Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31 suppl 2:104-109    pdf

Efficiency in reducing lost-time injuries of a nurse-based and a first-aid-based on-site medical facility

by Spangenberg S, Mikkelsen KL, Kines P, Dyreborg J

Objectives The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficiency of two standards for on-site medical facilities in reducing lost-time injuries during the construction of the link across the Øresund sound between Sweden and Denmark. One medical facility employed licensed nurses, who had advanced medical assistance at their disposal. The other medical facility utilized first-aid-trained watchmen. The on-site medical facilities aimed both at providing immediate medical assistance to workers subjected to occupational injuries and at reducing lost worktime.

Methods The distributions of injuries treated on-site (the worker resumed work after treatment) and injuries sent to hospitals or to specialists were compared for each type of injury and for each category of injured body part.

Results The on-site medical facilities dealt, in particular, with the treatment of ocular injuries (21%), wounds (21%), and sprains or strains (15%). The study showed a statistically significant on-site treatment (and resume work) rate ratio of 3.3 between the nurse-based (76%) and the first-aid-based (23%) medical facility.

Conclusions The construction of the Øresund Link shows a need for on-site medical facilities, particularly at remote construction sites, and that it is essential that the medical personnel have both the qualifications and authorization to treat site-specific workplace injuries effectively in order to obtain high on-site treatment rates.