Lifeguards play an important role of keeping people safe at beaches, pools, swimming holes, and other bodies of water. However, when it comes to guarding lives… lifeguard safety is also part of the equation. To protect the people around you, you must first protect yourself. So, we’re here to help you do just that. Following, we will provide you with a few tactics to keep yourself safe, and in turn, the people around you.
Lifeguard Safety: Protecting Yourself
Use sun protection
Lifeguards have to stay out in the sun for long periods of time. However, this constant exposure can cause more than just a tan. Sunburn and skin cancer are some risks that lifeguards have to be aware of. Generally, good lifeguard safety means taking steps to be protected from the sun. For example, it’s a good idea to wear a good sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or higher. The sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours, especially if you’ve been in the water. Good hats and sunglasses also help offer added shade and protection from the sun.
Lifeguards have a pretty physical job. They must quickly reach people who may be struggling in the water and get them to safety. This can quickly wear a person out, which is why it’s an important part of lifeguard safety to remain energized. That’s why lifeguards should make sure to stay hydrated when on the job. Generally, it’s recommended to have at least 2-4 glasses of water for every hour out in the sun. It’s a good idea to bring extra water bottles in a cooler to keep the chilled throughout the hot day.
Injuries Resulting From Injuries
Lifeguards have to account for any number of things at one time, aside from lifeguard safety. From slippery pavement, to people who can’t swim, rip currents, or other unexpected circumstances. No matter where you are working, there are unique injuries that you might encounter as a result. In turn, when issues begin to happen, others might begin to panic— making it difficult for you to work properly, and avoid lifeguard injuries. Take, for example, someone drowning. When they are panicking and you go to help, they might unintentionally pull you down and put you at risk of a similar injury.
Injured lifeguards should seek out first aid ASAP. After all, their well being is just as important as those they are watching over. They can also take steps to help reduce this injury risk. This can involve keeping the pool area clean, and keeping panicking people calm when rescuing them. Lifeguards have a tough but necessary job. The importance of their jobs means they must make sure to keep themselves healthy when on job. Everyone swimming is safer when the lifeguards are safe as well. Therefore, lifeguard safety should be a concern both to the lifeguard and to everyday people.
Eye injuries are surprisingly common in the workplace. Many of these injuries tend to be avoidable if proper safety measures are taken. Being aware of eye injury causes and what you can do to protect yourself can help keep you safe at the workplace…
Eye Injuries: Causes & Protection
Different workplaces may have different causes of eye injuries. For example, workers who do a lot of cutting or sawing will have to watch for flying bits of metal or wood. Meanwhile, workers who handle chemicals will run the risk of these chemicals potentially entering their eyes. Even light can be a risk if a worker is handling lasers or other high-intensity light sources.
These hazards can also show up in combination with each other. This further increases the chances of a worker receiving an eye injury. This is why it’s especially important for workers to take steps to protect themselves.
Remove risks before working
The best kind of protection against eye injuries is being aware of what could be a risk in the first place. It’s important to preform safety checks of your workplace before you start your work. This will not only let you spot and remove potential eye hazards, but other hazards as well.
For those risks you can’t remove, try to use some other safety options available to you. For example, many machines will come with guards or screens. These can help you still see what you’re doing, while also having an added layer of protection if things go wrong.
Of course, there is always eye protection. Eye protection is the most preferred and commonly recommended way of preventing eye injuries. Eye protection will let you have that full control over your work while also keeping yourself safe.
The kind of eye protection you should use depends on the work you’re doing. Safety glasses can help keep your eyes safe from flying debris. Goggles will help protect your eyes when handling chemicals. If you’re working with intense light, you’ll want to make sure your eye protection also comes with UV protection as well.
Eye injuries are something that no worker wants to deal with. That’s why it’s crucial to know what you can do to keep yourself safe. Taking those steps to protect your eyes will ensure you can do your job safely and productively. Furthermore, if you are facing this type of injury (or any type of injury), it is important to make your employer aware and properly document your condition.
Depending on your job, You might find yourself having to lift and move objects during your shift. That means it’s especially important to know what the proper lifting techniques are. Not lifting properly could cause some problems for you now and in the future…
Proper Lifting: Keep Your Body Safe
Know your body’s limits
Even if you consider yourself to be pretty strong, everyone has their limits. Trying to work past these limits could open you up to an increased injury risk. That’s why proper lifting practices means knowing these limits and working around them.
The recommended maximum weight for a person to carry solo is about 50 pounds. Anything weighing more than this should be approached differently. For example, you can ask for some help from another co-worker. You can also make use of tools like forklifts, carts, or hand trucks to move those heavier items without straining yourself.
Technique is key
It’s also important to practice proper lifting techniques. Improper lifting techniques tend to be a major source of lifting-related injuries. The most common of these are back injuries and pain, which one-half of all working Americans have claimed to experience.
When lifting a heavy object, use your legs to lift instead of your back. This will help reduce the strain on your back. Lift straight up, and try to keep the object close at about the mid-chest level. Avoid twisting while lifting too, as this could shift the weight onto your sides and back.
Not only should you watch how you lift, but also how often you’re lifting. Constantly lifting and moving heavy objects can increase your injury risks even if you’re using proper lifting techniques. That’s why an important part of proper lifting is knowing when to take breaks.
Try to break your work into shorter segments rather than doing it all in one go. That will help your muscles not get fatigued as quickly. Also, try to rotate tasks between yourself and other employees, so you all are able to get a break in-between tasks. Once you’re able to take a break, try to do some stretches to keep your muscles loose so they won’t tense up once you get back to work.
A worker’s hands can be some of their most valuable tools. Your hands are a crucial part of nearly any job. However, much like eye injuries, hand injuries are some of the most common in the workplace. With how important they are, it’s important to know how you can keep your hands safe…
Hand Injuries: Avoiding Common Injuries
Most common injuries
It’s important to first be aware of the most common hand injuries. Often times, cuts and punctures will be common, especially if you work around sharp or pointed objects. However, there’s also the risk of lacerations, which are deeper cuts that could cause more serious damage.
There’s also crushes and fractures. Crushes occur when your hand gets caught between something, usual some machinery, and another hard surface like a wall. These could cause permanent damage, especially to the muscles. Fractures can also occur, as well as occurring after slips and falls.
Using protective gear
Protective gear goes a long way in avoiding hand injuries. The most used form of hand protection is, of course, gloves. However, not every kind of glove will work for every kind of job. That’s why it’s important to choose the right glove type for the job at hand.
For example, if you’re working with sharp objects, you’ll want gloves that are tougher with more layers of protection. Yet if you’re working with hotter objects, then you’ll need more heat resistance. Furthermore, if you handle chemicals, then you’ll need gloves which can protect against chemical burns. These are just a few examples, but it ultimately comes down to knowing what kind of protection you need while on the job.
Be smart when using machines
Gloves are just one part of preventing hand injuries. You’ll also need to be smart and safe when using machinery to help prevent crushes and fractures. This means being alert when using any machinery, as well as using any safety features they have.
Getting distracted while using machinery increases your chances of accidentally injuring your hands. That’s why your focus should remain on the machine instead of anything else that could distract you. Also, many machines will have safety guards or other protections that you can use to keep yourself safe while using or reaching inside of them.
Many times, an injury is not as simple as one bruise on one arm. An injury can any part of the body, all which need documentation— no matter how small . Documenting injuries is an important step in your worker’s comp case because it will help your case. Because insurance companies are reluctant to make pay outs and cover charges, this documentation will be important during all parts of your case.
Documenting Injuries: Why It Matters
What to Document
You should be documenting injuries relating to your workplace incident. For example, let’s say you fell at work and used your arms to break your fall. The main injury might be your knee with scratches covering it. What you might not see is the shoulder or elbow pain you are suffering because your arms helped cushion your fall. Then, after you document the injury, and make sense of the situation, it can add context to how your arms might hurt as a result of the injury.
When to Document It
Documenting all relative injuries as soon as they happen is imperative to a successful worker’s compensation case. You should have a discussion with your doctor about your injuries. Documenting injuries does not have to be a formal, long-form write up. You can simply tell your doctor you’ve had some pain in that area. You can also document it in your pain journal. For most major injuries, reports should be made within a few days of the accident.
Why It Matters
An accurate injury report from a doctor or the emergency room will be your best friend in a worker’s compensation case. Make sure all details are included, no detail is too small. Sometimes, insurance companies will try to use missed details or incorrect information to discredit the incident. You can make sure this does not happen by documenting injuries personally and fact-checking doctor’s reports.
To conclude: no injury or pain is too small to document. When documenting injuries, make sure you are including all relevant information. Sometimes, even things you might think are irrelevant can be helpful to your case. Bruises, cuts, and small swelling that you believe will just heal with time are still important to include in your injury documentation.
When it comes to talking to your doctor, you should be honest. In all scenarios regarding your health, honesty is the best policy. But what about during a worker’s compensation case? After an injury, your patient to doctor communication about your injuries should be completely honest. It’s important to paint a clear picture of what happened. Keep in mind, though, this description will not only be heard by your doctor. Your medical records can go under review by lawyers, insurance companies, and judges.
Doctor Communication: Rules to Go By
There is a connection between all parts of the body. Nothing is separate or its own entity. If you are having problems with your knees after an injury mainly regarding your back, tell your doctor. He or she can decide if there is a relation to your worker’s compensation case injury or not. Doctor communication should be thorough and full of details.
Know what you want to tell your doctor before going in. It might be useful to write down some small details so you don’t forget. Keep in mind that you should make the most of the doctor communication you have. It could be some time before you get back to see that specific doctor.
Being friendly to office staff, doctors, and nurses will get you further than being rude. Your doctor communication should come across as serious but friendly. Nurses and doctors will be more willing to listen and help if you aren’t rude. Remember that they didn’t get you in this position and are simply trying to help.
You should be honest with your doctor about any pre-existing conditions or medications you are taking. It could save your life because the way some medications interact with each other could kill you. Doctor communication is mostly private, so you should not feel embarrassed or afraid to confide in them.
When it comes to healing after an injury, honesty is the best policy. You should avoid saying things like “I’m fine” if that’s not completely true. Your doctor communication does not only have to be about how good you are feeling; it can be about how bad you are feeling, too.