Castle Hill Training News and Updates
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to the pollen released by grass, trees and weeds. When the pollen grains come into contact with the cells that line your eyes, mouth, nose and throat they can cause irritation and trigger an allergic reaction. You can develop Hay fever at any age, though some people find that the symptoms become milder as they get older.
Signs and symptoms
Staying indoors and closing windows when the pollen count is high.
Showering/Bathing and changing your clothes if you have been outside.
Wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes.
Applying a very small amount of Vaseline to the nasal openings to trap the pollen.
Treatment over the counter medicine
There are a range of over the counter medicines available for hay fever but speak to your pharmacist before purchasing as some can make you very drowsy, cause side effects or interfere with medications that you are already using.
When to see your GP about hay fever
If the over the counter medicine isn’t working or is causing difficult side effects.
If your hay fever is making your asthma worse.
If you suspect the hay fever symptoms aren’t being triggered by pollen and that you may be having an allergic reaction to something else.
Insect stings are painful but not usually dangerous. However, sometimes they can trigger anaphylactic shock which is a severe allergic reaction and will require immediate medical attention.
Signs of an Insect Sting
If you can see the sting carefully scrape it off the skin with the edge of plastic card (like a credit card). Don’t use tweezers or your fingers to grip the sting and pull it out as you will inject more toxin into the casualty.
Put something cold like an ice pack on to the stung area to reduce the swelling and if possible elevate the part of the body that is affected. If the pain or swelling persists call 111 for medical advice.
If the sting is in the mouth give the casualty an ice cube to suck on or sips of cold water.
When to Call for an Ambulance?
If the casualty has any difficulty breathing.
If you notice signs of a severe allergic reaction (especially swelling of the lips, face or neck ).
If the casualty presents pale cold clammy skin and feels sick/dizzy/thirsty.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke, what’s the difference?
Heat Exhaustion is the body’s response to dehydration, most commonly caused by working or exercising in hot conditions. It can usually be treated by a First Aider, but if left untreated it can rapidly develop into life threatening Heat Stroke(in which case call for an ambulance immediately).
Heat Stroke is when the temperature control in the brain fails, the body is unable to cool down and the causalities core temperature can reach very dangerous levels within 10 to 15 minutes. This can be caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures or fevers.
Recognising Heat Exhaustion
Ultraviolet rays from the sun, sun lamps and on rare occasions certain types of radiation.
Signs and Symptoms
Reddening of the skin, pain in the associated area and in cases of severe sunburn blistering of the skin.
Severe sunburn with blistering and peeling skin.
I suggest you that you steer clear of those online “how many first aiders do you need” calculators found on many Training Company websites. Simply because the Health and Safety Executive guidance is that you should look at your organisation and ask some sensible questions:
• How many employees/customers do you have?
• How many locations do you operate in?
• How long would it take to get the emergency services there?
• What shifts do employees work?
• How dangerous is their work environment?
Once you know the areas that you need to look at and how likely there is to be a First Aid incident, you then have to decide if you have enough cover. This is called a “First Aid Needs Assessment” and it is your responsibility, you will have to justify your decisions if something goes wrong and you didn’t provide sufficient first aid.
Rather helpfully the Health and Safety Executive does provide some case studies to guide you. For example, if you have an office with eighty employees spread evenly over two floors working normal business hours with good access to emergency services, you would always need at least one first aider on duty on each floor, fully trained on the one-day first aid course (Emergency First Aid at Work). To cover for absence and holidays you would have to train at least four employees or possibly more.
Another case study given is a construction maintenance crew of twenty working in teams of two, sometimes working at height, with electricity etc., travelling in transit vans up to ten miles from the nearest hospital. In this case you would need at least one first aider per team trained, up to the three-day first aid course (First Aid at Work). Once again, to cover for staff holidays and absence you would probably have to have at least twelve team members trained.
The area of the Health and Safety Executive website dealing with First Aid is worth a visit as it has a lot more case studies in greater detail as well as lots of clear guidance written in plain English.
A very good short Canadian film about the impact of Asbestos.
Loughborough University is global leader in research for driver ergonomics they have produced a short guide to adjusting your car seat position to reduce and avoid back pain. It is a system I have followed myself and can attest that while the new seating position feels very weird at first it has significantly reduced the pain I experience after long journeys. I have posted their guide free to download on my website here. I would urge you to give this approach a try and to share this post when anyone you know who suffers from back pain aggravated by driving.
Manual Handling is responsible for one third of all workplace injuries, sadly there is a lot of low quality, out of date manual handling training going on, which does little to reduce the number of injuries (or claims). Do you know which manual handling activity causes your team the most concern? Have team members been trained to report dangerous activities to you? Have you done anything to try and make these tasks safer? The HSE have produced a whole series of free booklets to help you manage this one. To access these free resources click here
Today I delivered a free Health and Safety Workshop at the Yorkshire School Business Leadership Conference and it was really fun. Judging from the feedback the delegates enjoyed the workshop and took away some useful tips they could quickly implement in their organisations. If you attended the workshop and want to download any of the free resources or links we talked about they are here.
It was the first conference that I have done for a few years and I had such a great time I am keen to do another. So if you are planning a conference and want a short practical session on health and safety with lots of useful take aways send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I know some people find Health and Safety a “dry” topic but I pride myself that I can bring some humour and keep everyone engaged.
Ladder training why do we wait until someone dies?
Last week I was speaking to friend who is a national expert in working at height training, with a great reputation in the safe use of ladders and he mentioned how busy he was at the moment. When I asked why, he explained there had been a successful prosecution of a company in Hull for the death of a worker who had fallen from a ladder and that whenever this happens the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Why do we wait until it goes wrong before we get our team trained?