Time has a way of slowing down during an accident or emergency. For environmental safety and health professionals, that phenomenon is important. Once a safety incident happens, the clock starts ticking, and every second counts. The longer it takes to act, the worse the consequences, both in terms of worker well being and organizational liability.
“Workplace injuries are a major cost for employers, and mitigating the incident from the moment it happens can have lasting effects, Ken Wells, president of Lifeline Strategies, told attendees at Safety 2018 in San Antonio.
At a cost of $60 billion per year to companies across the United States, action should be taken immediately. The most important thing is to take care of the worker and get [them] the help they need.”
Do you know what to do immediately after an EHS incident—what steps to take within the first 30 minutes? How about the first 30 seconds?
Here’s 10-step procedure Wells and EHS Today recommend:
- Have a plan and work the plan.
- Let the worker know you will take care of them.
- Do an initial diagnosis.
- Administer first aid.
- Calm the worker.
- Control hazards that caused the injury if needed.
- Get help quickly if needed.
- Have a manager accompany the worker to the clinic.
- Follow up after the incident.
- Complete case management.
A lot can happen in 30 minutes. Swift action could be the deciding factor in saving money and saving lives. Remember: effective emergency response starts with preparation. If you have a plan, you can maximize the moments immediately following an incident—and minimize the fallout.