Construction sites can be extremely dangerous locations. Construction work involves carrying heavy loads, intense physical labor, and operating equipment that could quickly become hazardous. It is essential to be extremely careful to reduce the chances of serious injury as a worker.
But if you or one of your co-workers is hurt during a construction job, here are some of the things you should know about first aid for construction site injuries.
What to Include In Your First Aid Kit
No matter how small the construction site is, you should always have some first aid supplies on hand to treat yourself or other workers in case of an injury. The kit should include:
- Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- Cotton balls
- Plaster (to create a splint)
- Pain relief medication
- Paper and pencil.
This simple first aid kit will help treat minor injuries or stop the bleeding for a more intense injury in the first few minutes so you’ll buy yourself some time before paramedics arrive.
Minor Injuries at a Construction Site
Most construction workers who suffer minor injuries are able to return to work in a matter of days. However, some injuries may lead to serious issues such as blood poisoning if the wounds are not properly treated.
Here are a few emergency treatment options.
- Cuts – It’s important to determine the cause of the injury. If the construction worker was using a tool that is routinely cleaned like a disc, saw, or knife, the cut should be treated with alcohol or peroxide and a bandage or plaster seal. The cut needs to be confined to prevent dirt and bacteria from getting into the cut. If a worker is hurt by a rusty object, it is essential to cleanse the wound to prevent gangrene or tetanus. Bandage the wound securely and take a blood test as soon as you can. When paramedics come to the scene, explain what happened so you can get the proper treatment right away.
- Punctures – If your hand or other part of the body is punctured with a knitting needle, awl, or nail, you should squeeze blood from the puncture site as soon as you remove the object from the wound. The blood should be brown or dark red, which indicates that the platelets and phagocytes are working to heal the body and stop the bleeding. Secure the open wound with plaster to help accelerate the healing process until the paramedics arrive.
- Bruises – It is important not to pull, massage, or dress a bruise. If there is tissue rupture, the site of the bruise should be stabilized and observed for at least 20 minutes. If you’re still able to move your bruised limb but feel moderate pain and the pain doesn’t increase in the 20 minutes of stabilization, you may have a soft tissue injury. Wait until the swelling calms down and use an analgesic ointment to treat the wound.
If the pain increases and you lose some of the motion in your limbs, you may have sustained a hematoma, dislocation, or fracture. Try to remain as still as possible and have someone call 911 right away.
It may be necessary to apply a splint or other forms of support for the fracture. Arrange the splint so that the limb is fixed to the body. This is especially important during transport to the hospital.
When First Aid is Critical
For serious wounds like falls, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries, first aid can be critical for a full recovery later on. If first aid is not properly administered or not administered at all after a construction site injury, you might need extensive care, expensive medication, and prolonged physical therapy to recover.
You might also need to stay many months away from work, which can take a heavy toll on your finances. It is estimated that nearly 80% of Americans don’t have enough savings to survive three months without a source of income. The situation may become even more severe if hefty medical bills come into play.
So, make sure that you contact a qualified personal injury attorney with vast expertise in construction site injuries like these Chicago construction accident attorneys to help you secure the compensation you are due on time. An attorney could also be handy in negotiating with your employer’s insurer if you qualify for workers’ comp in your home state.
With a BA in communications and paralegal experience, Irma C. Dengler decided to combine her skills. In the past, when she was involved in proceedings of her own, she witnessed firsthand the weight of legal language. A convoluted terminology can easily disarm the average American. Therefore, she set off to empower her readers by making the law more accessible to them. Although she has covered all areas of civil and criminal law, insurance-related issues, and her area of specialty are personal injury cases.