Cuts and wounds are not indifferent when you’re working in construction. This is why protective gear and equipment are mandatory when you’re working in one. Expect that one way or the other, you will get injured regardless of whether it’s a minor cut, abrasion, or something more serious. Therefore, as a responsible construction worker, here’s how you can be aware of the possible construction wounds and cuts you might experience with yourself or with your workmate. We’ll tell you all about them and how to treat them as well.
Remember, you are the most valuable asset on the job, and your health must be your number one priority.
The different types of open wounds in construction.
When you’re about to treat wounds, the most important thing you need to do is to identify what kind of wound it is and its severity as well. There are two types, a minor wound, and a major wound. But we’ll go into detail a bit later. Now, let’s discuss the different types of open wounds you might encounter in construction and how you’ll treat them.
Construction Wounds: Abrasion
Usually, abrasions take place when the first layer of your skin gets scraped or roughly rubbed off. It doesn’t have extensive bleeding but it is prone to infection (so watch out for those). Although it is considered a minor wound, it still needs to be treated properly to prevent bacteria from infesting. Also, don’t forget to inspect the abrasion since dirt or small foreign fragments might still be sticking around.
The plan of action:
- Assess the Wound – Is it bleeding? Did a foreign object penetrate the flesh? (if so, don’t remove it without professional help). If the wound is superficial move on to cleaning it.
- Clean the Affected Area – Clean the wounded area with cool water. Don’t put rubbing alcohol since this will prolong the healing process. Try to gently remove debris as well (if there are).
- Stop Mild Bleeding – A clean towel would suffice. Just put it over the wound and put pressure on your palm. Do this for a min or two until the wound stops bleeding.
- Dress the Wound – If it’s a minor abrasion, you can leave it open to the air until it’s healed. However, be conscious of its placement. If the abrasion is on the foot and is prone to acquiring dirt, then leave a gauze on.
Construction Wounds: Puncture
This wound is caused by pointy objects such as nails, needles, bite marks, etc. It may seem harmless but some puncture wounds tend to be deeper than most. Also included in the category of puncture wounds are gunshots, which as we all know, are fatal. So make sure to assess the puncture wound and then make the judgment if it can be treated on the spot or it needs professional help.
Take note that this type of wound is also prone to tetanus depending on what punctured you. So be sure to let a professional check it out or to determine if you need tetanus shots or not.
Plan of action:
- Make sure that your hands are clean – We’re trying to prevent more dirt from going in the wound so if you’re handling a puncture wound, do it with clean hands.
- Stop the bleeding – Apply pressure on the wound.
- Clean the wound – Cleanse it with water and try to gently remove small debris.
- Apply antibiotics – Topical creams or ointments if you have them.
- Cover the wound – It’s a puncture after all, so cover it up with bandages.
Construction Wounds: Incision
A straight but deep cut that is caused by sharp objects such as knives, shards, broken glass, cutters, or any sharp objects in general. Sounds familiar? You might have heard it a time or two with doctors. Technically, incisions are the type of cut doctors do when they’re performing surgery. However, this type of construction wound is fatal when it’s from an accident.
The treatment that you’ll likely receive when an incision occurs is stitching. For those who haven’t had one yet, here’s how you can treat it.
- It’s itchy so better resist the urge to scratch it as much as possible! If you do, you might pull them out and this could cause the incision to open again.
- Don’t swim yet until your stitches are fully healed. If you do, there might be a big chance of it opening.
- However, you can take showers! Just control the intensity of the spray so your stitches won’t get irritated. Pat your stitches dry afterward.
- Try to keep the sports to a minimum especially those that require contacts like basketball or soccer.
Very similar to incisions, lacerations are deep cuts or tears caused by knives, machines with sharp edges, or other sharp tools. The treatment is fairly similar to an incision however, take note that laceration is a much more serious wound. You can provide first aid on the spot depending on the intensity of the wounds, but know when to call 911. Here are signs when to call for professional help according to Md. Express Urgent Care.
You should call 911 immediately if:
- A cut is bleeding severely.
- Blood is spurting out.
- Bleeding can’t be stopped after 10 minutes of firm and steady pressure.
An avulsion is a severe construction wound that entails the complete tearing of the skin and tissues. This usually happens during vehicular accidents or explosions. This kind of accident does not only involve bleeding but it involves trauma, broken bones, fracture of limbs, and other serious injuries. If you come upon one, do not hesitate to call 911.
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