Stay Safe at Festivals

Posted by admin on September 10, 2013 at 8:56 am. Filed under: First Aid

Life is unpredictable and you never know what is going to happen next. That is why it is a good idea to ensure that you are always stocked up with emergency first aid supplies in case disaster strikes. With the summer festival season well and truly underway, there are a number of items which every person should consider taking with them when they go camping for the weekend. After all, when you are away from home for a few nights you won’t have access to your normal medical supplies. As such, it is best to make sure that you take the right type of equipment and medicine with you when you are going to a festival.

T in the Park is the biggest music festival in Scotland. However, at this year’s 2013 event there was almost double the number of reported injuries compared to the amount recorded at the 2012 festival. This can in part be attributed to the hot weather conditions and people becoming more dehydrated than usual. People with allergies and hay fever are also more susceptible to health problems if they are camping outside with their normal medication.

Indeed, with the expected hot weather this summer it stands to reason that people will be at greater risk of receiving heat related injuries. If you have never been to a festival before you may be unsure of what type of medical supplies to take with you. An HSE first aid box will cover you with all the basic essentials that you may need before seeking further medical help. If you do have an existing medical condition make sure that you carry a list of your regular medication with you at all times. This will be useful information for professional medical staff in case you do suffer a bad injury or health attack.

One of the best things about sleeping in the great outdoors is the fact that you can have a lot of outdoor food! Barbeques are especially popular at festivals. There is nothing quite like sitting round in a circle with your friends and listening to the bands in the distance whilst cooking your own food on the barbeque. However, outdoor cooking can be dangerous and it is easy to get burned if you don’t pay full attention. That is why it is a good idea to ensure that you have a tube of burn gel in your kit to deal with any accidental minor burns.

If you have first aid supplies with you at a festival, the best way of avoiding having to use them is by using a good old dose of common sense. Yes, that giant mud pool may look like a thoroughly tempting proposition, but if you jump into it you could easily hurt yourself in the process by accidentally slipping. What is more, you will probably stink all weekend too! The vast majority of people manage to survive going to festivals without any problems, but it is always best to be prepared.

 

Workplace Health and Safety

Posted by admin on September 5, 2013 at 8:50 am. Filed under: Medical Emergency

When it comes to Workplace Health and Safety regulations, it can often feel like there are many difficult challenges to overcome. However, one of the most important ways of meeting the current official standards is surprisingly easy to achieve. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 applies to every type of workplace, including the self-employed and small businesses with fewer than five employees. Its guidelines state that all first aid kits should meet BS 8599-1 standards. Fortunately, rather than having to pore through the official BS 8599-1 legislation, you can simply buy first aid equipment which is already designed to meet the required standards.

Whilst you will be able to find first aid posters in almost every workplace, you may not find so many actual employees if one MP gets her way! The UK has experienced a number of heat waves over the past few weeks and temperatures have regularly reached 30°C plus. However, MP Linda Riordan has tabled a motion in the House of Commons saying that employees should be sent home if the temperature reaches more than 30°C.

As things stand, Workplace Regulations have minimum temperature standards for those who do jobs which involve severe physical effort. There is no maximum temperature limit though, which has led to the Halifax MP requiring a debate about the clarification of the law. Ms Riordan believes that ministers should “resolve uncertainty for employers about their duty to combat excessive heat in the workplace by introducing a maximum working workplace temperature of 30°C (86°F) and of 27°C (81°F) for those doing strenuous work”.

Ms Riordan also added that overheated factories and offices can cause “discomfort, stress, irritability and headaches …extra strain on the heart and lungs, dizziness and fainting and heat cramps due to loss of water and salt”, and the resulting reduction in alertness and attention spans can contribute to workplace accidents and fatalities, said Ms Riordan. The early day motion has attracted 17 signatures from fellow MPs so far.

It is unlikely that such a scenario will ever be allowed to happen, but there are ways in which workplaces can help improve the happiness and productivity levels of their workforce when operating in sweltering conditions. It is essential to stay well hydrated in hot weather, so employers should make sure that their staff has plenty of opportunities to consume hot drinks or water. Common sense is a big help. If the office is really hot, keep the windows open or use a fan if there aren’t any air conditioning facilities.

Be ready with first aid supplies if somebody does succumb to the heat. Every workplace should have a trained first aider who will be able to respond appropriately if a person falls ill. Most people are able to muddle along and complain about the weather without any problems. However, it is always reassuring for employees to know that they will be looked after properly if things go wrong. Ensuring that you have the correct medical supplies on base makes perfect sense.

 

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