Okay- We've all had minor injuries...

photoatdv

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May 8, 2008
So here's a topic we've all touched on in other threads but doesn't seem to have it's own. Does anyone have great advice for how to deal with the minor injuries we all get? How do we keep others from freaking out? Lets share our tricks from experience. By the way I DO advise going to the hospital if you're really hurt. I, however, would have to be VERY seriously hurt before I'd go.

I've found that gaff tape makes a good bandage that will stay on.
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
Know how to use everything in a first aid kit. You know most of that stuff that doesn't ever seem to be necessary? Well one day it might be, take a first aid course. Being an Eagle Scout, I either have a first aid kit or know where one is when working, and know how to properly treat a variety of small injuries.

Whatever you do, don't try to "be strong" and let the splinter stay in or let the cut stay open. Put a bandaid on it, put a butterfly closure on it if it's that bad, or do whatever you need to do. But if there's blood, there's a problem, fix it. Also know how to treat sprains, especially sprained ankles.

Also, always wash fresh cuts and scrapes out with soap and water, that 2 minutes could keep you from having to skip 2 weeks of work due to an infection.
 

maggyx13

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May 18, 2008
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Wilmette, IL
know where everyone is. you wouldn't want to hit someone on the head with a 300lb pole.
when rigging, know how much you can handle. and my advice is to wear gloves.
be careful in wood rooms.
wear good shoes
 

Marius

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Feb 25, 2007
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Tampa, FL
Band-aids are cheap, and blood can stain scenery. If it's leaking, wash it and cover it up. And I second that about first aid courses. If you know what injuries require more than just some gauze and gaff tape then it is much easier to remain calm in the faces of injuries. And always remain calm in the face of injuries. Less experienced people will take thier cues from you when problems arise, and if you are calm and appear to know what you are doing then panic will be kept to a minimum. First aid and CPR courses bear repeating, and odds are you can get your company to foot the bill for them. Have a well stocked, and up-to-date first aid kit that is readily available and easy to find/access, and make sure everyone who sets foot in the shop knows where it is. And lastly leave all macho 'I'll just put some gaff on it and deal with it later' crap at the shop door. We often deal with things that don't react well with the interior of the human body, especially if you are in an older theatre and are using lots of stock scenery or recycled lumber. A scratch from a rusty nail or screw can lead to all kinds of trouble down the road if not dealt with immediately.
Here endeth the lesson. Go in peace.
:grin:
 

tenor_singer

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Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
I would also suggest a refresher on how to deal with bloody injuries and on blood born pathogens.

In the States there are very specific regulations that must be followed in the event that a bloody accident happens.

I'm not sure if this is nation-wide, but at my job, it is their responsibility to not only train you on the hazzards of blood born pathogens, but also supply you with the materials to safely clean them up.

Hepititis B and C is becoming a major concern... and you can catch it from blood contact (we had a staff expose herself unknowingly when she grabbed a 6 year old with a bleeding nose). Not to mention HIV.
 

bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
the way I see it, the whole theatre is your first aid kit.

examples:

1. you get a nose bleed...use the grand drape to stop it. (A+ for you if its a red curtain)

2. oh no! your friend just punctured his hand on a nail. Thank god for welding torches, just cauterize the wound.

3. you sprain your ankle, grab the welding torch from your friend, heat and bend some iron into and 'L', then screw it at both ends into your tibia and tarpals for complete immobility.

4. Long laceration? thank god for your costume shop's industrial sewing machine!!

5. Burned yourself on a leko? just head on over to your dry ice fogger for a cool down.

6. HEART ATTACK!?!?!? Do you know how hard it is to find realistic dummies? Shove in some formaldehyde for a long lasting prop!!!
 

Marius

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Feb 25, 2007
Location
Tampa, FL
the way I see it, the whole theatre is your first aid kit.

examples:


3. you sprain your ankle, grab the welding torch from your friend, heat and bend some iron into and 'L', then screw it at both ends into your tibia and tarpals for complete immobility.

QUOTE]

You don't have that kind of time in an emergency. Grab an L bracket and some drywall screws, gaff the whole thing and finish the load in. There'll be plenty of time to weld up a new ankle later. ;-)
 

icewolf08

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Lititz, PA
While we all appreciate the jokes, first aid and safety is a very important thing. Basic fisrt aid only requires common sense. However, at least one person in the shop or facility should be trained. We are lucky to have a trained EMT on staff, and I have first aid and CPR training. It is totally worthwhile to take a course and learn how to properly treat injuries. You never know, you may help save yourself or a friend.
 

rosabelle334

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May 25, 2008
Location
Worcester, MA
Gaffing tape fixes everything! Thats the inside joke in our set crew. Splinter? Put gaffing tape on it. Cut? Put gaffing tape on it. Headache? Put gaffing tape on it. One time this kid josh had teh back of a hammer scratch down the side of his body. He took a huge piece of gaffing tape, and covered it up, then finished screwing down the door frame. Probably not the best idea, but thats what we do.


But, no, seriously, we do take care of things when they're serious. Thankfully nothing worse has happened then someone hitting their thumb with a hammer. But, one time, during a show (42nd Street), we had a perment platform built in the back, and a raised platform on wheels for the hotel. we were moving the hotel forward to place it for teh next scene, and one of our crew members was trying to get onto it, so he jumped from the platform, his foot caught the front of the hotel, he slipped, fell backward, and hit the back of his head on the platform.

We were freaking out, because it was IN THE MIDDLE OF A SHOW. But, he turned out to be ok, and walked off.

Once we set the piece, we had him lie down, but the main part was not freaking out.
 
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mbenonis

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Chicago, IL
One rule I haven't seen mentioned is that if something from the first aid kit is used, it needs to be reported to the stage manager immediately - even if it is just a band-aid. In my theatre, the PSM reports it to the technical director in the rehearsal report, who then ensures that the kit is still adequately stocked. In addition to ensuring that there will be bandages left, this also creates a record of the injury.

And remember, safety ALWAYS comes first - even at the expense of the show (though if you did your job right to start with, you'll never have to trade one for the other!).
 

Charc

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Joined
Feb 14, 2007
One rule I haven't seen mentioned is that if something from the first aid kit is used, it needs to be reported to the stage manager immediately - even if it is just a band-aid. In my theatre, the PSM reports it to the technical director in the rehearsal report, who then ensures that the kit is still adequately stocked. In addition to ensuring that there will be bandages left, this also creates a record of the injury.

And remember, safety ALWAYS comes first - even at the expense of the show (though if you did your job right to start with, you'll never have to trade one for the other!).
I used one of the last bandaids in the TD's first aid kit... we do have knuckle and fingertip bandaids left though!
 

Wolf

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Cincinnati, Ohio
If you are certified in first aid (CPR is the main one that comes to mind) is that something that would be a good thing to put on your resume?
 

Van

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If you are certified in first aid (CPR is the main one that comes to mind) is that something that would be a good thing to put on your resume?
Yes as long as you maintain a current certification. If your shop, or If a shop you are working in, has a Safety Officer it is also a very good thing to let them know you are certified. Who knows it may lead to a faster promotion in some places. Most states or OSHA if you're a big enough organization require " a Member of management" who supervising work to be Certified in CPR and Basic First Aid.
 

Van

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Pssht. Safety committees only exist for the insurance discount. The PPE comes out once a year.
No sometimes they exist to keep young'uns from cutting off their delicate little digits. :rolleyes:
 

ruinexplorer

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I would also suggest a refresher on how to deal with bloody injuries and on blood born pathogens.

Hepititis B and C is becoming a major concern... and you can catch it from blood contact (we had a staff expose herself unknowingly when she grabbed a 6 year old with a bleeding nose). Not to mention HIV.
I second this! Hep B can be contracted from DRIED bodily fluids as well. For obvious reasons, you may not always be able to administer first-aid immediately; but if you aren't risking your own or others safety by walking away, you should take care of it immediately.

The best thing you can do is use PPE as often as possible. This includes long pants instead of shorts, gloves when handling wood/wire rope, as well as task related PPE. If you are under such a time crunch to get things done, you are more prone to small injuries, so take the precautions.

On the first-aid kit side of things, have someone responsible for going through it once a month, even bandages have an expiration date.
 

cdub260

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Even if it seems like a minor injury, fill out an accident report. Most companies have a standard form for this. The report is simply a small bit of CYA. If the injury is more serious than you first thought, having this report filled out and filed with your employer will help to expedite the workman's comp process.
 

philhaney

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Pssht. Safety committees only exist for the insurance discount. The PPE comes out once a year.
No sometimes they exist to keep young'uns from cutting off their delicate little digits. :rolleyes:
And electrocuting themselves, and impailing themselves, and falling from high places, and .....


The PPE should come out a minimum of once a year... for inspection. It should come out for use more often than that.
 

EHubbard92

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Oct 22, 2008
Location
Saginaw
We don't usually have any bad injuries, but if it were necessary I'm certified in CPR and since I'm an athletic trainer for the softball team I'm also good with taping up sprains and all that jazz. Other than that we rely on bandaids or gauze and tape.