Providing first aid is an integral part of every workplace. When employees suffer an injury or they are taken ill while at work, it is the employer’s duty to make sure that employees receive instant care and attention. According to the Health and Safety Executive, all businesses must stake into account the nature of their business and the workplace surroundings before deciding on the type of first aid arrangements to settle for.
Although life-threatening emergencies may not occur in all workplaces, there is a high possibility that at some point every workplace will pose some risks that could lead to minor or major injuries. The HSE has outlined that as a minimum, all businesses must have an appointed first aid staff member who can ensure that emergency health services are contacted and first aid kits are stocked up if and when injuries and illnesses take place.
Some things you might want to consider when implementing first aid in your workplace include:
Before implementing first aid, it is important to establish whether your business has low or high level hazards. Low level hazards a can be found in jobs that include retail tasks, training or teaching, office work etc. and they usually entail low risk activities. If your workplace falls under this category of hazards, then as a minimum there should be a fully stocked first aid kit as well as an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements.
High level hazards can be found when working in the presence of hazardous substances, tools, equipment and machinery used for cutting and drilling. As these types of tasks involve moderate to high risk activities, they would need immediate or emergency medical attention. If your business involves working with high level hazards then it is important to ensure that first aiders are present, they have had training in dealing with special hazard injuries and there is an availability of additional first aid equipment.
The number of people working on the site and their level of experience is also another important factor that should be taken into consideration. Depending on the number of employees, there should be an appropriate numbers of first aid staff available onsite as well as suitably stocked first aid kits and, in some cases, additional first aid equipment should also be available.
Accidents and Illnesses Record
Nearly all businesses have a process of recording accidents and illnesses. If your workplace doesn’t then ensure that any injuries, accidents and illnesses are recorded thoroughly with information about where they happened. Being aware of hazards in your workplace can help to ensure that your first-aid provision caters for the type of injuries and illnesses that are likely to occur. It is extremely vital that accidents are monitored and first-aid provision is reviewed on a regular basis.
Working arrangements of employees can change depending on the needs of the business. According to the HSE, the provision of first aid also depends on whether your employees travel for work, if they work in shifts or work out of hours. It is also important to consider the type of building your business is located in; is it based in a multi-storey building or are there multiple buildings on the site? You should also consider the distance of emergency medical services from your workplace and whether you should have emergency transport in place if you are remotely located.
Click here to read more about HSE’s guidelines on first aid provisions in the workplace.
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