The cold and flu season, usually May to September, is fast approaching.
The Office of People and Capability is pleased to advise that once again we are offering free flu vaccinations to all CDU staff. To be eligible to receive this vaccination, you must be on the current CDU payroll system.
You MUST register prior to the cut-off date if you wish to partake in the free vaccination program. (This is to facilitate accurate ordering of vaccinations to the appropriate clinics).
The most effective way to prevent the influenza virus is by an annual vaccination. This will reduce your chances of catching the illness and may also reduce severity if you do catch it. The best time to be vaccinated for the flu is between March and May before the onset of the flu season. The virus in the vaccine is not active, so you will not get sick from the vaccination. It takes approximately 14 days for your body to develop immunity and protection lasts one year.
For more information on colds and flu, prevention, vaccine facts and myths and an interactive questionnaire to assist in your decision on whether to have the flu vaccine, go the FluSmart website.
Colds and Flus are spread through air droplets i.e. coughing and sneezing. The viruses causing colds and flus can survive on some hard surfaces for several hours. Touching surfaces contaminated by infected droplets (hands, phone, and keyboards) may lead to infection. These viruses can be removed with normal household detergents.
|Common Cold Symptoms||Influenza / Flu Symptoms|
|Sore throat||Fever (often high)|
|Sneezing||Muscle aches and pains|
|Tiredness / lethargy||Severe cough|
|Lethargy – extreme exhaustion|
The treatment of colds and flus is best managed by staying at home and resting, drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and where appropriate taking over the counter medications to help relieve the symptoms. If you are concerned about your symptoms, or are not getting better, see your doctor.
Good hygiene will go a long way in preventing colds and flus.
The most effective way to prevent the Influenza virus is by an annual vaccination. his will reduce your chances of catching the illness and may also reduce severity if you do catch it.
The best time to be vaccinated for the flu is between March and May – before the onset of the flu season. The virus in the vaccine is not active – you will not get sick from the vaccination.
It takes approximately 14 days for your body to develop immunity and protection lasts one year.
For more information on colds and flus, prevention, vaccine facts and myths and an interactive questionnaire to assist in your decision on whether to have the flu vaccine, go to the FluSmart website.
The lifestyle choices you make today, and every day impact how you feel today and how you will feel in your future health.
Chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, vascular diseases, arthritis and cancers are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia. Many people have more than one of these chronic illnesses at the same time.
Whilst we cannot change some of the risk factors for chronic diseases e.g. age, genetics, gender and ethnicity; there are a number of risk factors that we can change through personal choices. These are often referred to as ‘Lifestyle Choices’, and include smoking/tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and poor eating habits that can lead to diabetes, being overweight or obese.
We all have individual control over these lifestyle choices:
Australia’s Healthy Weight Week runs from 13 to 19 February 2017 and aims to increase the awareness of the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
For more information on this including healthy eating and food choices, hints to modify favourite recipes and diabetes, go to the Diabetes SA website.
Take the healthy eating quiz to find out more about your food habits.
Here are some further health links you may be interested in:
Remember life is about choices and when it comes to life style those choices influence the quality and length of your life.
Christmas lights are an exciting sign of the festive season, but if installed incorrectly can cause electric shock or fires. Please keep in mind when decorating your home or garden the potential hazards associated with electrical equipment.
Buy the right lights for the environment
Don't forget to unplug the lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Let's make electrical safety a priority when it comes to Christmas and party lights. Let's stay safe this festive season and not burn our houses down.
A candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. Keep your home and family safe by following some simple candle safety rules.
To see more candle safety rules visit the National Candle Association.
Incorrect food storage can quickly lead to spoilage and subsequent food poisoning.
The food groups deemed to be high-risk include:
Depending on the particular food state, these high-risk foods should be stored at below 5 degrees celsius, or above 60 degrees celsius to avoid the 'temperature danger zone' where bacteria multiply fastest. Correct storage containers help minimise bacteria growth, also in turn minimising the risk of becoming ill.
You can monitor your drinking if you:
Where to get help
Many of us will be travelling long distances to visit family and friends. It's important to be aware of the dangers you will face while driving long distances. The most serious danger is drowsy driving, where a driver is more tired than they may think they are, and simply drift off. Here are some strategies to help you get to your destination safely.
Lessen the drives – If possible, shorten the lengths of your long distance drives. This may take you a bit longer to get to your destination but it will give you a chance to take a break and rest more often.
Require breaks – There should be set limits for how far a driver can go at one time, as well as per day. Regular breaks should be taken ie 10 minutes after two hours of travel and 30 minutes after five hours of travel.
Share driving duty – If possible, driving duties should be shared among appropriate trained and licenced drivers. If you feel yourself becoming fatigued, stop and have a break as nothing except rest will alleviate the onset of fatigue.
Share driver's experiences – Share your experiences on the roads with other drivers – such as what's the best B&B to stay at, good rest stops (with good food and clean rest stop facilities), where road conditions are challenging and to take extra care, etc.
Keep in contact with drivers – Speaking regularly with your drivers during their shift (obviously hands free for the driver) is a way of checking up on how they're feeling, and to find out if there is anything you need to know.
Safe driving! Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful Christmas / New Year!
With the build-up months now upon us it's important to remember to stay hydrated.
Urine hydration chart
Hydration is a term used to describe your body's ability to manage water. Keeping hydrated is important because it helps to regulate the body temperature, remove bodily waste, lubricate joints and maintain healthy organs.
During prolonged work in the heat, your body can sweat up to one litre in an hour. Unless that fluid is replaced by drinking, progressive dehydration can occur. For more information, refer to the Hydration Test.
The consequences of dehydration include a reduction in safety and productivity due to impaired concentration, muscle fatigue and heat illness. Drinking enough water is one of the most important strategies to counteract the effects of dehydration.
By the time you feel really thirsty, fluid equal to 1-2 per cent of your body weight has been lost, at which level, workers are at risk of developing heat-related illness.
Dehydration concentrates the blood, applying additional load to the kidneys. Avoiding dehydration impacts long-term health, particularly that of the kidneys, as their role is to filter the blood and remove waste products via urine.
The recommended daily water intake for adult women is 8 cups and for adult men is 10 cups. For more information on hydration visit Better Health.
Most of us work in ever increasing sedentary roles and simply need to stand up more often to prevent the illnesses that long term sitting delivers to the human body.
There are many ergonomic hazards in the workplace. An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. The main areas of concern for workplaces and employees will often relate to:
There are many benefits of sitting less and moving more, including:
Each of us can improve our levels of comfort with simple changes. Try these tips to break up your sitting time at work:
If you think you need a workstation assessment, please email email@example.com.
Source: Australian Government Comcare.
The following is a list of steps you as an individual should follow if you come across a near miss, an unsafe condition or act.
CDU encourages all staff and students to get involved to raise awareness of workplace safety. It's everyone's responsibility to help keep the workplace safe.
NT Worksafe is holding free safety and education seminars in October. For more information and to register visit NT WorkSafe.
Safe Work Australia broadcasts free online seminars showcasing the latest thinking, research, developments and best practice in work health and safety. Check out their National Safe Work Month Resource Kit and take the Fact or Fiction Quiz. Give your knowledge a test by trying to answer the twelve questions correctly.
Cyclone Season in Australia is between November and April, but cyclones can occur outside these times. Cyclones produce strong winds and rain which can cause extensive damage to property, cause flooding and turn debris into dangerous missiles.
Areas should now be reviewing and enacting their Cyclone Action Plans and, as a matter of high priority during October, remove rubbish and tie-down or store any other items which could become projectiles in the event of severe wind gusts.
Check the latest CDU related cyclone information.
Be prepared for the upcoming Cyclone Season by attending this year's Cyclone Information session. Northern Territory Emergency Services and Bureau of Meteorology will be presenting current cyclone information and the CDU Incident Controller will be present to address CDU specific questions that people may have.
All staff and students of top end campuses and centres are encouraged to attend.
Date: November 8, 2016
Time: 12pm - 1pm
Location: Mal Nairn auditorium, Casuarina campus, or via video conference.
A tropical cyclone watch or warning that affects a campus/centre does not automatically mean that the campus/centre is closed. Staff and students are still expected to attend work and study unless the Vice-Chancellor declares that the campus/centre is officially closed. Likewise, the Vice-Chancellor will issue the official re-opening announcement of any campus/centre that had been closed due to cyclone.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This provides an opportunity for all of us to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women. Over 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85 is 1 in 8 for women.
Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. Remember you don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts.
Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you notice any of these changes:
The causes of breast cancer are unknown, but risk factors include:
Women aged 50 - 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program. Women aged 40 - 49 and 75+ are also eligible to receive free mammograms, however do not receive an invitation to attend.
It's recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged 40 - 49 or 75+ discuss options with their GP, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.
For more information on diagnosis, treatment and prognosis visit Cancer Council Australia.
Source: Australian Government Cancer Australia
Cancer Council Pink Ribbon
Slips, trips and falls can happen at any Charles Darwin University campus and are preventable.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common incidents in our workplace, and during the past ten years more than 6000 injury claims were recorded in the Northern Territory, with compensation costs amounting to over $130m (Source: NT Worksafe).
Slips, trips and falls can be prevented by maintaining, using and adhering to the following.
Prostate Cancer awareness month is about being aware and informed. It’s time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated prostate cancer information throughout the year.
Each year in Australia, close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer - equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men and is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men.
What is the prostate?
Only men have a prostate. It is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the passage in the penis through which urine and semen pass.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.
In the early stages there may be no symptoms. In the later stages of prostate cancer, some symptoms might include:
These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you experience any of them, go and see your doctor.
How is prostate cancer detected and diagnosed?
A doctor will usually do a blood test and/or physical examination to check the health of the prostate. To read more about this process to go the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website.
Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer
There is no evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, but they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:
Diet: Eat meals that are nutritious. Refer to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
Physical activity/exercise: There is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes of a day.
Have you got the sniffles, a ticklish throat or extra sneezing? It might be a dose of the cold or influenza virus trying to get a hold on your system.
Colds and flu are highly contagious and we need to recognise the symptoms as early as possible. If you feel unwell and begin to experience a fever, runny nose or a sore throat, then it’s highly probable your body has been exposed.
It is recommended that at first indication of cold or flu symptoms you remain at home to protect your workmates. Recovery is also accelerated by adequate rest and treatment.
To prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses in our workplace follow these simple steps: