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Safety at Workplace

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First aid Tips

 

At all workplaces, first aid equipment and material should be readily available for treating industrial injuries or sickness. Such equipment includes a first aid kit and a stretcher with blankets. A person with first aid training should always be on the premises.

In the event of an accident, try to act in the following way :

  • prevent more people from being injured.
  • call the instructor or supervisor, or the person responsible for first aid treatment.
  • Call an ambulance if necessary.
  • Aid the injured person.


  • The task of the workplaceís first aider is to attend to the victim of an accident, or to help when someone suddenly falls ill. Action taken in the first minutes is often crucial when saving life and limiting the extent of the injury. Everybody at the workplace must know who the trained first aiders are and where they can be found. He/she is also responsible for making sure that the first aid box is complete and contains the right equipment.

    Observe the following procedures in giving first aid to an injured person, in the case of a serious accident:

    Check breathing

    Quickly check the air flow which is passing in and out through the nose or mouth of the injured person. He can suffocate, if a person is unconscious and lying on his back, because the tongue can slip back into the throat and block the respiratory tract.

    An unconscious person should therefore be placed immediately on his side, face down. Care must be taken if there is any possibility of a neck injury.

    Respiratory failure - artificial respiration

    If the person has simply collapsed, support the back of the neck with one hand, and place the other hand on the forehead. Bend the injured personís head as far back as you can. Pinch his or her nose and start blowing air in through mouth.

    If the person has possibly injured his or her neck, grasp the chin and pull it away from the neck without moving the neck.

    Keep an eye on the injured personís chest and when it rises you know that the lungs have started taking in air.

    Repeat the blowing action once every five seconds. Continue with artificial respiration until the injured person starts breathing or medical personnel take over.

    If you are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation if indicated.

    If no breath can be felt from the mouth or nose, and there is no movement of the chest, then the victim has stopped breathing. Call for immediate help. Next, open the air passages by leaning the head backwards. Begin artificial respiration. The first four breaths should be rapid, then continue at a normal rate. Check the results by looking for chest movements.

    Stemming heavy bleeding

    Try to stop the bleeding if the injured person is bleeding, by using direct pressure on the wound and by placing the injured limb in a raised position. In most cases this is all that is required to stem the flow of blood.

    The injured person should lie with his/her feet up, except in cases of head or chest injury or difficulty in breathing.

    Preventing shock

    In the case of serious accidents, e.g. deep wounds accompanied by heavy loss of blood, bad jamming accidents, injuries to the chest or stomach leading to internal bleeding and severe burns, etc., there is always a high risk that the injury will lead to shock. Severe accident shock can be fatal. But it can also be prevented.

    First check that the victim is breathing without help. Next, prevent shock by laying the injured person face down on one side. Loosen any tight clothing. Place a blanket under the injured person and cover him/her up. Protect the injured person from direct sunlight. Do not give him/her anything to drink unless on a doctorís orders. Moisten the injured personís lips and tongue if asked to.

    Measures to prevent shock :

    Free respiration: Always place an unconscious person on his/her side in a slightly forward leaning position. Care should be taken to protect an injured neck.

    Stop bleeding: Apply direct pressure on the wound with the injured limb in a raised position.

    Rest: The injured person should lie with the feet and legs raised above the level of the head. Warmth helps, so cover him with a blanket. It is important to maintain body temperature.

    Wounds, cuts, abrasions

    The most common injury resulting from an accident is a cut or abrasion. If cuts and abrasions are superficial, first stem the bleeding then clean them carefully and thoroughly with soap and water. After cleaning, cover them with a bandage.

    The person applying first aid should be particularly careful about first washing his/her hands. You should never stick your fingers into an open wound and never touch that part of the bandage which will be lying directly on top of the wound.

    Serious cuts and wounds should always be treated by a doctor. In such cases first aid help is restricted to the application of a dressing and bandage.

    Abrasions may appear relatively light and insignificant, however, it is often more of an infection risk than an open wound.

    All deeper cuts and abrasions which are the result of accidents occurring while working outside should be treated by a doctor to avoid tetanus (lock-jaw).

    If an old wound or sore shows signs of being infected (swelling, discolouring or pain), it should be treated by competent medical personnel.

    Burns

    If a personís clothing has caught fire, the best way of quenching the flame is to roll the person on the floor or in a blanket. After extinguishing the flames make sure the person is breathing, cool the burn with water, cover the burn, and make sure that the victim gets to a hospital as quickly as possible.

    Under any circumstances, do not try to remove the victimís clothes.

    If the area of the burn is larger than the palm of your hand, or the victim has facial burns, you can place a protective bandage over the injury. The victim must be taken to a hospital or doctor as quickly as possible after such preliminary measures.

    In the case of more serious burns, it is very likely that the victim will suffer from shock. You should always be prepared to take the necessary measures to prevent severe shock.

    If in the case of a burn smaller than the size of your palm, start treating the injury by cooling the burn. You can start immediately by rinsing the burn under running water. Or use the distilled water in the first aid box.

    Never use flour, butter, cream, alcohol, iodine or such like substances on a burn. Never pierce a blister on a burn.

    Injuries from working with corrosives

    If anyone spills acid or alkali on the skin, you should rinse it off as quickly as possible with water unless otherwise indicated.

    The injuries should then be treated in the same way as burns. Injuries from corrosive liquids are often much worse than they appear. For this reason the injuries, no matter how insignificant they may appear, should be treated by a doctor.

    Hazardous chemicals, e.g. acids, can rapidly produce serious burns. If these liquids are splashed in your eyes or on your body they must be rinsed off within a few seconds. Emergency showers and eye showers must be located close to the workplace. There must be free access to this equipment, which must be checked regularly to see that it is in working order.

    Prevent the above mentioned risks by enclosing the work process. Use personal safety equipment such as visors, gloves and aprons.

    Eye injuries

    The greatest possible care should be taken in the case of injuries to the eye or the area surrounding it. Dirt in the eye is one of the most common eye complaints. If you get a mote in your eye, and it is near the surface, you can rinse it out or very carefully wipe it away with a damp swab of cotton or the corner of a clean handkerchief. If the object has become wedged in the eye it should be removed by a doctor.

    Alkali or acid in the eye can cause intense pain. Because of the risk of the corrosives attacking the eye you should always rinse the eye immediately with water for at least 10 minutes. After rinsing you should have a doctor look at the injury. If the eye is exposed to the briliant light from an electric arc, in welding work for example, it can become inflamed and irritated. The best thing to do in such a case is to get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.

    Injuries from electricity

    Electric shocks causes fatal to the heart. When shocked, additional injuries could occur if the victim, should fall from a scaffolding, ladder or any elevated place. If the injured person is still touching an electric device, the current should be cut off immediately by switching it off at the source.

    If the current cannot be cut off, use something that is long, dry, clean, and non-conductive to move the person away from the source or the source away from the person. Grabbing hold of a person injured by touching an electricial unit can be fatal. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be applied if needed. As a rule, do not treat any electrical burn.

    Injuries to the skull and spine

    Blows to the skull can lead to unconsciousness (concussion) and spine injury. An unconscious person is completely defenseless. Handle him (her) with the utmost care. Never try to give an unconscious person something to drink; it can run into the respiratory tract and lungs and cause suffocation.

    When you suspect a break in the spine or pelvis, the injured person should only be moved by trained personnel.

    If the person is breathing and conscious, do not allow him to move unless he needs to more to clear his air passages. Take care not to injure the spine, place him slightly on his/her side with the face down. In this position you can prevent blood running into the respiratory tract from any wounds in the mouth or throat. Do not try to rinse away the blood, when it is running out of the ears. If an injured person has lost consciousness and is lying with his/her jaws locked tightly together, do not try to force them open.

    Broken limbs, sprains, dislocations

    In the case of a broken arm or leg, do not make the injury worse by trying to straighten the broken limb. This picture shows a suitable way of moving a person with a broken leg. The leg is supported with rolled.up blankets on both sides to minimize movement at the break. All workplaces and companies must have plans and organization for rapid transportation to a suitable hospital and treatment of all injuries that are likely to occur.

    In cases where a fractured limb is suspected, the injured person should have his limb immobilised to prevent the break from getting worse and to alleviate the pain. Use a splint, a couple of sticks or even a rolled up newspaper, place the support on the outside of the clothing and secure it with a bandage. The splint or support should be long enough to cover the joints above and below the break in the bone. To avoid unnecessary pressure on the break, wadding can be inserted between the splint and the limb. When there is an open wound on the broken limb, use a dressing to cover the wound before applying the splint.

    Injuries to the stomach

    Do not give the injured person anything to eat or drink. If an injury to the stomach is caused by a blow, being run over, or something falling on the person, etc., he or she should be taken to a hospital immediately. Open wounds should be covered with a clean, wet bandage. Care must be taken in transporting the injured person to the hospital.

    Lifting a person

    When the injured person has to be carried to a safe place while waiting for an ambulance, the most comfortable way of lifting him (her) is by using a stretcher or a big blanket. In order to rescue an injured person quickly from an exposed place, in the case of danger from fire, a good method is by dragging the person by the clothes.

     


     
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