Cuts and scratches can be real safety issues if not taken care of quickly. They can provide serious medical injuries that involves infections or blood poisoning.
How Do Cuts and Scratches Heal? – According to kidshealth, “after getting a cut, scratch, or abrasion, your skin may start bleeding. This happens because the injury breaks or tears the tiny blood vessels, which are right under the skin’s surface. Your body wants to stop the bleeding so the platelets (say: plate-lutz) in your blood come to the rescue. At the site of a wound (say: woond), which is another word for injury, platelets stick together, like glue. This is called clotting, which works like a plug to keep blood and other fluids from leaking out. A scab, a hardened and dried clot, forms a crust over the wound. This protects the area so the skin cells underneath can have time to heal. Underneath the scab, new skin cells multiply to repair the wound. Damaged blood vessels are repaired, and infection-fighting white blood cells attack any germs that may have gotten into the wound. You can’t see it under the scab, but a new layer of skin is forming. And when the new skin is ready, the scab falls off. A scab usually falls off within a week or two”.
The toolboxtopic.com states, “Infection is often called ‘Blood Poisoning’. It might be of interest to know exactly what is meant by ‘Blood Poisoning’. The term itself indicates that it is a poisoning directly related to blood.
There are two ways in which a poison can attack our bodies. It may be taken in through the mouth and enter the body by way of the digestive organs, or it may enter directly into the blood stream through an abrasion or cut in the skin. In any event, every poison eventually works through the blood and the poison of infections works into the blood stream directly.
The smallest cut, abrasion or scratch is large enough for germs to enter. If they are not wash off they will cause an infection which could lead to blood poisoning. If left untreated, a hand or arm could become so infected that it might possibly have to be amputated.
Should you find yourself with a small scratch or cut be sure to get it washed out and properly covered with a clean bandage. ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Serious cuts and lacerations need to be treated by professional medical personnel. Most often you will run up against smaller injuries – burns, nicks, scratches and cuts. The danger here is that most workers don’t bother to get first aid for these minor injuries. The bottom line is – DON’T NEGLECT CUTS. Do your part by trying to prevent them from happening in the first place, but when any injury occurs – serious or minor – be sure that it receives the right kind of treatment, as quickly as possible”.
First aid kits must be checked frequently to be sure they are clean and fully stocked. According to CalOSHA regulation Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders, Article 3. General §1512. Emergency Medical Services (c) First-Aid Kit outlines the employer’s responsibility with first aid kits. It states:
Every employer working on or furnishing personnel on a construction project, on line crews and on other short duration or transient jobs shall provide at least one first-aid kit in a weatherproof container. The contents of the first-aid kit shall be inspected regularly to ensure that the expended items are promptly replaced. The contents of the first-aid kit shall be arranged to be quickly found and remain sanitary. First-aid dressings shall be sterile in individually sealed packages for each item. The minimum first-aid supplies shall be determined by an employer-authorized, licensed physician.
(2) Other supplies and equipment, when provided, shall be in accordance with the documented recommendations of an employer-authorized, licensed physician upon consideration of the extent and type of emergency care to be given based upon the anticipated incidence and nature of injuries and illnesses and availability of transportation to medical care.
(3) Drugs, antiseptics, eye irrigation solutions, inhalants, medicines, or proprietary preparations shall not be included in first-aid kits unless specifically approved, in writing, by an employer-authorized, licensed physician.
Cuts and scratches can be real safety issues if not taken care of quickly. So please, Don’t Neglect Cuts and Scratches!!!!
Please Note: This article is for information purposes only and in no way providing medical advice. Any medical advice and assistance needed please consult with a licensed physician or licensed medical personnel.
CalOSHA Regulation Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders, Article 3. General §1512. Emergency Medical Services (c) First-Aid Kit
toolbox.com – Spotlight on Site Safety
MedicalAdvicesEN – Cleaning Cuts and Scrapes
Copyrighted by Matthew J. Key from his forthcoming book “The Safety Corner”.