Serious Injury or Illness


In the event of a serious injury or illness to an employee or family member, whether related to another emergency or not, the immediate concern is to aid the sick or injured person.  Proceed according to the following plan:

  • Get the victim out of any dangerous environment, but be careful!  Do not place yourself in danger!
  • If the need is critical, ask someone to CALL EMERGENCY 9-1-1.
  • Notify a qualified first aid person in the facility. Qualified first aid people are:




Location in facility:



Treat immediate life-threatening emergencies first, in priority order:

  1. Impaired breathing
  2. Heart or circulatory failure
  3. Severe bleeding
  4. Shock

Impaired breathing – Work efficiently. The average person will die in six minutes or less if their oxygen supply is cut off. Place victim on back, loosen collar, remove any obstructions to the airway and dentures, and apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After the victim is breathing alone, treat for shock.

Heart/circulatory failure – Work quickly. If possible, get trained help and work as a team. Apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If successful, treat for shock.

Severe bleeding – Act quickly. A victim may lose consciousness or go into shock when losing one quart of blood or more; continued bleeding will result in death. Apply direct pressure on the wound, with your hands, using a clean cloth if one is available. If there are no fractures, elevate the wound. If bleeding is a pumping action, apply the pressure to the appropriate arterial pressure point. Never use a tourniquet except as a last resort.

Shock – If there is no head or chest injury, keep head lower than the rest of body. Loosen clothing and cover with blankets. Encourage fluids if victim is conscious and there is no abdominal injury or nausea. Recommend solution of 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda in 1 quart of water, if available.

Other injuries/illnesses should be treated in priority with respect to critically of need:

  • Severe head injuries/unconsciousness
  • Heart attack
  • Severe nausea/vomiting
  • Poisoning
  • Burns
  • Back/neck injuries
  • Radiation sickness
  • Broken bones
  • Diabetic shock
  • Major multiple fractures

Depending on the seriousness of the illness or injury, the victim should be taken to a nearby hospital or other medical treatment facility by one of the following means:

  • Ambulance
  • Spouse/other family member
  • Fellow employee’s car
  • Self