As a leading Australian manufacturer of treatment tables, we at Athlegen feel we have a social and OH & S responsibility to educate all practitioners and users on some of the potential hazards associated with power driven, height adjustable, treatment tables.
Worldwide there have been cases of fatal crush and other serious injuries as a result of a person being trapped underneath the lifting structure of an electrically powered height adjustable treatment table.
Most of these instances have actually been as a result of practitioner error in the correct use of the table.
All adjustable treatment table designs have some inherent dangers. Visibility beyond and below the treatment table top in most cases, is restricted due to the physical size of the upholstered top, or by the common practice of draping the entire top so that the lifting mechanism is completely hidden underneath.
To assist Athlegen at their own expense, have commissioned a professionally designed multi lingual “icon” treatment table safety poster, and as a goodwill gesture is offering it free of charge (except for postage) to all practitioners, regardless of the table brand they use.
Ultimately we would like to see every treatment room in Australia displaying a safety poster.
1. Awareness and risk control measures adopted by Athlegen
All Athlegen tables are labelled with hazard stickers to increase practitioner and patient awareness of the potential dangers.
Every table sold will also have included a free copy of the poster, so that all treatment rooms can have a poster identifying the hazards. The poster will act as a constant reminder to educate operators and patients of the potential dangers. The safety poster will list the following information:
- Do not allow children in the treatment room
- Keep hands and feet clear of the mechanism
- Only trained persons should operate the treatment table
- When not in use unplug the table from the power source and lock the treatment room.
2. Owners’ responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that training is given to operators on safe use of an electrically operated treatment table, and that they have read and understood all the operating and precautionary instructions. Only trained operators should perform table height adjustments or use an electrically operated table.
The Instruction Manual provided with every Athlegen height adjustable electric table contains all the operating, safety, maintenance and care instructions for the owners and operators of the table. Please keep the manual in a place where it is easily accessible to all users, and please make it an important part of your employee induction program.
3. Operators responsibilities
The operator must not use the treatment table without first reading and understanding all the operating and precautionary instructions.
The operator also has an obligation before making table height adjustments or adjusting table sections to ensure that it is safe to do so. They must check the area around and underneath the device to ensure that all persons, or limbs are clear of the table mechanism.
Remember if a client brings a child into your clinic it is the operators responsibility to make sure that the child is safe at all times e.g. place the child in a pull out play pen during treatments.
Operating controls should be positioned such that the opportunity for unintentional activation is avoided.
Act now for a safer workplace.
The safety poster is available as a free download here. Please download, print and place in a prominent position in every treatment room in your practice and ensure that all operators are trained in the safe use of treatment tables.