Care for the Injured

OSHA requires that employees be given a safe and healthy workplace that is reasonably free of occupational hazards. However, it is unrealistic to expect accidents not to happen at construction sites. Therefore, employers are required to provide medical and first aid and supplies and properly trained personnel to prepare for medical needs in the workplace. This is an overview of how to properly respond to injury and illness on the construction site.

WHAT IS FIRST AID?

First aid is the provision of immediate care to a person with an injury or illness, normally performed until the injury or illness is satisfactorily dealt or managed, until the next level of care, such as a paramedic or doctor arrives. Trained first aiders can save lives, prevent the casualty’s condition from worsening and ensure that appropriate medical help is received as soon as possible.

Before the start of a construction project, employers must make provisions for prompt medical attention in case of serious injury.

  • When a medical facility is not within reasonable distance from the jobsite, a properly trained employee with a certification card from a qualified training organization must be on site at all times.
  • First aid supplies shall be easily accessible.
  • All workers should know where the first aid supplies are located.
  • The contents of the first aid kit shall be placed in a weatherproof container with individual sealed packages for each type of item, and they shall be checked by the employer before being sent out on each job and at least weekly on each job to ensure that the expended items are replaced.
  • In areas without 911 access, the telephone numbers of the physicians, hospitals, or ambulances shall be conspicuously posted.
  • Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
  • In more serious cases, CPR may need to be administered or the use of an AED may be used to revive a worker in cardiac arrest.
  • A clear access for emergency vehicles must be maintained throughout the job site.

Do:

  • Do try to stop the flow of bleeding until medical help arrives. For deep cuts, elevate the wound while you apply pressure. For more serious wounds, push on the pressure points on the inside of the upper arm and the crease of the groin. First aid providers must be trained under OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard.
  • Do be aware that a seriously injured person will frequently go into shock. This can be fatal. While you are waiting for help, lay the person down, cover and raise the feet above heart level.
  • Do place an amputated limb or body part in a bag with ice and send it to the hospital with the victim.
  • Do flush eyes splashed by chemicals for at least 15 minutes. Then close the eyes, cover them and get medical help. If something is embedded in the eye, keep the person calm until help arrives.
  • Do cool burns with cool (not cold) running water or a cool water compress (wet towel or handkerchief). Elevate burned limbs.

Do Not:

  • Do not touch blood or other bodily fluids without protective gloves.
  • Do not provide anything to drink to a person in shock.
  • Do not move the victim unless absolutely necessary until you are sure what the injury is, and first aid has been rendered.
  • Do not move a person with broken bones. The wrong move can cause serious injury - even death.
  • Do not use ice, lotion or ointment on a burn.
  • Do not hesitate to call 911.

WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work

Friendly Reminder If the face is red, raise the head. If the face is pale, raise the tail.