The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reports construction site accidents as the second-leading cause of death for workers in the state. Even seemingly minor construction accidents can also cause significant injuries.
A personal injury as simple as stepping on a nail can lead to a serious injury. And this type of injury involving a nail often occurs on construction sites. If you step on a nail, there are ways to prevent the injury from getting worse.
Make sure your hands are clean
Avoid touching your wound if your hands are dirty. You can transfer germs from your hands to the wound. The transfer of germs can possibly result in an infection.
Check for bleeding
The wound from stepping on a nail may or may not bleed. If there is bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Applying pressure will also help the wound start to clot. Avoid using too much pressure, as that will increase bleeding and pain.
Cleanse the wound
A nail lying on the ground is likely covered in germs. You might see that the nail is covered in dirt or rust. Tetanus-causing bacteria is often found in dust and dirt common on construction sites.
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that can cause serious complications. To reduce your chances of developing tetanus, clean your wound as soon as possible.
You may need a pair of tweezers to remove small pieces of debris from your wound. If possible, sterilize the tweezers with alcohol before use.
Apply a topical antibiotic salve and wrap the wound
An antibiotic cream will decrease the chances of your wound becoming infected. After you’ve applied the cream, apply a bandage to your wound. Change the bandage at least once a day and keep the wound clean.
Professional medical care is possibly necessary if your nail wound is extremely deep, painful, bloody and dirty. You may need a tetanus shot and additional medical attention.