7 Safety Tips for Healthcare Workers

A nurse assisting an old woman

Even with all the good that they’re doing for others, healthcare professionals are exposed to a lot of hazards and dangers to their own health and wellbeing.

The most obvious are those that are biomedically related, but there are many other things that can adversely affect them if they’re not careful.

Considering the sensitive and volatile nature of the industry, it’s important that employers take extra care of their health care workers. Here are top 7 tips that are guaranteed to keep your workers safe and in top shape.

1. Be extra careful when lifting

There will be occasions where heavy lifting is required. Some patients need to be helped up or lifted entirely. Heavy equipment should be moved around your healthcare centre. It’s inevitable.

As much as possible,  the use of mechanical aids while doing heaving lifting is preferable as they are guaranteed to help distribute the load and strain rather evenly. Examples of these are lifts, pivot disks, and slide boards which make patient transport so much easier.

If these are not available, make sure to master proper lifting techniques for medical staff. There are some specifics in this industry which require special care from your behalf.

2. Working in pairs is better—always

An alternative lifting option that often gets overlooked is working in pairs. It distributes the load between two people.  This is the perfect option if the mechanical means are unavailable. However, here are some things that you need to consider with this option.

Medical nurses inside the operating room
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by tpsdave

First, work with someone of the similar height and build. This will make it an easy and equitable task for both of you. Second, make sure to coordinate carefully in order to avoid dropping and damaging whatever it is that you are lifting. This is especially true if you’re lifting a patient.

3. Constant maintenance is a must

Whether it’s something as minor as bed cranks and wheelchair casters or something as major as monitors, constant maintenance checks are a must.

A lot depends on the effective functionality of this equipment, you cannot afford to have anything malfunction—especially at critical moments like emergency situations.

If someone is responsible for maintenance, make sure to constantly check the quality of their work. Verifying a job well done is also important and not at all something to shy away from given the seriousness of those affected.

4. Report all hazards immediately

In most other cases and places, spills and leaks aren’t considered a huge danger. Often, all it takes is a simple wipe away to get things all cleaned up. This is not the case in the medical industry. Here, things that leak can be more dangerous than injuries obtained by slipping on wet floor.

This is especially true for the biological matter like blood and other bodily fluids that might potentially contain infectious bacteria/strains.

Person holding medical tubes in the laboratory
Photo Courtesy of Pexels Image by Pixabay

However, don’t ignore the simpler hazards. Broken glass strewn all over the floor can potentially be harmful to your patients or even yourself, so report even these things immediately.

5. Prioritise careful needle handling

Used needles are a very credible potential medical hazard. The risk of infection and transference of diseases is far higher with improper needle handling. Make sure that everyone is aware of the proper method for handling needles.

If necessary, schedule a training session in order to get everyone up to speed. Put up posters and reminders about the centre so that people are constantly reminded about safe handling procedures.

Additionally, invest in safe needles, They’re a tad more expensive but they’re guaranteed to provide proper protection for workers at all times.

6. Always utilise protective equipment

From special gloves to masks and scrubs – all these things are absolutely essential to every healthcare worker and should never be left out. These essentials protect you physically from harm and keep away germs from sensitive areas of your body.

By keeping you healthy, this protective gear allows you to function at peak efficiency which is a definite plus for you patients and your career.

Woman wearing surgical mask working inside the laboratory
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by DarkoStojanovic

To properly distribute protective equipment, you need to be aware of the specific dangers of every department in your medical centre. By working in different conditions, each of your employees has different protective needs.

For instance, those who handle laundry need sturdier gloves because they are at risk from stray needles. Medical experts that work with patients that suffer from highly infectious diseases need high-quality masks. The list goes on.

7. Be aware that physical assault is a possibility

Lastly, there is a very real risk for physical assault from certain patients. While much rarer than other risks, it’s still something to consider.

It is important identify patients with a history of psychiatric disorders that involve violence. If there are any that are probable problem cases, make sure that handlers of such patients are working with a partner.

There are a lot of important things to consider when it comes to occupational health and safety in the healthcare industry and for many years.

Alsco has been Australia’s top service provider for the needs of many companies from different industries and the medical industry is not an exception.

Healthcare is one particular aspect we’ve specialised in. From uniforms to safety mats, first aid stations, and other relevant equipment, Alsco can provide for all that you need.

Give us a call today and we’ll be more than happy to help craft a custom package to meet your company’s specific needs.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by sasint

3 Reasons Why You Need Healthier Snacks in the Workplace

Person eating healthy fresh fruits

When things get hectic and busy in the workspace, people tend to turn to snacks as a quick and easy relief. Usually, it means bag of crisps, or bars of chocolate, or a whole lot of other snacks that aren’t healthy at all.

While these kinds of snacks tend to taste great they are everything but great for your employees. For one thing, they represent calories that can’t be reasonably burned through the day. For another thing, they also come with loads of sugar that can be dangerous in large doses.

A better option to go for is a well stocked pantry filled with healthy snacks. Not many people understand that healthy snacks can be just as tasty as the unhealthy ones. It’s simply a matter of habit.

Still, habits die hard and even as you read this, we’re sure that you’re somewhat hesitant to give up the snacks that you love.

So, are healthy snacks still worth investing in? Can these healthy snacks turn your office into a healthy workplace for your employees?

Here are 3 reasons why we believe they absolutely are worth it.

1. Healthy snacks result in sustainable energy levels

Many studies showed that food influences person’s cognitive performance. Whether or not this is positive or negative depends entirely on the type of food you consume.

Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates tend to provide a quick shot of energy that burns out rather quickly. That’s why those who love candy bars and crisps tend to be hyper before crashing badly somewhere around the afternoon. Obviously, this kind of lethargy isn’t going to be good for productivity.

A platter of oranges and bananas versus a bucket of candies and chocolates
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by college.library

Healthy snacks are, more often than not, created with the perfect balance of nutrients—enough to give you the energy to sustain you through the rest of the day with the little risk of burnout or crashing because the burn of these nutrients is far more balanced.

Because of these, you can expect your employees to be more focused on their work and be capable of sustaining their work drive for much longer than they would snacking on those unhealthy snacks.

2. Healthy snacks improve everyone’s moods

In addition to the work drive, unhealthy snacks can negatively affect the mood of your employees. It’s perfectly understandable. When you crash, you experience a drastic shift from happy and up to down and out.

A problem with this is that these mood swings affect everybody in the office. When you crash and feel all lethargic and sad, you dump everybody’s mood.

A beautiful woman smiling
Photo Courtesy of Pexels Image by Unsplash

Healthy snacks, as mentioned before, lead to higher energy levels. This, obviously, engenders positive emotions in people which can affect those around them as well.
This cascading effect is what you go for because good vibes all around equate to increased performance and an environment that’s conducive to better work conditions. All it takes is to motivate one person in order for others to follow the trend.

3. Healthy snacks make for opportunities for better bonding

Starting a healthy snack drive in the office is an opportunity for your company to host something social and educational for everyone.

An excellent activity is to organise a tasting session. Do your research and find a couple of easy and healthy snack recipes. Serve them all to your employees for the tasting. Also, put an info sheet above each snack. It should contain the recipe itself and the list of benefits that snack offers.

Healthy and easy to prepare snacks
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by liz west

Not only does this get them interested, it allows you to figure out which healthy snacks are popular and which ones don’t really “sell” too well.

The best part is that these kinds of setups can extend beyond the activity itself. Creating a full blown information campaign with posters about the office can reinforce the benefits and entice people to be supportive of the campaign.

Encourage people to hand in suggestions and recipes to get a firm grasp on their tastes and preferences. Make this activity a monthly thing in order to keep the hype up and going.

Complement the campaign with overall employee safety

A great addition to healthy snacks is a healthy office environment. Alsco has a wide range of products and packages that cater specifically to the safety and sanitation needs of your employees.

Our Fresh & Clean line of products focus specifically on hygiene in the workplace. From high-end anti-slip mats to odour eliminators, we have everything to help transform your workplace into a place of productivity and hard work.

For many years, we have been the top provider of the widest range of services to the top companies in Australia. Our products are of the best quality and reliability.

Give us a call today and we can customise packages and programs for rental or purchase specific to your company’s unique needs.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels Image by SplitShire

Things to Know Before Your Burst onto the Fremantle Cafe and Restaurant Scene

Big dome at Fremantle

If you are a striving restaurant or cafe owner and are looking at Fremantle for your next business venture – you are on the right track. Only a short drive away from Perth, Fremantle is a city that found its place on the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Tourism Cities list for 2016.

This means two things: first – the basis for a successful restaurant business is already set, second – the news is out, so people are coming to visit.

That makes for the perfect opportunity to set up a quality food establishment and make the most of this positive business climate that Fremantle offers for the new hospitality venues.

Now, you need to do your research about the already existing bar, restaurant and cafe scene and learn all there is to know about Fremantle diners. Moreover, you need to get in tune with the city vibe, check out what the competition is doing and figure out your own concept.

After that, you need to connect with the local businesses that will help you set up a reputable place, like Fremantle Steam Laundry, and get properly integrated into the local business scene.

This article is here to help you by pointing where to look and what to pay attention to. Enjoy it and start brainstorming on the concept of your new business.

What is Fremantle All About?

If there is one word to describe Fremantle scene, the word is – eclectic. No, wait – diverse. No – indie! Actually, there is no way this place and its diners can be explained in one word.

Fremantle is charming and has it all. There is no lack of fine dining places, but, on the other hand, there is a plethora of delicious street vendors with awesome delicacies.

You can easily find places that serve International cuisine, but there is also a large variety of restaurants serving tasty dishes of specific, national cuisines. You can quite easily find a real Italian pizzeria, but also there is no lack of restaurants that serve Mexican, Turkish, Greek, Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese and the others.

International cuisine recognised in small flags from different countries
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by Nic McPhee

There are baristas from all over the world and endless selections of cafes and coffee based drinks. Micro breweries and boutique beers are in abundance. Still, you should never forget about the amazing wine from this region.

Don’t allow the numerous competition discourage you. Fremantle diners are well versed and they are used to variety and different tastes. This works for you – it means that you can come up with a great concept and people will go for it. In Fremantle, you don’t have to bear the cross of being the first of your kind – you just need to do your best to be excellent and you’ll have your customers.

Fremantle Vibrant Markets: for Cute Indie Venues

If you are not planning on opening a grand venue with pricey interior, but want to focus on flawless taste and offer charming, indie food experience, take a look at the Fremantle Markets, International Food Court and E-Sheds at Fremantle Waterfront.

Fremantle markets offer organic produce, artisan souvenirs and a huge variety of different stands. This means a lot of busy hours throughout the day and also, a lot of families with children. This is a great place for a small, informal eatery that caters to families.

A market structure of Fremantle, Australia
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by Marlene Oostryck

Don’t be afraid to go a bit quirky with your mismatched furniture, because people here will get it and love it. However, stand out with perfectly maintained uniforms and aprons for your staff. That will give a casual place a professional appearance.

Cappuccino Strip: Place Where People Come to See and Be Seen

The busiest and the trendiest place to have coffee, brunch or a sip of a boutique beer is the Cappuccino Strip, hence the colourful name. It stretches from the Parry Street to the Bannister Street in the South Terrace area.

If you want to bring something new, interesting or fresh to the scene, have a go and try to make it there. You surely won’t lack crowds of people passing by your place, but you won’t be lacking competition either.

The busy street of Fremantle, Australia
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by EurovisionNim

This area is brimming with people, restaurants, cafes and it is the epicentre of Fremantle nightlife. Once the sun sets, open-mics and live music take over and it’s all fun until the early morning hours.

You will definitely need to stand out if you want to succeed in Cappuccino Strip. Of course, you need to cover your basics first, which includes great advertising, flawless workplace hygiene and excellent service. But, after that, you need to offer a concept that draws people to your venue among all the others there.

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour: Perfect for Fresh Fish Restaurants

When a city has a harbour, it is usually the city’s beating heart throughout the ages. The port of Freo is not different in that regard. Fishing boat harbour has been around ever since the 1900s. Traditionally, it is a place where people come to fish, sell and buy the fresh catch and chat a bit with the fishermen.

Today, it is on a whole different level, but the concept is the same. Fishing boat harbor is perfect for starting restaurants that have large area of outdoor dining. Obviously, fresh fish and bounty of the Indian Ocean should be a big part of the menu at such a place.

Fishing boat harbour at Fremantle
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by Kcdtsg

The liveliness of the Harbour doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. On the contrary. It just changes a bit and transforms into a nightlife hub. So, if your business plan involves opening a nightclub, bar or a pub, this might be a good area for you to look into.

What is Your Competition Doing?

No, it is not spying. It is simply doing research. If you have your eye on Freo for your business venture, you need to take a look at your competition. Figure out what they have in common, what are their good moves and what are the mistakes you should avoid yourself. Here are a couple of interesting venues that people in Fremantle simply adore.

Sail & Anchor

This is one of the oldest and most recognisable places in Freo. They offer over 40 kinds of beer. There are old, familiar brews, of course, but there are also a couple of new ones, as well, to keep the things interesting.

The interior of Sail & Anchor matches its heritage origin. It has wood panels on the walls, old-school wooden chairs and the old spiraling staircase, as a part of its interior.

Strange Company

The trendy bar Strange Company owes its fame to awesome sips and bites on their menu, as well as the interesting design. It has a cool vibe that makes it one of the trendiest places to visit. It is rather small and drinks are the main thing, but the food is superb, also.

Whisper Wine Bar

During the Perth’s small bar craze, Fremantle responded with Whisper Wine Bar. This lovely place found its niche in combining European, mainly French, finger food and lovely local wines. It clearly worked, because this is one of the most popular places in Freo.

The Left Bank

If you want to take a look at some of the newer establishments, The Left Bank is the place you are looking for. Pleasant interior and superb service are obvious in this place. Again, it is interesting to see how well a cleverly targeted niche works out.

This time, the name of the game is breakfast. The Left Bank has an extensive list of breakfast options that will make you drool. This includes at least 3 gluten-free options, interesting taste combinations, but also the good ol’ baked beans or eggs, as well.

Coast Port Beach

Another new-ish venue that started as a very ambitious project. The idea and the motto of this place is Everybody’s Beach House. It sounds great and the design of the restaurant delivers to that promise. The view is spectacular and the venue is huge.

It is quite difficult to categorise this restaurant, because it seems to be focusing on the Everyone as the keyword of their motto. Families with children, folks looking for some fine-dining, beach-goers in thongs stopping by for a drink – everybody! And it works!

Fremantle restaurant and bar scene is awake and it is gaining its momentum. It is the perfect time to jump on that wagon and open a venue of your own.

The competition may be fierce, but it is obvious from the examples, that mindfully pinpointed niche can take you and your business a long way.

Alsco well-equipped washroom

Also, while getting all occupied by the thoughts about your concept, don’t forget about all the basic necessities. You will need linen, uniforms and even the spotless and well-equipped washroom.

Investing in all those things is not a joke. It is a lot of capital spent at once. But, with Alsco, there is a way around it. You don’t have to buy these necessities – you can rent them from us.

Yes – we rent and maintain the items you rented. We just need to agree about your monthly fee and about the schedule that works the best for you.

All those uniforms, mats and linen are not your concern after we make the deal. Call Alsco and our representatives will take the time to answer everything you want to know about the awesome offers that are waiting for you.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Robert Young

4 Ways to Ensure Washroom Safety and Cleanliness

A person washing her hand

Washroom is one of the most used yet underappreciated places in almost every office. Despite its importance, few people really understand the impact it has on the overall health and wellbeing of all employees.

Therefore, employees should not be forced to tolerate subpar hygienic levels in their office washroom. That gives a whole lot of bacteria a chance to propagate and thrive.

This isn’t that major a scare, and won’t kill anyone, but it can certainly start and spread the nasty flu or other sort of infection. Consequently, it will affect attendance numbers. This directly affects your company productivity.

To head those kinds of problems off, here are 4 cool things you can do to keep that washroom clean and safe.

1. Prioritise Hand Sanitation

The most common means of bacterial transmittance is through unwashed, unclean hands. While a bar of soap on the sink is usually enough, it’s easy for that bar to get lost. It easily slips and ends up on the washroom floor.

Worse, it passes through too many hands to remain entirely sanitary. Dispensers are a better way to go because they ensure measured releases and better hygiene as the product itself isn’t in direct contact with all those hands that use the soap.

Person washing his hand
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Arlington County

At Alsco, we offer the option of manual or automatic dispensers depending on the need for convenience. Additionally, we also offer the choice between antibacterial and hypoallergenic soaps as well as liquids, foams, or sprays.

All of these are customizable to your specific company needs. Naturally, these can be complemented by dryers and paper towel dispensers for a complete experience.

2. Clean That Throne

There’s a reason that people call the loo, the throne. Everybody spends a whole lot of time on it. That’s why a regular check of its state is extremely important.

Anyone sitting on it can easily transfer bacteria to the next person if it isn’t regularly cleaned up. Apart from the cleanliness issue, safety is another important point to ponder. Make sure to check those hinges regularly, as well.

To make ‘the throne’ a whole lot safer, provide disposable seat covers. These covers are a quick way to ensure that users are protected somewhat from bacteria. It’s no replacement for a thorough cleaning, but it does the job in a pinch.

A white hand sanitizer
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Jeff Sandquist

By putting a hand sanitizer dispenser nearby so users can easily get themselves cleaned when they step out of the loo, you are providing a more than satisfactory solution for the hygienic issues.

3. Control Those Smells and Odours

Cleanliness will always be on the forefront of concerns when it comes to the office toilet, but believe us when we say that odour control matters quite a good deal.

Not only does this affect levels of comfort, it can mean the difference between a great experience and a bad one. After all, who would want to suffer through bad washroom smells?

Fresh & Clean odour control

With Alsco’s Fresh and Clean air freshener products, you deal with odour problems very easily. Our Oxy-Gen unit is the first oxygen-based dispenser. This is a healthier option and is produced under the  GreenStar certification.

We even have unobtrusive, wall-mounted dispenser that will atomise and release pleasant odours at fixed intervals to ensure a fresh smell all around—not just the loo.

4. Be Safe Too

Lastly, slippages can be a very serious threat to safety. Spilt water, a freshly mopped floor, just the wrong kind of shoes can endanger a non-careful employee. This can lead to very serious harm or injury if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Investment in safety precautions doesn’t have to be all that costly. Especially if you decide on rent instead of purchase. Alsco offers managed floor mat rentals.

Alsco rental Wet Area Mats

For one thing, our mats are made from very reliable materials. These have been proven to be able to absorb up to 80% of dirt and dust. When it comes to water, it can either repel or absorb a decent quantity ensuring cleanliness and safety.

Our mat rental service also provides laundering and delivery to ensure complete convenience and comfort for you.

In keeping your washroom clean and safe, it pays to invest in even the little things that come together for an overall good experience. This will not only ensure a comfortable employee experience, but it will also keep you far from harm.

Alsco has—for the longest time—been the provider of a wide range of services and products to meet the needs of many businesses across a wide range of industries.

We offer full customization and you-specific personalization of services and prices to be sure we meet your needs exactly.

Give us a call today and we’ll be more than happy to talk to you about how to best maximise our plans for your company.

Photo Courtesy from FreeStockPhotos.biz Image by CDC/Kimberly Smith, Christine Ford

7 Cool Ways to Keep Employees Workplace-Healthy

Two male employees working together

We all know that we need to work for a living. Unfortunately, for many people, work itself can be a big strain on their, well – living.

Just think about the deadlines, all the stress, or even maybe a tough boss or two.

All that doesn’t even begin to include the torment of commuting.

It’s hardly surprising that all of these lead to bad back and neck pains among other health problems.

Sure, office work has its benefits. Paycheck is stable, you often have many cool friends to spend the day with, and many offices have a lot of perks that make the grind worth it.

Here are 7 ideas that you can encourage and even participate in yourself to make your workplace a healthier and happier place. Everyone in your company will benefit from them. It pays to keep your employees’ health in the forefront.

1. Encourage Bring-Your-Own Lunches

Preparing healthy lunch in a lunch box
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Campaign Monitor

Frequently, a very busy employee really has no time to think too much about what to eat and whether or not their meal is healthy. That’s why many turn to fast food for ease and convenience—which is decidedly unhealthy.

Encouraging employees to prepare their own meals encourages a healthier diet. Consequently, their health improves.

Additionally, it lowers the stress of having to go out to buy a meal in the middle of a busy day and leaves more time for a rush-free meal.

2. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks

Yogurt with berries for snack
Photo Courtesy from Pixabay Image by Einladung_zum_Essen

Another visit to the pantry, because why not? Nothing helps keep the stress away than a snack or two. And stress is a real health hazard.

More often than not, this is a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps. Neither one is particularly good for the body.

Stock that pantry with a bag of almonds, some fruits, or maybe even come celery with some tasty dip.

Even those who might not appreciate these types of healthier snacks will find appeal in the fact that they’re totally free.

3. Light Up Their Lives

Big office utilising natural light
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Campaign Monitor

Encourage greater use of natural lighting. Whether it’s by installing full walls of windows up to installing skylights, a little natural light goes a long way towards improving your employees’ well-being and health.

Of course, make sure you account for possible glare and maybe a change of indoor temperature. You really need to balance things out to best meet your employees’ health needs without hurting their comfort.

4. Give Gym Benefits

People exercising at the gym
Photo Courtesy from Pixabay Image by tpsdave

If you offer it (for free) people will be more likely to go to a gym. After all, many are those who want to exercise, but few are those willing to invest time and money into it. Of course, offered gym memberships are out of the office, which is why people won’t always take advantage of it.

That’s why it’s also a great idea to host events in-office. Thursday Zumba Nights, Friday Dancefests—all these things have their associated health benefits, and up the fun factor.

5. Have Walking Meetings

Corporate individuals walking for business purposes
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Ted Eytan

This is perfect for smaller meetings and companies close to a park or a beach. Not only is this a great change of pace for your employees, but it also allows them to stretch their legs.

The change of environment also encourages creativity and greater openness. It draws people away from the restrictive, entirely professional confines of the office spaces.

Be very cautious about having these sorts of meetings with bigger groups, though. They are harder to manage and meetings may end up being unproductive.

6. Create Varied Work Zones

Sit and stand workstation
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by John M

Sitting all day is never a good thing. It’s what’s causing all the back strain mentioned in the introduction. It also hurts your heart, blood flow and the entire cardiovascular system.

That’s why it’s best to provide varied work areas that allow your employees different options.

A standing-room-only loft lets them ease the strain on their backs. A pod and couch area allows them to loosen up a little and take a breather. You might think that this will encourage laziness, but it actually promotes freedom of work movement.

7. Invest in a Cleaner Office

Clean and colourful office
Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by K2 Space

Lastly, cleanliness and hygiene are among the best ways that you can keep the workplace healthy. That’s especially true for your office washrooms. With Alsco’s Fresh and Clean line, you have the perfect option for washroom sanitation.

Our Odour Control System dispenses subtle fragrances, in regular intervals, that keep things smelling fresh. It also involves a comprehensive hand care programme which can be customised to your office’s specific needs.

Pair this up with safety and first aid options and you’re sure to keep your employees well and healthy.

At Alsco, we’re committed to helping you meet your employees’ many needs. From uniforms and safety equipment to industrial rentals and more, Alsco has been providing Australian businesses with quality services to help improve their workplaces and their employees’ lives.

Alsco services are centred around the health and well-being. To a degree, this is achieved by sanitation products for the most sensitive areas of your office space. To that end, contact us for plans and products that we can customise specifically for your needs.

Call us today and let’s get your workplace health and in good shape.

Photo Courtesy from Flickr Image by Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone