Accidents

My dad almost sliced his finger off on-site, what should we do?

My dad almost sliced his finger off on-site, what should we do?It's not as far-fetched as one would think...

That's right, it happened to my father (who owns and manages a concrete and brick factory) just the other day...

He was working with one of his mobile cranes on-site. They jacked the mobile crane up to remove the wheels, when it got stuck. My hands-on dad and one of the employees, Sam, lifted the platform up slightly. Sam let go as it was too heavy for him to hold... catching dad's middle finger between the wheel and platform, crushing it!

Now, if you know my dad, you would know a few choice curse words came out his mouth as he headed for the first aid kit to 'stick-a-plaster' on it. And yes, that's pretty much how my dad treats any cut, from a knife slipping into your finger in the kitchen, to the crane almost certainly chopping his finger off. A plaster, Betadine and Savlon should do it!

So, now I want to test your knowledge. Do you think he followed the correct incident procedure?

The correct way to secure the scene of an incident like this

Chopping off your finger is seen as a minor injury.

If you're in a situation like my father, you should:

  • Render first aid to stop the bleeding and treat the employee for shock. If the finger has been completely severed, save the amputated bit. Wrap it in clean gauze from your first aid kit and put it on a bed of ice.
  • Take him, and the amputated finger, to the nearest Emergency Room at your nearest hospital. They may be able to sew the finger back on if the time delay is not too long.
  • At the same time, the work area must be decontaminated with a chlorine bleach solution. This solution must be left to stand on the surface for 15 minutes to kill most germs and make it safer to clean up. Use 1/4 cup bleach in 3/4 cup water.
  • Clean up the mess and put all the blood contaminated waste into a plastic bag. Arrange for disposal as hazardous medical waste.
  • Initiate your investigation and reporting procedures. If your employee will be off work for more than 14 days, remember to report this incident to the Regional Director at the Department of Labour.
Keep reading for the consequences you'll face if you don't follow the correct procedure...

Consequences for not following the correct incident procedure

If you don't follow the correct procedure for minor incidents, you could be in-line for penalties and fines from the DoL if he decides to investigate.

And there aren't just monetary consequences, but health risks too... If your employee's blood is everywhere, not only can it contaminate goods that you're working with... but it could lead to the spread of HIV in your workplace!

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Alexandr Grigorev

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