10 Simple Administrative Controls For A Safer Construction Site
Construction sites are known to be high-risk environments, and one of the most common fatal accidents in the construction sector is falls from height (FFH). Falls can result in severe injuries or even fatalities, making it essential to have emergency procedures in place to handle such incidents.
This article will discuss 10 emergency procedures that can be used after falls occur on construction sites. These emergency procedures are designed to ensure that falls are handled appropriately and that workers are kept safe.
- Stop Work
The first step after a fall on a construction site is to stop work immediately. All site workers in the area must be notified and instructed to stop working to prevent them from entering the room or the scene and potentially causing more accidents. It also allows for proper assessment of the situation and the provision of immediate medical attention to the injured person.
- Assess The Situation
Assessing the situation is another crucial step in workplace emergency procedures after falls. It involves evaluating the injured person to determine the extent of their injuries and the appropriate response required. If the person is unconscious or unresponsive, calling for emergency medical services immediately is necessary.During this procedure, you must also identify any hazards that may exist in the area. This includes identifying any dangerous equipment or materials that may have contributed to the fall and ensuring that the place is safe for workers to access. In some cases, it may be required to shut down the entire site until the situation is under control.
- Secure The Area
Once the situation has been assessed, it is essential to secure the area to prevent further accidents and ensure that the case is handled appropriately. You can use barriers such as cones, caution tape, or fencing to cordon off the area.
- Provide First Aid
If the injured person is conscious and responsive, provide first aid as necessary. Although first aid should only be provided by trained healthcare personnel, site workers may also perform the first aid procedures in the workplace as long as they’re well-trained and knowledgeable about the methods.First aid may include stopping bleeding, immobilising fractures, or applying ice to reduce swelling. Typically, the type of first aid required will depend on the extent of the injuries sustained. Through this, you can help stabilise the injured person until emergency medical services arrive.
- Call For Medical Assistance
If the injured person requires medical attention beyond first aid, call for emergency medical services immediately. When calling for medical assistance, you must provide the following information:
- Location of the accident
- Nature and extent of the injuries
- Number of injured persons
- Any hazards that may exist in the area
It’s also advisable to stay on the line with the emergency operator and follow their instructions until medical help arrives.
Over one-third of deaths in the construction industry are due to falls. Thus, calling for medical assistance promptly is crucial to help improve the injured person’s chances of survival and recovery. Otherwise, delaying medical attention can lead to complications and worsen injuries.
- Notify Management
After calling for medical assistance, you must notify the management of the situation. This could be the safety officer, supervisor, owner, or other management personnel. That way, they can take appropriate action, such as notifying the relevant authorities and investigating the incident.
As with the medical emergency operator, don’t forget to relay the following information to the management:
- Accident location
- Nature and extent of the injuries
- Number of injured persons
- Any hazards in the area
- Actions taken to address the situation
Notifying management is important to ensure the incident is properly documented and investigated.
- Preserve The Scene Preserving the scene is an essential step in emergency procedures in the workplace for investigation purposes. This includes not moving any equipment or materials/objects that may have been involved in the accident. If possible, take photographs or videos of the scene to document the incident and preserve evidence. This can help investigators determine the cause of the fall and identify any safety hazards that must be addressed.
If there are any, you may also identify the witnesses who saw the fall or have details that can help with the investigation. They can help establish a timeline of events and provide additional information about the incident.
- Conduct An InvestigationAfter the incident has been stabilised, it’s crucial to conduct an investigation to pinpoint the cause of the accident. Preferably, the investigation should be undertaken as soon as possible after the incident to ensure that evidence is preserved and that the witnesses’ memories are still fresh. The investigation should be conducted by a qualified person or team with the necessary knowledge and expertise to identify the cause of the incident.
Conducting an investigation is important to identify the cause of the incident and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
- Provide Support To Workers
Falls can be traumatic and cause physical and emotional distress to the injured worker and other workers who may have witnessed the incident. Providing support can help workers cope with the incident and reduce the risk of future incidents.
There are several ways to provide support to workers after a fall:
- Medical attention: The injured worker should receive prompt medical attention to ensure their injuries are properly treated and prevent complications.
- Counselling: Workers who witnessed the fall or were involved in the incident may experience emotional distress. Counselling can help workers cope with the incident and reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Communication: It is essential to communicate with workers about the incident and provide updates on the injured worker’s condition. This can help to reduce anxiety and provide reassurance to workers.
- Training: Providing additional training on fall prevention and emergency procedures can help workers feel more prepared and confident in their ability to respond to future incidents.
- Peer support: Workers can support each other by checking in on each other and providing emotional support. This can foster a sense of community and reduce the risk of isolation.
By providing various forms of support, workers can recover from the incident and feel more confident in their ability to respond to future incidents.
After the incident has been investigated, it is important to review and revise procedures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. This may include providing additional training to workers, implementing new safety measures, or revising existing procedures.
The Bottom Line
Falls are a common occurrence in construction sites, and it is vital to have emergency procedures in place to handle such incidents. The procedures discussed in this article can ensure that falls and other types of workplace emergency are handled appropriately and that workers are kept safe