Rescue Kits: Why They're Important On A Jobsite
Approximately 6.5 million people work at construction sites across the nation on a daily basis. With so many people working in construction, it is critical that employers keep their workers safe to the best of their ability. Potential hazards that construction workers face every day include falls, electric shock, motion injuries, and more. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2015, approximately 4,836 construction workers were killed on the job, which averages to a tragic 13 workers per day. A well-stocked rescue kit ready and available on the jobsite can help eliminate or lessen the severity of injuries.
The number one cause of on-site injuries at construction sites are falls. Construction workers are constantly performing intensive tasks from high heights; they can fall off of ladders, roofs, cranes, etc. Ideally, properly followed safety protocols will ensure that these kinds of accidents don't happen, but if (or when) they do, it's vital to have the equipment necessary to stabilize injured workers until medical help arrives. Medical kits must contain items like bandages, splints, and gauze in large enough quantities to treat multiple injured workers at once (for a worst case scenario). If someone is injured at an elevated height, keeping hoist materials such as straps, harnesses, and clips in an on-site rescue kit will allow other employees to reach and aid their fellow worker.
Equipment-related injuries are the next highest cause of accidents.Heavy equipment commonly found on construction sites can fall or malfunction; for example, a forklifts can collapse, nail guns can misfire, or a piece of equipment with a sharp edge could cut someone. In cases like this, common first aid materials are essential to have on hand in large quantities; items like bandages, wraps, topical ointment for cuts (to prevent infection), peroxide, and others might make a profound difference when workplace injuries inevitably occur. OSHA recommends that the all on-site first aid kits be approved by a physician, and that they be checked at least annually to see if any items need replacing.
Since there are so many ways for construction workers to be injured on the job, supervisors and managers must do everything they can to anticipate and prepare for injuries, which includes having fully stocked rescue kits on all sites. Also, performing regular checks to make sure that rescue kits are well-stocked is essential; this includes ensuring that medications in the kits haven't expired. Thinking proactively is the best way to keep workers as safe as possible, and that means always be prepared for the worst.