Hand hygiene in the workplace

Hand Hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing the spread of infections

Everyone has germs. Infection control in the workplace begins by assuming that everyone is potentially infectious. Our bodies are covered with germs that actually help us stay healthy. In addition to the germs that are usually present on our skin, we also pick up germs from contact with other people or objects in our surroundings. These germs are easy to pick up and transfer. In this way, they can cause you, or others, to get sick. Although people usually think that germs are spread through the air, the fact is that germs are most easily spread through hand contact.

Infection is caused by pathogens (‘bugs’) such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi getting into or onto the body. It can take some time before the microbes multiply enough to trigger symptoms of illness, which means an infected person may unwittingly be spreading the disease during this incubation period.

When should you use antibacterial hand rubs?

If you have contact with contaminated objects in the environment e.g. dirty tissues/nappies, shopping trolley handles, when handling coins, phones, keyboards or shaking hands.

Before and after you contact anyone who is sick

For routine cleaning of hands anytime they are visibly clean

Whenever you want to decontaminate your hands

Hand Facts: 

95% Of People Don’t Wash Their Hands Correctly After Using The Bathroom – eeew!

So how should we wash our hands?

1. Wet hands in clean running water

2. Apply soap

3. Rub hands together to lather soap, not forgetting your nails, thumbs, the back of your hands and between fingers

4. Continue rubbing for at least 20 seconds

5. Rinse in clean running water

6. Dry with clean cloth or paper towel

To find out more about hand hygiene go to:

Hand Hygiene Australia

Better Health Vic

9 Tips for spring allergies

 images (45)Whilst many of us are enjoying the spring blooms and the sweet smell of flower perfume in the air, there are those that are cringing and reaching for the antihistamines.

Here are some tips to make this season a little more enjoyable..


Tip 1: Check the pollen countdownload (17)

Pollen is invisible to the naked eye. But you don’t need to see it to feel its effects! Once pollen reaches your nose and throat, it can trigger an allergic reaction if you are the sensitive type. Being aware of the pollen count in your area means you can plan your outdoor activities around high count days where possible.

It’s easy enough to check the pollen count in your locale, for example this website:

Australia Pollen Count


Tip 2: Stay Indoors When Pollen Counts Are High

When pollen counts are high, shut the windows and use the air conditioner if it is hot.

Pollens are often heaviest when the weather is nicest, avoid sleeping with the windows open.


Tip 3: Pollination Times

It’s best to avoid the outdoors during high pollen counts, but that’s not always practical.

Most plants pollinate from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., so if you are outside at these times, for example going for a jog, you pick up the pollen on your hair, face, and clothes. It is best to avoid this time period.


Tip 4: Windy days

Windy days can be worse than calm days as windy days stir the pollen around. Try to arrange indoor activities on windy days.


images (47)Tip 5: Don’t be too quick to blame the dog

If a dog is outdoors, he’s a pollen-carrier, too. Often people blame the dog for an allergy, and it might actually be the pollen on the pet. If you bring your dog inside, rinse him off or brush him before coming into the house.


Tip 6: Wear a mask in the garden

If you are the one who has to do the yard work, wearing a mask is a good idea. They don’t look fashionable, but It’s not a social occasion.


Tip 7: Medicate before you leave the house

Take your allergy medicines before you go outside. People often wait until they are miserable and then take it. 


Tip 8: Don’t bring it inside with you

As soon as you arrive home, even if you’ve just been in the backyard, change your clothes and take a shower to rid your body of as much pollen as possible. Don’t forget your hair, especially if it is long.


Tip 9: Don’t overuse nasal sprays

Beware of overusing decongestant nasal sprays. Using decongestant sprays for more than three days in a row can lead to a “rebound” effect. Your allergy symptoms may become worse than before you started the medicine.



Asthma and the weather

Many of our Medenews readers are asthma sufferers or have family members that are effected by asthma. People are commonly aware of such triggers as pollens and exercise, but did you know that the weather can also act as a trigger for asthma attacks?

images (42)The effect of weather on asthma symptoms isn’t fully understood, but clearly there is a link. Numerous studies have shown a variety of connections, such as increases in asthma-related emergency department visits when certain weather conditions are present. Some people find that their asthma symptoms get worse at specific times of year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change may trigger an attack.

Exposure to cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can quickly cause severe symptoms. People with exercise-induced asthma who participate in winter sports are especially susceptible. Dry, windy weather can stir up pollen and mold in the air, leading to problems for some people.

Hot, humid air also can trigger asthma symptoms, and wet weather encourages the growth of mold spores, another asthma trigger.

Studies have shown that thunderstorms can trigger asthma attacks. One study showed that during thunderstorms, the daily number of emergency department visits for asthma increased by 15%.

Make sure you are ready and able to assist in an asthma attack. Book your asthma training in one of our popular public training venues, or organise your own group training with friends and family.

Click here to see our public courses available.

If you would like to arrange group training please click here.


Kidsafe – Grow Me Safely

Kidsafe NSW recognises the importance of gardening with children to build life skills, inspire creativity, grow and harvest food, role model safe practices and a respect for nature.

‘Grow Me Safely’ was developed to provide information for educators, parents and carers to engage children in gardening activities. The information provided is supported by injury data and statistics.


What Can I Do if Someone Has Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction a person can have and can be life threatening. It can be caused by medication, food, bites/stings and less commonly exercise. The Most common triggers are:

  • Medication
    • Over the counter medication e.g. aspirin
    • Prescription medication
    • Herbal medicine
  • Venom from insect bites & stings
    • Bees
    • Wasps
    • Ants
  • Food –  Some common Food Allergens are:
    • Peanuts & tree nuts
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Wheat
    • Soy
    • Sesame
    • Fish & crustaceans e.g. prawns

Even a minuscule amount of food can cause a severe anaphylaxis reaction in susceptible individuals.


The Forgotten H in WHS

It’s all too easy to be so focused on the safety aspect of WHS that the H – Health – gets forgotten. You may have effective safety systems in place to alert, minimise and monitor safety risks. Can you say the same when it comes to health risks?

Workplace safety and accident prevention are obvious and important areas to manage. Lost time caused by injury is a major problem and the effects of a serious accident on a worker, their family and the workplace are far reaching. Rightly a workplace should do everything it can to lower the risk of a serious accident.

But that’s only half the story in the workplace.


Kids Triple Zero Challenge

As a part of the Primary action plan, SEND FOR HELP, is a vital step and one that kids can learn to complete from an early age.  To help kids learn about what to do, the federal government prepared the Triple Zero Kids Challenge.

The site takes kids through a series of fun activities that teach them important skills such as:

  • How to speak to the 000 operator
  • How to help the operator identify where you are, even if you don’t know the exact location.
  • How to escape a fire in your home.

This a great activity to work through with your kids.  There is even a parent and teachers guide to help you help your kids get the most our of the challenge.


When Should We Start Teaching Our Kids Life Saving Skills?

Even the youngest members of the family need to be prepared for emergency situations. Like the rest of us, young children need skills that are appropriate to their situation.

A 5 year old may not be strong enough to perform CPR, but what can they learn?

More than you may think …

Even 5 year olds can perform first aid!


Safety and Hygiene When Using Asthma Spacers

Spacers are a common first aid tool.  They help a first aider administer an Asthma inhaler to a child suffering an attack.  Many parents even provide their child’s school or childcare centre with a spacer as well as an inhaler.  However this isn’t always the case.

To ensure proper administration of the medication, some first aid kits include a spacer ready, just in case.  This is common practice in many areas where children are at risk of an asthma attack.  It has also been common practice in to clean these spacers after use and return them to the first aid kit for use by another child.