5 Common Injuries and Their Basic First Aid You Can Easily Learn Today



Accidents may occur at any workplace. Therefore it’s paramount to learn basic first aid.

Equipped with the right first aid knowledge, you’ll be able to preserve life, limit the condition from worsening, and promote recovery.

While at it, be observant, calm, resourceful, comforting, and cheerful. And above all, you’ll need a well-equipped first aid kit.

Ready to learn? Let’s get started!

First off, you have to always assess DRABC. That is;

Danger: Check out for any possible danger to you, the casualty and others

Response: Check the casualty’s response. If unconscious get help immediately, if conscious ask the casualty their name, or ask them to gently squeeze your hand.

Airway: Check if the airway is open and clear of objects. If clogged, open mouth and remove the foreign object with your finger, then gently tilt the head backwards.

Breathing: Check that the chest is rising and falling by hearing and feeling the breathing. If the casualty is breathing, keep on checking for continued breathing. If the casualty is not breathing, turn the person on their back and seek immediate help.

Circulation: Check for circulation signs by checking the neck pulse, looking for swallowing or breathing movement and also by observing the face’s skin colour.

Now let’s take a closer look at how to manage some of the common injuries in the workplace.

Remember this should not substitute first aid training courses offered by an accredited training provider.

1. Asthma Attack

An asthma attack occurs when the airway suddenly narrows making it difficult for one to breathe normally. It’s mainly triggered by pollen, dust, cold, smoke, air pollution, allergy, and stress. The signs include:

  • Increased wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Blue or grey lips and nails

Taking quick action can prevent an asthma attack from becoming an asthma emergency. Here is how:

  • Monitor the lifeline DRABC
  • Sit the person in an upright comfortable position and ask them to breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Give four puffs of the asthma reliever e.g. Ventolin or Asmol.
  • Wait for another 4 minutes and observe if the person can breathe normally. If not, give another 4 puffs
  • If the person still can’t breathe normally, immediately call for an ambulance. State that someone is having an asthma attack.
    • Keep giving the reliever after every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives.
    • For severe attacks on adults, you can give 6-8 puffs every 4 minutes.
    • Keep monitoring their breathing, level of response and pulse.
    • In case they lose responsiveness, follow the resuscitation steps as you wait for help.

2. Bloody Nose

The rapture of tiny blood vessels inside the nose can cause one or both nostrils to bleed. This can be caused by several factors. Read on to find out how to control the bleeding and open the airway.

  • Get the person to sit down, never let him lie down because keeping the nose above the heart reduces bleeding.
  • Get the person to slightly lean forward to ensure blood drains out through the nose. Never ask the person to lean backwards. This will make blood flow into their throat and possibly block the airway.
  • Ask the person to gently pinch the soft part of the nostrils while breathing through the mouth. Let this last for ten minutes, take a small break and then repeat until the bleeding stops.
  • Let the person avoid speaking, swallowing, spitting, sneezing or coughing as this may break the forming blood clots in the nose.
  • Seek immediate medical attention :
    • If the bleeding doesn’t stop after twenty minutes
    • If the nosebleed happened spontaneously
    • If the casualty experiences a headache, dizziness, ringing in the ear or vision problems

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3. Burns

Burns are caused by hot or cold objects. They normally occur on the face, back or arms. Let’s have a look at the different types of burns and how to manage them. It’s also vital to know the three levels of burns.

Dry Burn

Signs are:

  • Pain in the burned area
  • Blistering
  • Reddened skin
  • Difficulty in breathing(if the burn is on the airway)

How to manage dry burns:

  • If the person’s clothes are on fire, stop, drop and roll them.
  • Asses DRABC and attend to any urgent injuries
  • Flood the injured area with cold running water for at least 10 minutes
  • Monitor the casualty’s vital signs as you wait for help

Chemical Burn

Signs are:

  • Stinging pain
  • Peeling and swelling of the affected area
  • Blistering
  • Presence of chemical tins or bottles

How to manage chemical burns:

  • Asses DRABC (as outlined above)
  • Ensure proper ventilation, otherwise, move the casualty to a safer place
  • If the chemical is solid or in powdered form, brush if off the casualties clothing
  • Flood the area with cold running water for 10 minutes
  • Gently take off any clothing that may have in contact with the chemicals
  • Dress the affected area to avoid infection
  • Keep on checking the casualty’s vital signs as you wait for help

Electrical Burn

Signs:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Casualty has signs of shock
  • Brown coppery stuff on the skin (if burn resulted from high voltage)
  • Skin turns brownish, whitish or black

How to manage:

  • Turn off electricity from the main power source. To safely do that, stand on a pile of newspapers, or a wooden surface and use a wooden stick to switch the power off
  • Using a piece of wood, remove the casualty away from the danger.
  • Access DRABC and attend to urgent injuries
  • Cool the affected area with water
  • Dress the affected area
  • Treat for shock

4. Fainting

Fainting normally occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the brain thus causing the person to lose responsiveness and often falling to the ground. Common causes of fainting are pain, hunger, exhaustion, emotional stress and standing or sitting for long periods. However, there are proven ways to help prevent fainting.

Signs:

  • Unresponsive casualty (briefly)
  • Slow pulse
  • Pale cold skin
  • Sweating

How to manage:

  • Kneel down next to the casualty and raise their legs and support the casualty’s ankles on your shoulders. This improves blood flow to the brain.
  • Ensure there’s sufficient ventilation by opening windows or asking bystanders to move away
  • Keep watching the casualty’s face for signs of recovery. Once conscious, reassure and help him to sit up slowly.
  • If the person takes longer to regain consciousness, open the airway, check their breathe and treat for unresponsiveness.

5. Foreign Object in the Ear, Eye or Nose

While at the workplace, a foreign object can accidentally enter and get stuck in the eyes, nose, ears, throat or skin. Often, it’s not alarming but if swallowed or inhaled they can obstruct proper bowel movement or cause choking.

Here’s how to manage the situation:

Foreign objects in the eyes

Be it sand particles or dust, irrigate with clean water. Also, advise the person to stop rubbing his eyes. If it gets worse send the casualty to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Foreign objects in the nose

Don’t attempt to remove the foreign bodies out. Advise the casualty to breathe via the mouth while you take note of any breathing difficulty. Then immediately send the injured person to the hospital.

Foreign objects in the ears

Don’t attempt to remove the foreign bodies; it may cause damage to the eardrum or ear canal. If the object is an insect, flood the ear with baby oil to float it out. Then, immediately send the injured person to the hospital.

Swallowed foreign objects

These are either undigested or sharp objects in food such as bones. This causes swelling and obstruction of the airway obstruction. Don’t give the person any drink or food. Reassure the casualty and immediately send him/her to the hospital. Also, refer to Choking.


First Aid Training
Up to date and information packed First Aid Training. Get trained by industry experts.
Discover more…

First Aid Kits
Regularly stocked First Aid Kits. Different kinds. Always up to date with the rules and regulations.
Learn more…

Portable Defibrillator
Be prepared to save lives with this portable, easy to use AED Defibrillator in your workplace.
Rent it today…

Preserve Life

Your chief aim as a first aider is to preserve life. Always assess the situation to help you prepare psychologically, take care of your own safety, the bystanders’ and the casualty. Remember to seek professional help when and as needed.

Along with the helpful first aid skills you’ve learnt above, we’ve compiled an elaborate list with more common workplace injuries and emergencies as well as how to attend to them. Check it out and learn some more. You never know when your first aid skills might come in handy and give someone a fighting chance.

For a safer workplace, partner with Alsco and take advantage of our fully managed, cost-effective First Aid Kit rental services.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons by Frank Schulenburg (Wiki Education)
Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Andy Fitzsimon



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.