I’m now officially a First Aider. If anyone knows me though, they’d probably be laughing at the screen right now because I’m extremely clumsy and if anyone were to find themselves in a situation where they needed First Aid and I was there? Well, unlucky for them. I genuinely believe that the only time I’ll be using this newly acquired qualification though is probably on myself.
Since finishing the course, I’m now seeing everything as a death trap! I’m sure this will disappear by next week but I’m avoiding any sharp objects and preparing myself for any accidents that may happen. Working in an office environment, meant that I’ve gained a First Aid in the workplace qualification. One of the interesting points I took away with me is that we cause more harm to ourselves at home than in the workplace. It makes sense because we avoid removing the near misses (dangers) in our own space, yet if it were in our work environment, we’d be quick to get rid of it.
So how can we avoid these dangers in the work place and more importantly, avoid Natalie Redman attempting to do First Aid on you. Because we can all agree, that ain’t what you want…TRUST ME.
Mop up any spills immediately
It seems that the most common accident in the workplace is due to spillages. According to Accident Advice Helpline’s infographic,
‘20,294 people were injured by slip hazards. Exposed cables on the floor and water spillages are top risks. Slipping can cause broken bones, concussion and slipped discs to name a few.‘
It’s a habit we tend to avoid whilst in our homes but leaving behind trails of water or any liquid for that matter can lead to someone else falling over. Having slippage signs is one way of covering your back but making sure you clean up after yourself is the best way to avoid any incidents!
Don’t over-stack the shelves
Shelves come in all shapes and sizes, and a lot of them at work tend to be higher up than you. Many people are injured when they become trapped by something overturning or falling. When reaching for items on a shelf, try using a ladder or step of some sort to reach for what you’re after at eye level.
Over-stacking shelves are also a common issue so be sure to reduce the amount and to also be wary of how much the shelving can hold.
Be careful of hard to reach objects
This sort of ties in with the shelving, but in our office space, we have a lot of plates and cups that are up high. Before I took my First Aid course, I would try and reach on my tip toes to get to them. However, it’s so easy for you to misjudge what’s actually there and it could end up hitting you in the face. That mean’s you’ll be knocked out and I’ll have to give you First Aid. Yep. So instead, like the shelving, use sturdy stools/ladders to get to them.
Avoid heavy lifting
We all like to show off sometimes and I myself am always one to step up with heavy lifting, especially when the person in question, asks for ‘strong men‘. Ah ha, no mam this is 2017 – women lift weights too.
Although saying that, we sometimes like to lift things that are probably a little too heavy for us to handle. With around 6,159 employees being injured every year due to lifting/handling items, it’s probably best to either ask for help or distribute the weight by splitting what your carrying in parts – if that’s possible!
The best advice I can offer is to not lift anything heavier than what you’re able to lift in the gym.
Put your health first
If you work in an office, it’s pretty likely that you’ll be facing a computer screen for the majority of the day. Over a while, this can have a damaging effect on our eyesight, especially if we’re straining our eyes. It’s no surprise that eye strain is a very common injury in the work place as well as poor ventilation playing havoc on our breathing and allergies.
Be sure to take regular breaks every hour to just step away from your computer to give your eyes a rest. For ventilation, make sure your office is well ventilated and if not that then’s always your HR/Operations department who may be able to help.
Ask for new office furniture
Working on broken office equipment poses a high-level hazard risk especially with broken office chairs being the most common. Companies will always have a budget that’s available to keep it’s employees safe in the working environment so don’t feel like you’re asking too much if your chair, keyboard or any other office equipment in general is broken.
Don’t abuse the electric
A small amount of injuries come from fire hazards such as overloading a plug socket. I know I’m one to do this at home so it’s just as easy to do it at work too. Unfortunately, we forget that this can be very risky so make sure to use less plugs and make sure that all electrical equipment has been tested safely before daily use.
Do you work in an office space? If so, let me know if this is something you’ve spotted in your work place.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaboration with Accident Advice Helpline Direct Limited.