It’s a frigid day in February and your team is rehabbing apartments in Corktown. The project is proceeding as planned, that is, until you hear a loud crash and one of your workers crying out for help. What is the first thought that passes through your mind? I need to grab the first aid kit. Only there’s a problem, you have no idea where the closest first aid kit is. Now other workers are crying out for help, pressure is mounting, and the project site has devolved into chaos.
In moments such as this, it’s important to have a first aid plan in place that complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) rules and guidelines. Noncompliance can result in project delays and lost profits, and severe violations could require the assistance of a Michigan OSHA lawyer. It’s important to take OSHA seriously; otherwise, finding success in the construction industry will be a tremendous challenge.
You can’t change the past, but you can make an ardent commitment to improving worker health and safety on the project site in the future by taking a vested interest in OSHA compliance. Small actions, such as making sure every work trailer is stocked with a first aid kit, add up over time, resulting in a safer and more productive project site.
OSHA’s Thoughts on Workplace First Aid Plans
OSHA maintains that “employers provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.” However, the policy is somewhat unclear as the scope of a company’s medical or first aid program varies from workplace to workplace.
OSHA regulations dealing with first aid in the construction industry are contained in 29 CFR 1926. 1926.23 deals with first aid and medical attention, while 1926.50 covers medical services and first aid, asserting that “first aid supplies shall be easily accessible when required.” As you can see, OSHA does not have extremely specific guidelines for putting together an effective first aid program; however, they do have plenty of recommendations that contractors can follow to ensure workers have access to potentially life-saving medical items and equipment when injured on the project site.
Going Beyond the First Aid Kit
First aid isn’t just about a small white box with a red medical cross stamped across the front. It’s about training your workers to react to an injury on the project site so that they are prepared to administer first aid services, if necessary. Being able to keep an injured worker stable until an ambulance arrives could mean the difference between an employee going into shock or suffering from significant blood loss. If a worker broke their leg on your project site today, would your workers know how to respond? If the answer is no, it may be time to consult a Michigan OSHA attorney about what you can do to maintain OSHA compliance.