Workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. Workplace violence can affect or involve employees, visitors, patients, or contractors. It can be inflicted by an abusive employee, manager, supervisor, co-worker, patient, family member, or even a stranger.
A number of different actions can trigger workplace violence. It can also be the result of a non-work-related situation such as domestic violence or “road rage”
Tips to Avoid Workplace Violence
School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.
It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.
If You're Dropping Off:
Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:
Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians:
According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:
Sharing the Road with School Buses:
If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
Sharing the Road with Bicyclists:
On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.
By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.
Heat stroke occurs after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It often occurs in people who are also dehydrated, causing the body’s temperature regulation system to fail. Someone with heat stroke has a core body temperature of at least 105 F, along with symptoms related to the central nervous system.
Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke. It occurs when someone is exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time. If you spend a lot of time in high temperatures and don’t replace lost fluids, your body’s temperature regulation system becomes overwhelmed and produces excess heat. You should seek medical attention for heat exhaustion so it does not turn into heat stroke, which is life-threatening.
Heavy sweating, headache, and excessive thirst are among the most common symptoms of heat exhaustion. This condition also produces the following signs and symptoms:
If heat stroke progresses to heat exhaustion, the person’s body temperature may exceed 104 F. Other symptoms of heatstroke include dry skin, lack of sweating, throbbing headache, muscle cramps or weakness, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and disorientation. Untreated heat stroke may lead to heart attack and death.
If you suspect you have heat exhaustion, there are several things you should do. The best thing to do is go indoors and sit in an air-conditioned room or a room with a fan. If you are at work and can’t go inside, move to a shady spot outdoors. Replace lost fluids by drinking cool water or a sports drink containing electrolytes. Avoid icy-cold drinks in favor of cool liquids. Cool off by spritzing cold water on your skin, taking a cold shower, or immersing yourself in a swimming pool or bathtub filled with cool water.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect someone you know has heat stroke, call 911 or take the person to the hospital immediately. While you wait for the paramedics to arrive, move the person to a cooler environment and remove socks, long-sleeved shirts, and other unnecessary pieces of clothing. Fanning the person, applying ice packs, or immersing the person in a tub of cold water are all ways to reduce core body temperature to a safer level.
You should always take steps to prevent heat stroke, whether you are working outdoors or enjoying fun in the sun. Always wear lightweight clothing, drink plenty of water, and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day. If you take prescription medications, take special precautions to avoid extreme temperatures and dehydration.
If you work outdoors or in a hot warehouse, wear light-colored clothing made with breathable fabrics. When you get to work, build up to strenuous activities instead of starting with your most strenuous tasks. Take plenty of breaks to drink cool liquids and spend some time out of the heat. Avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks will help you prevent dehydration and reduce the risk of heat stroke.
If you have the symptoms of heat exhaustion, come to Physicians Now to see an experienced healthcare professional. We’ll examine you thoroughly and administer fluids or medications to help you feel better.
Rodents, snakes, and insects are all on the move. It is important that all employees make themselves aware of local animals and dangers associated with them.
Insects, Spiders, and Ticks
Rodents and Other Wild Animals
Fun in the Sun
Babies under 6 months:
For all other children:
Heat Stress in Exercising Children
Heat Stress in Infants
Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under.
Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:
If you experience a loss of power, the hospital’s generators will engage after a few seconds, which will provide limited power until regular power can be restored.
It is important to note that, during the loss of power, the generators will only supply power to “RED” wall outlets. These outlets are considered mission critical outlets and should only have mission critical equipment plugged into them.
Please remind staff to never use the “RED” outlets for equipment that is not mission critical.
Only one Power Strip should be used at a time (never should be piggy-backed with another strip). Power Strips should not be used to run refrigerators or Space Heaters.
Should only be used as a temporary means of power and never plugged into a power strip. Facilities should be contacted if there is a need for additional outlets.
Spring Has Sprung! Get Ready for Some of America’s Wildest Weather! #SpringSafety
Tornadoes, lightning, floods, rip currents and early season heat - spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May. And there’s one hazard that can strike the coasts at any time: tsunamis.
Spring hazards include:
Nobody knows the hazards of this dynamic season more than NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). We ask that you get weather-ready for spring with just a few simple steps:
1. Know Your Risk
Check weather.gov every morning. It is a simple action that will ensure that you’re ready for the day’s weather. Don’t leave home without knowing the forecast.
2. Take Action!
Assemble an emergency supplies kit with 72 hours worth of food and water. In an emergency (such as after a tornado or some other hazard event), you may be stuck at home without electricity for three days or more. Make sure that you’re prepared. Also, ensure that everyone in your life knows how to stay in touch with an emergency communication plan. This plan lists meeting places and alternate ways of communicating in case of emergency.
3. Be A Force of Nature
Inspire others by sharing your weather-ready story on social media with the hashtag #SpringSafety. It can be a simple as posting a photo of your emergency supplies kit or letting your friends know how to reach you during an emergency. Together, we can build a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is ready for any extreme weather, water, or climate event.
You are not powerless in the face of extreme weather and water events. Learn about the hazards most common to spring - and some that are threats year-round - and what you can do about them.
Vertical evacuation is a last resort. Horizontal movement (side-to-side) into the next smoke compartment is always the first choice, if possible.
Each AU Medical Center department should have an evacuation plan.
The plan should provide evacuation route information and internal departmental procedures.
Any employee should take action if either staff, patients or visitors are in immediate danger.
Facilities Safety is available at 706-721-4527 to schedule discussions and/or provide training for evacuation.
Often the greatest fire and accident potential occurs as a result of decorations and displays installed for special events such as Christmas, Halloween, parties, etc. The Safety Committee is committed to providing a safe environment, free from these potential risks as well as providing guidelines for a safe celebration of all holidays and events. These rules apply year round. Any infringement is reported to the Safety Officer or Facility Services, and the offending items will be removed.
Use the following guidelines when decoration your area of AU Medical Center Inc.:
Decorations, Posters, and Furnishings
Contact Safety Department (1-4527) with questions or to review any details of this document.
Workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. Workplace violence can affect or involve employees, visitors, patients, or contractors. It can be inflicted by an abusive employee, manager, supervisor, co-worker, patient, family member, or even a stranger.
A number of different actions can trigger workplace violence. It can also be the result of a non-work-related situation such as domestic violence, or “road rage.”
Tips to avoid workplace violence:
If you are in a situation in which hostility could occur, use the “buddy system."
Whatever the cause or whomever the perpetrator, workplace violence will not be accepted or tolerated.
Report any situation of violence to Security at 1-4787
Joint Commission requires that an 8-foot clear corridor must be maintained at all times.
Wheeled carts that are “currently in use” are allowed in a corridor (i.e., housekeeping carts, dietary and linen carts, etc.) as long as they are being actively used.
Computers on Wheels (COWS) may never be plugged in to recharge within a corridor.
Fire extinguishers should never be blocked. This limits access during emergencies.
Exits must be kept clear at all times.
Exit signs must never be blocked.
Fire doors should never be propped open.
Each employee should know:
The Joint Commission’s focus on Life Code Compliance doesn’t look to be subsiding. Their focus is on the protection and ultimate evacuation of persons from the immediate area to a safe area of refuge should a fire occur.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 188.8.131.52 states, “Aisles, corridors, and ramps required for exit access in a hospital or nursing home shall be not less than 8 ft. (2440 mm) in clear and unobstructed width.”
There are simple steps we can take that may help us stay in compliance. One such step is watching for items obstructing corridors. Corridor exit paths must be kept free from obstructions, including unattended items that are not considered in use. Corridor use should be restricted to pedestrian traffic only.
A pervasive problem is the presence of items such as biomedical equipment, linen carts, housekeeping carts, COWS, food carts, wheelchairs, beds, furniture, etc. in corridors. These items should not remain unattended in corridors for more than 30 minutes.
There is one notable exception: Isolation carts can remain in corridors outside active isolation rooms at all times. When the room is empty, the cart must be relocated.
If you have questions concerning storage of medical gas cylinders, contact Augusta University Health Safety Office at 706-721-4527.
As summer approaches, families will soon be spending their days outside enjoying the warm weather and the fun activities that it brings. For many Americans, summer means fun in the sun. The kids are out of school, adults are on vacation and it’s time for many outdoor activities. Summer, however, is also the time of year we are most likely to be injured.
During the summer months, hospitals see their share of children and adults with burns caused by sun exposure, camp fires and fireworks. Children and adults need to remember that a burn accident may only take a moment, but can affect the lives of its victims (and their families) for a lifetime.
Keep yourself and your children safe and healthy during this summer season by learning about:
More often than you would think, workers and employees on the job site will get foreign particles, or even worse, chemicals in their eyes, and they will need an emergency cleanup before it gets worse. The number one thing to remember when someone gets something in their eyes on the job site is that time is essential! Hopefully, there is an emergency eye wash station nearby so that the first steps of first aid treatment can be administered right away. If not, then the odds of permanent damage to the eyes increases significantly. Every job site should have plenty of eye wash stations available. The difference between having them and not having them can mean the difference between vision and blindness for whoever is needing one at the time. Don’t neglect eye wash stations! You may think they’re not that important, but you will quickly realize how wrong you are when an eye emergency strikes.
If someone gets foreign particles or chemicals in their eyes, then an emergency eye wash station or deluge shower is the first step of first aid treatment. If it is an actual chemical burn to the eye, then your emergency will be much more urgent. You will want to immediately use an eye wash station or deluge shower if:
Along with this, eye wash stations and deluge showers must contain the following:
Remember, the single most important thing to do once someone has chemically burned eyes is to thoroughly and intensively clean them out within seconds of the injury occurring. You cannot waste time! This means that the person who suffered the eye injury should not have to navigate around or climb over objects on their way to the eye wash station. This wastes precious time. Ensure that there are no barriers of any shape or form blocking or impeding one’s path to the station. This can mean the difference between saving one’s vision and permanent blindness.
As for the eye wash stations and deluge showers themselves, they should be inspected on a regular basis. Deluge showers should have all functions working properly and have an adequate rate of water flow. They also need to be clean and sanitary. When water is not accessible to a particular area, or there is not enough water plumbed in to an area to provide enough water flow for a deluge shower, then portable emergency eye wash stations need to be made available. These units must have an anti-bacterial additive to maintain the appropriate water sanitation. Remember that it is better to flush out infected eyes with any type of water than nothing at all, although purified water will reduce the possibility of a secondary eye infection.
Another important thing to remember, although this should be obvious, is the fact that all employees who will be exposed to possible chemical splashes or foreign particles flying into their eyes must be properly trained beforehand on how to use an eye wash station or deluge shower. Training should cover:
Emergency eye wash stations can be one of the most important things you implement on a job site. They are easy to forget about, and a lot of times workers don’t necessarily consider them that important. However, once an emergency strikes and someone has damaging materials or substances in their eyes, eye wash stations become the most important part of the entire job site and the affected individual’s vision. Don’t neglect eye safety on the job site by simply refusing to implement emergency eye wash stations! Make sure you have properly working stations at strategic locations throughout the job site and you, and your workers, will be much better off for it.