Many common workplace injuries can be treated on-site using a standard first aid kit. Even if an injury requires professional medical attention, immediate First-Aid can cause an injury to be less severe as well as less likely to be fatal. Therefore, having some sort of basic First-Aid knowledge is crucial when trying to create the safest work environment possible. Here we will go over some First-Aid basics for common workplace injuries.
Bruises and Contusions
If the employee has had an impact with an object, either moving or stationary, it is common that some swelling and discoloration will occur. Along with over-the-counter pain medication, a lukewarm water bottle can be rolled over the injury site to help with the discoloration and the pain. Using these remedies throughout the day periodically should speed up the healing process.
Cuts, Lacerations, and Punctures
If the bleeding is not excessive, the injury can be washed with soap and water or an antiseptic but do not attempt to remove objects or debris from the wound. After it’s clean, cover the injury with sterilized gauze and hold it in place with tape. If the bleeding continues, apply pressure to the wound.
Sprains, Strains, and Tears
For injuries to muscles or ligaments, it is best to completely immobilize the muscle, elevate it, and apply pressure along with some ice in order to reduce the swelling. If a strain has severe swelling, discoloration, or pain, a hospital visit may be needed, but for moderate cases, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, rest, and ice will allow the area to recover within a few days to a week.
Soreness and Pain
If an employee is experiencing pain or soreness, it is important to identify the cause of the issue first. Many times soreness can result from repetitive motions or lousy posture while performing their duties. If the pain continues, the employee may need to visit a healthcare professional.
If an employee experiences a fracture, the area should be immediately immobilized because further use of the site could damage a nerve or blood vessel, causing an even more severe injury. Once the injury has been immobilized, take the employee to the nearest hospital or other medical clinic as soon as possible.
The best way to stop excessive bleeding and prevent an amputation is by applying pressure to the area. If that solution is not creating the best results, a tourniquet may be necessary. Tourniquets should be applied by someone with First-Aid training and only in situations where the bleeding cannot be stopped otherwise.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
CTS impacts the median nerve, which goes from the palm of the hand up the forearm. Vibrating hand tools or using a computer mouse for extended periods of time are common causes of CTS. If an employee is experiencing discomfort due to CTS, instruct them to rest and use a muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, or painkiller to ease the pain.
Chemical Burns and Corrosion
First, the chemical should be removed from the skin using water or by simply brushing it off, and any clothing that is contaminated should be removed. Next, use a moist, cool compress to relieve pain and cover the area with a clean cloth or bandage to prevent infection and contact with the air.
While it may be tempting, avoid using ice on a burn. Instead, run cool water over the burned area for up to 15 minutes, then cover the area with a bandage to prevent pain and infection. If the burn goes deeper than two layers of skin or is reasonably large, the burn can be covered with a sterile, damp, bandage or cloth. If clothing has been burned, do not attempt to remove it, instead call emergency assistance right away.
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