It won’t take you long to figure out we really take safety seriously at Blakely. The primary reason is that we care about our “family” of workers and their families as well. Because we work in a relatively hazardous industry, we have all the opportunity to share what we know about safety and first-aid and hopefully help someone prepare at home for those unforeseen moments of accidents and injury.
Every year, it is estimated that over 18,000 people (over 50 every DAY) in America die from accidental injuries in their homes. These accidents include fires, falls, poisoning, suffocation, electrocution, drowning, etc. While many of these are preventable, they still happen and we all need to know how to respond. Today we will cover three of the most common situations and review how to stabilize the injured person until proper medical attention can be engaged.
We’ve all had them at one point and even the minor ones can cause major pain – BURNS. The causes around most homes are fairly apparent: hot or boiling liquids, electrical burns, chemical burns, and fires/flame. Most of these injuries are related to 1st and 2nd degree burns, when there is moderate pain and minimal skin damage (red, zero to minor swelling, mild blistering possible). In these cases you must take action by running the burned area under cool water for 10 minutes and cover with a wet, cool cloth. DO NOT BREAK ANY BLISTERS. Avoid ice or ice-cold water – just keep it cool! Keep clean bandages over any blistered skin for a week or two until healed.
If you encounter a person suffering more serious 3rd degree burns (thickening of the skin, white leathery appearance) it is imperative to find medical attention IMMEDIATELY. The burns have injured all layers of skin and the risk of shock and injection is high. Cover the injury with a clean DRY cloth and seek medical care.
Another accident we all encounter are those pesky slices and cuts. From broken glass to knives to sharp metal edges, we are constantly surrounded by opportunities to give ourselves a nice little gash. While usually painful, the accompanying blood often makes people very uneasy and anxious. Fortunately, unless a critical artery is severed, most cases can be stabilized without major issue. The very first task is to ELEVATE and gently COMPRESS the wound. This will reduce the blood pressure in the area and give the cut a chance to coagulate and stop bleeding. Then gently wash the cut with water but DO NOT USE SOAP in the wound. When the bleeding stops you can cover with a clean bandage; however, in cases where bleeding continues after 30 minutes – SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
And lastly, it wouldn’t be a Texas summer without talking about heat exhaustion and how to deal with it when it happens. This happens when the body’s ability to cool down is overpowered by the exposure to prolonged high heat. We can handle it for a bit but eventually our bodies will warn us to cool off by giving off a variety of symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea, cool moist skin, and a weak rapid pulse. IMMEDIATELY get the person out of the heat and elevate the feet & legs. Apply cool wet cloths on the neck and head, and be sure to replenish fluids by drinking water and electrolytes! If the person becomes faint, confused, or develops high fever, go immediately to an emergency room as the potential for heat stroke is high.
We truly hope these basic but important reminders will give you a bit more peace of mind in an emergency situation. Thank you for continuing to be part of our Blakely Construction family!