|Safety Meeting Topics (Bilingual)|
Personnel in detention and prison facilities should be continuously aware and constantly prepared for the risks they face on the job. Work in these facilities can be extremely stressful both physically and mentally for guards, custodians, or medical personnel. Workers also run the risk of exposure to physical attack or infection from bodily fluids.
Security personnel perform facility inspections to ensure inmate safety and custody. When walking the grounds and perimeter, watch for uneven ground that can cause trips and falls. When you inspect roof vantage points, stay at least 6 feet from the edge if it does not have a guard rail.
Everyone should inspect the workplace for hazards and correct or report them. Maintain good housekeeping. No items should be stored or even temporarily piled in walkways or exits. Ensure that lights, locks, and flooring are in good repair. Equipment such as carts and communication devices must be in working order. Evaluate chemical storage and use at your facility; prevent inmate access to concentrated chemicals that could be used as a weapon. Maintain strict control of knives and other sharps that could be used as weapons.
You know how dangerous violence in your workplace can be. Inmates may fight each other or attack workers. Stay in top physical condition and remain alert when you work in the facility. Get training such as managing aggressive behavior and verbal judo to help control behavioral crises. Have an emergency code and response plan for these incidents. Practice and drill the response frequently and in different scenarios.
Bloodborne pathogen exposure from splashes or contact with blood is a serious hazard when violence erupts. The most common exposure is a splash of blood or other bodily fluids to a mucous membrane (eye, nose, mouth) or a puncture from a bite, scratch, or other wound. If you are required to respond to these emergency incidents, wear body armor, long sleeves, and pants to protect your body. Gloves and safety glasses or goggles protect you from accidental splashes. Evaluate different equipment to ensure that it does not hamper your response while protecting you.
Avoid situations where an inmate can use blood, urine, or feces as a potential weapon by controlling access to cups and containers and wearing the appropriate protective gear. Use proper techniques to enter inmate cells. Know what to do if you have an exposure, including who to report it to and how to follow-up with medical attention. Vaccination for Hepatitis B, one of the most easily transmittable bloodborne diseases, protects your health.
Tuberculosis (TB), a respiratory disease, is a concern in detention facilities. If you suspect an inmate has TB, isolate and transport them for medical attention. Use respiratory protection such as an N95 respirator when entering isolation rooms or working with potentially infectious inmates. TB vaccination is not common in the United States, so get a yearly TB test to ensure you have not been exposed.
Your work environment can be indoors, outdoors, and physically challenging. Wear comfortable layers of clothing and sturdy, comfortable footwear. Get plenty of rest and eat healthfully to maintain your awareness on the job and help your body cope with demanding shift work. Maintain your fitness so that you can respond to any type of emergency on the job.
The level of required alertness and the unpredictable nature of the inmates in your workplace cause stress. Good fitness and overall health help you better manage job stress. Get the training you need to feel prepared and in control at work. Talk about your job tasks and stresses with your supervisor to get guidance on controlling stress. After emergency incidents, get debriefing counseling individually or as a group to help you cope with the emotions and stress.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.
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