ShareThis Page
First-aid skills are important for all ‘do-it-yourselfers’ | TribLIVE.com
North Hills

First-aid skills are important for all ‘do-it-yourselfers’

936197_web1_first-aid-kit

Before I was a hardware guy, I spent a few years driving nails in the construction industry. I loved it; the work was rewarding, the experiences unforgettable and the education priceless. Construction sites are a tough environment, though, unsuitable for those thin of skin or weak of body. There is danger there, too, and plenty of it.

Profanity was (is) the constant companion of every construction site and during my tenure in the rafters, it was used so much that it was mostly ignored. Unfortunately, there were times when that profanity was pushed out with urgency, panic or pain and not something that could be ignored. Such was the case the day Nutt, one of my co-workers, blasted a 3-inch framing nail through his left index finger with a pneumatic nail gun.

He hung from the gabled 2-by-8’s for a few moments gushing blood, spewing bad words and shaking his mitt like an angry monkey. After getting the attention he craved, he climbed down and quit crying. Meanwhile, our boss was breaking out the first-aid kit and preparing a makeshift operating table on which he performed a beautiful bandaging job.

Granted, Nutt was a bit unlucky that day thanks to the nail through the finger and all. But, despite the inconvenience he caused our boss, Nutt received quick and respectable treatment, and for that he was fortunate.

Although most of us don’t work construction jobs like Nutt and I did, we all do plenty of dangerous stuff. This spring we do-it-yourselfers will dive into the bottomless pool of projects we’ve planned over the winter. To complete these tasks we will learn about and invest in tools like hammers, knives and drill bits.

But unless the spring of 2019 proves a fundamental shift in human behavior, precious few dollars will be spent on quality first-aid kits and dangerously few man-hours invested in first-aid training. That’s a shame because sharp tools and spring chores inevitably lead to a fair number of minor cuts, most fixable in minutes by someone properly equipped.

Not having a decent first-aid kit in the tool shed is a bad decision and not knowing how to use it is just plain silly. Lacerations, bee stings and burns lurk in our work and we will all likely encounter one or more of these maladies. So why not be prepared?

My advice is to get a really good first-aid kit with adhesive bandages as well as wound dressing, tape, alcohol wipes and antibiotic gel. Spend a few bucks, don’t be stingy. Next, gather knowledge on the subject and learn the products in your kit. Finally, practice a few times: try dressing an imaginary wound on your dominant hand all by yourself. That type of practice could pay big dividends in the case of a real at home accident, providing you with confidence and knowledge which, like my construction site education, is priceless.

Or as Nutt would have put it #*@^$%! priceless.

Categories: Local | North Hills
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.