Network cabling is no child’s play and you must never allow any untrained technician do it because there is an element of risk always present. Unskilled workers and unsafe workplace practices can lead to wounds, debilitating injuries and even death in certain cases.
The US government has several federal ordinances that are aimed at protecting the health of the workers and ensuring their safety. As a result, the contractor at the worksite is responsible for complying with all safety norms.
Some of the safety protocols include wearing the right protective gear, switching off the power, using the right tools and always ensuring that you have not left any cables lying haphazardly.
What are the common hazards during network cabling
Electrical and fiber optic cables are extensively used in networking. Hence, it is crucial that the personnel at work are highly efficient, aware and protected at all times. In the networking world, constantly new lines have to be laid and damaged ones repaired to ensure no outage at any stage. Despite all the precautions, accidents do happen and people get injured. Some of the common injuries are:
- • Fiber optic hazards: While installing fiber optic cables, you must be aware that tiny glass pieces float in the air; they can damage your eyes if you don’t wear proper safety glasses or can enter your esophagus and cause lacerations if you don’t wear protective gear.
- • Electrical hazards: The foremost is electrocution; damaged wiring, improper grounding are some of the reasons for electrical injuries. Electrical burns and shocks are common. Though not as fatal as electrocution, they need treatment.
- • Chemical hazards: During cabling, you will be exposed to several chemicals like isopropyl alcohol, acids, and gels used for cleaning, duct and fire block oils, greases, paints, adhesives, sealants and others. Improper use of these products can lead to skin lacerations and acid burns.
- • Physical Hazards: There are several cases of technicians and others tripping over improperly and carelessly laid cables and getting injured. Such incidents can lead to cuts, abrasions, bruises and puncture wounds.
Different types of open wounds
Wounds can be major which require sutures or minor ones like the five types of listed below. Whatever the nature, immediate care is a must.
- 1. Abrasion: It is a situation when the skin gets scraped against a rough or hard surface, it peels and starts bleeding though not much. It must be cleaned and an antiseptic cream or ointment applied immediately to prevent infection.
- 2. Incision: If you come in contact with a shard of glass or any sharp object, a deep cut occurs and it is called an incision. Deep incisions can damage the inner tissues, ligaments, and muscles. It is characterized by intense bleeding.
- 3. Laceration: These are deeper than abrasions and often result from collisions. These wounds are characterized by intense bleeding and severe pain.
- 4. Punctures: These are round wounds caused by needles or nails. The pain is intense and short-lived; there is not much bleeding in this case.
- 5. Burns: The first-degree acid burns can be superficial symptomized by redness and hotness. The second and third-degree burns are more damaging and painful.
Why should wounds be treated immediately
Many individuals do not treat the open wounds sustained during work immediately; they fail to realize that they are inviting a host of problems by doing so. An open wound is an open invitation to bacteria to come and live in your body. Some of the complications of neglect include:
- 1) Lockjaw: A condition where the jaw and neck undergo muscular spasm and are literally locked and you can't move them. It is caused by the bacteria that causes tetanus.
- 2) Gangrene: This is infection in the subcutaneous level leading to the death of a tissue.
Immediate action when wounded
In the case of a serious injury call 911 or seek immediate medical attention. For minor cuts, abrasions and burns follow the below steps.
- I. Clean the area with clean water and remove all debris and dirt.
- II. Apply pressure for cuts to stop the bleeding.
- III. Apply an antiseptic cream to disinfect the part.
- IV. Use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound.
Why should antiseptic cream be used?
Plain cleaning with water is never sufficient because most often the place of injury will have lot of debris and rusted equipment which can cause tetanus or severe infection. Most antiseptic ointments contain penicillin along with a anesthetic to numb the pain and deter the growth of microorganisms. This is the first line of defence.
Types of ointments used for wounds
There are several types of ointments used to treat wounds based on the nature of the wound. Ointments for Wound Care while fixing network cable
- • Triple Antibiotic Ointment: This is an over-the-counter ointment commonly used for all kinds of cuts and bruises. It contains three antibiotics: Neomycin, Polymixin B, and Bacitracin. The triple action of these antibiotics has been found to be very effective in treating lacerations and other wounds. It does not irritate the skin nor does it damage the surrounding healthy skin. It is safe to use around the eyes too.
- • Silver Sulfadiazine 1%: This is white ointment used exclusively for burns, it is a broad spectrum cream and provides protection from infection from yeasts, fungi, virus, and bacteria.
- • Hydrogels: Though not technically an ointment, hydrogels are extensively used in wound treatment. They are made of water, glycerin, and polymers which will prevent a wound from drying and retain the moisture. As they provide the right moist atmosphere, they can be applied once the wound starts healing. They are also impregnated in the gauze or pad for easy application.
For minor cuts and abrasions treatment with a topical antiseptic cream will suffice. But when the wound shows the following symptoms its time to meet a doctor for further treatment.
- • The wound area becomes darker, redder and bigger
- • There is formation of thick yellow or green pus with a foul odor
- • The wound is extremely painful
- • There is an onset of fever of more than 100 F and it persists for more than four hours
- • The formation of a painful lump in your groin or armpit region.
These symptoms mean that the infection is deeper and you may need oral antibiotics to fasten the healing process.