With more workers returning to offices and other work locations, now is the best time to focus on workplace safety. First aid in the workplace is essential for keeping everyone safe, including workers, management, and visitors.
First Aid in the Workplace
A large portion of every day is spent at work. On average, Australian workers spend more than a third of their life in the workplace. Similarly, customers and other visitors spend a significant amount of time at offices, in the field, and in other work environments.
There are high chances that an emergency will occur in the workplace at some point. The incident may involve a few cuts or scrapes, or in severe cases, the emergency may require lifesaving intervention (such as heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.)
Providing immediate and effective first aid to people who suffer injury or become ill helps reduce the severity of the situation. First aid promotes recovery, and, in some cases, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Australian Workplace Code of Practice
Here are procedures to follow to help determine which measures should be implemented for effective first aid in the workplace.
- Hazard identification
The management consists of the manager, supervisor, or employer. They must identify hazards in the workplace. This can be done through staff consultation, feedback from workers and a review of the workplace hazard register. Look into past first aid records and be aware of medical conditions that exist in the work area.
In identifying hazards, consider the size and layout of the workplace, the number of workers, and the location of the nearest ER (distance, travel time, and contact details). Take into account the approximate ambulance response time in the location and the number of first aid incidents in the past year.
- First Aid Risk Assessment
First aid requirements may vary in every workplace across different industries. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to workers safety. Therefore, it is essential to consider all relevant factors when deciding on first aid measures to have in place.
Conduct a review on the type of work being carried out and the machinery and equipment that workers use. In a first aid risk assessment, the size and location of the workplace and the composition of people are considered. All these factors help determine which arrangement will work best for first aid in the workplace.
- Determine first aid controls
Identify and implement controls to address risk and potential hazards. These controls include the number of first aiders in the workplace, the level of training, first aid kit contents, equipment, location, and facilities.
- Implement first aid controls
Having enough workers as first aiders in the workplace is the most important measure of workplace safety. First aiders should hold a nationally recognized Statement of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organization (RTO) for a providing First Aid course or equivalent. For construction workers, additional requirements such as White Card Training is necessary.
Schedule regular monitoring of first aid kits to ensure that stocks are up to date and in good working order. Consider having first aid rooms and other first aid equipment, including adrenaline autoinjectors (EpiPen), automated external defibrillators (AED) and basic medications.
- Review and improve
Do an annual first aid review where the management and workers will identify preventative measures that could be done. Start implementing these recommendations for workplace improvement.
Workplace first aid needs will change from time to time. It is why we urge all businesses to do regular reviews of first-aid arrangements to ensure they remain adequate and effective.
Is it essential that all workplaces ensure the procedure complies with Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice. It serves as guidance on fulfilling legal obligations under OHS legislation.
This code of practice allows workers to handle emergencies effectively and prevent any harm. Prevention and safety should always come first, and we are here to help.
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