ELECTRICAL SAFETY AWARENESS IN OUR HOMES

Electricity is one aspect of technology that has come to stay. Believe it or not, Electricity enhances almost all of our daily activities thereby making all sectors of life easier. We can boldly say that we have come to love electricity so much that when it is not available we feel somewhat frustrated. Electricity makes our homes brighter, keeps us warm and entertained. What would we do without it? In as much as electricity has made our lives easier, we must not disregard all the risks it comes with.

Today, electricity is so common that we do not pay so much attention to all the safety tips and rules that guide the use of electricity in our homes. Nevertheless, we must be armed with these safety tips in order to teach our wards and loved ones better about electrical safety.

WHAT IS ELECTRICAL SAFETY?

Electrical safety are measures taken or put in place to prevent the harmful and dangerous effects of electricity such as fires, shocks, burns, falls and a lot more while using electricity at home or at a workplace.

Here are Safety tips to be aware of while using electricity in our homes.

AVOID OVERLOADING YOUR OUTLETS

A lot of people are guilty of overloading electrical outlets. Some others go as far as running connections from one extension cord to another mostly out of ignorance. Every electrical outlet is designed to hold or accommodate a certain amount of electricity. A lot of ugly damages can occur if this ‘certain amount’ is exceeded. A fire could start from plugging too many devices into your socket or any electrical outlet at once. Use an energy-saving power strip that can safely carry everything you wish to plug. Get a trained electrician to install one for you.

REPLACE OR REPAIR DAMAGED POWER CORDS

Once you detect an exposed wire or the melting away of the protective covering of wire in your home, do well to bring in an electrician to replace or repair it. Never overlook an exposed wire in your home especially if you have children around.

KEEP ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT AWAY FROM WATER

Water does not conduct electricity. Are you shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be. Water doesn’t conduct electricity, rather the particles present in water such as iron, calcium, sodium, and so on are the actual conductors of electricity and once present in water can cause electric shock if brought in contact with electricity.

EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN TO PROTECT THEM FROM HAZARDS

Teach your kids the dangers of electricity and for the toddlers, who would want to touch everything they see, install tamper-resistant safety caps on all unused electrical outlets.

AVOID THE USE OF EXTENSION CORDS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

Do not use extension cords, but if you must, do not let the cords crisscross the floors of your home as it may cause a fall or your toddler might put his or her hand in the outlets. Tidy up all loose cords and put them away to prevent your kids from playing the game of Tug of war with it.

References:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_safety_standards

By

Anita Alexa Njoku

Share this:

FOOD SAFETY AND WHY WE MUST PRACTICE IT

The importance of food safety cannot be overemphasized; as this directly affects the food we consume (into our body) for their nutrients. Food safety can sometimes be mistaken to be food hygiene but they are not the same though they overlap.

WHAT IS FOOD SAFETY AND FOOD HYIGENCE

Food safety encompasses all the business practices that must be adhered to ensure food is fit for consumption (farm – finished product). Food Hygiene is one of the important practices which make it a subcategory of food safety (personal hygiene, safe food handling, cross contamination etc).  Food Safety is very important especially now during this pandemic with the increase of food delivery and home cooking so as to prevent contamination of our food.

SIMPLE SAFE FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES THAT CAN KEEP YOU SAFE

A critical part of healthy living is eating good food.  We can reduce contaminating our food by following safe food handling practices be it at home or in a restaurant. There are four basic principles to reduce risk of food contamination. These are:

CLEAN:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use warm water if available, and close tap with tissue towel to avoid contaminating washed hands.
  • Sanitize Surfaces- clean surface with hot soapy water.
  • Clean sweep refrigerated foods once a week – to remove spoiling or spoilt foods.

Keep your appliances clean.

Rinse your vegetables and fruits before eating, cutting and cooking. This should be done even if peeling to prevent transfer to the inside.

SEPARATE:

  • When shopping keep meat, raw sea food in a separate bag to prevent cross contamination with other goods, through blood or chemicals used to preserve frozen foods.
  • Separate food when preparing and serving. Always use a clean cutting board for vegetables and a different one for raw food such as meat.
  • Do not put cooked food on a plate that was used for raw food without washing the plate.

 COOK

  • Always cook to safe internal temperatures (well done and cooked through).  This is usually between 62 – 100 degrees Celsius (Depending on what is being cooked).

CHILL:

  • Raw food (meat, fish) be put in the fridge right away.
  • Follow the 2 hour rule- Put food in fridge within 2 hours of cooking or buying from store.
  • Thaw food in the fridge, under cold water or in a microwave.
  • Marinate food in the fridge.

DIAGRAM SHOWING SAFE HANDLE OF FOOD

During this period, it’s best to be more conscious of what we eat and how we handle it. Our food is our first medicine to having a healthy body and increases our chance of combating diseases and illnesses, of which coronavirus is inclusive.

Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu,

P.R.O Department, A-HSEAI

Reference:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/free-publications-women/food-safety-home

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-be-food-safe

Share this:

WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?

BIODIVERSITY

As we mark world environmental day, this year our focus is on biodiversity. Its importance and how our actions are affecting it.

WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY

This is the sum of all the different species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms living on earth and the different habitats. Biodiversity is an intrinsic part of everything from food production to medicine and research (we use at least 40,000 species of plant and animals daily).  All around the world, a large number of people are still dependent on wild species for some or all their food, shelter and clothing. We are all dependent on nature and her many gifts.

WHY BIODIVERSITY IS IMPRTANT AND WHY WE SHOULD CARE

Our biodiversity is important because “At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. The Convention about Life on Earth, Convention on Biodiversity web site.

A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services to everyone:

  1. Ecosystem Services:
  2. Protection of water resources.
  3. Soil formation and protection.
  4. Nutrient storage and recycling.
  5. Contribution to climate stability.
  6. Pollution breakdown and absorption.
  7. Recovery from unpredictable events (regrowth after wildfires).
  • Biological Resource:
  • Food, medicinal & pharmaceutical resources and drug
  •  Wood products (Trees used for carpentry, paper).
  • Breeding stocks and population reservoirs.
  • Future resources (young trees, animals).
  • Diversity in genes and ecosystem.
  • Social Benefits :
  • Cultural Values.
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Education, research and monitoring.

DIAGRAM SHOWING INTERDEPENDENCE OF BIODIVERSITY

All these are free gifts, available for our use. These are mostly renewable, imagine if we had to pay to replace everything; the price would be enormously expensive.

THINGS AFFECTING OUR BIODIVERSITY

As humans spread across the earth, some of our actions have led to devastating impacts. These impacts include:

  1. Deforestation: Leading to loss of plants, animals due to habitats being destroyed.
  2. Extinction of Animals: Due to hunting for sports and food.
  3. Climate Change: Increased impact and occurrence of hurricanes and earth quakes, Ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emission.
  4. Pollution: Due to large emissions of gas flaring, waste, plastics have resulted in air, water and underground pollution.

HOW TO CONSERVE OUR BIODIVERSITY

  1. Government Legislations:  Intentional planting of trees to replace those cut down.
  2. Nature Preserves: Protected habitats.
  3. Captive breeding and seed banks.
  4. Sustainable living.
  5. Habitat restoration.
  6. Education and research.

It is extremely important for us to protect our biodiversity, so that we can preserve and secure our future.

References:

https://www.slader.com/discussion/question/what-are-the-major-factors-affecting-biodiversity-today-which-one-currently-has-the-greatest-overall-effect-how-is-climate-change-different

https://www.globalissues.org/article/170/why-is-biodiversity-important-who-cares

By Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu

Media and Publicity, A-HSEAI

Share this:

Safety goggles

Because you only have two eyes, and they cannot be replaced – Eye injuries in the workplace are common, but they’re also easily avoidable in the majority of cases.

WHY TAKE THE RISK?

Safety goggles are a vital necessity in any workplace that includes potential eye hazards. Having the proper eye protection in place is essential in many work environments to guard against injuries and to meet international requirements.

It is important for employers to provide personal protective equipment to their employees and ensure its proper use.

Eye protection must be provided when necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants hazards.

Some of the most common occupations that have a high risk of eye injury are construction, medical care, electrical work, plumbing, welding, and auto repair. Even if your main industry is not one of the occupations listed here, there could still be certain departments or tasks within your business that might require the use of safety goggles such as maintenance and repair work on equipment used for your business.

Safety goggles are recommended or required any time the following potential eye hazards are present in the workplace:

  1. Flying Debris(dust, concrete, metal, wood, etc.).
  2. Chemicals (liquids and gases)
  3. Radiation (visible light, ultraviolet, heat, infrared, lasers, etc.).

Consider the type of work performed in all areas of your business to determine if potential eye hazards are present in your workplace.

Will Any Safety goggle Work?

The specific safety eyewear to use can vary hugely depending on your situation. It could be that traditional safety goggles with side protection or even entire face shields are best suited to protecting your eyes from injury. Do the research and make sure that whenever you are working in a potentially hazardous environment, you use the right safety equipment.

Some features of safety goggles are:

  1. Highly impact-resistant.
  2. Provide a tight, form-fitting facial seal.
  3. Protect the entire eye area against hazards coming from any direction.
  4. Some can be worn over prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Reasons to wear safety glasses:

  1. It’s the LAW – in many instances where eye hazards exist.
  2. Eye injuries are painful and often times the damage sustained is permanent.
  3. Injuries can happen at any time and rarely come with any warning.

Always remember no one think it will happen to them until it happens

BE SAFETY CONSCIOUS!!

Thank you and GOD bless.

Onoriede Ighemena Isaac

Media/Publicity Dpt., HSEAI

Share this:

ActNow Climate Action Campaign

As A-HSEAI member, you have the power to tackle climate change.

Small changes can make a big difference if we all work together. The United Nations has identified 10 key actions that you can take in your daily life and record here.

People around the world have already recorded 714307 climate actions and A-HSEAI is bringing you the opportunity to do yours.

ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Primarily an online and social media campaign, ActNow will educate and encourage individual actions, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns. By changing our habits and routines, and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to confront the climate challenge.

Share this:

THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE

THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE is driving species to the brink of extinction while posing environmental, economic, development and security risks. But we can reverse this trend. Countries around the world, the United Nations, A-HSEAI, many other international and national organizations, businesses, governments and key opinion leaders are all working together to raise awareness, enact and enforce stronger laws, and step up support to local communities efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.

This trade thrives on ignorance, indifference and turning a blind eye to the laws that govern it. But the more we know, the more we can see how our decisions have a major impact on wildlife, people and the planet. The good news is that we really can tackle illegal trade in wildlife

This campaign is part of an ambitious agenda that is being driven by the UN which recognizes wildlife crime as a serious crime and a threat to our shared sustainable development. The new 2030 agenda of the UN sets out Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have an explicit focus on protecting the integrity of our ecosystems by targeting the environmental crimes, that take place both on land and at sea.

JOIN THE 3 MILLION OTHERS WHO HAVE PLEDGED TO PROTECT THEIR KINDRED SPECIES. UNLEASH YOUR WILD INSTINCT TO PROTECT LIFE AND START A MOVEMENT! GIVE YOUR NAME TO CHANGE THE GAME

Share this:

Free Online Course on Solving Climate Crisis

Are you a A-HSEAI member?

Have you registered on hseai.org?

Do you want to find out how nature can help in protecting people from disasters and solving the climate crisis?

If your answer is yes then this free online course is for you!

Learn what young people and teachers, policy makers, practitioners, businesses and engineers can do to get involved in our race against the climate emergency.

Cost: Free of charge
Location: Online course

This course is being developed with support from the European Union

Share this:

Biodiversity

As members of A-HSEAI, we have a role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and preserving nature for our future. If we are to change the course of destruction, we must first learn about what we can do; share that knowledge with others on World Environment Day; and once it is safe to do so, act on the things we need to change.

A-HSEAI is providing us A HANDY ACTION SET FOR EVERYDAY SUSTAINABLE LIVING by https://anatomyofaction.org/

The Anatomy of Action outlines the top level changes any individual can make to support the growing shift to global sustainability.

Share this:

The Misconception between Safety and Profit Making

Years ago, I recall myself in class paying rapt attention, while my lecturer navigated us through her bittersweet experience, in a construction company, she had worked with, before securing a job in my institution.

According to her, the company had been awarded a very attractive contract, to construct a massive edifice and this had been ongoing for months, but she inferred their safety culture was nothing to write home about. None of the advisory recommendations reported by the HSE team were duly acted upon, especially in the area of procurement and purchase of personal protective equipment(PPE). Minor accidents kept reoccurring due to unavailability of personal protective equipment, but all were neglected . And whenever she approached the project supervisor to lay complains, his impromptu defense speech would always end with “safety is expensive and we can’t afford it”. In conclusion, she said the company met its waterloo, when a worker was reported dead after he slipped and fell while working at the top of a scaffold of about 30ft without a fall protection equipment.

This news went viral, like a pandemic and attracted a lot of Legal, Moral and Economic reactions which brings us to the three main reflect and epicenter of HSE effects in a company:

Legal- the family sued the company to court and then demanded compensation for the death of their son. It didn’t end there, law enforcement agencies visited, external investigations were carried out, and more discrepancies and incompliancies where exposed which incurred more fine.
The Moral effect was that the incident left the workers depressed and derogated, many went on French leave. The few that stayed were not effectively productive, as their morale became low. and finally the most evident -the economic impact, more losses were incurred both directly and indirectly, cost of hiring a lawyer, compensating worker’s family, manhour loss and lost time injury. Their public image and reputation was largely marred, the contract was withdrawn and company ran bankrupt.

This incident story is where the popular HSE maxim if you think safety is expensive try accident” is highly appreciated.

So what exactly would we say is the frenemy here? Is it safety or profit making? Absolutely not! It is the misconception, because in the real sense, the aforementioned “duo” are family that always looks out for each other.

It will interest us to know that on the Job accidents and illnesses take some two million lives and cost the global economy an estimated 1.25 trillion dollars( 1,250,000 million dollars) annually and account for some four percent of annual gross domestic product(GDP), (International Labour Organization 2020). The International Labour Organization, in a very recent post on their website revealed that in parts of the developing world, fatality rates soar to four times those in the safest industralized industries. What more is left to say to justify the claim that safety is an indispensable ally to profit maximization and not the reverse. And that with improved safety culture we could actually reduce loss in our businesses.

In a nutshell, we can conclude that Health and safety policy is aimed at ensuring workers safety as a sustainable means to afford productivity and profit maximization, because come to think of it, can we place a price tag on life? it is invaluable, so why use a wait tag for what can be used to protect life? Safe work, saves more! Healthy employee results to a wealthy company.

Thank you and GOD bless.

Ugwu Terrelbasil Onyekachi

Media/Publicity Dpt., HSEAI

Share this:

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE MUSTER POINT IN THIS TIME OF A CATASTROPHIC PANDEMIC?

 I’m sure we are eager as to know what wisdom we can excerpt from the muster point in this ‘’stay at home’’ Warrant type of Pandemic, so we are advised to plug in our seat belts and enjoy the ride.

 According to a published article by (EDET, 2018) a muster point is described as the safest place during emergency, where every occupant of the Job premises are expected to assemble for head count before rescue operation is initiated if necessary.   We can deduce three major points from the above mentioned definition, and they will form the epicenter of our discussion.

The first phrase which will be considered is safest place, a sanctuary sought of, this describes a place void of all kinds of danger or the cause for alarm, it`s like where the Jewish victims sought refuge during the era of the holocaust which was termed safe houses, (slier et al 2008).it is practically out of reach from the hands or even capacity of the ravaging danger or threat. Now relating this precept to our present predicament, what and where would we say would represent a ‘’safe house” that assures us of optimum safety and security from this sinister virus? Is it Aso rock? Maybe, the Barracks? Absolutely no! surprisingly it is our HOME, what the majority already has, irrespective of our class in the society we can all boast of a place we call home, it was William J Bennett who said and I quote ‘’ home is a shelter from storms- all sorts of storms’’ and guess what, this viral and virulent  storm is not an exception. We must all resort to our homes as the cheapest but most effective means to ensure not just our safety but the safety of others. 

But will just sitting at home really be of aid in this time, definitely not, this will now introduce us to our next salient muster point point, extracted from the aforementioned definition is ‘’head count’’ . it describes a core procedure carried out in the muster points where all workers present in the workplace are accounted for in the muster points, so the muster point doesn’t just afford your own safety but also takes into cognizance “who needs help?’’ how best can we help without endangering ourselves etc. This from a bird’s eye view can be seen as communication which in my words is the salt of human existence, but in this case it stretches beyond interaction with those in our home or digitally with our loved ones, to involve any form of healthy, spiritual and intellectual engagement that will help fumigate our mental environment from every nook of fear, panic and negativity whilst pervading it with scents of positivity and hope which has been the rudder that drove us through the storms of previous pandemics and other life challenges.

And now our last extract from the above stated definition would be “rescue operation” , in the context of a Muster point, yes! it is a safe zone but sometimes it is still within an eye reach of the danger zone, so workers may require a total conveyance out of that location although may not be necessary as stated in the definition. But our precept about this extract will be in the context of rescuing ourselves from whatsoever might jeopardize our safety in the muster point, and this I feel is definitely indispensable to sustain life, BREAD as stated in the Bible. This signifies our source of  livelihood. So if necessity warrants that we leave our muster points so as secure our daily bread we must not focus on the snake and lose sight of the scorpion, (Egyptian proverb) this explains caution, that we must cling to the company of social distancing, while ensuring frequent use of sanitizer and the salient practice of good hygiene. By so doing we would have not only survived in this period of Pandemic but we would thrived through and beyond with our friends and loved ones.

GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU TRUST IN HIM.

Ugwu Terrelbasil Onyekachi

Media/Publicity Dpt., HSEAI

Share this: