sensible decision when compared to the alternative of pursuing a disciplinary procedure, letting that member of staff go, and recruiting and training their replacement.

Safety at the workplace, of every member within the workplace, is and should always be of the utmost importance to every employer within every industry. Workplace substance abuse is a very real threat to businesses and one that should be taken and managed very seriously.

10 of the Most Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries

You probably already know that health and safety legislation is a favorite punching bag for a certain type of newspaper columnist, but what you might not be aware of is that there are hundreds of thousands of accidents – many of them serious – in workplaces every year. That’s why it’s so important to take the proper precautions at work.

Of course, even the best prepared among us can still fall victim to accidents at work – but to be forewarned is to be forearmed, as the saying goes. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the most common accidents and injuries in the workplace.

1. Fights at work: These aren’t quite as rare as we might like to think. Simmering workplace tensions can bubble under for months or even years before spilling over into physical confrontation, or alternatively one workmate can take another’s opinion on last weekend’s football the wrong way. Fights in the workplace can, unsurprisingly, result in nasty injuries. Effective procedures for dealing with employee grievances can help reduce the risk of them coming to blows, though.

2. Walking into objects: It’s probably safe to say we’ve all done this at some point. Maybe you’re chatting absent-mindedly or maybe you’re feeling a little under the weather, when you suddenly find yourself on the sharp end of a door, table, wall or cabinet. Needless to say, these injuries can sting a bit. Luckily, many such accidents can be avoided by reminding employees to be vigilant and putting unnecessary hazards out of the way where people won’t walk into them.

3. Slips, trips and falls: Whatever your particular work setting is – whether you work in a shop, a factory or an office – you’re likely to encounter slippery surfaces at some point, so it’s not a totally remote possibility that you might come a cropper on one. Another big risk for many is falling while working at height; falls from ladders are most common, but falls from scaffolding and other platforms can also be dangerous.

4. 2. Muscle strains: Strained muscles are another commonplace work-related injury, as anyone who regularly lifts heavy items at work will probably know already. Back and neck strains, in particular, are all too frequently sustained while working. These injuries can be avoided easily – some basic training on proper lifting techniques can make a big difference.

3. Exposure to loud noise: You might think that industrial deafness is a thing of the past and went out with all those old heavy industries, but that’s not the case – not least because many industrial workers continue to be exposed to loud noises while at work. Industrial deafness can also result in major compensation payouts further along the line, so it’s very much in employers’ interest to nip this particular problem in the bud. Safety measures such as ear protection can do much to prevent it.

5. Being hit by falling objects: Plenty of workers find themselves on the receiving end of falling objects – and what’s more, this isn’t just a problem in warehouse-type environments. Objects which fall from shelves or out of cupboards can cause some nasty injuries, particularly if the individual who ends up feeling the full force doesn’t see it coming. Providing adequate storage cages and reminding employees of how to store items safely can go a long way to reducing this risk.

6. Crashes and collisions: Accidents resulting in crash or impact injuries are also quite frequent at work. Whether they involve cars, lorries or even smaller vehicles such as forklift trucks, they can have seriously nasty consequences. It’s therefore up to employers to ensure that seatbelts and other safety precautions are both in place and in use where appropriate.

7. Repetitive strain injury: RSI is another problem that’s become increasingly commonplace at work over the years, though even now some employers don’t seem to take it entirely seriously. It’s not just a problem for those of us who regularly use keyboards in our work, either – in fact, it can result from any repetitive motion of the joints. The cumulative impact of RSI can be severe in some cases, so it makes sense to take precautions. Employers can help prevent RSI by encouraging and reminding workers to take appropriate breaks. Likewise, ergonomic equipment, like hand trucks can help to alleviate the strain.

8. Cuts and lacerations: All sorts of office implements can end up leaving their user nursing a painful cut. From power saws to paper trimmers, it’s easy to do yourself a mischief at work. The most common causes of these lacerations include poor training, inadequate safety procedures and failing to wear the proper protection. Bosses can help prevent such accidents by providing adequate safety equipment and putting the right procedures (including training) in place.

9. Inhaling toxic fumes: While most of us don’t work with hazardous chemicals, those of us who do may be at risk of skin or eye reactions as well as potentially more serious injuries when exposed to them without protection. Protective equipment such as safety goggles is indispensable in these situations, so employers must be sure to provide workers with the gear they need to avoid dangerous exposure.

10. Exposure to loud noise: You might think that industrial deafness is a thing of the past and went out with all those old heavy industries, but that’s not the case – not least because many industrial workers continue to be exposed to loud noises while at work. Industrial deafness can also result in major compensation payouts further along the line, so it’s very much in employers’ interest to nip this particular problem in the bud. Safety measures such as ear protection can do much to prevent it.

Although there’s no shortage of ways people can injure themselves at work, as we’ve already noted there are various things employers can do to prevent their employees from coming to any avoidable harm. Good training, clear signage and access to the necessary safety equipment can all be a big help. Regular risk assessments are also a very good idea. You can’t always legislate for sheer absent-mindedness, but you can at least avoid a lot of unnecessary mishaps.

If you would like to read this and news about workplace safety visit Slingsby website.

Hazardous Waste Disposal: It Matters

Technological advancements, modernization, and urbanized progress. They have undoubtedly made our lives so much easier with all the modern conveniences that we are able to enjoy today. However, in as much as they have made our lives better, there are also disadvantages and negative effects that have come out of it.

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Negative effects of modernization
With the increase of global population follows an increase in the demand for food and daily essentials, and these have in turn increased the amount of waste produced. Households and big industrial companies churn out both hazardous and non-hazardous waste on a daily basis, which, when not regulated, can be potentially harmful or dangerous to our health and the environment.

Why proper disposal matters
The proper disposal of hazardous materials is not just the responsibility of industries and companies that manufacture items that produce a large amount of waste. Professional offices, as well as households, all have to pay attention to how they throw away seemingly harmless waste that could contain hazardous substances. The improper disposal of such waste can harm not only the health of employees and local residents, it can also affect plant and animal life through the contamination of soil and water supplies, and cause air pollution. It can also lead to fines or lawsuits, and the possibility of having property value decrease.

Responsibility on hazardous waste disposal
Household waste should be dealt with by each household through segregation. Hazardous waste should never be lumped together with non-hazardous rubbish, nor should they be poured down into sinks or toilets, as they can corrode pipes and cause problems at water treatment plants. If household hazardous wastes are too much to handle, it’s better to contact the local government to arrange for scheduled waste collection.

On the other hand, big companies that produce hazardous waste on a daily basis should follow proper disposal as standardized by the OSHA. This is not only intended to protect the company from incurring penalties and fines, it also protects worker’s health and safety, as well as the environment. If you work for a company that constantly deals with hazardous waste – whether through clean up, treatment and storage, or emergency response – it is a must to get HAZWOPER training online from a reputable organization like The Asbestos Institute.

While it may not be possible to completely stop using household materials that contain hazardous materials, its impact on the environment and on human and animal health can be minimized. Avoid dumping hazardous waste just about anywhere, and dispose of it responsibly. When dealing with uncontrolled hazardous waste, contact the experts for proper disposal.

Lab Safety Guidelines

There is a great need to examine and reevaluate the safety procedures in a lab, especially if you happen to be more than just a simple lab assistant. Lab managers will need to consider this task carefully if they want safety to be a primary concern, especially when handling hazardous materials. There are plenty of cleaning companies that have certification as professional cleaners, going far beyond the usual house cleaning, office cleaning, carpet cleaning and the like and well into the area of laboratory cleanup, biohazard cleanup and more. Proper routines and rules must be observed if you want to succeed at keep the lab safe. The following tips will give you a few ideas you can use in your daily work:

Lab Safety Guidelines

• No drinks and food in the lab
This is pretty commonplace in most areas, but it also happens to be one of the things people find hardest to deal with. Everyone happens to enjoy a refreshing drink of cold water or coffee at work, but removing food and drinks from the lab will have multiple great benefits. First of all it will reduce the available distractions, so fewer things will go wrong. When performing really important and sensitive tasks, every distraction is a serious problem, especially when handling hazardous materials and substances. The risk of contamination in such areas jumps exponentially since such items can bring bacteria from the outside or may become carriers of contaminants from within the lab environment itself.

• Partnering up
A lot of times experiments can only be done right by sharing duties with a partner. Working in teams has a great advantage over working alone, obviously – you will have another set of eyes looking out for you when something goes wrong. Human error is not something that can be avoided – people get tired, mistakes are made and so forth, but in certain conditions mistakes cost lives, so working as part of a team requires people looking out for each other.

• Warning sign usage
Anything that you know for sure is dangerous should be labeled as such, whether with the appropriate sign or by using the NFPA 704 “fire diamond” to denote the type of danger faced by handling the materials or substance in question. You should also consider the OSHA guidelines or similar ones in your country. Trip hazards, high decibel noises, circuit breakers and more will need to be clearly marked so lab members will be fully aware of what they’re dealing with.

• Proper Safety Equipment
Maintaining your budget is very important for any laboratory out there, but you will also need to setup a good budget for safety and a safety plan. When you need to draft a new budget or you plan on revisiting your current one, you would do well to consider extra funds for safety equipment, such as eye wash stations, goggles, safety glasses, ear plugs, lab coats, protective gloves, fire safety and a whole lot more. You should also consider setting up a budget for proper safety training for all experienced and new lab members as well to drill in procedures in case of emergencies and accidents.
Read more helpful tips on: this cleaning website

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Cleaning is a necessary task that you are often times forced to do around your home and your office. Thanks to cleaning, you will have a refreshed environment and living conditions that are more than suitable for resting and relaxing. There are a lot of products and tools that can make your cleaning more effective and fast, but what you have to keep in mind is that home cleaning and office cleaning should be carefully executed.
If you want to be completely safe during your cleaning service, you need to consider some protection clothing. There is a lot of risk related to using the various cleaning solutions, some of which are far from safe. If you pay attention to labels, you will often notice the description saying ‘poison’, ‘toxic’ and ‘danger’. That alone should be enough to warn you of the threats and make you stay alert during your cleaning service. Acquire the following gear if you want to be safe:

Gloves – even simple latex gloves can protect your skin from the chemicals and dangerous ingredients of various solutions you use in your everyday cleaning. If you have any skin problem, such as irritation, rash, itch and burn you will do well to avoid direct contact with the solutions you use in office and home cleaning. Gloves will not hinder your cleaning in any way, and they will not allow the dangerous liquid to come into contact with the skin on your hands. Thanks to a pair of gloves you can mix solutions without fear and wash dishes with any type of cleaning detergent.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning2

Goggles – some of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service can greatly irritate your eyes because of the fumes they release. In order to protect yourself from this danger, you should acquire a pair of specialized goggles to wear while cleaning. This will provide protection for your sight not only from the fumes of the chemicals, but also from dust and other debris that might get airborne during carpet cleaning for example. Goggles can usually be used multiple times, so definitely consider acquiring quality protection for your sight.

Mask – cleaning solutions and more importantly the chemicals that are present inside them can sometimes lead to respiratory distress. To avoid breathing in the chemicals and fumes of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service, you should always wear a mask. It will be your best line of defense when it comes to filtering the toxins of the cleaning products. This is especially the case with professional cleaners, who have to work with different cleaning solutions every single day. A mask will also prevent solid particles, such as dust and various others from entering your organism.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Apronaprons are very useful, especially those that provide pockets where you can put your extra cleaning equipment during your home cleaning. Not only will you stay clean if the job is a messy one, but also you will have everything you need with you and will not waste time.
A lot of these additions to your cleaning are not expensive at all and you can use most of them more than once. Definitely consider them to be safe during your cleaning.

More cleaning tips and advises find at: reliable carpet cleaning in Clapham

Magnatech Guest Blog Post – Welding Eye Safety

While welding techniques have gradually improved over the years, there are still many risks that come with the job. This includes repeated contact with harmful dust, smoke and fumes as well as exposure to light and heat radiation. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) states that “each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments.”

There are many severe eye-related injuries that a worker can sustain, including small metallic particles that can strike the eye, leading to painful cuts and abrasions; the CDC reports that “metal slivers, wood chips, dust, and cement chips… nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal [that] penetrate the eyeball and result in permanent loss of vision. Large objects may also strike the eye/face [and] chemical burns to one or both eyes from splashes of industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common.” Because of such serious wounds, it is essential for a welder to remain as safe as possible while doing their job, regardless of their levels of expertise and competence.

One of the most frequent and all-pervading injuries that a welder may experience given improper eye protection is known as photokeratitis or “welding arc flash.” This is a non-permanent condition, although it may affect your vision for some time given that it damages the tissue around the eye (although thankfully not the retina itself). In this case, the cells on the outer layer of your cornea are inadvertently burned by UV rays. This is similar to sunburn on the skin, but instead on the surface of your eye. Although the affected area will slowly heal over time, UV eye burns may take a great deal of time to recover from and, as you can imagine, they can be wholly excruciating to experience. You can read more about photokeratitis and its effects on the body here.

Welding eye injuries are extremely common and, regardless of whether you are doing a quick 30-second job or a 30-minute task, eye protection is a must. Utilizing a helmet as well as safety glasses or protective goggles is vital to effectively shield your vision. The U.S. Department of Labor OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) states that “goggles or other suitable eye protection shall be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations… All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment shall use transparent face shields or goggles, depending on the particular job, to protect their faces or eyes.” PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is also crucial.

PPE clothing should provide adequate coverage in case of sparks, fumes or smoke, as well as reducing the possibility of skin burns. In most cases, clothing manufactured from heavy cotton or a wool blend will better endure the outside elements of your workplace. Flame-resistant gloves and a flame-resistant apron are also essential protective attire. For more details on what you should wear when welding, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) offers some useful advice.

Although there have been notable advances in the manufacture of protective gear over the years, eye injuries are still widespread. This may be due to a low perception of the risk involved in the assignment itself, or perhaps because welders feel discomfort while wearing them. However, the discomfort caused by a serious eye injury will easily outweigh the pain caused from wearing a helmet and goggles for a small period of time. The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety once estimated that a quarter of welding injuries are eye-related, so eye protection should always be enforced. In essence, it is important that workers are educated about the dangers they will encounter during their day-to-day routine, as well as implementing a “No Excuses” eye protection plan whenever someone is welding. Magnatech, LLC has been manufacturing systems for orbital tube and pipe welding applications for more than 40 years. We are proud to supply products that put an emphasis on reliability and user-friendliness.

If you would like more information on what we can do for you, please visit us online at Magnatech or call 860-653-2573 today.

Guest Post from Jaclyn Passaro

HAVE YOU MADE SAFE TRAVEL PLANS FOR THIS MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY?

If you are traveling for this holiday, it is important that you don’t just throw a few things in a suitcase, and head for the sunset!  Make your plans based on safety, no matter how you plan to travel.   

As service stations gear up by hiking their gas prices, airlines may have limited discount flights available, but highway traffic is a nightmare. Prepare for your trip by mapping your route and then using road services, travel associations, the internet, news and any other source you can find to get updates. Remember that traveling at off hours can save you both money and time, not to mention hassle. 

You’d love for your Memorial Day weekend trip to be fantastic with perfect weather, but we all know how Mother Nature loves to mess with vacation plans. Check out a reliable weather resource, and plan to pack the proper clothes. Just because it’s warming up in some areas, there may be need for a sweater for evenings, or other warm clothing for camping. 

You don’t need to have a specific budget, but it’s a good idea to know how much you can afford to spend for the weekend and to have a rough idea of how much your planned adventures will cost. Understanding the price of travel, lodging and activities is a great start. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much to spend on meals and incidentals. (Especially if you plan to frequent a casino, make up your mind how much you can afford to gamble, and if you lose, stop; don’t try to catch up!) 

When driving, leave early enough to arrive at your destination in plenty of time. Remember, you state law enforcement officers will be working extra personnel in order to ensure your safety, by seeing that you don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive, or you could possible wind up with different accommodations than you had planned! Also, don’t text and drive. 

If traveling by car, be sure to notify family members or friends of your planned destination, and when you plan to arrive.  If you find you may be late, be sure to let them know where you are and not to send out the Mounties, that you should be there within a certain time.

Take a survival kit along, just in case: a first-aid kit, plenty of water, some non-perishable foods and snacks, your cell phone, a blanket, and pet food if your four-legged friends are traveling with you. Whether you are flying or driving this holiday, stock up with hand sanitizer, as many surfaces will be shared very often by others; doorknobs, arm rests and trays on planes, gasoline pumps, just about anything you touch while traveling.  There are some ugly bugs that seem to thrive on those who are traveling on planes, trains, or automobiles!  

For this first outing of summer, we wish everyone a safe journey, or if they stay home, a restful day.  Have a fun and safe summer; watch for the kids in the neighborhood because sometimes they forget to watch for you!

SAFETY TIPS FOR A DIY HANDYMAN (GUEST POST)

 

Almost all handyman jobs involve risks and this is why it is important to ensure safety on the service site. Read on for some useful safety tips that’ll help you prevent injuries while working.

Since most handyman services involve lots of hazards, working without the right safety equipment and moving around carelessly can lead to serious injuries. When grinding or welding without goggles, for instance, you’ll obviously end up getting metal particles in your eyes. So, why close the eyes to handy, hi-tech safety measures and equipment when they are easily available and invite plenty of risks!

Here are practical safety tips that are basically lessons learned by our handymen from their mistakes in the past:

1.Pressure Washers Can Peel Your Skin

Pressure washers are the most common handyman tools used to clean up areas like the patio and roof of a building. Since handymen get their attention diverted by a variety of stimuli in the open, they often make the mistake of holding the pressure washer and operating the trigger with only one hand. This can cause the spray wand to move across your hand, peeling the skin off.

It is important that as a professional, you understand and respect the power of water, especially when it is pressurized for cleaning the concrete etc. 

2. Bump-Nailing Can Nail Your Feet

The use of a framing nailer for fastening plywood to joints is a common practice for handymen. But when the nailer is set in bump mode, you need to be fully attentive, for forgetting to pushing the nose of the gun properly against the wood can lead to serious injuries. The worst, you may bump the nose of the gun at the wrong spot such as one of your own feet! Make sure you’ve properly bumped the gun-point on the target area before you pull the trigger. 

3. Safety against Electric Shocks is Important

One of the most important safety steps at a repair site is to check electricity wires using a non-contact tester before laying a hand on them. Commonly, handymen take off the fuse in a hurry and start disconnecting the wires from outlets. There maybe two circuits linked to the outlet, of which you have turned off only one. So, when you touch the wires barehanded, you’ll get knocked back by a powerful shove of electricity shooting up your entire body!

When performing such a job, don’t forget to test and double-check the wires with a tester. 

4. Sheet Metal Can Slice Your Body Parts 

Drilling holes in pieces of metals is another common handyman duty involving a great deal of risk. Handymen are often in a rush and don’t take time to compress the metal to a table etc. This can cause the drill to be caught by the sheet and thrown onto you, creating a deep rip on one of your body parts.

Before you start to drill a hole on a metal sheet, clamp it to a table and adjust your hand and the drill well.

 

Author Bio:

Dan Kogan is the owner of Handyman at your service which is a US based company providing Handyman Services to business owners at an affordable price. Handyman at your service specializing in TV installation NYC, Electrical work, Plumbing NYC, IKEA Assembly NYC and many more.

 

NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK BEGINS MAY 17TH!

It’s the time of year that everyone is ready to get their boats back on the water and have fun fishing, skiing, or taking a relaxing ride on smooth water. Getting boats conditioned after a long winter’s rest is important to the success of the boat starting each time, and running as it should. Having owned a boat, there’s much more to it than just backing it into the water and taking off. The most important thing to have in your boat is a life jacket for each person.

This week’s reminder is sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council.  NSBC was organized in September, 1958, under the name National Safe Boating Committee. Their mission is to be the foremost coalition to advance and promote a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training. The NSBC presently has a membership of over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations, all with an interest in boating safety and education. The NSBC membership is diverse, with approximately 65% of the membership being nonprofit organizations and 35% being for-profit organizations. 

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Wear It,” referring to life jackets. By law, there should a life jacket for each passenger, as mentioned above. At times when you are fishing, and not moving, the jacket may be placed under the seats. But they must be ready for use at a moment’s notice. Wearing a life jacket can be slightly uncomfortable at some times, but even the strongest swimmer could have an accident, falling out of the boat, and possibly hitting their head. With no life jacket, their chances of surviving may be slim. 

When we had our boat, we made sure we had plenty of life jackets, even one for our Cairn Terrier, Willie. He had short little legs, and while we were fishing, he would go to the front of the boat and invariably slip and fall into the water. Our mode of rescue was a dip net, while his jacket kept him afloat. We didn’t want to take the chance that he might not be able to swim very far. 

On one particular outing, the local game warden pulled up to our boat to check our fishing license. He really got a kick out of seeing Willie in his life jacket; he said he hadn’t seen that very often. (This was several years ago, and jackets for dogs are much more popular now.) 

Have a fun summer on the water this year. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen, wear some great sunglasses, (the reflection off water can damage your eyes), wear a hat, keep some soft drinks and water in the ice chest, snacks, and have your cell phone handy in case you get stranded. The same law applies to drivers of boats, as to drivers of vehicles – don’t drink and drive! 

Stay safe and remember, wear that life jacket. After all, that’s what they are for – to save lives!

FIRST AID SAFETY FOR AUSTRALIAN WORKERS: GOVERNMENT EFFORTS (GUEST POST)

The working force spends an average of 40 hours a week in the work place. For many people, that is just the minimum amount of time they allocate for work. The so-called work-life balance is a common struggle of the working force, and oftentimes the physical and mental health is compromised. Health takes a backseat in the list of priorities, but stirs panic when it disrupts productivity and mobility.

                Various studies on corporate health reveal shocking results that link poor health to lapse of judgment in the workplace and consequently, deteriorating performance and productivity. For instance, a loss of $2,280 per worker can be incurred when the said worker suffers from over fatigue. An increase in work hours does not necessarily translate to increased productivity. In fact, sleepiness accounts for 12% of the reason people are tardy in the work place.

                Australia has been highly ranked by the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development as one of the best countries to live in, based on “high levels of income, employment, education and sense of community”. Yet, based on the records preceding paragraph, it is only apt that the Australian government established Safe Work Australia in 2009 to set and implement guidelines that improve corporate health and safety in the workplace.

                Safe Work Australia, in its Code of Practice, has designed guidelines to help management create an efficient system and design of First Aid administration, depending on the specific needs of a workplace. In Regulation 42, it is stated that an entity must consider “the nature of work being carried out in the workplace; the nature of hazards at the workplace; the size, location and nature of the workplace; and the number and composition of the workers at the workplace” when determining the requirements for First Aid in the workplace. It is highly encouraged to look back at records of incidents relating to health and hazard.

                The Australian government has ensured that these guidelines go beyond the provision for basic First Aid facilities. It is stipulated in 3.1 of Safe Work Australia’s guidelines that additional eye pads should be provided in places where welding, splashing of infectious materials, and use of chemical liquids in open containers are conducted. Furthermore, a First Aid room is recommended for “low risk places with 200 workers or more and high risk work places with 100 workers or more”. The training of First Aiders is also stipulated in its Code of Practice. The selection of trained First Aiders is dependent on factors like working shifts, and the increase or decrease of workers.

                The systemization of First Aid administration has prompted companies like Injury Treatment to provide consultation services to various businesses in designing occupational health and First Aid systems. Companies like Injury Treatment emphasize on efficient reporting of hazards and illnesses in the workplace so that the earliest possible intervention can prevent the worsening of any condition that threatens employees’ health and consequently, workplace productivity.

                The Australian government has already laid out basic but very comprehensive guidelines on implementing effective First Aid administration.

Corporate health should be a basic concern of anyone who belongs to the working force. By designing efficient and systematized First Aid procedures, the organization can mitigate unprecedented work-related hazards and ensure the continuity of work flow. 

Author Bio: Cristina Beltran – blogger and writer at 21stcenturynews.com.au.