Occupational health and accidents
First aid for chemical-related accidents and injuries
Ensiapu kemikaalitapaturmissa ja -onnettomuuksissa englanti - Sisältö
If the first aid instructions for the chemical are not known, they must be checked in the safety data sheet. The safety data sheet must also be given to rescue personnel as soon as they arrive. This ensures that rescue personnel also have the necessary information on the hazards related to the chemical, proper protection and first aid instructions. Therefore, safety data sheets for chemicals that are particularly hazardous must be easily accessible at the location where chemicals are used or stored.
The person providing first aid must be protected as necessary. For example, respirator masks are needed to protect against chlorine and ammonia as well as durable protective gloves when performing first aid on people exposed to strong bases and acid splashes. The exposed patient is kept at rest and warm. A semi-seated or seated position is recommended for patients who have inhaled an irritant gas.
General operating principles in the event of a chemical accident
Taking action after a chemical accident is susceptible to risk. For this reason, the medical team to arrive at the scene of the accident must follow the instructions of the fire brigade and on-site personnel on how to approach safely and where they can safely work. Personnel must also protect themselves appropriately with personal protective equipment, such as a disposable, polyethylene chemical protective suit, rubber or plastic protective gloves, rubber boots and full face protection with a filter suitable for the chemical on top of suitably warm clothing.
Cleaning of patients exposed to chemicals is important. If the patients' clothing is contaminated with toxic or corrosive substances or if the gas or steam released from the clothing seriously irritates the patients’ mucous membranes, the patients’ clothing must be removed and they must be reclothed as soon as possible. When patients are brought in for treatment, the facility must be prepared to wash their skin. Cleaning skin is difficult outdoors when it is cold, as the removal of clothing poses an immediate risk of hypothermia. It is therefore important to prepare in advance for temporary accessories such as blankets, capes, sleeping bags and sleeping beds.