January 28, 2015

Are you providing adequate First Aid?

As an employer you must ensure that adequate levels of first aid are provided.

Accidents and sickness are not planned events and can happen to any one at any time. Your workplace does not have to be high risk for an accident to occur. If one did, what would you do? How would you manage?

The delivery of first aid could quite literally be the difference between life and death in a medical emergency situation.

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, this includes ensuring that employees can receive immediate attention if they are injured, or taken ill, at work.

When an accident or illness occurs in the work place there is always a lot of emotion expressed by people wanting to help

However, doing something with good intention may not always be the right thing to do and in some instances, may cause more harm then good when done in a panic.

It is easy to see why every workplace needs first aid arrangement in place, even in small low risk work environments there should be people appointed who know what to do in the event of a medical emergency while you are waiting for medical professionals to arrive.

As the employer you must provide clear instructions, information, and adequate training, for your employees.

The provision of first aid training for nominated persons who can take appropriate action to help persons injured or suffering from major illness in the workplace is part of your management responsibility

And more importantly, having staff with first aid skills and knowledge will reduce panic and confusion in a demanding medical situation

Not all business need the same level of First aid arrangements or trained staff   it will depend on your business, and a first aid needs assessment should take account of:

  • The hazards and risks present (higher risk environments need more training)

The workforce (number and vulnerability of your staff and visitors / clients)

  • The workplace (if your business has various sites they will all need appropriate cover)
  • Lone workers will need to have emergency point of contact

Employers can use the findings of their first-aid needs assessment to decide the appropriate level to which first-aiders should be trained.

What do we mean by a first aider? It is someone who has been trained by a competent first aid training provider in the delivery of first aid at work or emergency first aid at work, and has the appropriate level of first aid training to provide first aid at work?

Appointed person (AP) some one appointed to look after first aid equipment and facilities and call the emergency services when required.

Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) training enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work.

First aid at work (FAW) some one who has done training appropriate to the level identified in the needs assessment

Additional training where specific needs have been identified with in the work place assessment such as:

  • De fib use
  • Child care
  • Schools
  • Vulnerable people
  • And where required, additional first aid to cover asthma management, administration of the EpiPen; or excursions, specific educational programs or activities.

First aid training provision will comply with the law create a safe environment and equip people with skills that can save lives

Staff who practice first aid should have their:

  • Position descriptions updated to reflect this extra responsibility.
  • Notices to enable contact location in the workplace telephone number
  • Location first aid box
  • They must receive regular updated refresher training to ensure compliance

Need some Health & Safety policy advice? Contact us anytime and we’ll help your business become Health & Safety compliant.

Want a round-up of stories like this delivered to your inbox?

About the author

Stacey Rowe