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Heat wave alert - 01/12/2016
Heat wave alert.
Please note over the next few days, there will be a heat wave in St George QLD with temperatures reaching 43 degrees.
Friday Highs of 40 degrees
Saturday Highs of 42 degrees
Sunday Highs of 42 degrees
Monday Highs of 38 degrees
Tuesday Highs of 41 degrees
How to survive the heat wave…
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-coloured clothing. Avoid dark colours because they absorb the sun’s rays
- Sun Hats Broad brimmed hat, SPF 30+ sunscreen (as per manufactures instructions) when working outside. To help provide protection against the Sun
How the body controls heat gain and heat loss
The human body gains and loses heat in two ways:
- body heat – the internal heat generated by metabolic processes
- exchange with the environment – the body exchanges heat with its surroundings mainly through:
- radiation - the process by which the body gains heat from surrounding hot objects (e.g. hot metal, furnaces or steam pipes), and loses heat to cold objects (e.g. chilled metallic surfaces) without contact with them
- convection – the process by which the body exchanges heat with the surrounding air. The body gains heat from hot air and loses heat to cold air which comes in contact with the skin
- evaporation of sweat – the cooling effect is more noticeable with high wind speeds and low relative humidity. In hot and humid workplaces, the body cooling due to sweat evaporation is limited because the air cannot absorb more moisture. In hot and dry workplaces, the cooling due to sweat evaporation is limited by the amount of sweat produced by the body.
- The body also exchanges small amounts of heat by conduction and breathing, which can usually be discounted when assessing the heat load on the body
Not everyone reacts to heat in the same way
The way heat affects people varies from person to person and is influenced by:
- general health
- body weight (being overweight or obese can make it more difficult to cope with heat)
- age (particularly for people about 45 years and older)
- poor general health
- a low level of fitness will make people more susceptible to feeling the extremes of heat
- certain prescription and illicit drug use
- medical conditions (can also increase how susceptible a person is). People with conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, pregnancy, respiratory disease and diabetes may need to take special precautions. In addition, people with some types of skin diseases and rashes may be more susceptible to heat.
- Other factors include circulatory system capacity, sweat production and the ability to regulate electrolyte balance
People have an average core body temperature of around 37˚C. In hot environments, or where internal temperature is raised through exercise for example, body responses include:
· vasodilation (widening of blood vessels)
· increased respiratory rate
· increased heart rate.
Responses due to heat-strain
· electrolyte changes
· elevated core temperature.
Excessive heat-strain can occur when the work environment, task or individual health prevent these cooling mechanisms from working properly, and can lead to heat-related illnesses including:
- Heat rash – sometimes called ‘prickly heat’. It is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating and
- can occur at any age
- is most commonly associated with humid /dusty tasks in which the skin pores become blocked
- looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters
- is most likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, and in skin folds and creases
- Heat cramps – these include muscle pains or spasms, usually in the abdomen, arms or legs. They may occur after strenuous activity in a hot environment, when the body gets depleted of salt and water. They may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.
- Dizziness and fainting – heat related dizziness and fainting results from reduced blood flow to the brain. Heat causes an increase in blood flow to the skin and pooling of blood in the legs, which can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure.
- Heat exhaustion – is a serious condition that can develop into heatstroke. It occurs when excessive sweating in a hot environment reduces the blood volume. Warning signs may include paleness and sweating, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps (usually in the abdomen, arms or legs), headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness or fainting.
is a medical emergency and requires urgent attention.
Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40.5 °C and the body’s internal systems start to shut down.
Many organs in the body can suffer damage and to rectify it, the person’s body temperature must be reduced quickly.
Most people will have profound central nervous system changes such as delirium, coma and seizures. The person may stagger, appear confused, have a fit or collapse and become unconscious.
As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be liver, kidney, muscle and heart damage.
The symptoms of heatstroke may be the same as for heat exhaustion, but the skin may be dry with no sweating and the person’s mental condition worsens.
If you do not feel well please report to your supervisor or first aider immediately.
Look Sharp - 26/11/2016
What is the problem?
Cuts and lacerations to hands, fingers and legs are common injuries for workers who frequently use sharp tools with exposed blades, such as, kitchen knives and snips and heavy duty garlic sheers .
What are the risks?
Injuries to hands and fingers occur when they are in the way of the blade (either on top of or underneath the product or packaging), when the blade slips, or if an open blade is handled unexpectedly. Cuts to legs can occur when the blade slips over the edge of the packaging and strikes the worker.
What is a solution to the problem?
- When handing a tool to another person, direct sharp points and cutting edges away from yourself and the other person.
- Do not carry sharp or pointed hand tools such as probes or knives in your pocket unless the tool or your pocket is sheathed.
- Do not perform "make-shift" repairs to tools.
- Do not throw tools from one location to another or from one employee to another
- Use your free hand to firmly hold the garlic or onion making sure fingers are out of the way of any slips that might occur.
- Always use sharp knives. Dull blades cause more accidents because they are harder to work with and require more pressure. Sharp knives do not slip as easily and cut easier.
- When using sharp objects, stay focused. Distraction can be dangerous!
Did you know....
Work-related hand and wrist injuries occurred to people of all ages, but about three quarters of the injuries occurred to persons aged between 15 and 44 years.
hand and wrist injuries are the most common work-related injury type and are an important problem in the Australian workforce. They are a very common cause of work-related injury presentation to emergency departments in Australia and also result in about 8400 admissions to hospital per year. The injuries range from being relatively minor to very severe, most commonly involving the fingers, with open wounds the most common injury type and amputation the most severe injury type.
Fatal Forks - 19/11/2016
Employers and trained forklift truck operators should be aware of what not to do with and around forklifts. It is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace to ensure that these practices do not occur.
Safe Forklift Operation
Ensure loads are loaded central to forks to avoid serious accidents and potentially fatal accidents IE: Forks must be as wide as possible to the feet / barrier of the bin
Wear a seatbelt where one is provided
Ensure that loads are within the rated load capacity of the forklift truck. Carry loads as close to the ground as possible.
rest. The mast should be tilted sufficiently backward to safeguard the load.
Maintain a clear view ahead and behind (via a correctly adjusted rear view mirror) and give clear indication of your intentions. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
Observe speed limits and ensure you can make a safe stop at any time. Avoid rapid acceleration, deceleration and quick turns.
Drive carefully on wet or slippery surfaces or when pedestrians are near.
Reduce speed when making a turn. Take care that the tip of the fork (or load) or the rear side of the forklift truck does not touch a nearby person or object.
Drive in reverse if vision is obscured by a bulky load.
When travelling on an incline with no load, place the forks on the downhill side of the forklift truck.
Before driving a forklift truck onto a truck, trailer or rail wagon, check that the brakes of the receiving vehicle are set and the wheels are chocked.
Never park or leave the forklift in any doorway, entrance, emergency exit or in front of fire extinguishing equipment.
Beep twice when coming around blind corners
Beware of pedestrians and other vehicles / trucks / tractors
A person should not push on the point of one or both forks. Nor should a person stand or walk under the elevated forks, even when a load is not being carried.
The backrest extension and overhead guard of the forklift truck should not be removed, unless specifically authorised.
A forklift truck should not be left stationary, with the engine running, in confined spaces.
A forklift truck must not be parked or stacked on an incline, or operated on gradients with the load elevated more than necessary.
An operator's arms, hands, legs and head must not leave the confines of the cab or be placed between the uprights of the mast.
Menacing Mobiles - 10/11/2016
The Dangers of Mobile Phones!!!
· Mobile phones are a dangerous distraction not just for driving a vehicle or forklift or tractor but for all our employees in the sheds and paddock working around machinery.
· Being distracted increases your chances of having a serious accident. It slows down your reaction times and puts you in danger of failing to see hazards such as dangerous machinery, emergency stops or all other potential hazards , including traffic and pedestrians around the sheds, inside the sheds, paddock and around the tongs.
· Anything that takes your mind or eyes off the job, or your hands off the wheel, not only compromises your safety, but that of everyone else
MACHINE OPERATOR’S SPLIT-SECOND DECISION RESULTS IN TRAUMATIC INJURY
Machine operator Iris McMurray explains how her desire for instant access to information led to an instant injury as well.
“During lunch, my boyfriend and I were texting each other about our last-minute weekend trip to the beach. He was trying to find a nice hotel that still had a vacancy,” says Iris.
“We’re not supposed to take our phones into the production area, but everybody does it, so I figured it would be okay. Plus, I was eager to find out if he found a place to stay,” she adds.
Iris said she worked for a while and then noticed she had a text from her boyfriend concerning their hotel room.
It happened so fast! As I tried to reply, I somehow dropped the phone right into my machine,” she says. “My first reaction was to grab it before it got eaten by the machine, or worse yet, jam up the production line.” When Iris dropped her phone, she tried to grab it off the machine’s conveyor, but her hand was crushed when it was caught between the conveyor belt and the roller.
I’ll have to live with that split-second decision for the rest of my life. If I had just followed company policy, and just waited until my afternoon break. If I had just thought about how dangerous texting around that machine was. Now, every time I look at my hand, I wonder, what if?” Iris concludes.
Iris could have waited to correspond with her boyfriend; it would not have made any difference other than her eagerness to know the weekend plans. We’ve all heard the expression, “Curiosity killed the cat.” In this case, a desire for instant information injured Iris.
DISTRACTED FORKLIFT OPERATOR SERIOUSLY INJURES CO-WORKER
Forklift operator Ramon Jamison discusses what happened the day he was distracted by texting and struck a co-worker.
“I usually keep my phone in my locker every morning, but my wife was having an ultrasound that morning and I wanted to know if we were having a little boy or a little girl, so I kept my phone with me,” says Ramon.
“I was moving stacks of pallets in the storage yard when I heard the message alert go off,” he adds.
Ramon says he was so excited to find out that he didn’t even think about not checking his text. He looked down and had to focus on his phone for a moment to select and read the text.
“That’s when Ronnie suddenly walked in front of the forklift and I didn’t see him until I heard him shout,” he continues. “The thought of anyone walking in front of my forklift was the furthest thing from my mind.”
What should have been one of the best days of his life ended up being one of the worst. Not only did Ramon lose his job for violating his company’s rules on cell phone use, his actions caused the death of a friend and a co-worker
Personal Mobile phones are strictly forbidden unless it is a requirement of your job. If it is a requirement of your job we have provided work phones.
Slithering Snakes - 05/11/2016
With the warmer weather, these dangerous reptiles are on the move.
Please be aware of where you are walking and what you are doing. Snakes are well camouflaged and hard to see.
Snakes are ectothermic. This means they maintain their body heat by absorbing heat from external sources. A snake's body temperature and activity levels are controlled by the surrounding air and ground temperature.
Snakes become inactive during winter when their metabolism slows down and they lie dormant, using almost no energy. In spring, they emerge and bask in the sun to warm up. They also gain body heat by lying on warm surfaces (eg asphalt, concrete and rocks which absorb heat) or under warm surfaces (eg building materials, such as corrugated roofing iron).
Snakes are often inactive when it is very hot and will seek refuge to avoid overheating.
Spring is the time when snakes become more active and less wary as they go about feeding (to build up body reserves after winter) and breeding
If you come across a snake
Never attempt to catch or kill a snake. They will defend themselves if confronted or threatened. Most snake bites occur when people try to catch or kill a snake.
Stick to well-used, open trails. In scrubby areas, use a walking stick to alert a snake of your approach.
Avoid walking through thickly vegetated areas / Bush,
Step onto, rather than over fallen logs as there may be a snake on the other side
Avoid putting your hands into places where snakes may shelter, such as:
· holes in logs and trees
· holes made by other animals
· cracks in the ground
· holes in tree roots
· under rocks.
If the snake is in a confined area, Inform management immediately
If you are bitten:
- stay calm & seek assistance.
- try to remain still.
- note the snake's colour and markings.
- do not wash the wound as traces of venom may help identify the snake.
- put pressure on the wound with firmly applied bandage/cloth.
- call 000 for Ambulance or get to the nearest hospital
Warmer Weather 03/11/2016
Now that it is finally starting to heat up after an unusually cold start to the season, please remember to Stay Hydrated and be Sun smart!
To stay hydrated you should:
- Start work in a well-hydrated state
- Drink to keep pace with sweat losses (drink regularly and between 600 ml and one litre of water per hour in summer)
- Avoid soft/caffeinated drinks
- Drink plenty of water (i.e. stay hydrated – a poor diet and consuming alcohol or caffeine can cause dehydration)
Slip on clothing
Clothing features that provide constant protection from UVR (sunscreen will wear off) include:
Close weave fabrics provide the best form of sun protection, as they block out most of the UV radiation
Long sleeves, collar and long loose trousers will increase the sun protection of clothing.
Slap on a hat
Moonrocks hat with a broad brimmed hat to shade both the face and back of the neck and a close weave
Sunscreen is recommended as the last line of defence in addition to shade, clothing, hats and sunglasses.
When choosing, a sunscreen look for the following:
- sun protection factor (SPF) of 30+
- broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB)
- check the use by date.
Introduction - 28/10/2016
Welcome to our blogging page. Here at Moonrocks we take Farm Safety very seriously, so seriously in fact that We have created this blogging page especially for our employees, called farm safe. How it works - Management have weekly OHS meetings where we discuss any issues we have come across or any concerns our staff may have in relation to OHS. We then send out an alert to all our staff regarding that concern and remind them to be mindful and responsible for their actions. In that message, there will be a link that will direct them to our blog or a website with more information and facts regarding that issue. These weekly messages will then be blogged on this page.