Timely first-aid at construction sites can save a person’s life. Accidents happen all the time at homes, streets and even jobsite. Injuries, both major and minor require an immediate response. While accidents can happen at various workplaces but their ratio increases in construction business, due to the use of different machines and the overall nature of the work.
When it comes to safety at workplaces, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. That is why each companies in different industries have various protocols when comes to accidents and their response. These protocols are design to reduce risks and provide the necessary first-aid whenever accidents happen.
Interestingly, the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) has its own requirement when it comes to first-aid.
UNDERSTANDING FIRST-AID AT CONSTRUCTION SITES
First-aid is the emergency and immediate care that is provided to someone before further helps arrives. It ranges from disinfecting the would to stopping the bleeding. First-aid is used for both reasons minor injuries and severe injuries. Before the arrival of professional help, the aim is to keep patients alive and conscious, and the stop wound from getting worse. Usually, a first-aid responder is someone with basic medical emergency training.
At the construction site, there are many hazards. Workers can fall off from scaffolding, drop a piece of equipment on their feet or face any other accident that can cause minor or severe injuries. Sometimes quality first-aid can be difference between life and death. The first-aid responder at construction site should have the expertise to deal with electrical burns, bleeding, crushing injuries, falling, chemical burns, and more.
OSHA FIRST-AID STANDARD
Each place has its standard of first-aid associated with the job hazards. OSHA, a government body, is responsible for the health and safety of workers, particularly in construction and manufacturing sector. OSHA specifies a few items that workplaces must have to provide adequate first-aid. It also requires every construction side to have individuals trained in first-aid training and medical emergencies to deal with accidents. The OSHA standard for medical services and first-aid is provided under CFR 1926.50.
OSHA FIRST AID KIT REQUIREMENTS
Most of the construction sites follow the OSHA’s standards, and they also follow the list provided in CFR 1910.266 . It is vital for employees to have an easy access to the construction first aid kit.
1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
3. Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
5. Two triangular bandages.
6. Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.
8. At least one blanket.
10. Adhesive tape.
11. Latex gloves.
12. Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or
13. Two elastic wraps.
15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
SAFETY PROTOCOLS BY OSHA
Along with providing the list of necessary items in the first-aid box, OSHA also sets some protocols for emergency aids.
- An employer has to have a trained first aid responder at the work area and impose and maintain safety measures before the work begins.
- If the worksite is at a distant place, where it can take time for help to arrive, the contractor must have an individual on site who is qualified in providing first-aid.
- Another essential thing is to keep updated equipment and medicines in the first-aid kits. The employer has to examine the first aid kit for construction site every week, and the kit should place in a waterproof container.
- A most crucial part of a medical emergency is to get an ambulance or professional help on time. Either the workplace is in the reach of a 911 emergency or not. Make sure to have sources to reach 911 as soon as possible.
WHY FIRST-AID TRAINING IS NECESSARY
Training for first-aid is extremely crucial. The notable institutions who provide such trainings are American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Safety Council. Besides them, there are many private organizations that are training individuals in providing effective first-aids. These institutes offer standard and advanced first-aid courses.
Students receive two certificates at the end of the course after completing the written and practical exam (adult CPR and First-aid). Among many parts of training, the key focus of an instructor is to train students for fast response to first-aid accidents.
Throughout the training, there is a focus on fast reaction to first aid emergencies. Other course elements include primary first aid mediation, basic (CPR), and self-protection cares.
Specific learning topics include shock, bleeding, poisoning, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies, and confined spaces training. Some of the other elements included in injury concepts and first aid intervention are: injuries to the head and neck, eyes, nose, mouth, and teeth, chest, abdomen, and hands, fingers, and feet. These course are generally shaped after the hazards and equipment the individuals are dealing with.
WHAT TO DO IN EMERGENCIES?
During emergencies, appropriate response can save someone’s life. Here’s what you should do during such situations:
- The first thing is the identification of possible hazards at the place of emergency. If you have no idea of more hazards that can happen, check the area, and when you find danger, escape. Also, find injured people and take them with you to safe spots.
- After reaching the scene, call 911 emergency. Collect data that can assist the authorities to send help. Meanwhile, do aid the victims from leaving the damaged area.
- Protect the found victims until the professional team comes. Always check the wounds of injured people, and if they are bleeding, cover them. Find pulse in the unconscious ones and help them to regain it.
LEARN TO CREATE A SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT
In many situations, basic first aid can help prevent a minor issue from worsening. First aid may potentially save a life in the event of a medical emergency or protect the victim until help arrives. The Occupational Health And Safety Authority (OSHA) mandates workers in construction, manufacturing and other relevant sectors to have basic first-aid knowledge and for contractors to have a designated first-aid kit.