Workplace Safety

Workplace

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

Ergonomics in the Workplace

722743

Manual Handling – Plan the Lift

  1. Can manual handling aids be used?
  2. Where is the load to be placed?
  3. Will two people be required to perform the lift?
  4. Clear the work area of hazards, obstructions etc
  5. Use the large muscles of your legs to lift, let the quadriceps and hamstrings do the work.
  6. Hold the item close to your body and as close to your centre of gravity as possible
  7. Don’t twist with your back, move with your feet. Keep your hips and shoulders in alignment.
  8. Pull or push if able, rather that lift.
  9. Don’t jerk the load. Lift smoothly

Workplace Ergonomics Presented by Fiona Wolfenden & Tessie Phan , Sydney University

Valuing Australia’s Older Workers

4 tips to help your business not only survive, but thrive!

“Mature aged workers are critical to Australia’s economic success. Gaining the full benefit of this valuable resource will require innovative approaches by business, community and government sectors “

 – Peter Hendy 

A change of attitude

Are you encouraging older workers to retire early? Loath to hire anyone over 45? The reduction in the numbers of young people entering the workforce now and in the future means that to survive, all businesses are going to have to be more open minded and flexible about the age spread of their workforce. Will you, your managers or your recruitment people have to revise your attitude towards older workers?

 

Ergonomics in the Workplace – Workstations

4 steps to help you adjust your workstation.

Ergonomics covers all aspects of a job, from the physical stresses it places on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and the like, to environmental factors which can affect hearing, vision, and general comfort and health.

By addressing workplace ergonomics you can:

IMPROVE

REDUCE

Productivity Injuries
Quality of work Costs
Comfort at work Upper back & neck pain
Work station efficiency Headaches
Employee happiness & wellness Absenteeism

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How Can Employers Benefit From Staff Training?

First aid training is not only a requirement for all businesses in Australia, there are additional benefits to employers. Providing ongoing training and refreshers benefit not only staff, but the employer, the business and the bottom line. Is your workplace struggling with staff motivation? Not sure how to build your team up?

Here are just 5 of the key benefits of providing workplace training.

  1. Help to keep employees motivated
  2. Help to reduce boredom in the workplace
  3. New skills and knowledge can help to create positive attitudes amongst staff
  4. Being sent on courses can help workers feel valued by their employers, leading to worker loyalty and higher staff retention
  5. Less stress at work as employees are more confident and capable in their roles. This in turn can lead to less stress related sickness absence

Workplace Burnout

A global problem effecting business performance and personal wellbeing

When Arianna Huffington collapsed at her desk in 2007, she woke to find herself covered in a pool of blood. Sporting a broken cheekbone from the fall, the incident spurred the editor-in-chief to sit up and rethink her workaholic lifestyle. 
“Nothing kills creativity more than burnout. So in fact, the best thing we can do for our careers is to foster and nurture that creativity and that effectiveness … There is absolutely no trade off between doing well in our jobs and taking care of our own human capital.” – Arianna Huffington

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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.

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How To Make Your Workplace Healthier

This week we’re going to look at a specific example to see how you might approach managing health risks in your own workplace.

What’s at stake?

Managing medical conditions in the workplace, such as Asthma, Anaphylaxis and chronic heart problems can difficult. Each of these common conditions can have a large impact on your business. For example, a recent study estimated that over 50 000 person years of work time are lost each year in Australia because of Asthma alone.(Chronic disease and participation in work, 2009, http://www.aihw.gov.au)

The good news is that the approach to managing health issues in the workplace is the same as when managing safety risks:

  • Plan
  • Implement
  • Review

Let’s see how we can apply this using the example of Heart Disease and Heart Attack

Do you need help with developing your health and safety plan? Medilife can help. Visit our services page or call us now on 1300 130 385 to find out how we can help you make your workplace healthier and safer.

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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.

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