Medical Emergencies on the Job

January 16, 2017

Though no one ever imagines it happening, there is a possibility you might be the closest—or only—employee on the scene when a co-worker experiences a medical emergency. You do not have to receive extensive first aid training to know how to safely respond. The first step in an emergency is calling for professional help, but what next? Do not panic if you are the only one around when a co-worker has a medical emergency. Remember these response basics to keep the employee as safe as possible until the paramedics arrive. If you have additional questions or concerns about this matter, talk to your supervisor or manager.

General Medical Emergency

  • Give first aid—but only if you know how. Try to help the employee, but never attempt to do anything you are not trained to do or feel uncomfortable doing.
  • Do not leave the person alone unless you are in danger or the dispatcher tells you to do so.
  • Do not move the injured employee unless he or she is in a life-threatening area. Moving the victim could cause serious damage, depending on the situation, condition or injury.


  • Roll the person on his or her side and cushion the head.
  • Clear the area of sharp or solid objects.
  • Do not restrict the person from moving unless he or she is in danger.
  • Do not put anything in the victim’s mouth.

Heart Attack

The most important thing here is not to panic, and ensure your co-worker stays calm. Panic only constricts the blood vessels and makes it more difficult on the victim’s body.

Excessive Bleeding

  • Try to control the bleeding with direct pressure.
  • Do not come into contact with the victim’s blood.
  • Do not move any body parts if you suspect they are broken.