The Top 5 Reasons Why Construction Workers Should Be CPR-Certified

With the statistics showing a 62% increase in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) in Detroit during 2020, the importance of being prepared for medical emergencies has never been more apparent. In construction, where the work is both challenging and hazardous, the likelihood of accidents or health issues occurring on-site dramatically increases.

By ensuring construction workers have the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to cardiac emergencies, we can significantly improve survival rates and outcomes for victims of OHCA on construction sites.

In this post, we’ll recognize the dangers of doing construction work and tell you why it’s so vital for workers to have CPR certification. The top 5 reasons why construction workers should be CPR-certified will highlight the direct benefits to the individuals and their teams and showcase how these skills can be lifesaving in critical situations.

Common Hazards on Construction Sites

Construction sites are inherently risky environments. These workers handle heavy machinery, work at great heights, and often near potentially hazardous materials. Recognizing these dangers is the first step in knowing how to act if an accident happens.

Physical Injuries

Physical injuries are among the most prevalent hazards on a construction site. These can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe, life-altering accidents or even fatalities. Each of these scenarios shows the importance of being CPR-certified:

    • Falls – These accidents account for 35% of all construction site incidents. Whether it’s slipping off a scaffold or tripping over loose cables, the potential for serious injury or death is real.

    • Being struck by objects – That could be anything from a falling tool to a swinging piece of machinery. The impact can cause anything from concussions to broken bones.

    • Machinery accidents – From getting caught in or between equipment to suffering cuts or amputations, the range of injuries is broad.

    • Electrical hazards – Whether it’s an electric shock or arc flash, these incidents can lead to burns, heart problems, and even death.

Health Risks

Exposure to harmful substances is a major concern. You might be working with or around chemicals that can cause skin or respiratory problems or even long-term health conditions like cancer. Asbestos, lead, and silica dust are just a few examples of the hazardous materials you might encounter on a job site.

Then there’s the issue of working in extreme temperatures. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be dangerous during the warmer months, especially when laboring under the sun for extended periods. Also, working in cold conditions without proper gear can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. These health risks highlight the need for CPR and first aid training. Recognizing the signs of heat stroke or hypothermia and appropriately responding can save lives.

The Benefits of Construction Workers Knowing CPR

When an accident happens on a construction site, the clock starts ticking, and every second counts. The first hour after an accident, also known as the “golden hour,” is crucial for the victim’s survival and recovery.

This principle is especially true in construction accidents, where injuries can be severe, and the difference between quick first aid and waiting for professional help can significantly impact the outcome. Immediate medical intervention, like CPR, can save lives and minimize long-term disabilities.

In many cases, construction sites are far from a medical facility. In these scenarios, waiting for professional medical help isn’t just impractical – it’s a gamble with life and limb you don’t want to take. Your ability to act fast to provide that critical first response can bridge the gap between the accident and the arrival of emergency services.

Immediate Response to Cardiac Emergencies

A cardiac emergency can happen without warning when you’re on a construction site. If you’re CPR-certified, you’ve got a powerful tool at your fingertips. Starting chest compressions right away can almost double a victim’s survival chances. You can buy that person precious minutes that can keep them alive until the paramedics take over.

Improving Workplace Safety and Preparedness

Having a safe construction site goes beyond wearing hard hats and following protocols. Construction workers must know what to do when the unexpected happens. CPR training can teach them how to pump a chest or breathe life back into someone and give them the ability to stay composed under pressure and act swiftly and confidently.

CPR training also includes knowing how to bandage a wound, recognize heatstroke, or use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) because emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. When trained in these critical skills, construction workers foster a culture of safety and preparedness. Everyone knows someone’s got their back, and that collective assurance is priceless on a job site where risks lurk at every turn.

Meeting Legal and Regulatory Requirements

While no specific laws in Michigan mandate CPR training for construction workers, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recommends that all workers on construction sites have first aid and CPR training. This recommendation ensures the safety and well-being of everyone on site.

For construction companies, having CPR-trained staff can significantly help meet legal and regulatory requirements. Although not explicitly mandated, demonstrating a commitment to safety through CPR training can set a company apart, showcasing a proactive approach to worker safety. That helps avoid potential penalties that may arise from safety oversights and contributes to creating a safer, more responsive work environment.

Boosting Team Morale and Confidence

Safety is always a top priority on construction sites. But there is a deeper layer to safety that directly impacts team morale and confidence: being prepared for medical emergencies. When you and your teammates are trained in CPR, there’s a shared sense of security in the work environment.

Knowing you have the skills to save a life boosts your confidence and strengthens the bonds between team members. There’s a collective understanding that everyone has each other’s backs. This added layer of preparedness can significantly uplift the team’s spirit. Suddenly, the job site isn’t just a place of physical labor – it becomes a space where people genuinely care for one another’s well-being.

Reducing Recovery Time and Healthcare Cost

When someone on a construction site experiences a cardiac arrest or gets into an accident, every second counts. If you administer CPR promptly and effectively, you’re helping prevent severe brain damage and other complications that can arise from a prolonged lack of oxygen.

That means the individual has a better chance of a quicker and less complicated recovery, translating into less time away from work and lower medical bills.

Constructing a Safer Environment

So, what are the top 5 reasons why construction workers should be CPR-certified? From reducing the time it takes for a victim to receive help to improving the overall safety culture on construction sites, it’s clear why CPR certification is necessary for construction workers.

It’s up to construction companies and their workers in Detroit to take the next step. Investing in CPR training isn’t just a smart move—it’s a necessary one. These skills extend beyond the workplace, offering benefits that can ripple through communities and families. So, let’s not wait until it’s too late – get your CPR certification in Detroit now!