Environment Health and Safety Matters:
What is Occupational Safety and Health?
Occupational safety and health (OSH) also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS) or workplace health and safety (WHS) is an area concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. OHS is a discipline with a broad scope involving many specialized fields and encompasses the social, mental and physical well-being of workers, in other words, the “whole person”.
It is the maintenance of a working environment, that is conducive to the health and safety of all employees. This takes into account the possible risks and hazards that an employee may be exposed to in the working environment.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of all workers; the prevention of adverse effects on health caused by the working conditions;the protection of workers from health risks at work;the placing and maintenance of workers in occupational environments adapted to his/her physical and mental needs.
Important facts you need to know about Mold
- What is mold? Mold are forms of fungi found all year round both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor molds live in the soil, on plants and on dead or decayed matter. Another common term for mold is mildew. Mold growth is encouraged by worm and humid conditions, although it can grow during cold weather.
- How does mold get into a house or building? Most, if not all, of mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. It needs moisture to grow and become a problem only where there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness. Common source of indoor moisture that mold problems include flooding, roof and plumbing leaks, damp basements or crawl spaces, or any moisture condensation on cold surfaces.
- How can I prevent mold growth? Controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping mold growth. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is very important. Ventilate or use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) Repair water leaks promptly and either dry out and clean or replace water damage materials. Materials that stay wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth. To lower humidity during humid weather. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
- Can mold be toxic? Some molds produce toxic substances called mycotoxins. In rear cases, high or chronic airborne exposures, typically associated with certain occupations like agricultural work, have been associated with illnesses. Large quantities of mold growth may cause nuisance outdoors and health problems for some people. Most people have no allergic reaction when exposed to molds. Allergic reactions, similar to common pollen or animal allergies, and irritation are the most common health effects for individuals sensitive to molds. Flu-like symptoms and skin rash may occur. Molds may also aggravate asthma. In rare cases, fungal infection from building- associated molds may occur in people with serious immune disease. Most symptoms are temporary and eliminated by correcting the mold problem.
Ergonomics- Back safety
Protecting your back from injury requires good posture and proper lifting technique. While lifting maintain the three gentle curves in your back: inward at the neck, out at the chest region and in at the lower back.
Proper lifting techniques can be remembered easily by thinking of this acronym:
B is for balance. Maintain proper balance. Take a wide stance and make sure you have a good grip on the object before you lift.
A is for align. Keep your back properly aligned, being careful not to twist or bend over from the waste
C stands for contract your muscles and keep the load close to your body
K is for knees. Bend your knees when you lift or lower objects so that you use your legs and not your back.
Never put unnecessary strain on your back. If a load is too heavy to lift, get the help of a coworker or use some mechanical assistance such as cart r fork lift. For heavy objects, it is easier on your back to push rather pull