Construction sites are considered a dangerous place to work. Numerous people suffer injuries in on-site accidents each year, and occasionally fatalities are reported. This post provide information about the first aid requirement as well as the way to improve first aid in construction.

1. Definition of first aid in construction site

First aid in construction is essential for preventing serious injuries or fatalities that may occur in the construction industry due to the nature of the work and the associated risks involved. It includes basic medical techniques and skills that are used to stabilize the patient, prevent further injury or illness, and provide temporary relief until advanced medical care is available. 

First aid is important in any workplace, especially in construction sites. First aid ensures that prompt and appropriate care is given to injured workers, which can help to reduce the severity of the injury or save their life. A quick and effective first aid response can help to prevent a minor injury from escalating into a more severe injury, which may require more extensive medical attention and longer recovery time.

In addition, construction companies have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees. First aid provisions are a key component of ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations.

>> Read more: Problems of Health and Safety in Construction

first aid in construction site
Sign of First Aid on Construction Sites

2. Construction first aid requirements

Providing workers with timely, convenient, and appropriate first aid care is the goal of first aid in the workplace. Employers in the construction industry have a legal duty to provide first aid facilities and equipment for their workers.

Adequate first aid training: All workers on a construction site should receive first aid training, including CPR and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator). At least one worker should be designated as a first aid provider.

First aid kits: There should be a well-stocked first aid kit available on the construction site at all times. The contents of the kit should be appropriate for the specific hazards present on the site.

Emergency response plan: A written emergency response plan should be in place, outlining the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency, including the activation of emergency services and the provision of first aid.

Communication devices: Communication devices, such as radios or cell phones, should be available to quickly summon emergency medical services in case of an accident or injury.

Access to medical facilities: Workers should have access to medical facilities, such as a nearby hospital or medical clinic, in case of serious injury.

Record keeping: Records should be kept of all accidents and injuries on the construction site, including details of any first aid provided.

3. How to improve first aid in construction

3.1. For Employer

If an employee becomes ill or suffers an injury at work, the employer is responsible for making sure they get prompt medical attention. First aid can save lives and keep minor injuries from worsening in the event of an accident or disease.

The employer should possess:

– Finished a first-aid requirements assessment – made sure there is either a named individual in charge of first-aid arrangements or that there are enough number of adequately trained first-aiders

– Make sure there are sufficient facilities and a first aid kit that is properly stocked.

– Given you details regarding the first-aid arrangements

It is important to evaluate the first aid arrangements at your workplace in order to determine your specific first-aid requirements.

The employer must have at the very least:

– A first aid kit with enough supplies.

– A designated individual in charge of the first-aid arrangements

– Information about first-aid arrangements for all employees.

first aid on a construction site
How to improve first aid in construction?

3.2. For Employee

Employees do not have special responsibilities for first aid at work, however it may be advantageous for your employer to be aware of any health conditions you may have so that they can be taken into account when determining your first aid needs. An employer cannot plan for circumstances they are unaware of.

You should think about telling your employer if you think you could need urgent medication for a pre-existing disease, such as a spray for angina or an auto-injector for a serious allergy. If you give your consent, an employer may make sure that any first responders who have undergone training are aware of this and get any further instruction required to assure your treatment should you become ill at work.

3.3. For First-aider

If your employer has determined that first-aiders are necessary at the workplace, they must have received the proper training from a reputable training source.

The number of first-aiders on the construction site is based on the number of employees who work there.

  • Fewer than 5: At least one appointed person
  • 5–50: At least one first-aider trained in EFAW or FAW, depending on the type of injuries that may occur
  • More than 50: At least one first-aider trained in FAW for every 50 people employed (or part of 50)

4. First aid assessment

A first aid evaluation is the first step in determining an acceptable and appropriate level of first aid coverage. It doesn’t have to be difficult to do this. But it does necessitate a thorough examination of your workplace. You can identify the minimal standard of first aid required in your workplace with the aid of the evaluation. The OHS Regulation Schedule 3-A: Minimum Levels of First Aid contains information on first aid levels.

Steps to first aid assessment

4.1. Identify the number of workplaces

The entire number of employees present at any business should be the basis for first aid coverage. You must do an examination for each workplace if your assessment reveals that you have more than one.

4.2. Identify your workplace hazard rating

Your workplace’s hazard rating affects first aid coverage as well. The type and scope of the risks and hazards at your workplace are represented by this rating. Three hazard rating scales are available: low, moderate, and high. Consult the Assigned Hazard Rating List to determine the risk level at your place of employment.

4.3. Consider the surface travel time to a hospital

If it would typically take more than 20 minutes to safely transport an injured worker to a hospital by land or sea, the amount of first aid assistance needed varies.

4.4. Determine the number of workers on a shift

There could be different specifications for various shifts. Make careful to plan for every employee who might need first aid during a shift.

4.5. Determine the required first aid services for your workplace

The easiest way to decide what first aid kits, facilities, emergency vehicles, and equipment you need is to refer to the OHS Regulation and accompanying Guidelines and review relevant WorkSafeBC resources (see Forms and Resources below).

4.6. Review your assessment

Within a year of finishing your assessment, or whenever there is a significant change in operations, go back and review stages 1 through 5.

construction first aid

5. First aid training for construction workers

Accidents can happen at any time, and having trained personnel who can respond quickly and effectively is neccessary. Even if all of the staff members are not trained in first aid, they should be given instructions on what to do in case they or a colleague sustain an injury. 

Employees should be made aware of how to report an event and get emergency assistance. Along with a posted list of emergency phone numbers, the location of each first aid kit that is available on the jobsite should be made known to the workers. 

There are different types of first aid training available for construction workers. Basic first aid courses cover topics such as assessing injuries, managing bleeding, and providing CPR. More specialized training may also be necessary, such as for working with hazardous materials or dealing with trauma injuries. It is important that all workers receive the necessary training to ensure they are prepared to handle any emergency situation that may arise.

Regular training and refreshers are also essential to ensure that workers are up to date with the latest techniques and procedures. Training should be provided to new workers as well as existing ones, and refresher courses should be conducted periodically to ensure that skills remain current. This can help to reinforce the importance of safety in the workplace and create a culture of safety among workers.

In conclusion, first aid in construction is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety of workers on sites.  The implementation of first aid practices and training in construction sites is not only necessary but also essential to ensure the safety and well-being of workers. Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, and being prepared to respond quickly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, it is crucial that construction sites implement first aid practices and provide regular training to workers.