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Workplace safety

Workplace Safety

Safety at work starts with you…. Yes, You!

You the employee, You the Manager, You the business owner. Everyone is responsible for work  place safety.

It is your responsibility to be alert and aware and make your well being a priority.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings –Accidents can be prevented purely by being aware of changes to your immediate environment.
  2. Protect your back– Back injuries are more often than not the result of minor injuries. If you work at a desk, keep your shoulders aligned with your hips and sit up straight, if you are picking up or moving items, use your legs.
  3. Take a breather– Many workers are desk bound in our current technology era, so remember to take a breather, walk to the printer and fetch your copies or go to the water dispenser and refill your cup. These short breaks help with de-stressing and keeping you mind fresh and healthy.
  4. Stay Alert – Any substance abuse places you and your colleagues at risk. If you are on any medication that causes drowsiness of has side effects , let your manager or a colleague know.
  5. In Case of an emergency– Know the evacuation plans, the emergency numbers (Ambulance, Fire, Police) and who the First Aiders or emergency personnel are.

Remember, you are also responsible for the safety of yourself and those around you, be it your family, your colleagues or the passers by.

Contact us for a FREE, PRINTABLE emergency numbers document here.

SA Emergency numbers

Safety First – Hard Hats

Safety First – Hard Hats

Do I need a hard hat?

Hard hats should be worn in any area that has the potential for workers:

  • to be hit or struck by falling, fixed, moving or protruding objects.
  • to come in contact with electricity.
  • be exposed to UV, weather, and extremes of temperature.

Hard hats that comply with the standards must be worn at all times while on site where there is a risk of objects falling from above. In fact hard hats are becoming mandatory on most sites.

Choosing the Right Hard Hat for the Job

Hard hats come in a range of styles to suit all types of work:

  • Industrial – suitable for use in construction, factories and quarries
  • High temperature – suitable for use in processes such as steel and glass manufacturing
  • Bushfire fighting – suitable for use by emergency personnel for combating bush fires
  • Peakless – allowing clear upward vision
  • Peaked – providing shade for the eyes and some facial protection
  • Full brim – providing fuller protection from falling objects and UV as well as water shedding

Some hard hats allow for the attachment of accessories to add further protection such as face shields, respirators, hearing protection and work lamps. When selecting your hard hat you should also consider whether ventilation or hi-viz colouring is of benefit.

How Hard Hats Work

Hard hats are made of a hard outer shell designed to take the initial impact, and an inner harness designed to absorb and spread this impact which minimises the effects of the force to the skull.

Wearing Your Hard Hat Correctly

  • Adjust the harness cradle to ensure comfort and total contact with your head at all times.
  • It is recommended you do not wear clothing items on your head as this will result in the harness cradle becoming ineffective. This includes hoods, baseball caps, thickly woven or heavily seamed beanies or balaclavas. Some hairstyles such as dreadlocks are also not recommended. As an alternative, safety clothing distributors offer seamless polypropylene beanies which do not interfere with the performance of the harness cradle.
  • To secure your hard hat, you can use the elastic chin straps, or a four point retaining strap integrated with a harness when working at height.
  • Ensure any attachments are compatible with the make and model of the hard hat.
  • If you have any specific questions about wearing your hard hat it is a good idea to check with the manufacturer.

Looking After Your Hard Hat

  • Store in a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight, heavy or sharp objects.
  • Keep your hard hat away from chemicals including paints, paint thinners, solvent based adhesives (some stickers) and cleaning agents.
  • Clean by scrubbing and immersing in warm soapy water, and rinsing in clean warm water.
  • Sweat bands must be regularly replaced as required.
  • If the hat loses its glossy finish and appears chalky, the shell must be replaced

The Safety Check

All hard hat components should be inspected at least weekly for signs of dents, cracks, penetration and damage due to impact, rough treatment or wear. A simple test is to squeeze the sides of the hard hat together and listen and feel for signs of stress or cracking which would indicate brittleness and deterioration. Field tests have shown helmet shells last for three years from issue date. Components of harnesses may deteriorate more rapidly and may need to be replaced.

Do hard hats have a use-by date?

No, however it’s a good idea to record the date of issue by writing on the inside of the hat with a marker and replacing the hat every two or three years. Please note: that means the date that you are issued the hat, not the date of manufacture.

What Are The Food Safety Pillars?

What Are The Food Safety Pillars?

Cleaning & Sanitising

The first step in creating a food safety system is the fundamental aspect of cleaning and sanitising.

Personal Hygiene

The second pillar is probably the most important in terms of eliminating cross-contamination. Hand washing and clean hands awareness are critical to food safety.

Food Storage

The third pillar can be categorised into two areas Perishable foods (Cold storage)

Dry goods

Temperature Control

The fourth pillar of food safety is a fundamental principle in preventing the growth of bacteria and ensuring the quality of food is maintained.

Food Handling

The fifth and final pillar of food safety related to how food is handled during storage and preparation.

Food Handling carries the greatest risk when dealing with cross-contamination.

Using the food safety pillars is an essential way to prevent food poisoning. This system can be used in any kitchen, whether at home, hotel, restaurant, food truck or food factory.


Cross-contamination is a major cause of food poisoning and can transfer bacteria from one food to another (usually raw foods to ready to eat foods).

It is crucial to be aware of how it spreads so you will know how to prevent it.

Prevention Solutions:

Contact us for info on solutions to maintain a clean work area. spark@rapidspillresponse.com

Elementor #118

Food Hygiene

Food and Beverage processing

Food Hygiene, otherwise known as Food Safety can be defined as handling, preparing and storing food or drink in a way that best reduces the risk of consumers becoming sick from the food-borne disease.

The principles of food safety aim to prevent food from becoming contaminated and causing food poisoning, loss of stock and revenue.

This means that food hygiene is important at home as well as in the restaurant, retail store or food factory.

There has become an ever-increasing awareness of food safety by the general public and news agencies are reporting on food recalls and outbreaks much more often.

Reviewing the available statistics, The CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalised, and 3,000 die from food poisoning.

Personal hygiene is a practice everyone should have. It is important to always wash your hands with soap and water before handling food.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, Trips and Falls

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of attention, thinking about a personal problem or distraction by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall.

A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on a wet floor. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a number of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your co-workers:

  1. Create Good Housekeeping Practices
    Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand in hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well. Proper housekeeping is a routine.
  2. Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
    Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include, Parking lots, Sidewalks (or lack thereof),
    Food preparation areas, Shower stalls in residential dorms &
    floors in general. Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Clean up spills immediately.
  3. Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
    Injuries can also result from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entrance ways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the increase of these types of hazards.
  4. Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
    Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents. Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
    Keep work areas well lit and clean. Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  5. Wear Proper Shoes
    The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls and are a critical component of PPE. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.
  6. Control Individual Behavior
    This condition is the toughest to control. It’s human nature to let our guard down temporarily and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running, which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstruct the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common factors in many on-the-job injuries.

It’s ultimately up to each individual to plan, stay alert and pay attention.