What happened the last time you snagged yourself on that nail you meant to hammer in a bit? The one that s right next to the light switch to the shed. Could you find your first aid kit quickly? Did it contain the right stuff, such as antiseptic spray and bandages? Was your tetanus shot up to date? Did you get any sympathy?!
Well, it was hardly a big deal, but maybe you were lucky. Are you prepared for first aid? What about beyond the basics?
When s the last time you took a CPR course? How confident are you that you d automatically clear the air passage and start those chest compressions right away? Do you know to keep in time to the BeeGee s hit Staying Alive? If not, it s time to refresh your knowledge and your skills. Knowing what to do until medical help arrives is important and could be a matter of life and death.
Most farmers in Canada agree. They want to protect their families, their employees and themselves. A survey by Farm Credit Canada shows that eigth out of 10 respondents practise many safety measures regularly, but not all the time. Nine out of 10 are interested in taking some sort of agricultural safety training. The most popular topic? First aid/CPR.
Throughout Canada, both St. John Ambulance and the Red Cross provide first aid and CPR courses useful in agricultural situations. Check them out at www.sja.ca and www.redcross.ca. Get proper first aid/CPR training or renew your former skills.
Now s a good time to take stock of your emergency plans. Know what s in each first aid kit and how to use each item. Set up scenarios and decide what you d do. Always include emergency numbers on a card to contact an ambulance, hospital or fire department. Put in written directions about how to get to your farmstead, field or work area. Pack in matches, flares and a flashlight.
Make very certain there s a useful first aid kit in every truck and building. Check them monthly and replace any item that s missing. Keep all materials clean and sanitary. You ll need to stock supplies in the kits according to the number of people you have working in any area on the farm.
Here s a list of first aid contents and supplies recommended by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. This is the standard used by other industries for emergency first aid treatment. The list contains enough material for up to nine workers.
” 10 antiseptic cleansing towelettes, individually packaged;
” 25 sterile adhesive dressings, individually packaged;
” 10 10 cm x 10 cm sterile gauze pads, individually packaged;
” 2 10 cm x 10 cm sterile compress dressings, with ties, individually packaged;
” 2 15 cm x 15 cm sterile compress dressings, with ties, individually packaged;
” 2 conform gauze bandages 75 mm wide;
” 3 cotton triangular bandages;
” 5 safety pins assorted sizes;
” 1 pair of scissors;
” 1 pair of tweezers;
” 1 25 mm x 4.5 mm of adhesive tape;
” 1 crepe tension bandage 75 mm wide;
” 1 resuscitation barrier device with a one-way valve;
” 4 pairs of disposable surgical gloves;
” 1 first aid instructional manual (condensed);
” 1 inventory of kit contents;
” 1 waterproof waste bag.
Store each kit in a large waterproof container or bag with a visible label. And don t forget to include the first aid chart or manual you picked up at your first aid/CPR training course! PLAN. FARM. SAFETY.