Health And Wellness Concerns

Being able to perform at peak level when called upon is an important element in the fire service. The health and wellness of a firefighter can affect the level of performance as well as result in accident, injury, or death.Downloadable Instructor's Guides...


  • Designated Cleaning and Disinfecting Areas
    • Both 29 CFR 1910.1030 and NFPA standards 1500 and 1581 require new and existing fire stations to have two separate areas designated for cleaning and disinfecting
    • Cleaning materials used in two areas, such as scrub brushes, disinfectant solutions, soaps, and sponges, should be stored within easy reach of sink
    • Provide a written protocol for disinfecting and cleaning of protective clothing, medical equipment, and fire fighting tools and apparatus
    • Well-ventilated drying areas for clothing and equipment should be provided
    • Disinfecting and cleaning facepieces must follow manufacturer's recommendation and guidelines found in current edition of NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for the Fire Service, or other applicable respiratory protection standards
    • Written protocol for cleaning and disinfecting should designate location and method for maintaining SCBA facepieces
    • Eyewash stand and disinfecting shower should be located within work area or apparatus bay in addition to cleaning and disinfecting sinks
  • Indoor Air Pollution
    • External Pollution
      • External pollution from vehicular traffic, local industry, or natural sources can only be controlled by keeping pollution out of structure
      • Older structures should be updated with storm windows, new air-handling systems, and increased weather stripping around openings
    • Internal Pollution
      • Internal sources of air pollution include heating and cooling system, water heater, use of tobacco products, and mold and mildew in heating ducts
      • NFPA 1500 requires installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in both new and existing structures
    • Vehicles in Apparatus Bay
      • When apparatus, light vehicles, generators, power tools, and lawn equipment are started, they create a great deal of carbon-based pollution
      • Type of contaminant builds up in a closed or unvented apparatus bay and can enter living quarters through penetrations and air handlers
      • Use both mechanical means and administrated policy to reduce this pollution
        • Mechanical means include general room ventilation fans, point-of-capture apparatus ventilation systems, or mechanical roof vents
        • Positive-pressure air systems within living quarters that keep transmission of apparatus room air out should also be built into building
  • Proper Personal Hygiene
    • Personal hygiene
      • Personal hygiene is a fundamental defense against spread of germs, bacteria, and communicable diseases
      • Policies regarding personal hygiene include
        • Taking sick leave rather than working when ill
        • Not sharing protective clothing
        • Cleaning and disinfecting SCBA facepieces following each wearing and according to SCBA manufacturer's recommendations
        • Washing hands before preparing food and after using bathroom
      • Some departments issue individual sets of protective clothing and SCBA facepieces to help prevent potential of cross-contamination
      • Some hygiene features are
        • All fire department facilities should have proper hygiene equipment for washing, cleaning, and disinfecting such as mop sinks, clothes washers, and disinfecting and cleaning areas
        • Rest rooms and bathrooms should be designed and maintained so they are not sources of infection
  • Slip, Trip, and Fall
    • To prevent slipping, tripping, or falling, floors should be kept clean, dry, and free of loose items or spills
      • Although easy to clean and maintain, terrazzo, tile, or smooth concrete materials have a slick surface that can contribute to slipping, especially when wet
      • In new construction or renovation, non-slip floor coverings should be considered
    • Ensure that following guidelines are met to prevent slipping, tripping, or falling:
      • "Caution: wet floor" signs should be provided for use during cleaning activities
      • Traffic patterns used to reach apparatus bays must be kept free of obstructions
      • Doors must swing in direction of travel where possible
      • Stairs must be equipped with handrails and non-slip treads
      • All walk areas must be well lit
      • Two-tier bunk beds must not be used due to climbing and falling hazard inherent in their design
      • Apparatus bay floors should be well drained and non-slippery
  • Basic Housekeeping Procedures
    • During daily cleaning
      • Floors are swept and mopped
      • Upper surfaces are dusted
      • Materials are stored
      • Linens and towels are washed
      • Kitchens and rest rooms are disinfected
    • Weekly cleaning takes care of larger tasks
      • Cleaning apparatus room walls and ceilings
      • Outside cleaning
      • Washing windows
      • Cleaning out cabinets and storage areas
      • Stripping and waxing floors
    • Stripping and waxing floors, though done during work period, should only be done annually or based on floor manufacturer's instructions
  • Illumination
    • Fire department facilities should be well lit internally and externally
    • Artificial light should be sufficient for most tasks such as reading, preparing reports, maintenance, or cooking
    • Apparatus bay lighting should be in weatherproof fixtures and provides with protective light covers or cages
  • Noise Pollution
    • Noise pollution is generated by HVAC systems, machinery, apparatus, and office systems such as printers, telephones, and fax machines
    • Noise is amplified because of hard surfaces and non-insulated areas within structure
      • Noise is a contributing factor in increased levels of stress and tension within workplace and can contribute to hearing loss
      • It can interfere with speech communications, be a distraction to mental activities, and be a general annoyance
      • It can increase work errors and decrease performance
    • U.S. Government has established limits for exposure to noise based on intensity of noise and duration of exposure
  • Specific Areas of Hazard Concern
    • Shop Areas
      • Hearing protection, goggles and gloves should be provided in areas
      • Personnel should inspect equipment regularly for defects or broken parts prior to usage and remove, repair, or replace defective or broken equipment
      • Depending upon types of work conducted in shop, ventilation is another concern that should be address
    • Apparatus Bay
      • Personnel should secure loose equipment to prevent tripping or falling
      • Point-of-capture exhaust systems should be attached to vehicles or secured overhead out of way
      • Walk paths should be properly marked and kept clear
      • Floors should be dry and drain covers kept in place
      • Apparatus doors should be equipped with automatic safety features to prevent them from striking apparatus or an individual
    • Offices
      • Many office injuries are caused by an unsafe act by employees that involves tripping or falling
      • Personnel should be trained in following office safety guidelines:
        • Chairs should not be used as a ladder or a step
        • Exercise caution when working with filing cabinets
        • Office supplies such as pens, pencils, and letter openers should be carefully stored with points down to prevent puncture wounds
        • When not in use, paper cutters should be kept with blade down and should be equipped with a blade guard
    • Kitchens
      • Physical injuries in kitchens are usually associated with cuts from sharp objects such as knives, can openers, and graters
      • Additional training in kitchen safety should be provided to reduce potential for grease and steam burns
    • Rest Rooms and Locker Rooms
      • Rest rooms and locker rooms, usually designed together, should be spacious to prevent crowding during shift changes
      • Department should provide permanently attached benches rather than loose chairs or stools and ensure that mirrors are permanently attached to walls and not freestanding
      • Wall-mounted clothing hooks should be above eye level
    • Physical Fitness Areas
      • Personnel should maintain physical fitness areas by performing
        • Clear floor of loose objects
        • Maintain fitness equipment so that it is in good working order
        • Periodically clean equipment to prevent contamination from perspiration
        • Store loose weights in racks when not in use
        • Provide a storage area for exercise mats
      • Provide training in proper use of equipment
    • Mechanical Spaces
      • Mechanical spaces containing boilers, water heaters, and heating and cooling systems should be clean and well lit
      • Ventilation should meet existing code for these types of areas
    • Exterior Areas
      • Exterior areas around facility should be maintained and well groomed
      • Trash should be contained in an enclosed and secured area to prevent animals or children from gaining access to it
      • Parking areas should be well lit and, if necessary, secured by fencing and automatic gates
      • Garden edging, decorative plant materials, and rocks should be arranged to prevent tripping or falling
      • Lawn sprinkler heads should be recessed where possible
      • Trees should be trimmed, and leaves should be removed regularly
    • Walkways
      • Walkways, both interior and exterior, should be kept clear and free of loose debris
      • Railings must be provided on roof walkways and along paths where there is a grade change
      • All walkways must be lighted, and changes in grade must be visibly marked
      • Yellow tape or paint should be applied to steps and around work and storage areas

Summary

 

Review: Health And Wellness Concerns

 

  • Understanding Physical Fitness
  • Physical Fitness Programs
  • Wellness Considerations
  • Hazards

 

Remotivation: The health and wellness of each and every member of the department is everyone's responsibility. The fire service is a family and we must take care of each other if we want to depend on each other during an emergency.

Assignment:


Evaluation

 

Copyright