How to Assemble a First-Aid Kit for DIYers

BY James Dulley TIMEJanuary 19, 2022 PRINT

Dear James: I have worked with hand and power tools for years, but recently hurt myself with no one around. What things should I include in a first-aid kit for my toolshed?—Isaac L.

Dear Isaac: It definitely is a good idea to have a complete first-aid kit readily available, even if you are not alone in the toolshed or your neighbors are nearby. If you are seriously injured, it may take some time to get everything together to stabilize you until professional help arrives.

Injuries, especially around power tools, often happen to the most experienced do-it-yourselfers. It is easy to get overconfident, skip safety measures to save time, and be careless. With a table saw or a sander, it takes only a split second and you can be seriously hurt.

For example, at a safety class, I heard one experienced woodworker tell how he cut off the tip of his thumb. Instead of using a pusher block on a table saw, he was pushing the wood with his hand. From the vibrations of cutting a lot, his hand was somewhat numb. He did not even realize he had injured his thumb until he tried to push another piece and he could not because the thumb was gone.

The first safety step is to always take a cellphone along to the toolshed so you can call for help. Have your own house phone number, your neighbor’s number, and 911 programmed in for one-button dialing. Memorize where the buttons are so you can do it even in the dark, because the accident may temporarily blind you.

For the greatest safety, install a large alarm bell on the outside of the toolshed. Wire it to a switch with a long rope all the way to the floor. Tie loops along the length of the rope so it is easy to pull even with injured hands or your teeth if you have to. The bell should be loud enough so your neighbors can also hear it. Make sure they know what it means.

Most of the typical injuries a do-it-yourselfer sustains are minor splinters, cuts, and scratches. Severe bleeding is usually not an issue with these types of injuries, so the main concern is cleaning and covering the wound so you can continue working.

For these types of minor injuries, your first-aid kit should include pointed tweezers; gauze pads; medical tape; a small, sharp knife; and Band-Aids. Include a bottle of sterilized water, antiseptic soap, and alcohol wipes.

For more serious cuts, particularly ones that cut an artery, most of the same items can be used, but you will need immediate medical attention. You can identify an arterial cut because the blood will gush out with each heartbeat. Include a strong wooden dowel rod and some larger cloth bandages in case you have to make a tourniquet.

Include a small bolt cutter to cut off the end of an object that impales the skin. This allows a bandage to be applied immediately. For debris in the eyes, include an eyewash kit (cup and solution) and cotton swabs. Adhesive eye patches are also good to cover the eye so that you tend to blink less often, reducing irritation and possible additional abrasion.

Epoch Times Photo

Related Topics
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244, or visit Dulley.com. To find out more about James Dulley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Creators.com. Copyright 2021 Creators.com
You May Also Like