It is an unfortunate reality that at some point you will be responsible for assisting during an injury or emergency situation in some capacity while on the job. When injuries occur at work, it is important to know and understand some basic guidelines about getting help for an injured coworker. This safety talk focuses on some key points when comes to first aid situations.
Before Injuries Occur
There are multiple things every worker should be aware of when it comes to providing first aid, even if they are not one of the employees directly responsible for responding to injuries. Some key points every worker should be aware of:
- Understand what is expected if you come upon an injured worker. (Discuss your company’s policies/procedures)
- Understand what actions you would need to take if you are injured yourself.
- Know who to call and how you can reach them in every type of emergency situation. (Radio/ phone/ voice, etc.)
- Ensure you know a secondary person to contact in case the primary contact is not around.
- Ensure you are able to explain your location when you call for help, so assistance is not delayed.
- Know where emergency equipment is located in your work area.
Ensuring You Are Prepared if Injuries Occur
Do not just assume someone else is responsible for responding to an injury, and you do not need to understand the points mentioned above. In emergency situations, many things could go bad or unforeseen circumstances can change how assistance is rendered. Giving thought to what you would do in certain situations before they occur is key to being able to adjust when the circumstances do not go as planned.
Some actions to take to ensure you have a plan if you or a coworker is injured:
- Understand the hazards of your work and the injuries that are most likely to occur while completing the work.
- Pay close attention to what is said during safety training relating to emergency preparedness or injury response.
- Read any emergency response information that is posted in your work area.
- When evaluating your work tasks, ask yourself what could go wrong and what your response would be in different emergency situations.
- Ask a supervisor or safety representative for clarification or advice about specific procedures when it comes to what possible injury scenarios you could experience.
The best-case scenario is that you are never part of having to respond to an emergency or give assistance to an injured coworker. For many workers, this unfortunately will not be the case. At some point, it is very likely you will have to play a role in getting assistance for an injured coworker. Understand ahead of time what the plan is for different injuries. Make sure you have a backup plan if the go-to plan will not work. This knowledge can make the difference in saving a coworker’s life.
- What other information should we be aware of here relating to responding to injuries?
- What types of injuries could we experience here? How would you respond?
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