Jobsite Accident Prevention and First Aid
Accidents Happen but Lets Try to Avoid Them
Let’s face it accidents are going happen! There is no way to predict them but in most cases they can be avoided. Knowledge of the tool you’re using, having respect for the tool, focus and practicing the best safety possible are all ways to avoid accidents. Two big ones are:
- Keeping your attention focused and clear from “other stuff” will help prevent accidents.
- Never use tools while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In this article we are not going to show you gory power tool accident pictures. You can Google them on your own. We want people to understand that accidents can be avoided, but if an injury occurs, how to self aid or use buddy aid to possibly save your life!
It is no secret that job sites are a dangerous place. So dangerous that is scaring off new younger talent. In 2014 OSHA [Occupation Safety and Health Administration] reports that 1 in every 10 construction workers are hurt yearly. They also report that over the course of a 45-year career construction worker has a 1-200 chance of dying! What the hell am I doing here? Last fact I will touch on is the construction industry is #2 in the United States for fatal injuries in workers younger than 18.
How to Save Your Life
Knowledge of what to do after an injury could mean the difference between life or death. Having a medical kit readily and some basic knowledge of first aid is key. You will find one right in the back seat of my truck. It is always stocked with items of necessity.
Inside my medical kit you will find the following:
- 4×4 gauze
- rolled gauze
- band aids
- ace bandage
- medical gloves
- eye rinse
Control The Bleeding
All bleeding will stop…eventually. Stopping severe bleeding is a top priority and using direct pressure over the wound is your best bet. Apply a clean dry cloth or towel, right over the wound and don’t take it off to look. If possible elevate the injury above your heart. If the bleeding is severe, place a tourniquet above the injury site, and tighten it down until the bleeding has slowed down or stopped. Once stopped DO NOT remove the tourniquet. This should only be done by a doctor at the hospital.
If your injury is an amputation, after controlling bleeding, it is imperative you or someone, try to locate the severed part(s). Carefully place the amputated part into a clean moist cloth and into a Ziploc bag (if it will fit). Once in the bag make sure you put it on ice. Be sure not to put the amputated part directly on ice because the skin will likely shrivel up making it even more difficult for the doctor to re-attach.
Use Your Head
Majority of accidents can be avoided. Know your tools and their limits. Manufacture’s install safety guards on tools for a reason, do not take them off because they “get in the way” or make it more cumbersome to use the tool. They can save your life!
Do not try to “force” a tool to do something to achieve a goal. Stop, step back and reassess the situation. Just because a tool can do something, you have to ask is this right? Am I going to severely injure myself or a co-worked by doing this?
Accident prevention starts with your head. Knowledge is power!