Safety Suggestion July 2018 - Personal Protective Equipment

Safety Suggestion July 2018 - Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment:

Springbrook is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees and the individuals we serve.  Promoting a safety conscious work environment, encouraging communication and conversation about safety helps keeps this topic in our awareness.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be made available to all of our employees as appropriate.  This equipment is designed to minimize the frequency and severity of injuries to our direct support staff.  If you are not aware of what is currently available to you at your work location, you are encouraged to start a dialogue with your manager or supervisor.  You should also reach out if you have suggestions regarding current use or ideas to supplement, replace or enhance what is currently available.  You can also send your thoughts to safetyideas@springbrookny.org.

The Personal Protective Equipment topic came up in our last Safety Committee meeting, held in May.  One staff from the Golisano Program shared an excellent example of the benefits of regular use of protective equipment.  Here is his testimonial: 

                “At our house, we have about ten different sets of gloves that are specifically for protecting hands and wrists during behavioral issues and SCIP-R interventions. They are technically weight lifting gloves, but they work wonders for our purposes as well.

I've been working at my house for about nine months. During the first four months, I didn't use the gloves and found myself getting scratched, sometimes severely, very frequently. During one specific intervention, my hands became sweaty, and the participant was able to slip out of my grip and strike me right in the face. After that intervention, I started wearing the gloves, and I can't recommend them enough.

I always keep a pair close and put them on at early signs of precursor behavior. They protect your hands from scratching. They also increase your ability to grip which prevents participants from spinning their hands in a supine and digging into your hands… it makes the problem of sweaty palms irrelevant.

Since wearing the gloves, I've yet to be scratched in that area, and my proficiency in a supine has increased tremendously. Unfortunately, I've continued to watch others struggle while on arms in a supine because they have not chosen to wear gloves.

The value of wearing gloves doesn't end at SCIP-R interventions either! We have multiple participants that dig with their fingers as a behavior and these gloves completely protect the hand in all of these instances. I know of at least one Golisano classrooms already use and encourage gloves for precisely this reason.

Since my revelation, I avidly recommend the gloves to anyone that will listen, especially new staff. They make a huge difference in my job ability to do my job in a way that is safe for both myself and our students.”

~ Andrew Desnoyers, Golisano Teaching Assistant – Scriven House

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