The range and severity of medical emergencies in a particular work environment vary from place to place. Many factors and situations determine the type of emergencies that can emerge. For example, if you work in a high-risk area such as a construction site, you can suffer from trips, falls, head injuries, or those caused by tools.
On the other hand, a low-risk work environment such as an office job is a low-threat area for such injuries. But there are still chances of health and medical emergencies such as a heart attack. Therefore, no matter the environment or location, you must always be prepared to handle medical emergencies in the workplace. Some ways to be ready are:
1. Collect emergency information
It may seem redundant to collect more information, especially when you have all the information about your employees. Yet, it is still helpful to have emergency contact information for each employee in order to save time when things go down south. Therefore, apart from the regular information, acquire emergency contact information such as contact number, name, relationship, address, etc. You can also ask employees to notify if they have any medical conditions or allergies. As an extra precautionary step, you can ask for their preferred physician’s contact details so that you can consult them in case of emergencies.
2. Conduct staff training
BLS and first-aid training is always an invaluable skill, no matter what industry you belong to. Therefore, consider investing in continued education for your staff. You can encourage them to take classes for a BLS CPR certification online alongside their work. This way, you’ll ensure that someone can handle sudden medical emergencies at your workplace till the paramedics arrive.
In any medical emergency, the first few minutes are crucial for the person’s life. Without proper training, your staff wouldn’t know how to react in the situation, often causing them to freeze because of shock. But knowing what to do at those crucial moments can save someone from severe injury or even their life.
3. Establish a first-aid station
While arranging for a standby ambulance outside your workplace may seem impractical, you can still invest in a first-aid station for your workers. Not only will it give you some peace of mind, but it also gives your employees a sense of security. This step shows your employees that you are ready to take any precautionary measures necessary to ensure their safety. And in case an emergency occurs, having a first-aid station will give them the care they need.
4. Conduct regular site inspections
There are chances of workplace injuries everywhere, whether it is a construction site, a restaurant, or a corporate office. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct regular site inspections to ensure there are no hazardous components that might harm workers. Also, ensure that there are plenty of safety exits in the work area to provide a safe exit in an emergency such as fire or earthquake.
Apart from regularly inspecting the site and equipment, you must also ensure cleanliness so that dirt and debris don’t make anyone sick. For example, if the air ducts are rusty and not cleaned properly, they can blow dust into the room, which can often cause dust allergies, flu, etc. But ensuring timely cleanliness prevents your staff from getting sick and taking days off.
5. Create a formal emergency response plan
It would help if you always had a clear emergency plan for various situations. For example, in case of fire, earthquake, violence, storms, security breaches, medical emergencies, injuries, etc. All your employees and helping staff should be aware of these plans to know what steps to take in a crisis. Training the team about how to react in case of emergencies and finding safe passage for themselves can help in saving lives.
6. Set an alarm system
Basic alarm systems can notify the employees about emergency situations and work as a call to take action or immediately evacuate the building. Such alarms include horns, sirens, or PA announcements. But often, in case of medical emergency and injury, secluded employees cannot call for help. They may have no way of notifying their colleagues and staff members for assistance, which can jeopardize their health. To save your employees from such a situation, consider installing emergency call buttons in every room, may it be the toilets or the janitor’s closet. It can help in acquiring immediate medical help for the injured or sick.
No workplace environment is 100% safe. There are always some chances of injury caused by even the most minor problems. If nothing, medical emergencies such as a heart attack, asthma attack, or stroke can happen anywhere, any time. Therefore, for the sake of the safety of your employees, you must always establish a solid emergency plan. It should include establishing a first-aid station in the vicinity and teaching employees CPR and basic life support skills. Conduct regular site inspections to ensure there are no open hazards. All these efforts can help you handle the situation in case of a workplace medical emergency.