Safe jobsites and trained employees are the best way to prevent emergency situations. However, life is unpredictable and not having an emergency plan in place will only make the situation worse. Proper planning, good communication and ongoing training will help employees take control a bad situation. The good news is that emergency plans are simple to prepare and put in place.
A good jobsite emergency plan requires some prep work. Each jobsite should have a separate, custom emergency response plan, because emergency services and response times are always unique. It’s very likely that in many rural parts of Missouri, it could take 30 minutes to get an ambulance to your jobsite. When things go wrong, don’t make the problem worse. With a co-worker’s life on the line, you have to be ready to respond and control the incident.
Consider the biggest risks for injury on construction jobsites including falls, struck-by, caught-in-between, trench collapse and electrocutions when making your emergency plan. Your jobsite safety efforts should also include preventing leading types of injuries such as lacerations, eye injuries, strains and sprains.
Plan preparation tips
Take a back-to-the-basics approach and keep essential information close by.
- Post the jobsite address clearly at the jobsite and at the road.
- Know the landowner’s name and have contact information available.
Consider communication capabilities:
- Find out if your cellphone will get a signal before work begins.
- Determine how far you would have to go before cell service is available.
- Locate the closest land-line.
- If you don’t have phone service, make sure your two-way radios can communicate with local emergency responders.
- Post all emergency phone numbers in a central location.
- Know where the closest fire station or ambulance base is located.
- Determine where law enforcement would have to respond from.
- Estimate how long it will take first responders to arrive.
- Find out what the emergency responders in the area are trained in, i.e. trench rescue, confined space rescue, and chemical incident response.
- Place fire extinguishers near vehicles, supply areas or where any sparks or heat is produced.
- Make sure first aid kits are stocked with trauma supplies and CPR one-way masks.
- Keep drinking water handy and for immediate use whenever hyperthermia is suspected.
- Keep distilled water or eye flush in case of a chemical splash or debris gets into an eye.
- Consider purchasing an automated external defibrillator. For roughly $1,000 your employees can have access to an effective life-saving tool.
Don’t send a crew out to a jobsite without the tools they need to act quickly in an emergency. Use this article along with the construction industry tutorial resources when you develop your plan for each jobsite.