5 Tips to creating a better culture of workplace health and safety

 How can you improve the current workplace culture toward Work Health and Saftey?

1. Frequent and informal communication.

imagesCommunication between workers and management on safety management raises workers’ awareness of and can potentially contribute to a positive preventative safety culture. People work more safely when they are involved in the decision making process.

 

 

images (1)2. Set the example.

Managers that model behaviour by making a personal contribution to WHS consultation can significantly change the way their team thinks about health and safety in the workplace.

 

 

 

3. Reward positive contributions. download (1)

This has lasting effects to culture change. An organisation is formed to achieve certain goals and objectives by bringing individuals together on a common platform and motivating them to deliver their best. It is essential for the employees to enjoy the workplace for them to develop a sense of loyalty towards it. The organisation must offer a positive atmosphere to the employees.

 

 

download4. Promote team building activities.

Conduct training programs, workshops, seminars and presentations to upgrade the existing skills of the employees and to bind the employees together. Team building improves communication, boosts morale, increases motivation, improves productivity and a fun way to learning effective health and safety strategies.

 

 

 

personal responsibility5. Make it personal.

Personal safety responsibility, control and rational judgment are essential to a good health and safety culture. An organisation is said to have a strong work culture when the employees follow the organisation’s rules and regulations and adhere to the existing guidelines.

Allowing personal responsibility within organisational guidelines gives employees ownership of their responsibilities and personal satisfaction.

 

 

Information source: comcare

Delirium

Although delirium is primarily found within aged care facilities and hospital patients, the symptoms of delirium may be the first signs of an untreated medical or mental condition or medication reaction. Causes also include trauma, drug toxicity, bleeding and dehydration. All causes we may come across as first aiders. These may include:

  • Medications or drug toxicity
  • Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal
  • A medical condition
  • Metabolic imbalances, such as low sodium or low calcium
  • Severe, chronic or terminal illness
  • Fever and acute infection, particularly in children
  • Exposure to a toxin
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Sleep deprivation or severe emotional distress
  • Pain
  • Surgery or other medical procedures that include anesthesia

Delirium involves a quick change between mental states. For example, from lethargy to agitation and back to lethargy. Other symptoms may include:

Delirium syndrome mental health icon design. Hallucinations symbol concept

  • Changes in alertness
  • Changes in sensation and perception
  • Changes in level of consciousness
  • Changes in movement. For example: may be slow moving or hyperactive
  • Changes in sleep patterns, drowsiness
  • Confusion about time or place
  • Decrease in short-term memory
  • Disorganized thinking, such as talking in a way that doesn’t make sense
  • Emotional or personality changes, such as anger, agitation, depression, irritability
  • Movements triggered by changes in the nervous system – seizures, tremors

Delirium or Dementia?

Dementia and delirium may be particularly difficult to distinguish, and a person may have both. In fact, frequently delirium occurs in people with dementia. Dementia is the progressive decline of memory and other thinking skills due to the gradual dysfunction and loss of brain cells.

Delirium is a  sudden onset of symptoms, often lasting about 1 week. It may take several weeks for mental function to return to normal . Full recovery is common, but depends on the underlying cause of the delirium.

First Aid for the Delirious or Demented

What ever the cause of delerium,  how do we render first aid treatment effectively to a severely confused person?

Our primary concern is our own safety and the safety of the ones we are treating. If a person seems delirious it is important to reassure our casualty to enable us to treat them effectively and safely. Which we would try to do anyway, but these specific types of reassurances will help your casualty deal with their situation.

Perform the initial steps to providing first aid, ensuring all dangers have been identified and dealt with and that medical help is on its way. If the person is not requiring immediate resuscitation or action, bear in mind these tips to help reassure your patient as you perform assessment for/of injuries.

  • Reassure the person by speaking slowly in a clear voice, identifying yourself and them (if known).
  • Knowing the time of day can reduce confusion. Let them know where they are, what day it is and the time of day.
  • Visual and hearing impairment can make confusion worse. If you can see they have glasses or hearing aids help them to put on (if safe to do so).
  • If aggressive or agitated do not try to restrain. Try to make sure the area is free from hazards.

Agitated or aggressive patients may be dangerous to themselves and others or may not be able to cooperate with necessary procedures.

information sources: nlm.nih.gov, carersaustralia.com.au, mayoclinic.org
Image: kondyukandrey/iStockphoto.com

AEDs – Your Questions Answered

AED-Automated External Defibrillator (2)

Why do we need Automated External Defibrillators?

AEDs save lives. When a person has a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart becomes arrhythmic. Every minute that the heart is not beating lowers the odds of survival by 7-10 percent. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, very few people survive.

AED’s are becoming an essential piece of first aid equipment in shopping centres, schools, community centres, airports and workplaces. If you are considering purchasing one for your workplace, home, community we strongly urge you to. By having an AED onsite you can increase the chances of a persons surviving a sudden cardiac arrest by 75 percent.

Can a non-medical person make a mistake when using an AED?

AEDs are safe to use by anyone who has been shown how to use them. The AED’s voice guides the rescuer through the steps involved in saving someone; for example, “apply pads to patient’s bare chest” (the pads themselves have pictures of where they should be placed) and “press red shock button.” Furthermore, safeguards have been designed into the unit precisely so that non-medical responders can’t use the AED to shock someone who doesn’t need a shock.  

Can the AED itself make a mistake?

It is unlikely. Studies show that AEDs interpret the victim’s heart rhythm more quickly and accurately than many trained emergency professionals. If the AED determines that no shock is needed, it will not allow a shock to be given.  

Can I be sued if I help someone suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

State and federal “Good Samaritan” laws cover users who, in good faith, attempt to save a person from death. To date, there are no known judgments against anyone who used an AED to save someone’s life.  

Can anyone buy an AED?

Anyone can buy an AED in Australia. AEDs must be TGA approved to be sold.

Who can use the AED’s installed in public areas?

In the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest anyone can use the “public access” AED’s located in airports, train stations and shopping centres etc.

 

Previously Published Related Article: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)? Read here..

info source: http://www.defibtech.com/

Why is work health important?

It’s the law

Under section 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (the WHS Act), a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must ensure the health and safety of workers at work in the business or undertaking, so far as is reasonably practicable. Additionally, section 19(2) requires PCBUs to ensure that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, so far as is reasonably practicable.

‘Health’ is defined under the WHS Act to mean physical and psychological health.

The employer’s duty of care includes providing:

  • a physical and psychosocial work environment without risks to health and safety
  • safe systems of work
  • information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety.
  • monitor the health of workers and conditions at the workplace to prevent illness or injury

It’s the right thing to do

The workplace plays an important part in combating the rise in chronic disease, promoting participation in employment, and preventing needless disability. The workplace can affect the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of workers and therefore offers opportunities to improve worker health.

To realise the health benefits of work and accelerate the prevention of chronic disease, workplaces need to extend their agenda to include health and wellbeing.

It’s the smart thing to do

Good work is good for you. Strong evidence shows that good worker health and wellbeing boosts organisational health and business performance.

Chronic disease negatively affects worker productivity and workplaces bear a number of associated costs. Health and wellbeing programs can improve performance and productivity and reduce indirect costs from:

  • absenteeism
  • presenteeism
  • staff turnover
  • workers’ compensation
  • disability and early retirement.

Other advantages of investment in health and wellbeing include improved workplace culture, attraction of talented workers and improved organisational image.

Healthy and safe workplaces have a future because they are resilient in the face of change and adversity. They contribute to prosperity and a sustainable economy will create new opportunities.

Businesses that protect worker health are among the most successful over time.

Information Source: COMCARE.COM.AU

Prepare Your Emergency Go Bag

images (4)What do you grab in an evacuation situation, when you’re panicked, you have to leave in a hurry and you’re facing the possibility that your home and everything you own will be destroyed?

Not the things you really need, people can say from experience. Panic stations is not a time to be thinking about packing a go bag. The following is a list of suggested items to pack.

Suggested Content List:

  • Comfortable clothing – Layers, sealed in weather proof bag
  • A current family photograph including pets – to use for identification.
  • Water for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable food such as energy bars, tinned tuna etc.
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Proof of identification and ownership of pets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • AM/FM radio and extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • A method of water purification.
  • Can opener for food & utensils for eating
  • Extra toothbrush and toothpaste, toiletries
  • Lighter or flint
  • Mobile phone with chargers
  • Important documents (see tips below)
  • First aid kit & manual
  • List of Contact Numbers
  • Local maps and compass
  • Money small denominations rather than large notes.
  • Unique family needs such as prescription medications, pet supplies, infant supplies, eyeglasses

 

images (2)Documents Tip

Prepare certified copies of important documents and having them packed safely in a sealed waterproof sleeve. Alternately you can get electronic copies of these documents and your family pictures and store them on a USB. Store correctly in sealed bag to protect. Remember you can only access a USB with a computer or device and power.

Make copies of important paperwork such as:
– drivers license, medicare card, marriage certificates, birth certificates, insurances, property deeds, banking details, current medications & treatments, proof of residence, insurance policies, and tax records.

 

Information sources: nrdc.org, wikihow, nyc.gov

A Global Language

LOST-IN-TRANSLATIONWhy the need for an international language?

The materials and substances used commonly in workplaces and homes are designed and manufactured all around the world. All around the world we have a huge variety of languages and workplace safety standards. Hence the need for GHS.

What is the GHS?

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a single internationally agreed system of chemical classification and hazard communication through labelling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). The GHS was developed by the United Nations and is being progressively implemented in many countries internationally. It includes harmonised criteria for the classification of:

  • physical hazards,
  • health hazards, and
  • environmental hazards.
Advantage-Label-GHS-pictograms

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Benefits of GHS

It is expected that the GHS will provide trade benefits to industry as well as improved health and safety outcomes through use of internationally consistent hazard communication elements.

Even if we don’t speak the same language.. we can speak the same ‘language’.

Does it apply to you?

Even workplaces in states that have not adopted the model WHS legislation will still be affected by the introduction of the GHS. Commonwealth persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) will need to ensure that all hazardous chemical labels and SDS are in the new GHS format by 1 January 2017.

For more information about GHS, material labelling codes of practice click here..

Information source: comcare

Start the new year with PPP

Medilife are strong believers in PPP..

What is PPP and how can you maintain it in your workplace?

Prevent – Preventing an accident or incident is the best option

Prepare – Training can minimise injury in the event of an emergency

Perform – Fully confident to provide assistance in an emergency

 

  1. Check Your Workplace First Aid Kits

Often neglected, a quick glance in the kits direction is not enough. Prepare your workplace and ensure your first aid kits are up to code for your workplace, that includes vehicle kits. You need to check: contents, expiry dates, open packages, kit location, signage and staff accessibility. You can purchase code of practice refill modules or complete kits online here..

  2. Emergency Procedures

Review your workplace first aid, fire, emergency and evacuation plans and policies. The workplace is a dynamic and evolving environment. By reviewing and then performing an evacuation drill you ensure procedures are working smoothly and that every person onsite is trained in workplace procedures. Your staff will then be prepared and confident to perform.

  3. First Aid Training

A first aid kit is only going to be of maximum benefit if you have staff that are familiar with its location, contents and trained in the most up to date first aid training. Prepare your staff by booking into courses here..

  4. Promote a Safe Working Environment

Encourage your staff to make suggestions as to safer work practices and keep an open means of communication for safety concerns. Provide incentives for safe work practices. This can help to prevent accidents and potentially life threatening incidents in the workplace.

Workplace Hazard and Risk Assessment

What is a workplace hazard?
A hazard is anything in the workplace that has the potential to harm people.
Hazard types can include (but not limited to):
~ Objects, items, equipment in the workplace, such as machinery or dangerous chemicals.
~ The way work is done. Such as manual handling, excessive noise and fatigue.

risk-management-table1

Risk factors

A risk arises when it’s possible that a hazard will actually cause harm. The risk of a hazard is based on Probability & Consequences. Factors such as:
~ How often the job is done
~ The number of workers involved
~ The likelihood of injury
~ How serious any injuries that result could be

Hazards and Risk Assessments1330296351_wt09

Workplace Assessment begins with consulting staff on any potential health and safety issues they have become aware of and also a physical walk through of the workplace looking for potential hazards and typically follows four steps:

1. Finding hazards

2. Assessing the degree of severity of a possible injury and the likelihood of injury from a hazard

3. Fixing the problems by deciding on the most effective risk controls that are reasonably practicable

4. Reviewing your risk controls and checking that they work effectively


Information sources: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au, www.worksafe.vic.gov.au


unnamedMedilife offer a large range of course types, dates and venues.

View available courses here..

You can also purchase Code of Practice first aid kits online!

FA Kit with Handles 200 x 197 (2)

Avoiding Bee & Wasp stings

images10 tips to avoid getting stung by flying insects

Some people seem to attract them and some are severely allergic to their stings. Here are some useful tips to avoid being stung by stinging insects and still enjoy the outdoors.

1. Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes.
In other words, don’t smell like a flower. Bees can detect and follow strong scents, and wearing perfumes or colognes will attract nectar-seeking bees and wasps from a distance. Once they find the source of the flower smell (you), they’re likely to investigate by landing on you or buzzing around your body.

2. Avoid wearing brightly coloured clothing, especially floral prints.
Along the same lines as tip one. Avoid looking like a flower. There’s a reason beekeepers wear white. If you’re wearing bright colours, you are just asking bees to land on you. Keep your outdoor wear limited to khaki, white, beige, or other light colors if you don’t want to attract bees.

Don’t panic, they will realise you aren’t a flower and fly away.

3. Be careful what you eat outdoors.
Sugary foods and drinks will attract bees and wasps. Before you take a sip of your soda, look inside the can or glass and make sure an insect hasn’t gone in for a taste. Fruits also attract the stinging crowd, so pay attention when snacking on ripe fruits outdoors. Don’t leave your peach seeds or orange peels sitting around.

4. Don’t walk barefoot.legs-558539__180
Bees collect nectar on clover blossoms and other small flowers in your lawn, and some wasps make their nests in the ground. If you step on or near a bee, it’s going to try to protect itself and sting you.

5. Don’t swat it.
Bees and wasps might just find their way up your pant leg or into your shirt. Once inside, they will be trapped against your skin. And what’s your first impulse when you feel something crawling around inside your clothing? You slap at it, right? That’s a recipe for disaster. Carefully try to allow the insect a route of escape, its not where they want to be.

6. Stay still.
If you’re afraid of bees and wasps, this may sound as reasonable as eating jelly with chopsticks. But the worst thing you can do when a wasp flies around your head is wave your hands around in a frantic attack. What would you do if someone took a swing at you? If a bee, wasp, or hornet comes near you, just take a deep breath and stay calm. It’s just trying to determine if you are a flower or some other item useful to it, and once it realises you’re just a person, it will fly away.

Note: Unless you have just disturbed their nest.

The insects will then be in attack mode in which case make a quick retreat to a safe indoor area.

7. Keep your car windows rolled up.
Bees and wasps have an uncanny knack for getting themselves trapped in cars, where they will buzz around in a panic trying to find a way out. If you’re driving the car at the time, this can certainly be a bit unsettling. But wasps and bees can’t get inside a car that’s closed up, so keep the windows rolled up whenever possible. If you do find yourself giving a ride to an unwanted stinging insect, pull over when it’s safe to do so and roll your windows down. Don’t try to swat at it while you are driving!

8. Rinse your garbage and recycling bins and keep lids on them.
Bees and wasps love empty drink and beer bottles, and will check out any food waste in your garbage, too. Don’t let food residue build up on your garbage cans. Rinse them well now and then, and always put tight-fitting lids on them to keep wasps away from your garbage. This can substantially cut down on the number of wasps hanging around your yard.

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9. Don’t hang out in the flower garden.
The chances of being stung while admiring the flowers are small, but if you’re really worried about bee stings, don’t hang out where the bees are most numerous. Bees spend most of their time and energy collecting nectar and pollen from flowers. Don’t get in their way. If you’re dead heading flowers or gathering them for an arrangement, keep an eye out for bees and wait until they’ve moved on to another flower.

10. Call a professional to have unwanted bees

Nothing makes a stinging insect angrier than when someone disturbs or destroys its home. Professional beekeepers or pest control experts can remove wasp or hornet nests or bee swarms safely, without putting you at risk for stings.


First Aid Treatment 

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Are the first aid treatments for bees and wasps the same?

Over 2% of people stung will have an allergic reaction to a sting, what are the signs of anaphylaxis to a sting?

If you aren’t sure, maybe you need a refresher in first aid!

Book into a course today. Click here to view dates and venues.


Article Information source: http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/a/10-tips-to-avoid-bee-stings.htm