46. Emergency First Aid
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You all work in a factory, and in this environment,
there always remains a significant possibility of accidents happening,
in which case, first aid will be necessary.
What is first aid?
It is the provision of emergency on-site care when an injury occurs,
and it is essential for everyone to know, if only simply, the steps which must be followed.
There are, of course, minor injuries which may happen,
not needing further medical care beyond the intervention of the first-aider,
but you can never be sure, thus the following steps must always be followed.
These can be abbreviated to the words "Dr ABC",
in other words. D-R-A-B-C.
The 'D' stands for "danger", and that's the first issue to keep in mind.
When an accident happens, immediately ascertain that the environment is safe -
that, for example, nothing else will fall or break or cause accidents.
If you, the first-aider, are also injured, the problem is even worse.
The 'R' stands for 'respond'.
You must then ascertain the best response.
Once all the danger has been eliminated, and the distress calls sent out,
the appropriate action is, obviously, to help the injured party.
Alright, that leads to 'A', which stands for "airway".
In order to stay alive, all people need to have an open airway to allow breathing.
A conscious person will automatically clear their own airway,
but if unconscious, this may not happen.
The brain is stopped or hindered from properly directing the body
and, obviously, in the worst case, death can result,
for this reason, the injured person is normally put into the 'recovery' position -
placed on the side, tilting the head back, and ensuring that there are no blockages in the mouth.
To free any such blockages, the back can be slapped,
or the chest compressed, allowing anything to be spat out.
Now that the airway is free, check for 'B' or 'breathing'.
If breathing is not happening, or is irregular,
the first-aider may have to assist with what is technically known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
or more commonly, CPR.
This involves breathing for the patient, through mouth-to-mouth contact,
while periodically massaging the heart through compressions to the chest.
This combination allows blood, and oxygen, to flow around the body, keeping the patient alive,
hopefully until medics, such as doctors, advanced first-aiders, or ambulance staff, arrive.
Now, it's certainly good to have knowledge of emergency first aid
but. obviously, the best situation is simply not to have accidents occur in the first place,
for that, you need to be aware of safety issues,
but just saying "be aware" does not usually achieve much.
It is more important to have an appointed person whose job is to ensure awareness and work-safety.
Safety inspections would obviously be part of their job,
whereby they can make sure, for example, that the first-aid boxes are fully equipped.
Another idea is to put posters on the walls,
but, interestingly, research has proven that these tend to be ignored,
becoming just part of the wallpaper - seen, but not put into practice.
It is much better if everyone is just instilled to not be reckless,
that is, to not rush into situations without thinking about the possibility of accidents,
and instilling this mindset is part of the job of the safety officer.
Some other suggestions are ongoing first-aid training,
and "no accident" reward or star systems.
These have had some success, but nothing beats a regular meeting, say, once a month,
in which the subject of safety is brought to the attention of everyone,
and any outstanding issues related to this are thoroughly discussed.