Recently, a young girl who worked in the kitchen of a restaurant in England ended up in the Emergency Room of a hospital after some fluid splashed all over her legs. The liquid was so strong that it melted her jeans and then melted her skin underneath the jeans she was wearing. The hospital had to use special fluids to try and wash off the liquid that had splashed on her.
Now you might think that since it was a restaurant kitchen the liquid in question might have been either boiling water or hot oil. But hang on, neither of these liquids would have been able to bore a hole through thick jeans that are often made of cotton, not that I’m discounting the dangers of hot oil and boiling water. But in this instance, the offending liquid was, in fact, some kind of corrosive detergent that she had been told to use to clean the dishwasher. The moment she took the bottle out, it was half open and splashed on her. I don’t know what brand of cleaning liquid it was or what chemical components it contained but it was obviously very strong.
Places are always full of dangers if you are not careful. It could be your workplace, the supermarket or shop you are in or even when you are at home. At work, companies provide awareness training to employees who deal with special equipment, or at least they should, and I don’t know what happened in this instance. But shops cannot provide awareness training to customers who often encounter hazards in the shop and then point them out. I’ve been in shops and often nearly tripped over a floor electrical outlet whose cover had not been flattened. In one shop I went into this hazard was present in the entire shop. I’ve been in supermarkets where staff are loading and unloading goods from shelves and one time I was struck by a cleaning machine (the type that has a driver). He came up behind me and struck me in the back of my legs when I was waiting in the checkout queue. He was not looking where he was going. It was painful and I had a swollen leg for quite some time. The drivers on these machines spend half their time looking at their phones!
At home too there are dangers. If your flat is overrun with unnecessary furniture you might find yourself constantly bumping into things, especially if they are placed in odd positions merely to fit them in somewhere. There can be liquid droplets left over from when you were cleaning your floor. These are difficult to see anyway but can be especially invisible in a darkened corridor at night. And a bathroom is especially prone to be accident prone because that’s where water may be used all day. Steam is a problem after a shower but water can be spilt on the tiled floor from the sink which has a flat rim where water can accumulate and eventually spill over.
Then there is the small shower hanging by the lavatory. Often a leak in this device is never detected until you go into the bathroom and walk into a pool of water. The offending apparatus is usually the little shower; it’s either the pipe or the head that is leaking.
The kitchen too is prone to accidents, and not just from water on the floor from the sink area. There’s often hot oil and hot water that are being used for cooking and, of course, there are a myriad sharp implements like knives, forks and skewers. There are also dangers with the types of pots you use for cooking. If your pot is made of steel and so is the handle, there is often a risk of accidentally grabbing hold of it when you are cooking. Of course, this can also happen if you accidentally grab a spoon that was inside the pot while the pot was heating something. I’ve done both and the whole palm can be scalded.
You also have to be careful with your wet hands. Often in a hurry people are prone to touching a plug without first drying their hands. As you know, water and electricity do not play well together and this can lead to electric shocks if you’re not careful.
And of course, don’t forget to switch off the gas cylinder you use for your cooking. The connections for this device should be regularly inspected by an expert to ensure there is no leakage on the balcony and, more importantly, in your kitchen.
Now, since Covid, many people still maintain heavy duty cleaning supplies in their homes because they are still ‘worried’ about the virus and any other germs and viruses that may be lurking out there. They still continue to use bleach, hand sanitisers and aerosol disinfectants throughout their homes, even in the presence of people. I don’t know if I need to tell you this but some of these cleaning supplies are not skin and people friendly. Not even something as innocent as dishwashing liquid and clothes detergents. After all, they are chemicals. I believe that some of these ‘cleaning’ fluids cause long term damage to our skin and to our respiratory systems. I think that the less you use them the better off you’ll be in the long run. Or at the very least, take necessary precautions when using them such as gloves and ventilation.