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First Aid Supplies to Keep on Hand for Bee Stings

A bee sting can be painful and even life-threatening. Sometimes a bee sting can be treated with simple first aid, but in other cases, a trip to the hospital may be necessary. Be prepared and know what to do if you get stung.

How to Treat a Bee Sting

If you get stung by a bee, remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping it out with an object such as a credit card. Removing the stinger with tweezers could release more venom. Clean the site with sting wipes or soap and water. Then apply hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching, swelling, and redness. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or an ice pack can help with pain and swelling. If you have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, you should get one as soon as possible.

If you are allergic to bee stings, you may have a generalized allergic reaction. Symptoms may include tingling, dizziness, itching, hives, swelling of the lips and tongue, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms can be fatal if you do not receive immediate medical attention.

For a mild allergic reaction, an antihistamine, steroids, and possibly epinephrine can be used. You may need to be kept in the hospital for observation before being released. A severe allergic reaction can cause low blood pressure or trouble breathing, which can be life-threatening. Doctors may insert a breathing tube, and you may need to be admitted to the hospital, possibly to the intensive care unit. If you are allergic to bee stings, you should always carry an epinephrine auto-injector. It could save your life before an ambulance arrives.

If you had an allergic reaction to a previous bee sting, you are likely to have a reaction again. If you did not have an allergic reaction before, you may have a reaction to a subsequent bee sting. If you receive multiple stings but do not have any signs of an allergic reaction, a trip to the hospital is still recommended. The doctor may perform blood tests. Stings inside the mouth, throat, or eyes require immediate medical attention.

How to Avoid Bee Stings

If you plan to spend time outdoors, there is a good chance that you could encounter one or more bees. Take some simple steps to protect yourself. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed shoes, and insect repellent. Don’t wear bright colors, perfume, or hairspray that could attract bees. If you see a beehive, leave it alone. Bees will only sting if they believe the hive is threatened. If you see a bee approaching you, quickly walk away.

Be Prepared to Treat a Bee Sting

If you plan to spend time working in your yard, hiking, or camping, take precautions to protect yourself from bee stings and be prepared to treat one should it occur. Order sting wipes, cold packs, and hydrocortisone cream from 1st Aid Supplies.

 
Resolve to be Safer in the New Year

With New Year’s resolutions now in full swing, you might be thinking about the ways you can improve operations at your company or how your office culture can be enhanced with some new training and safety support added to the mix. We’re here to tell you that that’s exactly what you need for the New Year to promote a happy and lively workplace.

Here are our top tips to help you meet those resolutions this year and increase safety in 2019.

Take New Inventory / Refresh Rules

With all of the busy happenings all year long it can be easy to put off things like updating processes whenever a new rule is passed. Now’s the perfect time to improve how your company is prepared for a disaster by taking inventory of potential hazards present in the workplace and refreshing handbooks and protocols so that everyone is protected.

Have someone take a walk around the job site and look for things like tripping hazards, electrical problems, fire potentials and more. Create a list of these problems and work to create fixes (like a first aid cabinet) as a solution for any potential issues.

Clean / Declutter / Inspect

The New Year also brings with it a desire to clean up messy spaces and refresh what’s old. That means taking the time to thoroughly have your worksite inspected and maintained. Be sure all appliances and equipment are tuned up and safe. Have your fire extinguisher checked and replace batteries in all smoke alarms. Doing this will free up space and also lessen potential risks.

Provide a Safety Culture Everyone Feels Safe In

One of the best ways to create a workplace everyone feels safe at, is to create an open dialogue with the team about safety rules, why their important and provide training so that everyone on staff is equipped with tools to navigate an emergency situation with confidence.

Stay safe and have a happy New Year!

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Keeping Employees Safe This Winter

Caring for employee wellbeing is a top priority for businesses across the globe. In addition to strict rules and regulations in many industries, there is also the common understanding that employees go to their job each day (whatever it is they do for work) and can feel safe and protected. OSHA enforces rules to see that this happens but you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to plan for potential accidents or issues.

For those with workforces that must do their jobs outdoors, the risks and rules change a bit. As seasonal shifts and the elements create unpredictable environments to the workday, it can be hard to create a set of rules that apply at all times.

Here are some tips for keeping employees safe this winter.

 

Understand the Dangers & Warning Signs

The colder temperatures become more and more dangerous it drops and the longer workers must be outdoors. It’s important to understand all of the dangers involved with braving the cold temps as well as spot the warning signs that a problem is occurring. Hypothermia, for example, which occurs when the bodies temperature drops severely low or frostbite which can lead to limb loss are all very serious results of long outdoor exposure to the cold. Proper training is critical.

 

Enforce Rules and Safety Equipment Use
Wearing gloves and other protective gear is critical and one of the only defenses while braving the cold temps. Be sure to provide proper equipment and gear to workers and that they are using them accordingly. Other precautions such as being mindful for black ice and the potential for slips and falls is important.

Have First Aid Kits on Hand

Regardless of the type of work being done outdoors, if it’s winter and there’s potential for a hazard, you need a first aid kit that’s stocked with all the essentials on hand. From wound care to bandages, pain relief medicine and burn care, there are so many different tools to assist when an accident occurs, you can’t afford to remain unprotected.

Shop 1stAidSupplies.com for everything you need to ensure emergencies, slips falls and bigger issues are addressed promptly and efficiently. 

 
Tips for Treating Cuts and Scrapes in the Workplace

While we like to think of the nation’s workplaces as safe places, there is always room for injuries, even if workers are just pushing paper…or mouse buttons. The truth is that anywhere there are people, there is a risk of injury. Employers have a certain obligation to prevent these injuries, and if that’s not possible (it’s not like you can prevent an employee from slamming a finger in the microwave or dropping a box on her foot), workplaces need to be prepared to cope with minor injuries and illnesses.

Recognizing Injury Types

All workers, particularly supervisors, should be taught to recognize the different types of wounds and learn how to take basic steps to treat them. A minor bleeding wound usually falls into three categories.

Abrasion: An abrasion is a wound that is caused by friction, such as a scrape. Signs of a friction wound are typically missing skin and minimal bleeding. These wounds are typically of a minor nature.

Cut. A cut refers to a wound in which there is separation of the tissue. Unlike an abrasion, none of the skin is missing. A cut is a wound caused by a sharp object. These wounds vary from minor to serious.

Laceration. A laceration is a torn or jagged wound. The typical cause of laceration is blunt trauma (such as a blow, fall, or collision). “Cuts” and “lacerations” are terms that are often used interchangeably.

Treating Minor Injuries

When an employee suffers a cut, abrasion or laceration, it’s important to immediately treat the wound. To stop bleeding, put pressure directly on the wound with sterile gauze or other bandages. Pressure, plus elevation of the wound above heart level, should stop the bleeding within 15 minutes. (If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, it’s important to contact emergency services.)

Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the wound by washing the adjacent skin with soap and water and removing crusted blood with diluted hydrogen peroxide. Next, irrigate the wound by squirting a saline solution into it. This is an effective way to reduce the potential for bacterial infection. If bleeding restarts during the treatment, reapply pressure.

After cleaning the wound, it’s important to properly bandage to prevent infection. First, apply an antibiotic cream to the inside of the bandage material. Next, cover the wound with the dressing. The dressing should extend beyond the wound by no less than one half-inch so that it covers the wound completely and allows room to affix the dressing to uninjured skin. Once the bandage is in place, secure it with strips of sterile medical tape.

Have a First Aid Kit Ready

To treat wounds, it’s important that workplaces be prepared. Rather than expecting an employee to buy bandages and aspirin, it’s a good idea to purchase a workplace first-aid cabinet and contract with a supplier to keep it well-stocked. A supplier like 1stAidSupplies.com can provide first-aid kits like cabinets that can be wall-mounted, and portable kits that can be distributed throughout the workplace.

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Tips for Managing Back Pain in the Workplace

While colds and flu certainly appear at the top of the list as culprits that cause workers to lose the most days of work, there is one complaint that leads the pack: back pain. The injuries may have been caused by something employees did in the workplace or in their private time, but the result is the same – workers who are less productive than they should be because they’re in pain. And this spells trouble for employers.

 

Causes of Back Pain

There are certain tasks that can put workers at higher risk of back injuries and back pain. These include:

  • Repetitive tasks, such as manual packing of goods;
  • Heavy manual labor such as lifting or pushing and pulling loads that require excessive force;
  • Poor posture, or tasks that require stooping, bending over or crouching;
  • Maintaining the same position for long periods of time, which includes working with computers, answering telephones or long-distance driving;
  • Operating tools or machinery that vibrate; and
  • Working in the cold, either outdoors or in a cold indoor space; and
  • A sedentary lifestyle that includes little exercise.

Employer Obligations

Employers have a legal obligation to protect the health and safety of their workers (and, by extension, their customers). While the rules vary from industry to industry and state to state, most organizations should address their responsibilities regarding back pain in the workplace, particularly if employees suffered the injuries at work.

Preventing Back Pain

Luckily, there are things that employers can do to manage back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. For starters, they should engage in a risk assessment to determine which employees are at the highest risk of back pain or injury. For high-risk employees, it’s important to take steps to prevent the injuries. Some of these steps might include:

  • Ergonomic furniture that encourages proper posture and provides adequate support;
  • Lumbar pillows to offer support and prevent slouching;
  • Encouraging regular walks and stretching among employees to prevent injury from poor posture or repetitive tasks;
  • Teaching workers to lift properly without straining their back muscles; and
  • Stocking non-drowsy anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs in the workplace’s first aid kit (if you don’t have a first-aid kit in your workplace, now’s the time to build one!) It’s important to contract with a supplier so you have a steady stock of the products and medications your employees might require. A supplier like 1stAidSupplies.com can help.

With health insurance costs on the rise, it’s more important than ever to take steps to prevent employee back pain before it begins. The costs for prevention today are far lower than the costs of treatment – and absent workers – in the future.

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