5 Gruesome Facts of Health and Safety Failures That Will Put Chills Down Your Spine
with David James
We’re joined this #FantasticForumFriday by David James of SandyCroft Workwear, our guest editor this week. Check out his tips and tales below – be warned of graphic images!
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This article contains graphic pictures and is aimed to ingrain why good health and safety practice is important into your mind.
Health and safety is a subject that anyone who works for a reputable company is well aware of. A good employer will put their staff through training courses; management down through the ranks to the frontline troops.
It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office, on a production line, a building site or a laboratory research and development department – we’re all susceptible to dangers in the workplace.
In this article we’re going to go through five gory tales of workplace accidents and the in hindsight obvious preventative action that would have been a simple implementation.
Be wary; this article contains imagery of a gory nature! Enjoy the read.
1. A simple trip can lead to more than a grazed knee
In the UK health in safety at the work place is paramount to government legislation as it is in other developed countries such as France, Germany and the USA. Simple mistakes like tripping over power cable flex can lead to more than a grazed knee . Take for example the condition of traumatic knee ‘effusion’. A condition involving the painful swelling of the knee joint after injury.
Although the swelling can go down by itself sometimes further treatment is due because of an underlying problem and the victim may need cortisol injections – painful to some people in their own right.
A trip is a simple mistake but a big injury; how can we prevent it? Just by keeping the workplace tidy. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in you need to be vigilant and tidy up after yourself, after other people should it pose an immediate threat and report all problems to your line manager.
2. A toxic diagnosis
Do you work with chemicals? The chances are you do regardless of whether you’re an office worker or a chemical engineer. Chemical mistakes happen on a regular bases worldwide from the cleaner who mixes the wrong detergent along with bleach creating clouds of toxic chlorine fumes too the metallurgist that spills metal cleaner on his hand whilst removing corrosion. This is what can be seen in the image below.
Believe it or not but these burns took 24 hours to occur despite the area being thoroughly washed immediately. They weren’t apparent at first which goes to show how insidious some chemicals can be just like the hydrofluoric acid burns you can see above.
Being a fat soluble acid, it seeps in through the skin and immediately attacks the calcium in your bones. Meanwhile, superficial symptoms will not appear for some time. The destroyed bone can cause a heart attack due to increased calcium ions being released into the accountable casualties blood stream.
Again simple preventative measures for handling chemicals are: correct COSH training – just as provided by EazySafe – the correct use of personal protective equipment, workwear clothes and immediate medical attention should something terrible happen.
3. Yes chef!
Employees who work with sharp cutting implements are at risk of serious injury from one of the most ancient of tools: the humble knife. Chefs and just about any trade that involve the use of bladed instruments such as scalpels, craft knifes, chisels or cutting power tools can result in dangerous injuries. A worker cutting the plastic wrap on palletised goods or a chef slicing and dicing and then slicing a little bit more but possibly day dreaming at the same time ouch!
The painful fingertip slice – some chefs say you’ll never be able to cook properly until you’ve had one or two injuries like this. Slicing through the tip of the finger severing nerves it’s not just carrots you’ve finely sliced. The razor sharp blade cuts and painfully stings.
But guess what? Again this could be absolved by wearing a safety cut proof chainmail glove on the hand that’s most likely to come into contact with the sharp edge of the cutting tool.
4. Gravy, minced limb and mash for dinner?
Health and safety accidents involving heavy duty machinery and heavy machinery means any kind of powered machinery in the context of this blog post, can cause some of the most severe and life changing, if not life ending accidents. Anything with moving and reciprocating parts can cause hair to be trapped if not tucked away, hands and limbs to be mangled or horrific head injury. Take the limb below trapped in an industrial meat mincing machine:
Why would an employee put their hand in such a device that turns solid animal meat into a minced pulp? Sometimes common sense should prevail to prevent such an accident. There were other pictures of this accident but this was the least graphic. Needless to say the person involved in the accident lost his forearm.
When performing any maintenance on machinery it not only has to be powered off at the device but also isolated at the isolation unit and all staff should be trained in activating the emergency shutdown switch in case something goes wrong.
5. Electrifyingly insidious that current
If only the sub heading reflected an amazing black current that tasted electrifyingly delicious! Sadly electrocution is a hazard in all occupations. The kettle in the office, the cement mixer on a building site, overhead power cables and underground power cables – the list could go on and on.
The basic anatomy of an electric shock: the point of contact with the exposed electrical circuit causes a way for electric current to enter the body and find the path of least resistance to the ground below your feet. The electricity then leaves your body usually through your feet to the ground.
As it’s travelling through your body you can suffer intense internal burns – think cooked muscle and other body tissues. External, visible burns tend to occur at the electrical entrance point and the electrical exit point of the victim’s body.
Be careful! Electric is an invisible and deadly force. Don’t handle portable appliances with wet hands; make sure they are indeed PAT tested on a regular basis if you’re an employer. Use portable transformers that are isolated from the mains electric circuits that are splash proof and comply to standards when using power tools outdoors. If you work with electric as an occupation make sure you have the correct training. Simplistic measures that could save your life.
Hopefully the images and the descriptions of the accidents as graphic and gory as they may be will save someone from injury or death after you’ve read this blog post. Sometimes the shock factor of such images will make you bare in mind the gravity of health and safety importance. Wishing you health and prosperity please stay safe at work and consult EazySafe for more information on health and safety courses they can provide.
Guest Editor’s Bio
David James is a 6’2″, 34 year old Welshman with curly brown hair from Flintshire, North Wales. He’s passionate about writing and after working at Papers Past for several years as an archivist he decided to join the team at Sandycroft Workwear to continue his writing as a safety workwear consultant.
Sandycroft Workwear head office is located in Deeside, where our national distribution centre is located, supplying bespoke company branding of workwear, uniforms, sports wear, and merchandise to UK businesses. We pride our business on supplying cost effective solutions and premium quality garments to businesses in the UK and worldwide.
Thanks David for joining us today!
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Images are free to use under the licence below.
Images and information on chemical burns