Stress Management at Christmas
Stress 'Management' can be even more of a challenge at Christmas time, a time when we should theoretically be enjoying celebration, unity, peace and joy.
Management may be under pressure themselves to achieve targets that are unrealistic and put pressure on everyone including themselves, specially in the Catering, Distribution, Warehousing and Retail industries.
Make the physical work environment as comfortable to work in as you can, consider noise, light and temperature levels.
A brief ‘time out’ period when you’re feeling stressed can be very restoring – go outside and get some air and take your breaks.
Learn to say no – if your to do list is already as long as your arm and someone asks you take on another don’t be afraid to say no. Remember that you only have one pair of hands
Talk to your manager, discuss any problems you have . It’s in your employers’ interests for you to stay well. and don't forget they are probably stressed as well.
Fit Testing Competence
When using Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) which requires a face seal, it is a requirement that each respirator is face fit tested to each wearer. This is to ensure that the dust mask, half mask or full face mask is capable of achieving a satisfactory seal on each respirator wearers face and will not allow inward leakage when it fits correctly and when worn correctly.
To undertake RPE face fit testing, it is essential (and a requirement) that the RPE face fit tester is competent and can conduct the Mask Fit Testing to a good standard. The BSIF Fit2Fit accreditation scheme for RPE face fit testers have highlighted serious concerns in the levels of competence, especially in the Qualitative taste test method used for Dust Mask and Half Masks.
More than 10,000 people die each year due to historical exposure to occupational respiratory hazards and we know that poor fitting respirators are a cause of exposure to those hazards including silica, wood and asbestos dust, solvents, fumes and vapours, which highlights how the problem of incompetent fit testing is very serious.
Whilst the guidelines for RPE fit testing supplied by the HSE (HSE282-28) offer excellent and concise advice, the implementation of good Qualitative RPE Fit Testing is often below standard.
On many occasions RPE fit testers have been supplied with a kit and asked to perform the task without much guidance or training. Many fit testers have not attended a competent Fit Testing Training Course and only perform the task infrequently and have never attended a refresher Competent Face Fit Tester Training Course
Add to this the pressure to achieve a pass every time perhaps without good quality masks or a choice of RPE, and it’s easy to see why many poorly fit tested wearers of RPE are still getting little protection. It’s called personal protective equipment for a reason, we are all different shapes and sizes therefore there should be a choice of different shaped and styles of respirator masks available to wearers, provided by the trained competent fit tester.
The same respirator can sit very differently on two individuals faces with leakage implications, and then there is the issue of compatibility with other PPE, especially safety spectacles and goggles. A Competent Fit Tester will be fully aware of these issues and be able to advise accordingly. No health and safety controls should be there just to tick a box, otherwise it’s a dangerous, unhealthy, pointless waste of time and resources.
Aspire Safety and Health’s Fit 2 Fit accredited Fit Tester runs regular Qualitative RPE Face Fit Testing Courses in the Durham, Yorkshire, Midlands and London areas
These full day courses provide a great basis for qualitative fit testing competence by covering all 14 topics listed in OC/282/28, which can be built on by the tester as they work towards Fit 2 Fit accreditation.
Please remember folks – its individuals long term health at stake. Get some training and do a good job.