December 17, 2022
Many construction sites may appear to be dangerous but a good employer will take no shorts to ensure its employees safety. OSHA provides guidelines for the employer to follow but this does not just include physical safety measures like railings and anti-slip surfaces. With approximately 211,000 construction workers diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CDC 2019) it is vital that employers follow the OSHA guidelines for providing care for broad ranges of workplace incidents. So what does OSHA require?
OSHA’s standard for first aid training in construction industry states “In the absence of an infirmary clinic, hospital, or physician, that is reasonably accessible in terms of time and distance to the worksite, which is available for the treatment of injured employees, a person who has a valid certificate in first aid training from the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the American Red Cross, or equivalent training that can be verified by documentary evidence, shall be available at the worksite to render first aid.”(29 CFR 1926.50c) OSHA acknowledges the first few minutes following a cardiac related emergency are the most important and therefor OSHA does clarify that reasonably accessible means at most 3-4 minutes from the workplaces. As you may know many construction sites are very rarely this close to medical help and what that means is it is vital that there are people on the work site who are trained to deal with these types of incidents. If medical assistance is given quickly and correctly the chances of survival are higher than if a lot of time is allowed to pass before treatment is administered. You may be asking yourself why do they care about heart health on an somewhat dangerous workplace?
The average construction worker may have a increased risk of heart conditions and sudden cardiac injury due to cigarette smoking, environmental conditions, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and stress. Long hours and heavy lifting can take a toll on a heart that may belong to a smoker (27% of construction workers smoke). If a worker does collapse for any cardiac related ailment and receives immediate CPR/AED treatment the chances of survival can be as high as 60%, but if they don’t and wait till they get to hospital/ help arrives it drops to about 5-7%. Being able to administer CPR/AED treatment quickly and correctly is proven to save lives. Whether you are a foreman or a laborer knowing proper CPR and how to use an AED can save your coworkers lives.
If you spend the majority of your workday in the construction site or even the office you should consider getting CPR/AED certified. When someone collapses at the worksite having the knowledge from one of our classes may just save a life. With many risk factors effecting construction workers having clear knowledge of what to do during a cardiac emergency is vital in the workplace. OSHA may not state that everyone on the site needs to be CPR/AED certified, but the more people who are knowledgeable and certified the quicker treatment anyone suffering from a cardiac emergency will receive, resulting in a higher chance of survival. CPR certification is proven to save lives so whether you are the designated person on the construction site or are looking to add a useful certification to your resume call CPR of America today at (781)854-8015.