Jul 20, 2020
COVID-19 Changed the Medical Emergency Plan. Are Your Crews Prepared?
During today’s toolbox talk, make sure the safety portion of the discussion includes a reminder about the company’s expectations for helping injured workers. It may have changed for 2020.
Some companies have had a policy in place that demands any injury in the work zone requires a trip to either an urgent care facility or emergency room with proper documentation at each step. Trips to an emergency room may require, no matter the severity of the injury, an ambulance for transport.
Some companies, in the past, have allowed personnel to help an injured worker into a company work truck for transport to the nearest emergency room, depending on the injury and the distance to the hospital. The supervisor for the project will have mapped the distance and route to the nearest emergency facility and then provided its phone number to the personnel on the job ahead of time. This practice may have changed for 2020, and you need to communicate the changes in policy to workers before they get to the job, before any injuries may, heaven forbid, occur.
In the event of a serious accident on the job, you’ll call for an ambulance, but do you know what you’ll tell the dispatcher? Each morning should include a “this is where we are today” moment when the foreman points out the cross streets or nearest mile marker. Have workers repeat the name of the street or the mile marker so you know they can say it to a dispatcher on a 9-1-1 call. Few dispatchers will be able to direct emergency responders efficiently to “the back of a milling machine in that work zone out on I-95.” Not all EMTs know what a milling machine looks like. It’s better if your personnel can say, “We’re at mile marker 79 Southbound on I-95.” Everyone can find that.