People at work and play
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Quest 3, Back Pain in the Workplace

Carl Harris's insight:

Aside from slips, trips and fall injuries back related injury in the workplace, especially lower back, is also considered widespread.  David is 65 years old and may already have sustained some type of injury to his back, be it a traumatic or degenerative type.  So certainly the strategy of managing any existing back injuries combined with the prevention of any new injuries is of upmost importance.

 

This article by the British Journal of Rheumatology beautifully outlines the epidemiology of back pain, risk factors, the implementation of new and existing legislation and the options and effectiveness of different treatment types available.

 

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Quest 3, Work/life balance and stress management | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government

Quest 3, Work/life balance and stress management | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government | People at work and play | Scoop.it
Achieving a healthy work-life balance can help you manage your stress and improve your health.
Carl Harris's insight:

The espresso bar operating 6.5 days per week with just one staff member is most certainly not sustainable.  The balance of work and life for David is clearly very work favoured at this point of time.  If this does not change it will inevitably affect both the business and David’s home life also by way of increased stress levels, loss of concentration, decreased job satisfaction.

 

This article by the Queensland Government is just the thing that David needs, it looks the benefits of work life balance, some signs, symptoms and causes of stress and some cognitive behaviour techniques to manage stress. David needs to take on board these recommendations to ensure the business still continues to thrive and his personal health and mental state don’t diminish.

 

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Quest 3, Working Hours & Fatigue Management

"This code of practice addresses issues that might potentially arise in some working hours arrangements, for example extended hours, shiftwork and on call work. It brings together a range of recognised workplace hazard factors that must already be addressed, as far as practicable, where there are occupational safety and health risks.

This code of practice is presented as a starting point for undertaking a workplace or industry risk management process to address relevant issues where the working hours arrangements may have occupational safety and health considerations".

Carl Harris's insight:

The nature and demand of the espresso bar and David’s determination to keep his customers happy, means the hours and days of operation are long.  Also the fact that he is an owner operator means he doesn’t have to adhere to the same hours of work as an employee would under their award conditions.  This can create arguably some of the greatest occupational health and safety risks being fatigue and impaired performance.  This code of practice looks at issues that may arise in some working hours arrangements such as shift work and extended hours work. It also looks at a broad range of recognised workplace hazard factors and offers strategies to risk manage through use of a risk management matrix.

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Lawyer

Lawyer | People at work and play | Scoop.it

Dimitri is a lawyer employed by a firm focusing on Business/Corporate law.  His work is focused mainly around contracts and planning.  The environment in which he works is a CBD high rise building, with his own office and admin staff.

 

Carl Harris's insight:

The schedule demands of a large firm lawyer are considerably gruelling, especially if a planning deadline must be met or a case is due to go to court.  So long hours are a necessity in this field of work, which can contribute to sleep deprivation and high levels of stress.  Additional pressures may exist in sensitive cases such as irate clients or defence, unhappy with the outcome of a case.  This has the potential to lead to personal litigation against the lawyer or even death threats in some cases.  Other than stress and pressures, OHS issues related to the office environment range from musculoskeletal problems due to sitting for long periods of time, to fire, bomb or terrorism risks.  Another common office environment issues are lack of sunlight or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or visual or respiratory problems due to constant air-conditioning.

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Dr/Mother

Dr/Mother | People at work and play | Scoop.it

Nat works 2 days per week at a hospital in the intensive care department, the rest of her time is currently spent caring for her 1 year old son. Intensive care Drs’ are responsible for providing organ support systems to patients who are critically ill and are in need of around the clock monitoring.  So understandably this is can be a high pressure environment, coupled with the shifts Nat works that are 24hrs in duration, fatigue is a major factor.  That said the demands of a new mother are none the easier.  Sleep patterns for most new parents in the first 2 years of their childs life are erratic and almost never unbroken.

Carl Harris's insight:

In the hospital environment common OHS issues range from infection control to combative patients or family members.  The hospital has OHS policies that assist to control the cross contamination of bodily fluids and disease, through varying levels of use of personal protective equipment (PPE).  The also have protocols in place to manage challenging case types and a security team should a patient or family member become violent.  In the home environment one of the biggest factors is fatigue management, especially off the back of 24hr shifts at the hospital.  The simplest tasks can become a challenge due to sleep deprivation.   Your childs OHS issues become yours as the parent and forward thinking and risk management of every environment you may enter is key, slips, trips, falls, water, electricity and choking hazards to name but a few.

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Phlebotomist

Phlebotomist | People at work and play | Scoop.it

Phlebotomists are people trained to take blood from individuals for clinical or medical testing or research purposes.  The most common way Brittany obtains blood from her patients is via venipuncture or in the case of neonates the preferred method is via what’s termed a heel stick, (prick to heel).  Brittany is employed by a private company in the role of a relief phlebotomist, this means that she regularly works in different medical centers and sometimes she visits patients homes to obtain blood.

Carl Harris's insight:

Without a doubt the number one OHS issue in this environment is needle stick related injuries and control of blood borne disease.  The specialised training Brittany received focused heavily on safety to herself and her patients from such injuries and contamination of specimens.  The company also has stringent policies and procedures centered around ensuring the safety of their staff and service users. There is also some risk to Brittany of infection from her patients via other routes, such as droplet or airbourne infection.  This is due to the frequency of contact with patients in the contagious phase of an infection.  Personal safety is also another issue when Brittany is on her own with a patient in a separate private area of a medical center.  This is also a major issue when she is responsible for home visits to obtain specimens as there are numerous unknowns when entering an unfamiliar environment.

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Quest 3, slips_trips_falls_guide2007.pdf

Carl Harris's insight:

Slips, trips and falls are common in all industries across the board, but the combination of other risk factors mentioned such as fatigue management will most certainly increase the likelihood of such an incident taking place in the espresso bar.  An injury to David from a slip, trip or fall could mean the end of his business if he was unable to perform his daily duties, so it’s imperative that he addresses the risk management suggestions in the document.

 

This Queensland Government document is a must for any business owner.  It provides some very alarming statistics in relation to slip, trip and fall related injuries and should provide a wake up call to implement a safer workplace and certainly avoid injuries of this type for not only David but also his customers.  In the espresso bar there are some obvious hazards such as spills or leaks from the coffee or coffee machine, but this article sheds light on some less common ones such as ensuring any cleaning products are sufficiently removed from the floor after cleaning to reduce slipperiness.  The use of adequate lighting with reduced glare or shadowing is also very important in the management of slips, trips or falls.  David’s choice of footwear is key not only to avoid slip, trip and falls but injuries to his feet from fallen objects or scolding hot water from the coffee machine.

 

The article also provides two case studies to provide business owners with some real world perspective of how very easily avoidable incidents can cause expensive Workcover claims, loss of productivity and even fines in some cases.  Then to get the ball rolling on making their business a safer environment the article provides two great tools, firstly control strategies with a hierarchy of controls and secondly a slips, trips and falls worksheet to complete.

 

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Quest 3, Armed robbery

Quest 3, Armed robbery | People at work and play | Scoop.it
Tips for business owners for reducing the risk of armed robbery and what to do if an armed robbery occurs.
Carl Harris's insight:

Armed Robbery is a very real threat to any business, especially one that operates outside the 9 am-5 pm scope.  The level of risk for the espresso bar is relatively high, firstly due to the operating hours, but also the fact that he is a one man operation may mean he is seen as an easy target.  The demographics of the area also affect the level of risk, due to a large number of travellers passing through the area and also a considerable number of unemployed. 

 

This article by Queensland Police explores some fantastic strategies to reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals, it also provides business owners with tips to survive an armed robbery, what procedures to follow if you have been robbed and how to preserve any forensic evidence left at the scene.  The espresso bar could certainly risk manage more effectively by implementing some of these strategies.

 

Risk management strategies that should be introduced are:

 

Essentially being aware of any unusual behaviour in the area e.g people loitering outside the business and strangers asking about the business.

 

Cash handling methods such as encouraging electronic payment to reduce the amount of cash on hand, not wearing company uniform when transferring cash to the bank and trying to use another person to perform this task.

 

Store layout and design is extremely important also, ensuring safety and escape routes, installing a security system and stickers and signage to promote proactive security measures.

 

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Bachelor in Distress

Bachelor in Distress | People at work and play | Scoop.it

David Harris Byron Bay Barista.

Continuing on from Quest 2 we will investigate Risk Management and Prevention Guidance specifically in Davids'  industry of food and beverage.

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Ground Crew Private Aviation Company

Ground Crew Private Aviation Company | People at work and play | Scoop.it

Shane is employed by a private aviation company that has numerous clients who utilise their services ranging from high ranking international military, celebrities, critical care patients, to some of the worlds wealthiest businessmen. The hours may vary depending on the arrivals and departures of the private jets that land on their runways. Shane is responsible for assisting in the smooth running of their clients boarding and disembarking flights and also any baggage requirements they may have.

Carl Harris's insight:

When considering common OHS issues in this industry certainly after September 11 you can imagine there exists stringent antiterrorist measures and protocols.  Which due to privacy and intellectual property guidelines we may not mention.  However what we can speak of are issues around fatigue management due to the long hours and early starts.  Also numerous risks exist on the tarmac, such as being visible to other aircraft, slips, trips, dangerous engines and machinery and also noise pollution.  

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Barista/Small Business Owner

Barista/Small Business Owner | People at work and play | Scoop.it

David (my father) owns and operates a small espresso bar in the beautiful beachside town of Byron Bay.  Baristas’ are responsible for the all important task of providing locals and holiday makers with their favourite caffeine beverage and a place to come and relax.  David works 6.5 days a week having a half day on Wednesdays, he opens at 7am and trades through to 4 most days.  He sells coffee, tea, cold drinks and a small selection of baked goods.

Carl Harris's insight:

There are a broad number of common OHS issues associated with this type of business and industry.  Being a one man operation poses risks such as being the target of theft and robbery.  Fatigue is also a major risk factor in a single operator business that trades 6.5 days per week, which can make low or medium risks within the business increase.  Slips, trips and falls are potential daily issues due to working with an espresso machine and liquids, also working with steam from the milk frothing wand is a constant hazard. Like all hospitality businesses, David’s espresso bar must adhere to the local councils guidelines surrounding the service of food and beverage. 

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