Archive for May, 2011

PostHeaderIcon How to spot dangerous cables in the workplace

Safety in the workplace is your top priority. The obvious reason is to ensure that all people and to a lesser extent all plant and equipment are safe and out of harm’s way. But there is another reason and that is productivity. If your workplace is not safe then this will have an impact on your bottom line.
Cables are a source of accidents. Power cables if frayed or broken can cause electrical outages and even electrocution. But there are many other types of cables in most offices, factories, shops and warehouses. Telephones and computers are often the source of many cables.
If you have long cables and these are in walkways then there is a strong chance workers will trip over these cables, perhaps fall and be injured and possibly damage the equipment. A computer crash because of a ripped cable could have a serious downside.
The solution to dangerous cables can be quite simple; the shorter the cable the better. Place desks and other pieces of furniture in such a way that cables are against a wall or at least not in a walkway.
If cables must cross a corridor, place them under the floor covering or bind the cables together and place inside a fixed tube or form of protective covering.

PostHeaderIcon Guest Post: National Dog Prevention Week- US

In the United States last year, almost 5 million people were bitten by dogs, and almost one million of them (one-half of those are children) needed medical attention. The U.S. Postal Service reports that around 2,500 mail carriers are included in those statistics. The American Veterinary Medical Association is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service and American Academy of Pediatrics to sponsor the 17th annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week, in hopes of educating the public on how best to prevent dog bites.
A dog’s mouth can deliver from 150 to 450 pounds of pressure. Imagine if the mouth with its strong sharp teeth is latched on your arm or your leg. A dog’s bite can cause deep punctures and big lacerations. It can also cause broken bones and may damage the muscles and the tendons. Naturally, these kinds of wounds would bleed profusely. That is why it is so important to understand the importance of preventing dog bites.
Here are some interesting facts from experts that will help us understand the nature of dogs, and what may cause them to bite, particularly, a child.
• Children are dog height, and may be loud and unpredictable. When a child screams and runs, it may seem like prey to a dog.
• If dogs are not socialized around children, they are often less tolerant and can be caught off guard by their behaviors.
• Dogs have some degree of tolerance, but may reach their threshold of patience quickly.
• Human behaviors that children may do around dogs, i.e., hug, kiss, and make eye contact are offensive to dogs, especially if they do not know the child.
• Signs of discomfort by a dog are: turning away, yawning, licking their lips, ears back, hair bristled up, then a growl or snap.
Here are some basic safety tips to teach and review with your children often. It’s good advice for adults, as well:
• Do not scream or run from a dog.
• Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
• Do not approach a dog that is alone in a fence, car, or on a chain.
• Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
• Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
• Do not bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, or taking care of puppies.
• Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
• Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
• If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
• Try to throw a jacket, purse, or anything to distract him from you in the event of being attacked.
During this spring season, many animals have been separated from their families because of tornadoes and floods. Good people in other parts of the country have taken many animals into their shelters and are trying to find their owners or new homes for them. As disaster relief personnel work as first responders to rescue animals, they must work under a designated animal control officer when possible. Some dogs may bite simply because they are confused and frightened. Rescuers should recognize warning signs that the animal may attack and use restraints, humane traps, or sedation if appropriate. Thanks to the wonderful volunteers and professionals who have responded to the needs of the citizens of areas that have been hit, and to the kindness shown to innocent animals that have lost their homes and many times, families, as well.
There are around 67 million great dogs out there! It’s up to owners to teach them how to socialize, to see that they are spayed or neutered, and keep their shots current. They make wonderful companions, and love their owners unconditionally. I can’t imagine life without a dog. Appreciate your pets and teach your dogs to not bite! Most important of all, monitor your dog when children are around. No one wants to see anyone suffer from a dog bite!
And, have a first aid kit handy for all emergencies.

PostHeaderIcon How do I regulate my workspace car park? What signage should I use?

If your business has more cars than spaces then it may be necessary to regulate use of the car park. There will usually be a select group of senior staff who will have their car space with an appropriate sign – reserved for the managing director.

Some businesses have decided to charge staff to park in the company parking lot, [a] to encourage more people to take public transport and [b] to reduce the number of staff seeking to park at work.

Signage must always be well placed and easy to read. Signage can be on a wall, a pole or post and even painted on the ground. Some of the information signs you should consider include;

  • Disabled parking
  • Visitor parking
  • Reserved parked
  • Private parking
  • No parking

A common and important sign seen in most public and private car parks contains the following message. “All vehicles and their contents are parked here solely at the risk of the vehicle’s owner.” This is for insurance purposes mainly and to encourage people to lock their cars and not leave valuables in the car.


PostHeaderIcon What to do when there is a spill in the workplace?

The effect of a spill will vary. A giant oil spill in the ocean can have devastating consequences for many years. In your workplace the result of a spill depends on what and how much has been spilt. The most important thing is that prevention is better than cure. Know the right way to handle hazardous and volatile materials and treat them with the utmost respect.

But accidents do happen and if one does, be well prepared with your recovery routines. As with a fire in a building, you need a sound evacuation program and should run drills to help prepare for the real emergency if and when it happens.

Here are some simple steps you should take once a spill occurs in your workplace.

  • Stop
  • Contain
  • Clean

The first step is to stop the flow of the hazardous material. You want to find the source of the spill and seal it and the sooner the better. Now that there is no more of the substance escaping you need to contain that which has escaped.

Finally, having stopped the leak at its source and contained what has been spilt, you can begin the cleaning up process. How you clean and with what will depend on the type of material. Oil, paint and dangerous chemicals all require their own particular method of handling and in all cases the workers require the appropriate protective clothing, goggles and footwear.