In November’s Safety Focused newsletter, you can learn how to safety and effectively utilize a fire extinguisher, as well as read up on the reality of of work-related asthma causes and symptoms.
Effective Use of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are useful in preventing small fires from becoming larger and more threatening to you and those around you. In order to safely and successfully eliminate a fire with an extinguisher, there are a few tips and procedures you should follow.
Use the PASS MethodFire extinguishers are useful in preventing small fires from becoming larger and more threatening to you and those around you. In order to safely and successfully eliminate a fire with an extinguisher, there are a few tips and procedures you should follow.
The PASS method is the safest and most effective way to use a fire extinguisher. The acronym will remind you to:
Pull out the pin on the fire extinguisher.
Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is one thing, but it’s also important to know what to do before approaching a fire.
If necessary, alert the fire department or sound the fire alarm.
Always establish an evacuation plan.
Only try to extinguish a fire that is slow growing, small, and giving off minimal heat and smoke.
If at any point the fire cannot be controlled or you become frightened, evacuate immediately and wait for the fire department to arrive.
Talk to your employer to familiarize yourself with proper evacuation procedures and the locations of all fire extinguishers on the premises.
The Reality of Work-related Asthma
Work-related asthma is a condition caused by exposure to certain workplace environments, and it can cause serious long-term health issues if not treated.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms can vary and depend on the substance you’ve been exposed to and how long you’ve been exposed. Some symptoms can appear within hours, and some may not surface for years. Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:
Wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing
Congestion and runny nose
Eye irritation and tearing
Who’s at Risk?
Almost anyone could be at risk for work-related asthma. However, common risk factors include smoking, pre-existing asthma or allergies, and exposure to substances that trigger asthma.
When to See a Doctor
Seek medical attention if you’re experiencing asthmatic symptoms or if your symptoms begin to worsen. Severe asthma attacks can lead to death if untreated—seek emergency treatment if symptoms become severe and other treatments aren’t successful.
If you believe you are suffering from work-related asthma, contact a medical professional immediately. Ask a manager or health care provider about ways to protect yourself from work-related asthma.
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