Knowing first aid and CPR on a construction site can save lives. It’s also worth noting that promptly and correctly administering first aid can minimize short- and long-term impacts to the victim and your business in the form of lost time at work, OSHA recordable incidents and workers’ compensation insurance. Read on to find what we believe are 5 first aid procedures everyone on the jobsite should know.
First Look, Then Act
When things go wrong on the jobsite, many instinctively drop everything and run to help. On the surface that may seem like the best idea, but many times it ends with additional injuries. Before moving to help, stop and secure the area to prevent any further injuries and evaluate the situation for hazards that are present to ensure it is safe to help. If the injuries appear moderate or severe, contact 911 immediately. Next, identify all actual and potential hazards to gauge the risk to you and the victim. There are four likely scenarios:
- There are no hazards that may injure you or the victim. Move in and assess the situation.
- There are immediate hazards to the victim and/or rescuers. Correct the hazards before helping.
- There are potential hazards that may affect rescuers or the victim. Secure the potential hazards before helping.
- There are immediate or potential hazards to rescuers and/or the victim that cannot be safely corrected. Do not move in to help. Call 911 and wait for first responders to arrive.
When it is safe to move in and help, make sure to always use the proper personal protective equipment, for the jobsite and administering first aid to ensure protection from any bio-hazard/blood-borne pathogens — follow universal precautions at a minimum… Implement universal precautions training and ensure your fist aid kit has bloodborne pathogens PPE. The first goal is always to protect yourself and avoid additional injuries to victims and other personnel.
Once you understand how to check the scene first, then act accordingly, you’ll need some basic first aid to help those in need.
5 First Aid Procedures Everyone on the Jobsite Should Know
Performing CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, immediately after a person’s heart and breathing has stopped saves lives. In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that CPR can save between 100,000 and 200,000 lives every year.
The American Red Cross offers training and certification classes. Visit RedCross.org for more information and to sign up for classes near you.
2. Treating a Burn
Burns can range from minor irritations to life threatening injuries. Severe burns require immediate medical attention while minor burns can be addressed with some basic first aid.
3. Stopping Bleeding
Like burns, bleeding can be life threatening or require minor treatment. The Red Cross’s protocols for treating bleeding injuries differ greatly depending on the severity of the bleeding. Learning the proper first aid for bleeding injuries can save lives and minimize healing time as well as time away from work. Always follow universal precautions, wear the correct PPE, dispose of blood-soaked materials and cleanup in accordance with local, state and federal laws, rules and requirements. This also applies to the cleaning crew. Ensure cleaning is done by BBP trained personnel and the area is properly cleaned for blood-borne pathogens.
4. Treating Shock
Causes and symptoms of shock can vary greatly. Left untreated, shock can be fatal with minutes so it’s important to recognize and respond quickly. Call 911. This is a medical emergency
5. Treating Broken Bones
Broken bones are more than just painful. If not treated properly, they can cause far more serious injuries. Administering the right first aid will make a huge difference in the injury and recovery.
Knowing how to respond and doing so quickly in these situations has been shown time and time again to save lives. The first step is educating your team on the ground on how to treat these types of injuries. Taking a first aid class from the American Red Cross is a good start. Also having the following apps from the Red Cross can aid in your decision making.
- First Aid
- Pet First Aid
All of these apps can be downloaded from the Red Cross mobile app page.