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Interview with Hélène Duval, nurse at Smurfit (paper mill): ‘Those who are most exposed have Diphoterine® solution on their belts’

Interviewed by Adrien Mathieu

Hélène Duval has been using Diphoterine® solution to treat the employees of her company for thirteen years. She discusses its benefits with Prevor.

Prevor: When did you first find out about Diphoterine® solution?
Hélène Duval: I used it for the first time when I started working for Smurfit. I hadn’t heard about this product until my nursing colleague told me about it. I quickly read up about it and started to use it. I then did prevention work at several levels, especially during OHS sessions. Since I have worked here, I must have used it about thirty times, especially for eyes.

“The product’s benefits? Speed, effectiveness, and worker knowledge on how to use it.”

Prevor: What are the benefits for you in treating exposed workers with this solution?
HD: The speed, effectiveness, and worker knowledge of this product. They know how to use it and where to find it. They know the protocol to follow in case of a splash and that’s a real benefit. Those who are most exposed have the product on their belts. For the others, it’s kept in booths and small boxes nearby. Rinsing is easy except for the eyes. When used as an eyewash, we make the person lie down because a seated position is uncomfortable for the neck.

Prevor: Are employees therefore now accustomed to using Diphoterine® solution when necessary?
HD: We’ve done a lot of communication on Diphoterine® solution within our company. There is a large turnover of products, due to expiry dates. Whenever we can, we provide information on exposed workstations, accident analyses, and first aid courses.

Prevor: When have you needed to use Diphoterine® solution?
HD: In lots of situations. We use a lot of products in the process, at all levels, with acids and alkalis. Acid requires immediate use of Diphoterine®, it stops spreading very quickly. Also, some alkalis are diluted and people don’t immediately realise that they have them on their skin. This is what we fear the most.

Prevor: What protocol have you implemented?
HD: Apply a large amount of Diphoterine® solution to the zone, and it’s probably safer to just empty the bottle. We tell our workers how to do this, including loosening shoes and then removing soiled clothing. Initially water needs to be avoided, but the areas concerned need to be rehydrated well afterwards.

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