My colleagues at work and play
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This is some information on Benzene for Mark and some information on exposure standards and further classifications for lubricants, oils and the like.

Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor. Learn what we know about benzene and cancer risk.
Garth Jacobs's insight:

This is some data that can assist Mark in educating students and lessening the exposure to any lubricants, petrol's and the like. From the data and that fire fighters are part of the at risk groups Mark could look at the implementation of an engineering control if elimination and substitution are not viable. This control could be something such as a a sealed transfer device(also linked below). This reduces the likelihood of exposure and the total exposure should the unit fail. It does add another in that you have to fill the units and the ones pictured here also don't transfer petrol's however the point still stands. In summary Mark can use the exposure standards to implement controls to lesson exposure and risk manage the nvironment better.

 

I have also added the link below to the HSIS part of the Safe Work Australia website linked to Benzene. There is also an astract from a Benzene study. Finally there is some basic infor for lubricants: http://hsis.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/ExposureStandards/Details?exposureStandardID=55

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/28541/are-lubricants-hazardous

http://www.lubeng.com.au/assets/files/OILSAFE%20Containers1.pdf

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198704233161702

 

 

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This is guidance information that may assist Mark in the duties associated with moving human like training aids

Garth Jacobs's insight:

Although this COP is for the  lifting of people in a transport to definitive care or whilst in a definitive care environment, there are still applications in Marks work environment. As part of the risk management strategy for the training aids there is no reason why portable lifting aids couldn't be attached to the trolleys already used or even fixed to new units and remove any awkward movements associated with the transport of training aids or indeed the initial lifting of dummies and or like equipment. It is a good engineering control to assist in the training environment. I have also attached a link to the current national COP for Hazardous Manual Tasks that gain assists in the risk management process as well as offering some more guidance: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/hazardous-manual-tasks-cop

 

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This is hearing protection that can meet the needs of Marks workplace and overcome the communications safety and PPE integration issues.

Demonstration of the 3M™ Peltor™ ORA TAC In-Ear Communications Headset in use. 3M Personal Safety The Power to Protect Your World http://solutions.3m.com/wps...
Garth Jacobs's insight:

This is exactly the type of communications system that would overcome the Issues Mark has with noise, clear communications, and s slim line enough to be incorporated straight into the existing fire fighter PPE ensemble, in particular the helmet. I also checked for suitability of implementation with our existing communications equipment and found there is an off the shelf attachment ready for purchase from the manufacturer. I'm not normally a fan of going to PPE and would have preferred an engineering solution or better, however the cost in the current political environment  is prohibitive. I would however investigate it as a longer term an more enduring solution.  

 

An excellent guidance source for the issue of noise management is the national model COP for managing noise and preventing hearing loss at work (see attached link) that specifies working times in particular noise environments. It also assists in the risk management strategy:  http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/managing-noise-preventing-hearing-loss-cop

 

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Meet my colleague Athena

Meet my colleague Athena | My colleagues at work and play | Scoop.it

Athena works as one of our logistical support staff. She also deals with repair and return of equipment as well procurement, warehousing and disposal. Some of the things that she told me I would never have picked.

Garth Jacobs's insight:

OHS issues for Athena were:

 

Stacking of equipment on shelving

 

You can see the shelving in the picture that stores the majority of the equipment Athena is responsible for. A large OHS issue is that to store and move any equipment not at ground level you need to use a cage for the equipment and the walk truck also pictured here. There have been several instances in Athena's workplace where the walk truck has collided with the wracking whilst stacking equipment or equipment has moved in cages from the same or a similar event.

 

Chemicals

 

All chemicals ordered for my workplace go through the area that Athena is in. There is a significant issue with short term and long term storage of chemicals here as some require ventilated areas for example. Athena is also not always aware due to external processes that chemicals are due for receipt or storage.

 

Obsolete or damaged equipment

 

One of the Jobs Athena does is return broken equipment for repair or disposal. This can pose an OHS risk as for example she may not know what is wrong with the equipment due to communication breakdown or the equipment is heritage and there is no procedure for safe disposal. Alternately the equipment may be broken in such a way that it can leak causing exposure to unknown substances. Some of which turn out to be not so great.

 

Vehicle traffic

 

Due to the nature and location of where she works there can be vehicles moving directly through the workplace or loading/unloading at any time. Not all the drivers are aware of the movement restrictions and here have been some near misses in the past.

 

Noise

 

The workplace with vehicles and equipment can cause high ambient noise. This can also be achieved or exacerbated  when kitting out 80-100 students who talk quite a bit adding to the noise issue.

 

Stores preparation

 

To some level there is always manual preparation of stores and equipment. This can place Athena at a risk of injury due to the dynamic nature of the tasks that are required for stores preparation.

 

Thank you Athena.

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Meet my colleague Darren

Meet my colleague Darren | My colleagues at work and play | Scoop.it

If you take away the uniform, Darren enjoys playing in a band. He plays the bagpipes among other things. He is part of a pipes and drums band and practices twice a week. He also does some of the work for returned servicemens families  on ramp ceremonies when required as sad as it may be.

Garth Jacobs's insight:

Here are the issues Darren faces:

 

Noise

 

Although obvious you don't get an appreciation for just how much noise there is when you are in the middle of it playing in a band. Darren wears properly fitted noise cancelling earplugs when he practices and plays. He has brought the pipes into work for lunchtime sessions and even in a heavily insulated building you can still hear it several rooms away and outside. You can also add other noise to this from cerimonial weapons fire, aircraft, and vehicles.

 

Slips, Trips, and Falls

 

Some of the places that they get you to perform are on elevated platforms at the top of steps and the like.This can add to the risk of falling as you aren't just standing there you are concentrating pretty hard on something else.

 

Light

 

At dawn, dusk and at night when you are performing, normally there is some kind of illumination on you. Depending on he situation it can be like the sun shining directly in your face for hours.

 

Electrical cabling

 

There is whenever your performing an inordinate number of electrical cables, from power, instrument to microphone etc. This can be conjunction with the other problems quite an OHS issue.

 

Thanks Darren.

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This is guidance information that can assist Mark in managing the risks of falls

Garth Jacobs's insight:

I chose this model COP instead of the standard Managing the Risk of Falls in the Workplace as it has more information on the subject and also has checklists that Mark or other instructors would find use full as a teaching aid and as an audit tool for assessments. This would be of particular use with ladders and elevated working areas which are common place where Mark works. Although administrative controls they are dynamic enough to be used in a simulated emergency environment. I have also added the standard code below so as to gauge against: 

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/632/Managing_the_Risk_of_Falls_at_Workplaces.pdf

 

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This is heat illness guidance material that can assist Mark in his duties and reduce the likelihood and or severity of any heat illness.

Garth Jacobs's insight:

This is good risk mitigation and management information for dealing with heat illness and heat stroke. There is a plethora of information out there however I am yest to see a code of practice for this. This as stated above will help Mark in the identification and management of higher risk individuals as well as and if not more directly relating to the workplace shows symptoms of both heat stress and stroke. Armed with this information and in conjunction with other literature Mark can seek to eliminate the hazard or lesson the effect on individuals. There is also another link below from Safe Work Queensland which shows some more information on the topic: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/hazards/dangers/heat-stress/index.htm#.U1ycRPmSx8E

  

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Meet my colleague John

Meet my colleague John | My colleagues at work and play | Scoop.it

John pictured here works in the field of providing and training military working dogs or as I refer to them a life support systems for gnashing fangy teeth. They look cute but can and will when trained turn on a dime. They provide John with quite a few OHS issues.

Garth Jacobs's insight:

John discussed along with his staff quite a few issues. The major ones are listed here:

 

Zoological

 

The animals themselves are cared for very well however there is the need to use different bloodlines so as not to inbreed the dogs. This introduces dogs of an unknown veterinary history. Some of the OHS issues from this is the transfer of helminths (worms), such as hook worm from contaminated dogs to the staff.  It can be transferred from the dog to people from either touching the dog in an area that has or had feces then wiping near the mouth or walking on an area that has feces with bare feet and the worms will burrow through the soles of your foot.

 

The confined work environment

 

 You can see in the photo one of the cage runs (there are many more). You can also see one of the adolescent dogs, they can get much bigger. When the dogs are exited in the cage areas just being inside the cages with the animals can be an OHS issue as they can be very active in a finite space.

 

Noise

 

I honestly don't know how John handles the noise. I won't say how many there are but its quite a few and it leaves your local RSPCA in the armature hour are for dog noise. The staff use special noise cancelling hearing protection so they don't go deaf. I can't explain in words just how loud it is when you walk through the kennels.

 

The dogs nature

 

Particular breeds are favored for the work tasks. As part of this there are some potentially negative behaviors that come along with it. Some dogs jump quite a bit and John mentioned he as well as several of the staff have been collected by the dogs leading to the need for medical attention. He also mentioned the obvious problem of being bitten or mauled by dogs depending on their nature temperament and the like.

 

Chemical exposure

 

As for Mark the exposure to chemicals is ever present in Johns Job. Some chemicals such as tick treatments and flea dip baths are in themselves not that hazardous for the pet owner. However when you do this as apart of your occupation the exposure is quite large and can lead to OHS issues.

 

Needle stick injuries

 

John and his staff have to give the animals countless injections and take blood samples. Dogs unlike people rarely sit still during this process and just don't understand why that person is stabbing them with a needle. This can lead to the dogs moving quite a bit and this can cause needle stick injuries. The problem here being that the needle has broken both the dogs and the humans skin/blood barrier leading to greater ability for the transference of illness and disease.

 

Thank you John.

 

 

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Meet my colleague Mark

Meet my colleague Mark | My colleagues at work and play | Scoop.it

Mark is an Fire Fighter instructor at my workplace. He with others trains our basic as well as post graduate students. He is pictured here assessing some of out post graduate students on a team leaders course. Although in a simulated environment there are no shortage of OHS issue that Mark faces.

 

Garth Jacobs's insight:

Some of the issues Mark faces are:

 

Noise and Communication

 

The ability to communicate with your team is a key safety issue in this workplace. That not withstanding the simulators as well as the trucks and associated equipment produces considerable noise that can be hazardous to people. One of the main issues here is that not being able to communicate with your student/teammates is just as if not more dangerous than the noise itself. The amount of exposure to staff is also quite constant where as students get breaks.

 

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

 

There are  PPE issues in a number of respects. Here are some of the major candidates. Wearing standard hearing protection means you can't wear a helmet. This significantly then affects the ability to perform rescue. As does not being able to communicate with other staff and students.

The PPE is not designed to be worn for many hours at a time so having a breathing apparatus backpack on that weighs 20 kg is quite an OHS issue in itself. Combine this with the other PPE concerns and it makes for quite an OHS issue.

 

Environmental conditions leading to Heat illness

 

For staff as well as students there is the risk of heat illness due the wearing of PPE and the physical nature of the job. This is also a seasonally enhanced issue with the warmer months. Everyone concentrates on the students well being to the point of nauseam and there are significant administrative controls in place to monitor this. Nothing so stringent however is there to monitor staff like Mark who have deadlines and outputs to meet. This has in the past led to OHS issues.

 

Training aid movement

 

The moving of casualty dummies around the grounds even with the trolleys and vehicles still produces hazardous manual tasks especially placing them in seats from cars to aircraft.There is a not so obvious OHS issue here as Mark like the other instructors are generally in there late 30's to late 40's and the risk of musculoskeletal injuries increases with age placing them at a higher risk of incidence. 

 

Fire fighting vehicles

 

When you train students to drive large vehicles it is one thing. When you put lights and sirens on them you add a complete other dimension to it. The average age for basic students is about 20 so this increases the risk of incident. Mark and the others routinely operate on foot adjacent to moving vehicles with students at the controls. Some of these students have very little experience driving and operating heavy vehicles let alone doing it in an emergency situations. 

 

Falls

 

When training students there is a demonstration phase to any practical training as well as an assisted stage meaning Mark can be on elevated work platforms and ladders for considerable time with students.  Some of these areas are cramped and awkward to navigate. Even with fall arrest systems you can still get a decent injury from a pendulum effect  back into the platform, a wall or other objects,  and even people.

 

Chemical exposure

 

Mark is exposed to chemicals such as lubricants, petrols, oils and de-greasers as part of his job.There is added risk when you are teaching students as you have to perform the tasks repeatedly and also step in when things go wrong for students.

 

Contaminated atmosphere

 

You can see in the photo even through the rain that the fake smoke we use carries quite some distance. In a normal situation such as a nightclub or other such environment the amounts you are using is very small compared to what Mark uses and is exposed to. There are also the products of combustion that Mark is exposed too from all manner of burning substances such as LPG, chipboard, and some plastics. This can lead to acute as well as longer term OHS issues.

 

Thanks Mark.

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Meet my colleague Damien

Meet my colleague Damien | My colleagues at work and play | Scoop.it

Damien is a work colleague that enjoys recreational running outside of work. He tries to run several times a week, work and family permitting. Some of the things he explained to me gave me new perspective as to the OHS issues of the recreational runner. As for John sorry about the photo as Scoop it won't allow me to rotate the picture.

 

Garth Jacobs's insight:

OHS issues Damien faces from our talk where:

 

Other runners

 

Believe it or not the presence of other runners, especially those plugged into Ipods and the like can be an issue especially when they aren't paying attention as they can collide with you.

 

Motor Vehicles

 

Granted there is the obvious issue with moving vehicles when your running on the edge of the road but as I found out there is just as much issue when running on paths next to houses with vehicles turning into their driveways or reversing backwards out of them.

 

Wildlife and Pets

 

Depending on where you run and what time of the year, you can be faced with the issues of native animals such as Kangaroos who don't particularly like runners as well as pets like dogs who can be a real issue especially if they aren't being controlled.

 

Environmental Conditions

 

There is also the issue of the surfaces that he runs on and at different times of the year. Some of the areas particularly paths in Spring and Autumn can be very slippery from dead fall from deciduous trees or  flowering. This can be exacerbated by rain and ice that add further risk to the activity.

 

Thanks for your time Damien.

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