A workplace critical incident is a sudden and unexpected situation or event such as a fall, work zone intrusion, trench collapse, employee suicide or drug overodse. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a system of interventions designed for workers in the aftermath of a traumatic event. A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a group meeting led by a trained professional that gathers those affected, especially workers who witnessed the event, victims of the event and co-workers or supervisors close to the victim.
Impact of Critical Incidents
Critical incidents such as jobsite fatalities are not only devastating for the victim’s family, but can also be traumatic for workers who witnessed the event or were close to the victim. People respond to trauma in different ways and reactions can vary from person to person. Trauma responses can include physical symptoms such as fatigue, chills, chest pain or dizziness, cognitive symptoms like uncertainty, confusion, nightmares, poor attention span and poor concentration or even behavioral symptoms such as inability to rest, antisocial behavior, increased substance use and changes in appetite.
Addressing Critical Incidents
Addressing workers’ emotional and mental health during and after a critical incident can go a long way in making workers feel comfortable returning to work and reducing the long-term emotional impacts of the incident. Employers can use CISM and CISD to help affected workers cope with the stress and trauma brought on by a critical incident. The Fund encourages LIUNA signatory contractors to fill out this Critical Incident Reporting Form in the event of a serious injury, incident or fatality on your worksite. CISD services can also be requested using this form. Please contact Jamie F. Becker, Director, Health Promotion Division, at 202-383-2822 with any questions related to arranging CISD services.
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