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Smart Start Safe Work Practices For Educational Assistants School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Smart Start Safe Work Practices For Educational Assistants School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Smart Start Safe Work Practices For Educational Assistants School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

2 Introduction SBCI and your school are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all staff. 42% of all lost time injuries in Ontario are due to musculoskeletal disorders (strains and sprains). Musculoskeletal disorders are preventable. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

3 Goals 1.To increase your awareness of health and safety. 2.To explain ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders. 3.To teach you how to work safely. 4.To teach you about your body and how to take care of it. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

4 Be Aware Pay attention to your surroundings. Work safely. Avoid short cuts. Don’t be complacent. Report problems and hazards. Listen to your body. Consult with the Occupational Therapist (OT) and Physiotherapist (PT) who knows the child you are working with. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

5 Be Prepared, Be Safe School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

6 Hazards EAs are exposed to a number of different hazards. When prepared these hazards are not a problem. When unprepared or surprised a hazard can lead to injury. Work Wellness 2010 School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

7 Be Prepared Dress for the occasion –Wear comfortable non- slip footwear loafers or running shoes. –Wear layered breathable clothing. –Wear clothing that fits, but does not restrict your movement. Work Wellness 2010 School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

8 Be Prepared Prevent contamination – clean up Wear gloves that: are appropriate for the task, undamaged, and fit well. Discarded after each use. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

9 Be Prepared Check equipment –Do you have the right equipment for the job or task. –Don’t use broken or malfunctioning equipment. –Report broken equipment immediately. –Have a plan should you need to perform tasks in an alternate fashion due to equipment failure. Keep projectiles away from students prone to throwing School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

10 Take a Break Take micro breaks or mini breaks EAs are to receive a 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Do not bank your time. Take your breaks as scheduled so that your body has an opportunity to rest School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

11 Understanding Injury The musculoskeletal system is made up of bone, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood supply. Injuries can occur to back, neck, shoulders, arms, or hands. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

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13 What Causes Injury? Repetition. Forceful actions. Poor postures and movements – awkward postures. Doing any of these for a long period of time increases the risk of injury. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

14 Examples School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

15 Prevention Preventing injury is everyone’s responsibility. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

16 What Symptoms Should You Watch For? Discomfort Pain Numbness Tingling Swelling Weakness, Decreased ability to move Cold hands/feet Changes in skin colour Fatigue School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

17 What To Do If You Have Symptoms? Report them immediately to your supervisor. Get medical advice and treatment. Work with the joint health and safety committee, your supervisor and co-workers to find the root cause of the problem. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

18 Body Mechanics The act of maintaining proper position during movement. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

19 What Does Good Posture Like? School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

20 Straight Back. A straight back has some slight curves that are natural and normal. A straight back is when we preserve the natural curves, and we don’t bend or hunch. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

21 Avoiding Poor Posture Poor posture is often the result of: Being out of shape and not fit Moving your body incorrectly many times. You should avoid or minimize: Over reaching and leaning Working overhead Repetitive movements Heavy forceful movements Bending and twisting at the waist School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

22 Transferring a student should always be considered a heavy task. Create and preserve transfer situations and avoid lifts. Consult with the OT and PT written plan for the student. Transferring Principles School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

23 Before The Transfer Assess and know the physical capability of the student. Know your own limits (size and strength). Adjust the heights of furniture and equipment where transfers occur so that they match. Ensure that there is adequate lighting in the environment. Ensure that the transfer distance is as short as possible. Position all chairs etc. close to student. Ensure firm footing. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

24 During the Transfer Use available grab bars, pivot discs, transfer boards or transfer belts as prescribed by the OT and PT. Ensure good communication between staff during a transfer. Verbalize the transfer process to the student and begin when the student is ready. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

25 During the Transfer con’t Bend your knees, use your legs, and keep your back straight when transferring. Agree on timing count or use queuing signals with students and/or staff assisting. Avoid rushing. Avoid stooping, bending or twisting at the waist Move your feet. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

26 Transfer To and From Chair to Toilet/Table/Plinth Apply good transfer principles. Prepare the area (raise toilet lid, secure grab bars, clear table). Lock wheels on the chair. Move or remove arms/trays. Use your legs, bend your knees, and keep your back straight. Get close to the student. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

27 Transfer to and from Floor to Chair Determine if this is a two person transfer. Ensure the floor environment is secure and free from obstacles. Provide padding/mats. Lock wheels on the chair. Use your legs. Get the student to use the chair to assist in raising and lowering. Coordinate your efforts. Proceed in stages (floor to kneeling to standing, then pivot and sit). School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

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29 Lifting Principles Plan ahead and practice lifting and carrying Get a grip Keep all loads close to the body Use your legs and keep your back straight Move your feet and avoid twisting Cradle loads and bring close to body School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

30 Back Facts 80% of all back pain is musculoskeletal The more fit you are, the less likely you are to have a back or neck complaint. Most of the time low back pain is not related to a specific event Most low back pain is caused by repetitive stress to muscle and ligaments School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

31 Remember Lifting heavy loads increases the risk of back injury. Don’t lift anything that is too heavy – be sure you are comfortable with the lift. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

32 Lifting Small Children Have the student help. Ensure the student is calm. Crouch down to the level of the student. Get close to the student. Hold on to the student. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

33 Remember The more often you lift and the greater the weight the more likely you are to injure your back, shoulders and hands. Minimize lifting and/or use mechanical lifts whenever possible. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

34 Lifting from Chair to Change Table Use mechanical lifts Ensure that all straps are properly fastened Guide, don’t push and pull Pushing and pulling heavy loads can injure the shoulders and arms School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

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37 Lifting from Floor to Chair The greater the difference between lifting levels the greater the risk. Always work with a partner. A mechanical lift should be your first choice. Get close to the student School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

38 Partner Lifting Make sure that you communicate Make sure partner(s) understand their role(s) Use good lift techniques Balance the load between the lifters Adjust the load for lifters who are different heights Stand with feet shoulder width apart Lift at the same time in preparation for lifting the load Push up with your legs keeping the head and shoulders straight as the lift begins Time or count when lifting School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

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40 Pushing and Pulling Wheelchairs Ensure that the student is secure before you begin moving. Remove any obstacles from your path. Prop open doors or get help opening the doors. Release brakes. Protect shoulders wrists and arms. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

41 Pushing and Pulling Wheelchairs Stay close to the chair to avoid over reaching. Proceed at a slow and steady pace. Check wheels for debris. Pull only when necessary. Get help Make pushing easier Make sure there is adequate clearance as you go through doorways School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

42 Manual Guiding - Ambulatory Students Stay close to the student. Proceed at a moderate pace. Look ahead for hazards. Make sure the student is wearing proper footwear. For students who pull or jump avoid attempts to restrain them unless there is a risk of harm to the student. Use your whole body when guiding, and place your hand on the student’s back. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

43 Manual Guiding- Non-Ambulatory Self-Propelled Students Ensure that there are no obstacles in the travel path. Understand how the wheel chair or assistive device works. Be aware of hallway traffic. Use the automatic door openers if available. Use verbal directives to assist the student to safely maneuver through hallways, doorways etc. Get help if necessary to avoid getting stuck and get help if stuck. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

44 Manual Guiding on the Stairs When accompanying someone up and down stairs ensure that they use the handrail or wall. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

45 Feeding Prepare the student for their meal. Use a non slip surface to prevent dishes from sliding. Prepare utensils and equipment ahead of time, and ensure that they are fastened/placed correctly. Wash your hands and wear gloves. Ensure that you have a comfortable seat that allows you to be at the same level as the student when feeding. Check the food temperatures for safety. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

46 Feeding Get close to the student. Place the meal so that the person can reach it. Give the student verbal or visual cues. Feed students slowly and give them small bites to prevent choking. Use utensils as much as possible. Clean all equipment and store properly. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

47 Hygiene Educational Assistants can often be exposed to biological and chemical hazards. Biological Hazards include blood or other body fluids, fungi, bacteria and viruses, and fecal matter. Chemical Hazards include cleaning products, solvents, gases and flammable materials like gasoline and solvents. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

48 Hygiene – Staying Safe Cover up (gloves, shoes, sleeves) Disinfect bathroom and eating areas Clean up and discard Wash with antibacterial soap Clean handles Do not use unlabelled substances and never mix substances Work in a well ventilated areas and use available fans Read the instructions School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

49 Hygiene – I’ve been exposed! Skin Punctured – cut or bitten while at work Clean the wound thoroughly and cover to prevent infection. Consult an health professional. Suspect you were exposed to a contagion or toxic substance. Consult a health professional immediately. Report all incidents to your supervisor. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

50 Physical Therapy Consult with the OT and/or PT and use the written plan. Make sure you understand what therapy you are providing and how to provide it safely. If transferring or lifting follow safe principles. Prepare floor mats, therapy bed or plinth. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

51 Passive Therapy Give clear instructions to the student before proceeding. Avoid putting your wrists in an awkward position. Ensure that you are secure on the table/plinth. Maintain your balance. Do not tug on the student. Use your legs and body when exerting force. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

52 Active Therapy Provide instruction. Demonstrate for clarity. Ensure environment is safe. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

53 Field Trips Field trips complicate safety because the environment is often uncontrolled. You can increase safety by planning ahead and knowing what to do on the trip. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

54 Field Trips – Planning Ahead Transportation Conditions Prepare the student Supplies (medicines, change of clothes, medical information, etc.) Check equipment Check the weather Maps and directions. Emergency plan and numbers Know the location (washrooms, exits, ramps, stairs, elevators and phone) School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

55 Field Trips – On the Trip Be aware Scout ahead Be patient Follow safety rules when onsite Don’t forget good hygiene practices Participate only in activities that are appropriate for the student Ask for help Don’t leave a student unattended School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

56 Dressing/Undressing Principles Ensure all necessary items are available. Always get to the level of the student. Ensure the student is calm. Talk to the student and tell them are doing as you proceed. For small children sit or crouch behind them and reach forward to dress them. For larger students you will likely have to move around them. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

57 Pull Over Sweaters/Tops Dressing Bunch sweater like panty hose and place over student’s head. Do the same for each sleeve and get each hand through the sleeve. Straighten sleeves and then straighten sweater down the body. If the student is in a wheelchair, have them lean forward if possible and work the sweater down the back side first and then straighten the front Undressing Remove one sleeve at a time. Bunch material toward head and remove all at once. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

58 Coats and Front Opening Sweaters Dressing Put on one sleeve and slide coat around the back. Then put on the second sleeve and zip or button the front Undressing Ensure all gloves and mittens are removed first. Unfasten the garment. Remove one sleeve. Slide around back. Remove other sleeve. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

59 Shoes and Boots Dressing Do not place yourself directly in front of the student. Straighten socks Slide footwear over the toes and hold. With the other hand take the back of the footwear and pull over the heel. Undressing Loosen fastenings. Begin removal from the heel. Slide footwear off. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

60 Remember Let students do as much as they can. Not only does it promote independence it also makes your workload lighter. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

61 Avoiding Conflicts with Students Avoiding Conflicts with students involves prevention strategies, de- escalation and personal safety. Remember - physical intervention/ involvement of any kind is always the absolute last resort, and never use any form of restraint unless imminent danger exists and no other options are available. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

62 Prevention Strategies Organize the workspace PPE Watch for weapons Know the volatile students Know where and how to access help (911) Be aware of student conflicts, tendencies and personalities Know your students’ risk factors, and triggers Create protective factors and avoid conflict School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

63 De-Escalation – Non-Verbal Techniques maintain a calm, caring, professional attitude; use the Safe, Supportive Stance; use a non- confrontational tone; present a relaxed, non- confrontational body language; don't take anger/behaviour personally note the subject's body language; avoid showing anger or outrage or fear School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

64 De-Escalation – Verbal Techniques allow/accept venting do not vent yourself listen to what is being said make it clear that you hear concerns state your concerns clearly and calmly do not give ultimatums state reasonable limits try to avoid confrontational statements On some occasions, it is best to say and do nothing! School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

65 Personal Safety use the safe, supportive stance; remove the target if possible; remove the audience; know about and use personal protective equipment take training to learn further strategies on prevention, de- escalation and personal safety School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

66 Desk Work Do not sit on child-sized chairs. Sit close to students. Use a small stool or height adjustable chair for low surfaces. Avoid standing and bending at the waist. Limit your time, in any one posture. When kneeling make sure that there is padding under the knees. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

67 Desk Work Alternate the side on which you sit. Alternating sides and leaning versus upright posture alleviates stress on any one area of the body. When you stand up at the end of a teaching session, stretch your arms overhead. If you sit for a long period of time consider using a pillow or back support for you lumbar spine. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

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70 Computer Work School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

71 Slips, Trips, Falls One of the most common ways of becoming injured. Slips and trips lead to falls. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

72 Slips Slips happen when there is too little traction between the footwear and the floor, such as: wet, waxed or oily floors, loose mats or carpets, improper footwear (slippery soles, heels), weather hazards, accidental spills. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

73 Trips Trips happen when your foot hits something that causes you to lose your balance. Trips are caused by: poor lighting, unsecured cables or cords, uneven surfaces, clutter, obstructed view, open drawers, and objects in your way. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

74 Preventing Slips, Trips, Falls Good Housekeeping Appropriate Footwear Appropriate Pace School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

75 Stairs Avoid carrying objects up and down stairs whenever possible. Make use of the handrail or wall for balance. Maintain a steady pace. Go with the flow. School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

76 Body Basics – Taking Care of You Get Plenty of Rest (8 hours a day) –Fatigue increases the risk of injury Fuel-up –Food is fuel Exercise Regularly –Stay strong School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

77 Stretches School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010

78 Thank You School Boards’ Cooperative Inc. Work Wellness 2010


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