Be Prepared for Emergencies and Accidents | Bixby Zane

Be Prepared for Emergencies and Accidents

Every employer works hard to keep their workers safe. Even with extensive safety & health programs in place, employee training programs, the use of PPEs (proper protective equipment) and constant attention to the overall safety culture, accidents can and will occur. A crew can have decades of experience in their field of expertise but in the event of an accident or injury, do they know what steps to take to insure the safety and care of fellow crew members? Having an emergency action plan that both management and the workers are well versed in is extremely important. Being able to immediately assess potential dangers, the condition of the injured workers, administer care and or contact proper emergency personnel is critical. It will help to calm the situation, optimize efficiency, better direct the actions that are taken and can ultimately save lives.

In any accident or emergency situation the workers in the elected area need to first assess the hazards and or perils involved. If it is an area encompassing threat, such as a fire, collapse or a cave-in, do they know where immediate escape routes are? If an employee has fallen, been struck by a falling object, been shocked or injured by a piece of machinery, co-workers need to be certain that the area is safe to enter. Only worse scenario than having an injured worker(s), is to have the responding worker(s) injured trying to assist.

Once the accident or emergency area is safe to enter, a rescue or treatment plan needs to be ready and put into action right away. Each work and potential accident or emergency area will be different. Each workforce needs to be ready to react, rescue and respond in an efficient manner in every scenario to insure the injured co-worker(s) are cared for properly. The “who” question needs to be a proactive process rather than a reactive one. When an worksite emergency or accident occurs, who is the best suited to give initial care, who should be contacted for emergency treatment or transport and who should be notified with your workers’ compensation provider to assist in the best treatment are all important decisions. Management and workers need to know who is certified in certain types of medical care (CPR, first-aid, etc). Worksites and areas as well as work vehicles need to be equipped with proper care stations and or kits including phone numbers for local emergency responders and contact information for their workers‘ compensation claim’s hotline. Knowing “who” to turn to in an emergency or accident situation will help expedite response at a time when every minute counts.

An employer and workforce that take a proactive approach to responding to an accident or emergency will be better prepared if/when it occurs. Establishing emergency action plans, training employees and assessing each exposure properly will save time money and most of all lives.

Note: Proper documentation and employee sign off should be maintained for all company training.

The material in this topic is based on principles and techniques to assist with improving safety culture. It is intended to provide guidance, rather than prescribe requirements, and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any state or federal standard. OSHA standards for general industry and construction can be found at: WBS and CSS can assist you by providing risk management tools, resources and services but cannot implement, enforce or oversee.
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