Commuting with care

March 22, 2013

Ask About Risk

car accident

Road casualties in Ireland have been falling since official data has been recorded (1959), reaching the lowest level in 2011(Figure A). According to RSA (Road Safety Authority), the number of road deaths per million in 2001 was 107, more than double the number of casualties in 2011, which was 41. In spite of this, there is still much to do, especially by companies as most of these accidents would have been commuting accidents (occurring during travelling to or from work), and we must consider, not only the number of fatalities, but also the number of road injuries (over 7,000 in 2011).

road fatalities

Figure A. Number of roads deaths per million of population in Ireland, 2001-2011

There is a general unfamiliarity about what commuting accidents are which is why, in the majority of the cases they are not reflected in the statistics. Commuting accidents should be considered as occupational accidents

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Influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 10 2013

March 21, 2013

Influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 10 2013; however influenza associated hospitalisations and outbreaks continue to be reported.

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The sentinel GP influenza‐like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 34.7 per 100,000 population in week 10 2013, a slight decrease compared to the updated rate of 41.3 per 100,000 during week 9 2013.  ILI rates have now remained above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population) for 13 weeks this season. ILI age specific rates were highest in the 15‐64 year age group during week 10 2013. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out‐of‐Hours services remained stable during week 10 2013.

Influenza positivity decreased during week 10 2013 to 21.5%, compared to 25.7% during the previous week. Twenty‐six influenza A(H3), 16 influenza A(H1)pdm09, 6 A (unsubtyped) and 24 influenza B positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 10 2013. The percentage positivity for influenza A (66.7%) was higher than for influenza B (33.3%). Seven acute respiratory outbreaks in residential care facilities/community hospitals were reported to HPSC during week 10 2013. Influenza activity remained substantial in week 9 2013 across Europe; however an increasing number of countries reported declining transmission.

 

For more information please contact dan[at]ehasoft.com

 


March 20, 2013

Ask About Risk

In the last 5 years, 450 workers in the UK alone have lost the sight in an eye following a workplace accident. Eye Protection, such as Safety Goggles and Safety Visors, is vitally important to ensure the protection of worker’s sight during dangerous activities.

When carrying out a risk assessment, activities and tasks which involve the risk of eye injuries must be fully considered.  Once all these activities have been identified, control measures must be put in place to avoid accidents and injury. Control measures not only include Personal Protective Equipment, but also Engineering controls, such as machine guards and screens.

The risks can occur in different kinds of activity where work generates:

  • Flying particles
  • Fragments (bits of metal, glass)
  • Sparks
  • Dust
  • Chips (flying wood or metal)
  • Release of hot water or steam or pressurised air
  • Splashes with grease and oil
  • Radiation
  • Exposure to blood or other bodily fluids
  • Respiratory…

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Get Ahead? Get A Safety Hat! Are you wearing the correct safety helmet?

March 12, 2013

Ask About Risk

Like all Personal Protective Equipment we purchase, getting the correct head protection is not just about the colour or the aesthetics; yes we can choose different colours and even get our company name or brand on the helmet. Ultimately though the helmet must perform under sometimes arduous work conditions and at all times protect the wearers head from injury.

Your risk assessment programme will have identified where and what types of activities require head protection. Different standards apply to different types of head protection depending on the work activity and the risk to the user from that work activity.

Here are some examples of the work activities, the risks and the standard of helmet you may need:

Picture tableSo how do we know what head protection will give the required standard of protection from the activity and the risks we have identified in our risk assessment? In the EU the standard…

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Don’t get caught red handed

March 12, 2013

Ask About Risk

DSCF2012

We all take working with our hands as a given. We use our hands for so many things on a day to day basis from hand gestures, shaking the hands of people we meet, writing, to intensive precision work such as medical surgery. What would happen if we were unable to use our hands for all those tasks we take for granted?

There are many work activities and workplaces where we risk damaging our hands from repeated exposure to ‘wet substances’ such as working in hairdressing where repeated immersion in warm water containing varying levels of detergents is common to repeated washing of the hands by workers in the food industry.

Repeated exposure of the skin of our hands to this type of environment can result in ‘inflammation of the skin’ and a condition known as Dermatitis. The two most common types of dermatitis in industry are Contact Dermatitis and

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mai™ Case Study: Ergonomic Assessments for a Multinational Pharmaceutical Client

March 5, 2013

The Challenge:

Client needed to conduct an ergonomic survey of all workstations at their facility to ensure that they complied with legislative requirements, and wanted to avoid a ‘tick box’ exercise to merely comply.

The corporate manager had a template for ergonomic assessments that she wished to ensure was up to date and could be rolled out to other sites without requiring additional resources or budget.

Our Solution:

A workstation ergonomics template was designed in the mai™ system, which can be configured to complete both simple and complex risk assessments; help files were added to explain how to answer the question.

mai Workstation Assessment

mai Workstation Assessment

 

 

Key Benefits To Client:

A training program for workstation hazards was completed by the relevant personnel. Individual users were then able to log on and create risk assessments for their workstations.

Referring to help files where necessary, users inputted their own answers resulting in enormous time savings for the client and this process helped to reinforce the knowledge acquired from the initial training. 

Depending on their answers, corrective actions were generated and managed using the Corrective and Preventative Action Module on mai™.

A report was printed for each workstation and this was reviewed with the user to ensure the correct information was captured and proposed action items were discussed as required.

Participating in the ergonomic improvement programme helped to decrease the risk of ergonomic injuries and illnesses, which should lead to decreased absenteeism and improved wellbeing.

The corporate manager is able to simply update a single template due to the way that mai™ is configured making the control of ergonomic assessment templates much easier ensuring consistency across the whole company.

The Future:

The corporate manager is now going to add a more specific template to mai™ for ergonomic assessments in the production areas which addresses the adaption of the workplace to the individual (neck flection etc).

For more information about Ergonomics please see our free health and safety Wiki: http://www.askaboutrisk.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Ergonomics

 

Please visit our website for more information about mai™ QEHS compliance software.


Influenza activity in Ireland stabilised during week 8 2013

March 2, 2013

Influenza activity in Ireland stabilised during week 8 2013, compared to the previous week, however influenza-associated hospitalisations and outbreaks continue to be reported. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 39.7 per 100,000 population in week 8 2013, remaining stable compared to the updated rate of 39.8 per 100,000 during week 7 2013. ILI rates are above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI age specific rates were highest in the 15-64 year age group during week 8 2013. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services decreased during week 8 2013, for the second consecutive week.  Influenza positivity was 27.4% during week 8 2013, compared to 26.8% during the previous week. Twenty-four influenza A(H3), 16 influenza A(H1)pdm09, 6 A (unsubtyped) and 31 influenza B, positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 8 2013. The percentage positivity for influenza A (59.7%) was higher than for influenza B (40.3%). Six acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 8 2013.

Influenza activity remained significant in week 7 2013 across Europe; however an increasing number of countries reported declining influenza transmission.


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