The details and descriptions for mobile treatment services, including mobile medical units (MMU), mobile treatment centers (MTC), and emergency transport vehicles (ETV).
Safety on Construction Sites
According to WorkSafe BC (2018), the general construction industry has the highest percentage of injury claims across British Columbia. With an average of 155,753 injuries reported each year, this industry requires extreme precautionary measures to help keep workers safe.
Remote construction sites, especially high risk ones, often are situated in unique geographical locations, presenting challenges and often limiting access to healthcare services. These sites are often only accessible by rough, unpaved rough roads and are often physically isolated. Additionally, these sites are more likely to face extreme weather conditions, especially during the winter months.
These factors can pose a severe hazard to the general workforce in life-threatening situations. To mitigate these risks, medical treatment and transportation should be available to help keep employees safe on site. Designed specifically for remote and high-risk worksites, mobile treatment centers offer practical and proactive solutions for the construction industry, meeting the demand for medical care and transportation in emergency situations.
Mobile Treatment Centers
A mobile treatment center (MTC) is a small, medical unit designed to be mounted on standard trucks and four-wheel vehicles, with the intent to provide safe and urgent medical services. The versatility of these centers makes them ideal for remote construction worksites plagued with extreme terrain and weather conditions.
In alignment with BC Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Guidelines, MTCs are considered equivalent to an industrial ambulance. They are also equipped with:
- A sink with running water or an alternative system for supplying fresh, potable water
- Sufficient headroom in the treatment area for the attendant to treat the injured worker, with a minimum headroom of 1.8 meters (approximately 6 feet)
- A dressing station equipment
According to the BC OHS Guidelines, an MTC can be used in place of a first aid facility or emergency vehicle if the following factors are in place:
- The worksite does not provide overnight accommodation for workers
- If the worksite has more than two hours of surface travel time to the nearest hospital
- When used in place of a first aid room, the MTC contains the all necessary first aid room equipment
MTCs are versatile and provide immediate access to medical care when workers need it most. Most importantly, they function as both mobile medical units (MMU) and emergency transport vehicles (EVT), depending on the nature of the emergency. Further explanations on these terms are provided below.
Medical Treatment Centers as a Mobile Medical Units (MMU)
A Medical Treatment Center can function as a mobile medical unit, which is often stationed on-site to provide ongoing medical support for workers. These units are equipped with standard first aid supplies and emergency response equipment to provide medical care for injuries spanning from minor treatment to more advanced trauma.
Along with essential first aid supplies, MTCs are also outfitted with proper resources and equipment to accommodate first aid attendants with a variety of injuries and scenarios they may encounter. There is extra headroom, allowing the center to substitute into a standard dressing station or a first-aid room. It also carries advanced communication equipment, complying with communication standards for even the most isolated areas. These pieces of equipment include cellular phones, GPS units, and handheld radios.
There are times when an injury is too advanced to be treated in a mobile medical unit, and in times like this, the first aid attendant is responsible for transporting the patient for advanced medical care.
Medical Treatment Centers as an Emergency Transport Vehicles (ETV)
In case of an emergency where the patient needs to be transported immediately to a healthcare facility, a mobile treatment center can also transform into an emergency transport vehicle (ETV). The mobile nature of these medical centers allows for this type of application, where vehicles can move quickly and safely through harsh terrain and weather conditions. ETVs can access remote locations outside the limitations of the BC Ambulance Service, and can safely transport patients to locations where the ambulance service can then transport them to hospital.
Because MTCs are mounted on four-wheel trucks with certified roll-over protection, first aid attendants can ensure the safety of patients while transporting them for advanced care. ETVs are outfitted with all the necessary equipment for an emergency, meaning they are constantly ready to go. When time is of the essence, ETVs are capable of being dispatched to the accident scene within three to five minutes of an incident occurring, saving precious time when it matters most.
When minutes matter, mobile treatment centers have the ability to adapt to a variety of urgent medical emergencies. To ensure employee safety, remote and high risk worksites should consider having MTC as a convenient two-in-one service for their on-site treatment center and emergency medical transportation unit.
Kel-Dam First Aid Services is proud to provide construction sites with MTCs that are certified by WorkSafe BC. Our units and first aid attendants follow all OHS Guidelines to treat patients at the scene and during transportation to advanced medical centers. Functioning as both mobile medical units and emergency transport vehicles, our mobile treatment units are suited for any project and are prepared for any emergency.