Construction workers face many work hazards on a daily basis. Spinal injuries are one potential injury that can occur on a construction site, and these injuries can have a devastating impact on your life.
While minor injuries may cause temporary back pain and stiffness, more serious injuries call for immediate attention from medical personnel. Here are a few signs to look for to ensure the right steps are taken in case a severe spinal injury occurs.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
Car accidents are the leading cause of damage to the spine. Along with passenger vehicles, workers who regularly transport goods or materials to and from construction sites also face a risk of suffering from spinal damage should an accident occur. Falls are another significant cause of spinal injuries. When workers climb ladders or work from great heights, a fall is more likely to cause serious damage. Other causes including violent attacks and sporting injuries, although these causes are less common.
When emergency treatment must be sought
A minor injury to the back and spine should still be assessed by a medical professional. However, a feeling of intense pressure in the back, neck, or head is a far more serious issue. Severe back injuries can also be accompanied by numbness in the extremities or even loss of control over the limbs, which indicates paralysis. Problems breathing, difficulty maintaining balance, and trouble controlling bladder and bowel also indicate a need for emergency medical assistance.
How serious spinal cord injuries should be handled
In the event the above signs are present, those providing first aid care to the injured party must proceed with caution. The person should not be moved unless he or she is in direct harm. Moving a person with a spinal injury can cause damage to become worse. The person’s neck should be stabilized to prevent further movement until help arrives. If other injuries are present, such as uncontrolled bleeding, they should be addressed while ensuring the injured party remains still.