Eye Wash Stations – Do you need them?

Alsco Eye wash stations

An eye injury can be described as any physical or chemical wound to the eye or eye socket. Eye injuries cost Australia around $60 million per year, with male workers aged between 25 – 44 years being most at risk of workplace related eye injuries.

Although we’re surrounded by toxic chemicals and agents in our daily lives, dangerous levels of exposure usually occur in workplaces. In Australia, 60% of eye injuries occur in the construction, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.

Having access to an easily accessible eye wash station is crucial. It should ideally be located within a 10-second walk from the chemical incident. Immediate flushing of the eye is the most effective way to remove harmful substances and prevent further damage to the eye. 

Common Workplace Eye Injuries 

  • Chemical Eye Burns – chemicals (either acidic or highly alkaline) are highly toxic and can cause chemical burns to the eye
  • Foreign Body Invasion – foreign particles can cause irritation and inflammation to the eye
  • Blunt Trauma Injury – injuries to the eye which do not penetrate the eye, however can cause internal bleeding
  • Conjunctivitis From Allergens – common amongst workers in the food industry who have been regularly exposed to large varieties of fruits and vegetables

What is an Eye Wash Station?

A station where an affected user can drench out their eye when dust, chemicals or irritants enter the eye. Eye wash stations are useful as a first defence for eye injuries, but all accidents should be investigated further to avoid long term damage.

Advantages of having an eye wash station

  • Protect staff from further injury – having an eye wash station can flush out unwanted particles and protect the eyes from permanent damage
  • Reduce workplace compensation premiums. Decrease the likelihood of your staff claiming workplace compensation from accidents at work. 
  • Providing a safe environment for your staff. A safe workplace is a happy workplace. When employees feel safe, productivity levels increase, absenteeism decreases and overall company morale is increased. 

Alsco’s Eye Wash Station features:

  • Simple, easy to understand instructions on how to use the station
  • Easily visible, wall mounted cabinets that are easy to use in times of emergency
  • Due to its small size, easily installed in cramped spaces, designed to not take up much room
  • An easy no-mess flush system means that liquid is neither spilled or wasted when being applied to the subject
  • Each station comes with 2 x 500ml saline flushing solutions and a small mirror for self-assessment

Contact us today to organise an eye wash station for your organisation!

First Aid Skills Everyone Should Know

Learning first aid skills is vital for everyone. In any life-threatening emergency within the workplace, employees must act promptly and treat any potential medical issues. The quicker someone administers first aid, the greater chance they have of saving someone’s life.

Businesses should be ensuring that their workers are properly trained in first aid by implementing First Aid Training courses and strategically placing First Aid Kits around the workplace. With these resources, everyone will be aware of the crucial first aid skills needed in case of unexpected emergencies. We’ve outlined the main points below!

1. Perform CPR & Defibrillation

CPR is an absolute must for first aid training. Performing CPR will provide you with the skills and knowledge to maintain breathing and circulation in a person following a cardiac arrest.

Check out the Red Cross’s step-by-step guide to performing CPR on adults.

Alternatively, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), can be used to handle cardiac emergencies in the workplace and beyond. It is a portable electronic device that automatically sends an electric pulse or shock to restore a heartbeat. It is highly recommended by WHS legislation. 

2. Heimlich Manoeuvre

The Heimlich Manoeuvre is used to help someone who is choking. In any emergency situation, choking can be identified if the individual cannot talk. You only have a 5 minute window to dislodge the foreign object before brain damage occurs.

To perform this first aid skill, you should stand behind the victim and wrap your arms behind them. Then, you place a fist between the person’s rib cage and belly button, before placing your other hand over that fist. Do several quick thrust upwards until the foreign object is dislodged.

The Heimlich Manoeuvre for children requires a different approach due to their smaller bodies.

3. Treat Burns

There are several types of burns, which all need to be treated differently:

  • First Degree Burns only affect the top layer of the skin, causing painful tenderness and mild swelling. These can be treated by running cool water over the skin or taking an aspirin. Antibiotic ointment can also be applied, along with loose gauze wrapping.
  • Second Degree Burns can be identified by blisters and thickening of the skin. The affected area should be run under cool clean water for 15 minutes. Placing ice on top is not recommended since it can tear off delicate skin. Antibiotic ointment and gauze can be used.
  • Third Degree Burns are the most life-threatening burns. They take on a white, leathery appearance and due to their deepness, they are very difficult to treat and can require amputations.

4. Treat Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can generate it, leading to an abnormally low body temperature. Extreme coldness can cause confusion, fatigue, slurred speech, a weak pulse, and even loss of consciousness.

It is important to ensure that the victim is warmed up slowly and gradually to the right temperature. Heating or massaging the limbs of the affected person can also create stress on the heart and lungs.

Treating hypothermia involves gently removing and insulating the victim from the cold. This could mean removing wet clothing and replacing these with warm blankets or coats. Offering warm (non-alcoholic) drinks is also an option, alongside towel-wrapped hot water bottles and packs.

5. Stop Heavy Bleeding

When a main artery/vein is severed and the blood clot cannot be formed, the victim can bleed out within 10-15 minutes. This can be treated by putting pressure on the wound with a sterile cloth. Raising the wounded limb over the heart can also minimise heavy bleeding.

Identifying signs of arterial bleeding is especially important because the victim could potentially bleed out and die in just minutes. Arterial wounds are usually pulsating and have bright red blood. You must immediately put pressure on the wound until paramedics arrive and add any extra cloth if required.

6. Treat a Concussion

Concussions are defined as a mild traumatic injury caused by impact, resulting in a temporary loss of normal brain function. They are often silent assassins, so as part of first aid training, it is important to recognise the various symptoms such as headaches, concentration and memory problems, delayed speech, loss of balance and coordination.

For more information about how to diagnose and treat concussions, click here.

7. Soothe a Sprain

Many work environments can cause injuries and accidents for employees, along with any strenuous physical activity. As such, sprains can become quite common, so it is essential to know how to treat them, whether they involve rolled ankles, bruised knees or twisted shoulders.

An ace bandage can help soothe the pain of a sprained joint. After resting, the victim should make sure to avoid any physical exertion to prevent long-term cartilage and tissue damage.

8. Revive Drowning

After a near-drowning incident, first aid training becomes crucial.

You must ensure that the victim has an open airway by thrusting the jaw open, enabling the person to breathe. Pinch the nose of the victim closed and then place your mouth over theirs, creating an airtight seal. Give 2 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions – keep repeating this process until medical help arrives.

So that wraps it up – the essential first aid skills that everyone should know. To spread awareness of these crucial life-saving information and safety tips, share this article with people around you! 

For comprehensive first aid equipment and resources, visit Alsco First Aid Training. It’s affordable, flexible and compliant with WHS regulations – perfect for your business’s safety.

Importance of having Industrial Workwear – Compliance

As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe environment for your staff to work in. Due to the nature of the work, the industrial sector can be very dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t in place. Within the industry, there are several uniform legislations to help keep your staff safe. The standards are used to ensure your staff are visible (both day and night) and protected from the sun and flames.

Uniform Visibility Standards

Standard: AS/NZS 4602.1:2011- Retroreflective materials and devices for road traffic control purposes Part 4: High-visibility materials for safety garments

These standards were created to ensure high visibility of individuals who may be exposed to high risk situations such as a construction site or roadwork site. The specification details day and night uniform requirements, defines the design of the garments, including the pattern options for the reflective tape, and the area for fluorescent materials.

Importance: Makes workers more visible during the day and night in dangerous environments, thus reducing the risk of workplace accidents

Uniform UV Protection Standards

Standard: AS/NZS 4399: 1999: Sun protective clothing – Evaluation and classification

These standards outline the methodology to test fabric and classify how much ultraviolet is transmitted through it.

Importance: Protects workers from UV damage, which could possibly lead to long term health implications

Uniform Flame Retardant Standards

Standard: NFPA 2112: Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire

This standard outlines the guidelines for Flame Resistant Garments in order to protect individuals from flash fire. It outlines the minimum performance requirements, methods recommended for flame resistant fabrics and components, designs and certification requirements.

Standard: NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

Defines and outlines the requirements for electrical safety in the workplace. This includes safe work practices and personal protective equipment that must be worn.

Importance: Flame retardant uniforms self extinguish or don’t ignite to begin with, protects wearers from clothing melting on their skin, provides thermal insulation from the heat which all in turn reduces burn injury and increases chance of survival.

Alsco works hard to keep your employees safe. Our uniforms meet the industry standards to ensure your employees always remain safe and clean. Get in contact with us today, and increase your staff’s safety!