The odds of somebody dying or being severely injured on your jobsite decrease with every person who knows first aid. How much? You could reduce the chance of death and the severity of someone’s injury by as much as 50%.
And the chances of surviving a heart attack are four times greater if someone on your jobsite knows CPR. If your worksite has a defibrillator, survival rates improve by 75%.
For every minute that ticks by without help, chances of survival drop by 7 – 11%.
In these life or death situations, time is of the essence. Even something like the distance between the injured or ill person to the nearest trained individual and the proximity to the closest First Aid facilities can determine whether a worker will be going home that night – or at all.
This is why First Aid & CPR training is mandatory for employees in the workplace. It’s also why it’s mandated that no First Aid station should be more than 2 minutes away from anyone at any time. And it’s why all employees need to know where every station is located.
It’s particularly important in construction, where outdoor jobsites are often poorly marked, increasing EMS response times and decreasing an injured worker’s chance for survival. In Toronto it takes about 8.56 minutes for an Ambulance to arrive, in Manitoba, it’s 15 minutes in urban centres – and that is for a well-marked location.
Something as simple as clear, effective outdoor sign identifying a jobsite could literally be a lifesaver.
Between 2008-2010 there were 700 recorded deaths in Canada’s construction industry. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Board of Canada (AWCBC) that accounts for 23.3% of all workplace fatalities in Canada.
No matter how many safety precautions are in place, accidents are bound to happen. In 2012, there were 31,042 workplace injuries sustained by workers at Canadian construction sites. That roughly works out to about 24.5 injuries for every 1000 employees.
The WSIB provides invaluable information on First Aid Requirements.
Studies show that First Aid training in conjunction with workplace safety training has the potential to result in a 20% drop in onsite injuries. A reduction in injured workers brings with it an increased confidence among your team and better productivity.
And then there’s the economic burden due to workplace slip and fall accidents. The cost to Canadians was over $6 million dollars in health care and social services. That doesn’t include the additional costs employers have to pay in order to recover from the loss of an injured worker such as retraining temporary workers, repairing any onsite damage, paying fines, reeling from a loss of productivity or increased premiums.
To protect yourself and your workers:
- know the federal and provincial requirements for onsite First Aid. Make First Aid Training apart of standard safety training and keep a list of all trained workers and their certification expiry on hand.
- encourage all employees to download a First Aid app on their mobile devices for instant information on how to handle emergencies.
- make sure your jobsite is well marked with clear and appropriate signage so that EMS can find it when you need them to.
Remember, in an emergency there’s no time to waste. Equipping your employees with the First Aid materials and training they need may well save a life and protect workers – and the company – from terrible loss and pain.