When I'm at work: Being healthy
- Fact sheet: being sunsmart
- Fact sheet: keeping your workplace clean and tidy
- Fact sheet: wash your hands and keep germs away
- Fact sheet: good posture and a healthy back
- Fact sheet: stretching for good health
If you work outside, or go outside during your lunch or tea breaks, it is important that you take care of your skin by being sunsmart.
- Cover as much of your skin as you can.
- Wear long pants, and shirts with long sleeves.
- Choose loose-fitting, lightweight, light-coloured fabric with 50+ UPF rating.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face, neck and ears.
- When you are going outside, make sure that your skin is clean and dry before you put your sunscreen on.
- Use sunscreen that is water-resistant.
- Use SPF 30+ lip balm on your lips.
- Wear a loose-fitting, wraparound style of sunglasses.
- Wear sunglasses that have an eye protection factor of 10, and meet Australian standards.
- Drink lots of water so that you don't get dehydrated.
- When you are outside, find a shady spot to work in if you can.
- Between 10am and 3pm is the most dangerous time in the sun.
- More people in Australia get skin cancer than anywhere else in the world.
- Being in the sun is the major cause of skin cancer.
- Being sunsmart could save your life.
- Sunsmart, go to www.sunsmart.com.au
- Bureau of Meteorology, go to www.bom.gov.au
- Cancer Council Helpline, ph 13 11 20, or go to www.cancer.org.au
- Workplace Safety Australia, go to www.worksafe.com.au
An untidy or dirty workplace affects everyone who works there in a bad way. It can mean:
- you won't be able to find what you need to do your job
- you won't be able to do your job as well as you can
- your team might not meet its targets
- your workplace will be unsafe because equipment and tools are all over the place
- you can get angry or upset because your job is not as good as it can be.
An untidy and dirty tea-room can be just as bad because:
- germs can live in dirty conditions and make you and your co-workers sick
- you will not feel happy to relax, eat or drink there.
A tidy workplace and tea-room is everyone's responsibility.
- Keep your own workspace clean.
- Make sure that all your tools and equipment are where they should be, so that you always know where your things are.
- Don't leave things lying around because other people can trip over them.
- Always put your rubbish, including food scraps or other rubbish from your lunch or tea-breaks, in the bin.
- Clean up after yourself in the tea-room. Wash any dishes and cutlery that you have used, and wipe up any crumbs or spills on benches with a clean, damp cloth. Don't leave a mess behind.
- If you notice other people leaving the tea-room without tidying it up first, ask them nicely to clean it up before they go back to work.
Brendan was taking his morning tea-break. He had eaten a banana and had a cup of tea. The banana peel and tea-bag were on the table near him, and he had spilled some milk on the kitchen bench.
It was time to finish his break, and Brendan had lots to do. He was just about to get up and go back to work when he remembered what Steve, his supervisor, had said about being tidy. Brendan decided that he didn't want to have a dirty tea-room, and he didn't want to make his co-workers angry with him by leaving a mess.
He put his rubbish in the bin, wiped the bench, washed his hands and then went back to work. It didn't take him very long to clean up. He left the tea-room clean and tidy, and looking nice.
No matter what you touch in your workplace, you could come into contact with germs.
This might happen during a normal work day when you:
- blow your nose
- empty the rubbish bin
- go to the toilet
- wipe down the sink in the tearoom
- pick up the phone to answer calls.
Once germs are on your hands, it is very easy for them to get into your mouth.
Just think about all the foods you eat with your hands during the day, for example, sandwiches, fruit, and toast.
Germs can be transferred from your hands onto your food, and then into your mouth. They can also move from your hands onto the people around you.
The best way that you can stop germs from spreading is by washing your hands.
Washing your hands can stop germs from making you or someone else sick. The best time to wash your hands when you are at work is:
- before you touch any food that you need to handle in your job
- at the beginning of your tea or lunch break, before you start to eat
- after you use the toilet
- after you blow your nose or cough.
You need to wash them properly to get rid of any germs. To do this you need to:
- use warm water
- lather some soap on both sides of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and around your fingernails
- wash for about 10 to 15 seconds by rubbing your hands together
- rinse your hands and dry them well with a paper towel.
Ryan worked at XYZ Enterprises and they were having a very busy day. He needed to go to the toilet and knew that he would need to get back to his work as quickly as possible. He didn't want to let his team down.
Ryan thought that he could save some time by going straight back to work without washing his hands. He then remembered the talk his supervisor had given about how important it is to wash your hands and get rid of germs.
Ryan decided that he would do the right thing. He would wash his hands thoroughly and quickly, and then go straight back to work.
Posture is the way you:
- lie down.
Good posture is doing these things without putting any strain on your back.
Having good posture:
- makes you look fitter and healthier
- makes your muscles work better
- means you have more energy to do your work
- will help to reduce aches and pains
- means you will not strain or over-use some muscles with the jobs you do at work.
Sitting, standing or bending at your work bench or desk for long periods of time can make your muscles stiff.
This makes your hands, neck, wrists, back and legs sore.
That is why it is important to have good posture and to regularly move around and stretch.
If you are getting some aches and pains at work, and you think it might be because of your posture, you should talk with your supervisor.
If you have aches or pains that last for more than a couple of days, you should speak to your doctor about it.
Correct standing posture
Correct sitting posture
Correct lifting posture
Health Departments in your area
Your body is not made to stay in the one position.
Sitting, standing or bending at your work bench or desk for a long time can make your muscles stiff. This can make your hands, neck, wrists, back and legs sore.
Stretching your muscles makes them longer, and stops them being so stiff and sore. It also helps to make any injury, pain or stress on your muscles much better.
There are some simple stretching exercises that you can do on the next page of this fact sheet.
You get breaks from work at lunch-time, and during morning and afternoon teatimes. It is a good idea to do your stretching exercises during those breaks.
You should also try to do some stretching exercises at other times during your working day.
If you feel that some of your muscles are very stiff and sore, try not to wait until your break before you do your stretching exercises.
Take a few minutes straight away, and do some stretching. For example, if you feel that your shoulders are sore while you are working, you could do the shoulder stretch or shoulder roll exercises.
Remember that if you feel you need to stretch your muscles while you are working, it is your responsibility to:
- let your supervisor know that you may need to do some stretches during work time
- ask permission from your supervisor before you stop work to stretch.
If you keep getting aches and pains at work, and the stretching exercises do not seem to be working, you should speak with your supervisor.
Your supervisor may be able to help you to do your stretching properly.
If you have aches or pains that last for more than a couple of days, you should speak to your doctor about them.
Health Departments in your area