Are Postmen and Women At Risk?

In the UK Post men and women attend to work 6 days a week. Hours vary depending on the location and route. The average person walks about 10miles, some shorter, some longer.

The Question is...

Are postmen and Women At Risk Of Injuries?

There are some things to think about. Postmen and women are entering private property on a daily basis and they have their own risks. Here are a few hazards they may face in their working day.

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Dogs

Post man dog attack

You see it on the TV shows. Some dogs seriously hate a trespasser especially a postman or woman. Even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels it or its territory is being threatened.

In 2018 Postman Alan Quinn from Paisley required hospital treatment after a traumatic attack with a German Shepard which has now scarred him for life. Mr. Quinn was off work for 3 months due to the injury, he went back to work and changed his route, but the memory of the attack still haunts him.

Full story here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44576729

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What about cats?

post man cat attack

Bella, a four-year-old black cat, lets out a "growl" when the postie approaches the house, before jumping up and grabbing the post.

But the Royal Mail said Bella is putting the postman "at risk of injury" and, after a health and safety assessment, has said the cat must be restrained and changes made at the home in Patchway, Bristol.

Full story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/28/beware-of-the-cat-royal-mail-tells-couple-to-keep-post-snatching/

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Extreme weather

Let's be honest, the British weather is very changeable. One minute the sun would be out then the next the heavens open.

Postmen and women are potentially subject to slips trips and falls, and this escalates subject to weather. When it's wet/icy they are at a higher chance of slipping.

Potential injuries you can get from slips and falls - (The Most Common Slip And Fall Injuries)

  • Broken bones
  • Sprained ankles or wrists
  • Knee damage
  • Shoulder dislocations or muscle strains
  • Spine and nerve damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cuts and bruises

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The Good & The Bad Effects of the Sun

There are some good and bad effects being in the sun, read this interesting article: 15 Reasons why the sun is good for you and its importance

Positive Effects of the Sun

  • Enhances Your Mood
  • Treats Seasonal Depression (commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • Relieves Stress
  • Improves Sleep
  • Vitamin D

The Harmful Effects of the Sun

  • Sun Damage to the Eyes
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Stroke
  • Sunburn
  • Heat Rash
  • Skin Cancer
  • Wrinkles/Aging

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What About Snow?

The snow can be a serious change of weather and makes it more difficult to deliver the post, especially when lugging extra weight around in their bags.

They could be dodging vehicles that are sliding on the road or coming off driveways. This could potentially be dangerous or even escalate to a serious accident.

In The US well... MailMen just do doughnuts!

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Back problems

Postmen and women must be able to carry at least 35 pounds of weight in their bag. They often use a shoulder bag that doesn't carry the weight evenly so more workers are now using rolling carts now to avoid back problems.

Can you be sued?

 

The short answer is yes. However, whether that person will ever find a lawyer willing to file a lawsuit really depends on the particular facts of your case. It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer who has handled fall down cases when talking about the details of your case.

The postman slipped on snow in my garden - and now he's suing me' - am I really in the wrong?

There is a law called the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. Under this, householders have a duty ­towards visitors to their homes.

This means householders should make sure it is safe for visitors to travel across any of their land they make publicly accessible, such as footpaths and driveways.

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MyTeamSafe Can Help MailMen On Route.

What Is MyTeamSafe?

MyTeamSafe is a comprehensive lone working app for organisations to prove their duty of care.

MyTeamSafe Lone Working App ensures that your lone working requirements are fully satisfied.

You create different escalation strategies to meet your range of lone working scenarios. So, you decide how often Users need to check in. Then when who and how escalations are handled if they are late using push notifications, emails and SMS.

You must risk assess any person that may have to work independently or without direct supervision and put in place policies and safety systems to minimise any risks:

  • People making visits
  • People working late
  • Opening/locking up
  • Home workers
  • Going to external meetings.
  • Staff out on the road

These situations might not be dangerous but, even with a minor incident, the business is still responsible. Lone workers are particularly vulnerable, even for short periods of time.

 

MyTeamSafe App Screenshots

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Mental Health Awareness

It’s Mental Health Awareness week in the UK 13th – 19th May.

It’s great to see so much positive press enabling discussion around all aspects of Mental Health.

This blog isn’t meant to be provocative but I believe that it is good to discuss and consider Wellbeing, which seems to be the hot topic at the moment but also not blur it as a catch all for everything.

Life is often a roller coaster and our general Wellbeing can ebb and flow as our lives and those around us change and evolve. BUT this must not be confused with true Mental Health wellbeing.

 

Mind have a really good article about Mental Wellbeing and Mental Health.

“Tips for everyday living”

 

Good employers, like good family and friends, naturally support positive wellbeing. But the “niceties” of general wellbeing should never be confused with true Mental Health and a person.
Just because “Wellbeing” is the flavour of the month don’t dabble with a Pandora’s box that you don’t understand. If you have concerns always refer people to professional support.

This article really shows the reality “Less than half of staff think managers would spot their mental health problems, despite two in three managers feeling confident promoting wellbeing”

For further information from Mind  https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/

Twitter @MindCharity

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mindforbettermentalhealth

#MHAW #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

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BBC – Margate cleaner trapped in lift for two days

A cleaner trapped in a lift for two days was only found after she was reported missing.

The woman in her 50’s, who has not been named, got trapped at Margate Adult Education Centre in Kent after the building closed last Friday.

She was reported missing at 12:45 BST on Sunday and police found her at the council building.

Officers were able to open the lift and free her. She was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Kent County Council (KCC) said it was contacted on Tuesday by Kier Facilities Management, which cleans and maintains the building, with a report that a member of its staff had been trapped in the lift.

More information located on the BBCs website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-48212853

Stay Safe With MyTeamSafe

MyTeamSafe is a comprehensive lone working solution for organisations to prove their duty of care. It is for any staff that work independently or without direct supervision, even occasionally.

This situation would not have occurred if they were using MyTeamSafe.

The MyTeamSafe app has a panic alarm feature which she could have triggered to let her Company know she was in an emergency situation.  However, even if the lady couldn’t get to her phone, if she didn’t check in on time, her Supervisor would have been immediately informed with her latest location.

MyTeamSafe would not have been able to prevent the incident but would have enabled the situation to be resolved within minutes rather than leaving a person in such a horrible situation for days.  What are the long term implications and costs going to be for both the Company and Employee?

More Information about MyTeamSafe – http://content.myteamsafe.com/

How MyTeamSafe Works http://content.myteamsafe.com/myteamsafe-demo-video/

 

 

 

 

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Health & Safety in Cleaning Operations

a mop a dust pan and a mop

There are many cleaning operations around the UK, and these involve the use of cleaning chemicals and cleaning equipment.

What could happen if the employees don’t use the right chemicals?

What if they don’t know how to use the equipment?

Importantly are they working safely?

clean products in green bucket

There are many ways that a cleaner’s workplace can be controlled in a much safer way. For example, using wet floor signs whilst mopping floors but then removing them when the floor is dry is in an effective way to highlight risk but also shows that you care about people’s safety.

According to the legal claims company the Legal Expert, one of the most common types of accidents that they successfully make a compensation claim for on behalf of their clients is what is termed a “slip trip” accident.

In all of these Environments cleaners can have additional risks;

  • Shops
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Public Transport
  • Café’s
  • Hospitals
  • Offices
  • And most other public places.

 

Controlling the environment more safely.

wet floor sign leaning on the wall

Your workplace should be using Wet Floor signs to warn customers/clients of a wet area from mopping, a spilt drink, or outside water that may have been tracked in due to rain or snow. These safety signs are certainly a necessity, and when used the right way can help you avoid accidents and costly insurance claims. However, many workplaces are creating more danger because of improper use of their Wet Floor signs – or they simply don’t have enough of them. – The website www.profitingfromsafety.com is a good source for owners/operators looking for best practise.  How to properly use Wet Floor signs

Trip and fall hazards to cleaners

shoe about to stand on banana

When it comes to the Cleaners, there are plenty of potential hazards they could avoid. Poor housekeeping can affect Cleaners if the site where they are working do not put things away immediately after delivery or do not store them in an appropriate place. Warn others about potential hazards that could cause harm. It’s also important to take care of lumpy and worn mats.

 

When it comes to working in the office

chairs around large table in office

The biggest hazard when it comes to offices is worn out carpets, open drawers and objects on the floor such as small bins, cables and cords. Make sure to assess the room before cleaning.

What could make stairs more slippy? MOPS!

Stairs in a office

Watch out for things that could make your walk on the stairs more dangerous than usual. This could be poor lighting, clutter, missing handrails and again wet stairs. The Cleaner may have not even cleaned the stairs, but the building has sprung a leak onto the stairs. Its very import to make sure lighting works especially when it comes to cleaning the stairs. Never leave your equipment unattended on the stairs.

Using Ladders and Stepping Stools 

two ladders leaning on a green wall

Make sure that ladders are well maintained and working as they should, the last thing you need when cleaning windows is the ladder having problems at high heights. Never use an alternative to a ladder like a box or a chair – that’s screaming out for an accident to happen! Make sure you are fully trained to use a ladder before cleaning, and you are wearing appropriate shoes for better grip. When cleaning windows you may find some of the water may splash onto your ladder.

Working in different weathers

work boots standing out side

We all know that the British weather is very unpredictable; this could be snow, ice, rain or even a heatwave. Make sure you don’t stay outside cleaning for too long in hot weather. Wear a hat and sun cream, you don’t want to come across faint (this could be cleaning up after a festival or party). When it comes to snow and ice just make sure you are allowed to work outside. Ladders are even more dangerous when there is ice outside.

 

Lifting and cleaning 

guy struggling to lift box

If you are heavy lifting, make sure that your Manager supplies you with steel cap boots. You don’t want something heavy landing on your foot and breaking it. You also need to make sure that you know the proper way to lift heavy objects. – The following website http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/guide-manual-handling-lifting-techniques.html is a good source for Materials Handling and other safety information.

 

  • Do not attempt to lift by bending forward. Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load, keep it close to your body, and straighten your legs to lift.
  • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
  • Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object.

 

What injuries could you suffer with after a fall?

man with injured arm

Slip and fall incidents often result in injuries such as sprains, muscle tears, bruises, back and neck injuries, concussions, and broken bones in the arms that occur when someone instinctively tries to catch him or herself. These injuries can lead to time away from work and medical bills. Even ignoring potential claims, Companies may need to find replacements for injured employees while they recover. BetterPT’s blog Knowing the Severity of Your Injuries From a Slip and Fall Accident is a great read.

 

How much could you claim for an injury in compensation?

InjuryCompensation
Severe shoulder injuries£14,600 to £36,500
Pelvic injuries£3,000 to £99,500
Broken wrist£2,675 to £3,600
Knee injury – minorUp to £10,450

Supplied from: Legal Expert

Risk Assessments should be in place.

No matter how big or small the job is, the Manager must assess the area where the cleaning staff will be working, noting any parts of the workplace that may be a risk or potentially cause an accident or harm to the workers or the public.

Here is a good example of a Risk Assessment from Hertfordshire Grid for Learning – The Grid . This assessment is for School Office Cleaners.

Here you can see what the hazards and risks are, who is at risk, how the hazard can cause harm and normal control measures. This is split into 4 sectors;

  • General lifting and carrying
  • Cleaning and using equipment
  • Use of electrical equipment
  • Use of cleaning chemicals and detergents

This is laid out to help the cleaners identify who is at risk and the hazards facing them before they start the job.

You can review a copy here http://www.thegrid.org.uk/info/healthandsafety/documents/risk/cleaning_2010.doc

And finally, the HSE website is always a great source of guidance and information for any Health and Safety matters

http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/officecleaning.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips on Driving in snow and icy weather

 

When the road conditions are really bad the best advice is to not drive unless it is absolutely necessary. Getting stuck or involved in a minor accident may be inconvient for you but it can also block roads to Emergency vehicles or divert Emergency Services away from other incidents.

 

But if you you do have to drive there are some simple tips to follow.

  • Check current and Predicted weather condtions. Not just where you are or where you’re going but also key places along the route.
  • Thing about your route. Sticking to main roads is often better.
  • Check Live Traffic (There are many online map/traffic providers).
  • Prepare yourself and your vehicle for the journey.
  • Allow extra time, be aware of changing road conditions and drive to these conditions.
  • If things do go wrong, know what to do to keep yourself and others safe.
  • Keep in touch with people so they know where and how you are.

 

This is a great article from BBC News www.bbc.com/news/uk-16946762

 

 

PS: Don’t forget anybody that is working from home, even occasionally,  is classified as a Lone Worker. Legal Duty of Care rules still apply.

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Snow Disruption and Work

 

Travel this time of year can be difficult, sometimes even dangerous.

You need to balance your responsibilities as an employee / employer with simple safety and good sense.

There are no absolutes when it comes to weather disruption. Some people are over cautious others try to be heroes.

Keeping informed of current and predicted weather conditions, keeping people informed and being sensible is always best.

 

This article from the BBC News is a good read to help dispel some of the myths.

www.bbc.com/news/business-47042594

 

 

PS: Don’t forget anybody that is working from home, even occasionally,  is classified as a Lone Worker. Legal Duty of Care rules still apply.

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Safeguarding The Elderly From Abuse

Safeguarding should be a fundamental consideration of everyday life.

Safeguarding isn’t just for children. Adults can also suffer from abuse. According to the World Health Organization rates of elder abuse are high in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Abuse and neglect can happen anywhere and take many forms.

There are lots of different kinds of abuse.

abuse

  • Physical Abuse – This is when someone hurts you by hitting you, kicking you or burning you. It may also be when someone holds you down.
  • Sexual Abuse – This is when someone touches your body and does things to you that you do not like or sexual things that you do not want to do.
  • Emotional Abuse – This can be when people say bad things to you like teasing or threatening or bullying you to upset you. This can be when people do not listen to you or do not believe what you say.
  • Financial Abuse – This is when someone takes your money. It is when you do not have a say in how someone spends your money.
  • Mate Crime – This is when people who you think are your friends take advantage of you. They may get you to pay for everything all of the time.
  • Abuse of things that belong to you – This is when someone takes your private things without asking you.
  • Abuse of your rights – They choose the medical care you get such as giving medication against your will.
  • Neglect – this is when people say they are going to help you but they don’t. The person in control could stop you having a social life, stopping you from having enough food or drink or failing to treat you with dignity or equally
  • Discrimination – this is when people say bad things to you or treat you unfairly because you are different from them. You may be made to feel different because you are a different colour, have a different religion, look different or speak a different language, made to feel different because you are a disabled person, You may be made to feel different because of your sexuality. Like being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

Behavioural signs of abuse in an older person include:

  • Becoming very quiet
  • Mood changes such as being aggressive and angry for no reason.
  • Looking skinny, dirty or genuinely not well in themselves.
  • Sudden changes in personality such as being helpless, tearful and depressed.
  • Bruises, untreated injuries and bodily harm.
  • The same injury happening more than once.
  • Not wanting to be alone with certain people, not wanting people to leave.
  • Always insisting there isn’t anything wrong.

Sometimes you can find that their home has dropped in temperature and it isn’t tidy and things keep going missing. Other signs of abuse you may find a dramatic change in finances, such as not being able to pay for the food shopping and regular outings and getting into debt.

If you feel that someone you may know is being abused talk to them, they may not want to talk about it right away but give them reassurance that you are the person they can trust, eventually, you may get the opportunity to find out what is going on and act quickly and stop the abuse.

 

Be Professional.

When it can be very hard when you have concerns that someone you love is being abused. If you have any concerns about anyone that you think may be suffering from neglect or abuse have a private conversation with them. Make sure they understand your concerns. It’s best to explain you won’t tell anyone what’s been said, to gain their trust.

You must act in a professional way and stay calm. Showing that you’re upset and angry may result in the person clamming up or upsetting them more. Understand the person will be apprehensive to the conversation. If you find that the person has been abused or neglected make sure to ask them how they want you to handle the situation. Let them know you are there to help. It’s very important to listen to what they have to say instead of charging into action.

Who to contact if an older person is being abused?

contact

You could pass on your concerns to the person’s GP and social worker. Local authorities have social workers who deal specifically with cases of abuse and neglect. Call the person’s local council and ask for the adult Safeguarding co-ordinator.

You can also speak to the police about the situation. Some forms of abuse are crimes, so the police will be interested. Don’t feel like you are also alone. The NHS has useful information. AgeUK has this great PDF FactSheet. There are specialist organisations such as Action on Elder Abuse offer a free confidential helpline on 0808 808 8141.

 

 

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Epipen – How To Save A Life.

What is an EpiPen?

An EpiPen is an injection for people with very high and significant allergies (for example Peanuts). Once the EpiPen is injected it opens the airways in the lungs. It also includes a chemical called epinephrine which can narrow blood vessels.

What should you be more aware of when using an EpiPen?

People with heart disease or an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).

People with high blood pressure (hypertension).

People having thyroid disorders (hyperthyroidism).

People with diabetes.

People with coronary artery disease.

People with Parkinson’s disease.

 

 

How do you use an EpiPen?

I read a Blog about a young boy aged 14 named Nasar Ahmed, who sadly died at school from a severe reaction to his school dinner.

Here’s the blog for the full story. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/12/teachers-criticised-failing-give-dying-boy-life-saving-epipen/

MyTeamSafe wants to help raise awareness to people that don’t know how to correctly use an EpiPen, to help save lives. Here is a short video that can really help you understand how to use an EpiPen correctly.

Here are 4 simple steps how to correctly use an EpiPen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check the EXPIRY DATE on your EpiPen.

Always carry TWO EpiPens with you.

 

Possible side effects after the use of an EpiPen injection.

  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Feeling weak.
  • Dizziness.
  • Paleness.
  • Sweating.
  • Anxiety and nervousness.
  • Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor).
  • Awareness of your heartbeat (palpitations).
  • Faster than normal heartbeat (tachycardia).
  • Abnormal heart beats (arrhythmias).
  • Difficulty breathing.

Know your EpiPen.

EPIPEN® (YELLOW)

FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS WEIGHING OVER 25KG

EPIPEN® JR (GREEN)

FOR CHILDREN WEIGHING BETWEEN 7.5-25KG

Your EpiPen® contains life-saving medication and its effectiveness cannot be guaranteed after its expiry date. The expiry date can be found on the side of your EpiPen® and refers to the last day of that month.

If your EpiPen® is out of date, you must replace it immediately.

You can register your EpiPen® at www.epipen.co.uk

By registering with the FREE EpiPen® Expiry Alert Service, you will receive a reminder email or text 4 weeks before expiry, 2 weeks before expiry and 1 day after your EpiPen® expires.

Stay safe. MyTeamSafe®

 


You can learn even more by visiting the MyTeamSafe website at http://bit.ly/what-is-lone-working – you can try our lone working solution free for 30 days, with text (SMS), email and push notifications.

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MyTeamSafe – Version 2.0.24

Version 2.0.24

A new version of the lone working app MyTeamSafe is now available on iOS, Android will follow on Tuesday.

 

What’s New

 

  • Your geographic location is now recorded when the app goes into background mode.
  • Improved SMS fallback mode for when a data connection is detected but there's no wifi and mobile data is turned off
  • Crash reporting and analytics added so that we can refine the app to better suit your usage patterns.
  • Periodic health updates (battery % etc) sent to the server, but not yet processed (coming soon!)
  • The ability to enable the user to manually send mobile app logs to the server if requested to do so by the support team
  • Substantially reduced logging to aid support diagnostics
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