A nearby police officer with equipment and training is credited with saving the injured worker’s life

The Incident

The injury occurred at an industrial facility in Guelph Ontario. The exact details are less relevant for this post, The result of the injury was that the worker’s arm was severely injured with an arterial bleed. Direct pressure was not controlling the bleeding adequately and the injured worker was quickly losing blood. A nearby police officer hearing the dispatch responded and applied a tourniquet to control the wound and prevent further blood loss.

The Lessons

Assessing tools and processes for hazards is a critical step in preventing injuries and emergencies. When emergencies do arise, having response plans in place produces the best outcome for the injured worker. Put the guards and tools in place to protect a worker from being injured. Have a plan in case the safeguards fail.

First Aid training is critical to the health and safety of workers. WSIB and OHSA sets out the minimum requirements for first aid in the workplace. These standards are minimum and based on the standard first aid program requirements of training providers. Those standards are set based on specific criteria of equipment, average types of injuries and proximity to professional responders.

WSIB sets out minimum equipment standards for workplace first aid kits. These standards are based on common injuries and are largely not in line with best practices. There is no requirement for PPE in first aid kits, as an example.

Workplaces with specific hazards need specific training. In this case, StopTheBleed training and equipment would have been ideal care while waiting for emergency responders. StopTheBleed is a plan designed to intervene with life-threatening bleeding in a pre-hospital environment.

The Training

The availability of a tourniquet, wound packing gauze, and the training to work with the equipment is critical in the event of a major injury. Strategic placement of equipment at high-risk points is the best second-line defense.

StopTheBleed training is short (under one hour typically per class) and equipment is reasonably inexpensive without expiry dates. The more remote workers are, the more important it is to have appropriate first aid equipment and training. Buy only genuine components from recognized distributors. Many counterfeit tourniquets are widely available and have a high rate of failure. Like most skills, this skill is easy to learn, but is also perishable. Incorporate regular refresher training into all health and safety plans.

 KMC Safety Solutions serves the Southern Ontario manufacturing and construction sectors. We offer training, program development, gap analysis, compliance auditing and consulting services. Training is available in person or online for many programs. Contact KMC for your personalized solutions.

Tourniquet Saves Worker’s Life
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