It’s always a good idea for at least one member of the crew to be trained in first aid techniques. It may as well be you… In the meantime, there are self-help and precautionary steps that everyone involved in PA work can take. First of all, here are some quick tips on preventing back strain when lifting and moving heavy gear.
— First of all, if the object looks like it’s too heavy for one person to lift, just get some help. Forget macho – how macho is it to be laid out in a hospital bed in traction?
— If you are going to tackle it yourself, think of the following word: BACKUP. It stands for the following:
Back straight – don’t curve your spine
Avoid stretching – keep the object close
Clutch firmly – get a good secure grip
Knees bent – helps with balance
Use your legs – let them take the strain
Putting down – do it the same way
If you’ve wrenched something, bashed something, cut something or you’re just generally feeling poorly, think on this: Hospitals are no friends of minor complaints, and in some countries treatment is uncertain and expensive. Or you might be stuck on a festival site, feeling ill, but too badly needed to leave. Or say you witness a fellow crewmember lying injured, and there’s no one else to help them…
Assistance could be at hand, in the form of a book like The Family Guide to Homeopathy by Dr. Andrew Lockie, which has some sound advice on first aid and ‘bodily disorder’ treatment, using homeopathic remedies where appropriate. The remedies listed can be safely self-prescribed and are low-cost. A basic first aid kit of about 20 types of ‘remedy’ pills, one tincture and five creams covers most situations – from burns, crush injuries, weird food poisoning, sprains, smog fumes and all manner of other minor troubles that stop you from giving 100 per cent.
Of course, if the injuries are plainly serious, or first aid doesn’t ease matters fairly quickly, or symptoms worsen, immediate hospitalization is advisable.
This article is reprinted with permission from The Live Sound Manual, published by Backbeat Books, www.backbeatbooks.com. All information is copyrighted and cannot be reprinted without the permission of the publisher.