Contracting an illness such as Q- Fever or Leptospirosis can become a sever medical emergency. Seeing your GP for the annual Q-Fever shot is extremely important as Q-Fever can leave people with life long complications. Leptospirosis can also be very severe in nature and can go untreated for a period as the first symptoms mirror that of a common flu. However the later symptoms include impaired liver and kidney function and possible damage to other systems of the body depending on how long it has been left untreated. Speaking from experience Leptospirosis can leave people with life long changes. I myself had a Leptospirosis infection that spanned from 2010-2011 that left my with Celiac disease and an intolerance to Lactose. Therefore it is extremely important for farmers to see their GP with any flu like symptoms.
Tractor and machinery safety is so extremely important on a farm. A majority of farm work is done as a by yourself, so its paramount that your safety comes first, rather than meeting a deadline. This factsheet holds some safe suggestions when operating machinery and tractors in particular. 35% of accidents that occur each year on farms occur as a result of tractor accidents.
This falls prevention and guidline shows a range of different ideas and implimentations that can be used by farmers to reduce the risk of falling in their workplace. The range of ideas include the following;
Grab Rails - Inserting grab rails in cattle yards, trucks, tractors and walkways.
Steps - Apply non-stick tape, use marking tape so that steps are obviously visible
Working at heights - Choose ladders that are height and weight appropriate
Improve Visibility - Use more lighting to improve vision in areas such as sheds, workshops and around equipment
PPE- wearing shoes that lace up, walking sticks and having supportive staff
Awarenees- minimising clutter in workshop, around cattle yards, sheds and home
All of these recommendations are supported by research that was done by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
This is extremely important for David as, lets face it, he isn't getting any younger and fallls prevention will be very beneficial towards his health.
Meet my father in law David. David has been a farmer his whole life and I can't imagine him doing anything else! David like all farmers has genuine love for his land, and knows the risks of making his living.
Some of the OHS issues that surround David's job include:
Animals: Due to the amount of livestock David has, it is impossible for him to know that nature of every animal. Working with livestock in close quarters on a daily basis ensures that he is always making sure he has an escape route in case of emergency. It also means that he is usually found walking around with a piece of poly pipe to defend himself in necessary ( this does not harm the animals, just startles them enough to get out of their way!) David sometimes uses horses to muster his livestock, he always ensures that beginner riders (such as myself) wear the correct PPE - helmet, jeans, boots. There is always the risk of falling off a horse, however the usefulness outweighs the risk, especially in hilly terrain.
Motorbikes: Motorbikes are used to muster on flat ground, again the correct PPE is worn at all times to ensure the safety of the rider.
"The Shed": Like typical farmers, David is an all rounder ( with my Husband's help). The shed is a major hotspot for cuts, abrasions, metal in the eye and the occasional welding flash( they only ever do it once). The boys usually handle the she well, putting things back where the belong to ensure no tripping. They also wear the correct PPE to stop the cuts, abrasions and metal in the eye.
Being his own boss, David is ever proactive in ensuring the safety of himself and our family and friends while on the property.
Sam is my little sister, who if you ask her has dreams of being a singer on a cruise ship, but for now is studying beauty therapy. She is a real social butterfly and enjoys working with people.
OHS issues that Sam may encounter include;
Infections: IN the workplace Sam will be dealing with one of the biggest body organs; the skin. There are particular guidelines she must follow in order to protect herself and other clients from getting infections from other people. This would include hand washing, gloves, cleaning of the skin before waxing, changing wax spatula's regularly. This also means ensuring that all make up brushes and applicators are clean and up to standard.
Products: Sam will be dealing with wax on a daily basis. wax has the high potential to burn the skin if not warmed properly. Guidelines must followed to ensure this does not occur.
The ever elusive workshop is a hot spot for minor to severe injuries on farms. Eyes, hands and arms seem to be the most injured parts of the body with metal in the eye and cuts to the arms and hands being in the forefront. The factsheet above that was developed by Aghealth holds many key factors in insuring that workers are completing their duties in the best working conditions. This include having a specific place for scrap metal, having an emergency off switch for electrical tools and always putting tools back where they came from ( not on the ground).
The Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety provides a framework and program for implementing OHS procedures in agricultural and farming workplaces. This would be beneficial for David and any person who is working with or for him on his property.
The OHS practices that would be included would be;
General Farm Safety Induction, On-Farm Safety Induction, Job/Task specific Safety Induction.
All of these inductions are extremely important so that the person in every role understands their job and what sort of hazards are common in that job.
Its also imperative that the person employing people can trust their employees to act sensibly and responsibly in the workplace and follow all guidlines given to them.
Harriet is my other best friend and soon to be sister in law ( EXCITED). Harriet comes from the UK and loves her life in Australia, she has been a hairdresser for 10 years and is now studying to become an Enrolled Nurse. She loves home décor and a few ciders on her days off.
OHS issues that Harrie may face in her hair salon may include:
Cutting: This includes her own fingers and the skin of clients. Harriet is always extremely thorough in her cutting and this includes ensuring she does not cut herself or her client. According to her if you do it right you won't cut yourself or the client.
Falls: Cleaning up the hair cuttings is extremely important in ensuring that clients and the hair dresser themselves do not fall over.
Chemicals: The major part of hair dressing is colours and bleach application. This means mixing the correct amount of chemicals and ensuring that these do not stay on the skin for long periods. As people that bleach their hair will tell you, it burns!
Following the procedures set out by the employer is always the most sensible way to do your job.
Kate is one of my best friends. She is a Graphic Designer for a company and also has her own business for freelance work. She loves her job, and enjoys fitness during her time off.
Some area's that could be a potential place for issues regarding OHS in her workplace are:
Equipment : Kate has to lift heavy stock on a daily basis. In doing this she must ensure that she is using the correct lifting technique as shown by her employer. She must also be weary to not cut or burn herself using a guillotine and laminator.
Cleaning Products: Due to the amount of printing that goes through Kate's office, she must ensure that when cleaning the printers with heavy duty cleaner that she does not chemically burn herself. Following the correct procedures can ensure that this does not occur.
Marnie is one of my best friends. She loves her new job as veterinary nurse, having just left her job as a jillaroo. Marnie is proactive in her job and loves spending her free time training her horse Evie.
Some of the workplace safety issues Marnie may face on a daily basis include;
Infectious Disease Control: Many animals become ill due to infectious disease, which in turn may place veterinary staff at risk of contracting an illness as well. There are strict guidelines for dealing with animals that may have contagious infections of disease. This guidelines must be adhered to in order to protect other animals and workers from falling ill.
Animal Bites: When animals are upset of scared they turn to any defence mechanism that may have, this could be biting the person trying to help them, which more than often is the case. Animal bites must be cleaned in order to protect from infection and any guidelines in place from the employer should be followed.
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