R for Recovery
This month we look at Recovery from an incident. Whereas most of our A to Z articles so far have aimed to prevent us woodturners from injuring ourselves or others, the letter R looks at some ways of minimising residual affects when things have gone wrong in the workshop.
We will look at aftercare options for incidents which involve cuts, impact from moving objects, burns and electrical shock.
When we cut ourselves we generally treat it as an inconvenience and if it is bad enough apply a sticking plaster, however, if the cut is more serious then it makes sense to seek assistance, to get the wound adequately dressed and allow sufficient recovery time before resuming work. Seeking assistance ensures that someone is available to help if you come over feeling unwell and probably ensures a better job of bandaging than your single handed effort.
If we receive a blow from a moving object - probably something being ejected from a revolving lathe and likely to hit us on the face or head - then we should seek assistance, get any wound checked and adequately dressed and allow sufficient recovery time before resuming work. If there has been any loss of consciousness, even for a few seconds, then you should seek help from trained medical staff such as a doctor, paramedic or Accident and Emergency department.
Burns should be treated immediately by holding under running cold water for at least 10 minutes. This removes heat from the burn site and reduces the severity of the burn. Afterwards cover with a clean dressing and seek medical assistance.
If we come across someone who has collapsed after receiving an electrical shock the most important thing is to ensure that we do not rush in and become the second casualty. Initial priorities are to switch off the power supply safely and then to remove the casualty from the cause of electrocution using a non-conducting item. Follow this by checking for breathing and ensure the casualty has a clear airway.
If the casualty is still not breathing and you are unsure about undertaking external chest massage then dial 999 and seek guidance immediately.
Generally when dealing with someone who has sustained injury the priorities are Breathing, Bleeding and Consciousness. Therefore we ensure that a casualty is breathing before we try to control bleeding.
LEARNING POINTS: If there has been any loss of consciousness from any cause, even for a few seconds, then seek help from trained medical staff such as a doctor, paramedic or Accident and Emergency department.
If you wish to learn more about First Aid consider undertaking a training course - they are generally available.