How to Treat Common Construction Injuries

Read time – 3 minutes

TL;DR

  • It’s impossible to eliminate the risk of construction injuries altogether, but proper precaution can help avoid mishaps. Remember to keep your work area clean, stay alert and follow proper safety protocol.
  • Cuts are the most common injury. Wash out cuts with clean, running water and apply pressure to stop bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can leave minor cuts uncovered, but deeper cuts should be bandaged.
  • Blisters are painful but relatively harmless. Try to leave them uncovered, unless rubbing is causing irritation. You should avoid popping blisters as it can lead to infection.
  • Watch for infection! The following symptoms are tell-tale signs of infection: redness, pain, swelling and continued drainage. Seek medical help immediately if you exhibit any of these symptoms!
  • Avoid the Fatal Four: falls and slips, being struck by an object, electrocution and getting caught in-between equipment. Staying aware of your surroundings it the best way to avoid these common dangerous situations.

Hazards lurk behind many of our daily tasks, but construction projects often bring a higher risk of injury than many other day-to-day happenings. While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of injury altogether, staying alert, following safety precautions and keeping your work area clean can help you avoid dangerous mishaps. When accidents do occur, prompt treatment can help minimize damage and promote faster healing. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat a number of minor wounds yourself. Here are some common construction injuries and how to treat them.

 

Cuts

Whether it’s a DIY project or a contract job, sharp objects are common in the construction world—meaning cuts are a common injury. If cut, clean the area immediately with plenty of clean, running water. This helps flush out any debris and reduces the risk of infection. Next, apply pressure with a sterile gauze pad to stop bleeding. Be mindful that some areas are more prone to bleeding than others and may take longer to stop; for example, wounds on the face tend to bleed more. Once the bleeding stops, you can leave minor cuts uncovered or use an adhesive bandage to cover the area to reduce the chance of infection. However, you should visit your doctor if the cut is deep, jagged or more than half an inch long; deep, jagged cuts may require stitches.

Cuts on the Hands

Hands are particularly vulnerable to cuts during construction projects and usually require a little more attention than your average cut. This is because they are more exposed than most other areas of the body and are more prone to infection. Follow the same steps as above to clean the wound and stop the bleeding, but keep cuts on the hands covered. Remember to change bandages anytime they get dirty or wet to prevent infection!

 

Blisters

Perhaps not as common on a professional construction site, blisters can plague DIYers who tackle large projects on the weekend. Generally not serious, the main thing to remember with blisters is to avoid popping them. Try to leave blisters uncovered, but if you get them on a spot where rubbing is causing further irritation, consider applying a soft dressing to cushion the area.

If a blister ever pops, cover it with a bandage as soon as possible to keep it clean and avoid infection.

 

Infection

The risk of infection is a potential complication for almost all construction wounds. While you can prevent infection through proper cleaning and dressing of wounds, once a wound gets infected it typically requires medical attention to resolve. Watch for the following common signs of infection:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Continued drainage

If you notice any signs of infection, seek medical care promptly. What could initially appear as a minor, easy-to-manage infection can be far more dangerous than it first seems. 

 

Avoid the Fatal Four

According to OSHA, there are four main areas that are responsible for the majority of serious construction-related injuries and deaths. Take special care to avoid these four mishaps when performing construction tasks. Known as the “Fatal Four,” they are:

  • Falls and slips
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Getting caught in (or in-between) equipment

Follow appropriate safety measures and utilize equipment properly to stay out of harm’s way. Simple actions like wearing high-visibility clothing, properly securing ladders and carefully surveying your surroundings can save your life, even for minor projects. In the event that one of these four injuries occurs, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

 

Getting Fit For Safety with Doug Ashy

Unfortunately, when it comes to construction and DIY projects, the risk of injury is always a possibility. However, carefully laid plans and mindful preparation can help you reduce the possibility and avoid dangerous situations. If you’re considering tackling a construction project, stop by your local Doug Ashy store first to pick up the proper safety equipment. Our customer representatives will be able to help you make informed decisions and educate you on proper safety protocol for all your construction needs. 

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