Real stories from real farmers.....somehow this just seems to hit home a lot more than hearing it from corporate bodies sometimes.
You really get a sense for how dangerous farms can be and the long term affects are felt by not only the employee being injured or killed but their lifestyle, their families and the community.
If anyone watches this video, please pass it on to anyone you know that either lives or works on a farm. This message is probably the most important as there is not always training required to be on or around some of these pieces of equipment.
This video covers different machinery hazards workers may encounter on the farm and provides information on how to control them.
Chris Hoffman's insight:
As Sam works on rural properties often when he is visiting clients, he must be able to always work safely around heavy machinery as some of the farms are large and the machinery mentioned in this video are there. Sam has said that it's about keeping things simple and always being on the look out for hazards as it's when people get complacent or cut corners that accidents happen.
Farm accidents are not uncommon unfortunately and simple reminders like these can help people to keep safe even if they have been doing the same job for many years.
All You Need To Track Driver Fatigue Is A Smarter Steering Wheel Gizmodo Australia To prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel and potentially causing deadly accidents, researchers have developed everything from smartphone apps, to...
Chris Hoffman's insight:
With the national road toll consistently hovering around the same number each year, this device may just be something that can be implemented into the new cars being produced that will reduce driver fatigue. As a police officer, I see the result of driver fatigue on country roads and if there were more useful devices like these then we just might be able to help reduce the heartache felt everyday around Australia when someone loses a loved one.
As my brother in law Sam does a lot of country driving in his occupation, I am constantly concerned that either he or one of the thousands of other drivers on the road may become fatigued and cause an accident.
This is my beautiful sister Jenni and she is a mother to two very active children under 6 and also works in an office 3 days a week. As Jenni spends a lot of time with the children around the house and out in the public there are a huge amount hazards that she could potentially come across for both her and the children. I will list a few of the major risks here.
Within a normal household there are potentially quite a few chemicals can have negative effects on the body. Substances can be toxic or corrosive or flammable. Although Jenni tries to use the safest products she can, they can still be dangerous to ingest or make contact with the skin. As most people know, children seem to always find a way to get to things they shouldn’t.
Trips and Falls
Most people would like to enjoy a clutter free home that looks like something out of a magazine but in reality we live busy lives and don’t always have time to put things away. Jenni is constantly picking up toys and putting books away in addition to the normal grown up items like electrical items, crockery, clothes and furniture. There is a hazard with her and the children tripping on these items left out in walking areas that could cause injury should anyone within the household trip and fall. It happens but the risk can be reduced when effort is applied.
Any house in western culture has a multitude of electrical items or battery operated things. Jenni’s house had transformed in recent years with the arrival of her two children so there are more of these that need to be assessed for damage and safe, correct operation. Electrical items can be left on by other people in the house and supervision is a must as often as possible but when you can’t do this, it’s a good idea to have some sort of fail-safe in place in case one of the children use an electrical item dangerously. It’s quite easy to put a metal object into a power socket or chew on a cord.
Who doesn’t like toys?! Anyone? Anyone? Nope didn’t think so! Every childhood was filled with some sort of favourite toy(s) and over time these take a beating, which can cause damage. Toys can then be increasingly dangerous with sharp edges, leaking fluid or choking. This shows that even households need to always assess the different risks that can cause injury or illness and is something I know that Jenni is always on top of. It’s better to throw things away or repair it quickly than to assume that things will go on as normal.
And now it’s Alicia’s turn to take the spotlight :) Alicia works as an operating theatre assistant and is responsible for many things in preparation for surgery and also during and post surgeries. In an operating theatre there isn’t a workplace that needs to be much cleaner and safer to work in so there are some crucial hazards that must be controlled that are beyond negotiation. Here are some hazards that might not seem overly obvious to the layperson, which I hope you find interesting.
Steam autoclaves, scalding steam and heated exterior surfaces are potential hazards to causing serious injury to staff. It is required that appropriate training the covers the operation and safe practice of using these heated instruments are part of the orientation and safety program. The temperature inside an idle autoclave can be up to 240ºC so loading instruments into them poses a thermal injury risk. Also when taking items out, workers must be careful. Thermal burns can be extremely damaging and long term. It is also a requirement to ensure adequate room for staff within the theatre to be able to move around safely and be able to get to different equipment and patient if required at all times.
Chemical hazards make up a broad category of potential risk to patients or personnel. Chemicals can be in the form of solid, liquid, and gas/vapour. Exposure can be acute or chronic and injuries associated with chemical hazards can be many and varied and include thermal injury, blunt trauma, acute toxicity, allergic sensitivity, mutagenic changes and even death. Workers must be knowledgeable in the correct handling of chemicals and understand the dangers that are present.
Biological hazards are responsible for some of the greatest changes in current healthcare practice and again exposure can be acute or chronic. There can be system illnesses that result from exposure and can be things like autoimmune disease, liver disease, respiratory disease, neurological disease, and death. The implementation of higher infection control has evolved over the years and the mutation of the different disease strains have prompted even more to be done as new ways of infection are discovered. Correct cleaning and preparation of all objects within a theatre is paramount with no room for substandard efforts in this area.
Another potential hazard within an operating theatre is radiological hazards and can be categorised into thermo (lasers), radioactive, and electromagnetic radiation (x-ray). All persons in the theatre are exposed to all three radiological hazards at some time or another. Lasers pose potentially significant thermo radiological hazards for staff and patients. There is a risk they can be a potential ignition source for surgical fires or even ocular damage.
Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation can be used to decrease environmental bacterial counts during orthopaedic total joint surgery and UV irradiation poses a risk to ocular and dermal tissue. Surgical staff and patients must be protected from the effects of the UV irradiation and can be done effectively by covering all body surfaces with clothing, drapes and shielding the appropriate safety equipment with UV resistant capabilities.
We have all heard it before:”a bit of grease never hurt anyone”. Unfortunately, this is not true, because commonly used grease and lubricants are capable of causing health complications that range ...
Chris Hoffman's insight:
An everyday substance encountered on almost every farm and for Sam, workplace visited. Something as seemingly mundane as oil should still be thought of as toxic and handled with care.
Although Sam can potentially handle far more toxic substances on any single occasion, it's the accumulative exposure to substances like oil that can have a detrimental effect on the health of workers like Sam who everyday are exposing themselves to dangerous chemicals that some may never be exposed to in their lifetime.
I like this article because it brought to light the fact that almost every employee at one time or another, takes their workplace safety for granted and the fact that we should always keep an eye out for the rarely though of, often encountered dangers in our workplace. This may be relevant for Sam in this particular case but the message can be acknowledged far and wide I believe.
Driver fatigue, unsafe traveling speeds and distracted driving are three of the biggest culprits of unnecessary vehicle-related fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 6000 people died and ...
This article is brilliant! I read this top to bottom, every word!!
It covers all of the key points that indicate driver fatigue and also gives tips about how to avoid it and arrive at your destination safely. There is not much more insight I can add but once you read this one, you will feel empowered when you next face a country drive or any drive for that matter. It is important to remember that it's not just long country driving that can be serious or fatal.
As my brother in law Sam can tell you; it's not about the length of the drive, it all comes down to driving safely at all times. There are many serious accidents in suburban areas as well as country areas and road safety is a big priority of mine.
Brian likes going to the gym in his spare time and has seen his fair share of dangerous objects, activities and sometimes people when going to the gym. He believes that if he does the things he knows and always keeps his own health and safety in mind, that others will also benefit from this.
Trips and Falls
The gym can be a very busy place. It is quite simple for people to leave objects on the floor for people to trip over if they are not paying attention. There is also a risk that when it’s busy or people are not paying attention, that they may fall over gym equipment as they are unable to move around the gym freely. Examples that Brian has seen are electrical cords, weights and gym machines.
Within the gym environment there are many potential ergonomic hazards that are related to the way people are able to move their body. While using heavy gym equipment in general is a hazard and also equipment that is not operating correctly or performing activities in an incorrect manner can be also be ergonomic hazards.
As there are many people that use the gym at any one time, there is an increased potential for the passing of infection and disease. In a gym, the different users handle equipment and other facilities where things can be passed on from one person to another.
The equipment within a gym can also be dangerous if not used correctly and maintained. If there is a risk that an object within the gym can cause direct injury to a person that would be classified as a physical hazard.
Temperature and Light
When performing strenuous physical activities in a gym that has hot conditions, it has the potential to cause heat stress and increasing the injury potential and if the lighting in the gym were not enough, people in the gym would not be able to see any other hazards in the gym.
This is my work colleague, Richard and here he is working in an emergency call centre for services with our home state. He is required to work between 8-10hr shifts and swaps between radio dispatch and answering the emergency calls from the public, other emergency services and alarm companies to name a few. An office environment can seem quite mundane and risk free to some people but for those that work in an office everyday, there are many work cover claims for varying reasons.
Sitting in an office chair and being unable to leave his desk unless someone else takes over from him can be very difficult and cause fatigue. This fatigue can cause issues, as the crews that he is responsible for may need urgent assistance or numerous requests and if Richard is not fresh and concentrating, he could miss these critical work requirements. Constantly being fatigued can have other health related dangers that can be long term and be detrimental to his work and indirectly his home life also. Constant rotations are a way that Richard can prevent fatigue at work and he must also look after himself outside of work so he’s not over-tired before he’s even started.
Richard has a certain chair at work that he prefers to use as the comfort it provides seem to not cause him any aches or pains and the different controls to change seating position are to his liking. Many health professionals will tell you about the long-term issues with incorrect posture when spending long hours in front of a computer. At his workstation, Richard has 4 computer screens in front of him that he must utilise so the level of the desk in relation to his seat is also important. The desks used here can be lowered or raised with the use of hydraulics to assist with different sized employees, as everyone will have the height that works for them.
Within this office environment, there are up to 30 people that can be working at any one time and there are other objects such as chairs, desk legs, cords, furniture items and bags that are on the floors and can easily trip someone up causing them to fall over and even into other objects. Employees who are not paying attention can trip on a backpack or a chair that’s been left in the walking area. It is a requirement that all bags go under the desks and chairs are only to be left in designated areas but sometimes these are followed and injury can occur. The desks are situated so that most of the cords are behind them but at times, there are power cords between office desks that can be pulled outwards by their feet into the walking area also. Office managers keep this under control well most of the time when time permits.
Time to meet Sam. He works for an agricultural business that supplies farming supplies to the general public and also goes to numerous wineries to undertake soil testing which involves a lot of country driving and transporting of supplies and chemicals. He drives a ute and sometimes uses a large double-axle trailer or drives a small flattop truck when needed.
It is a known fact that country driving is a hazard and often involves long hours with sometimes little to keep the driver alert and focused. Sitting in a comfortable seat, at the right temperature and being ‘rocked’ around can cause fatigue and reduced reaction time. Sam often stops to stretch his legs, get new oxygen into the car and to break the tunnel vision that can creep into driving habits. The end result of driver fatigue can be fatal as we all know and Sam is very proactive in doing his best to keep safe each day that he performs this task.
Many country properties require different chemical sprays and powders to keep weeds in check and to promote growth of desired crops. Even the chemicals that promote healthy growth are clouded with controversy and can be deadly if inhaled, consumed or handled. Sam is required to use gloves and long clothing when handling these on his end, plus the end user must also adhere to strict guidelines when putting out the chemical to minimise any risk to other people, animals or crops in the near vicinity. Transport of these chemicals required due care and Sam is only required the transport the safer chemicals as any others are required to have special containers and distribution equipment.
Sam often uses large vehicles such as trucks, utes and forklifts within his workplace and when he’s out on site. These require special licences to be able to safely and correctly operate them as incorrect operation can result in death or injury. Visual issues can arise when operating these larger vehicles, as there are blind spots that are not normally present in private vehicles. Forklifts can cause other damage with the forks and are extremely heavy despite their sometimes small size.
Rural properties require many different tools and machinery in order to function and depending on what sort of property it is, will depend on the different tools etc that can be found. Tools such as digging implements, fencing tools, drills and the list can go on. It is important for Sam when he’s working to be able to safely handle these items when transporting them or unpacking them from their suppliers at their office. Dropping these items or storing incorrectly can cause injury and can even cause death as unfortunately has happened in his profession to people he has known.
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