Understanding of workplace first-aid

There are four major components of workplace first-aid, namely; first-aider, first-aid, box, first-aid room, and first-aid equipment. When deciding on the number of first-aiders, first-aid box, first-aid room and first-aid equipment for the workplace, the following factors should be considered: type of industry, number of workers, number of work shifts, and location of workplace in relation to the nearest hospital or aid station.

If there is a shift work schedule, there should be a sufficient number of first-aiders for each shift based. In a work-site where employees of different employers, such as in construction, are working together. The principal employer should provide and maintain safe systems of work which include provisions for adequate and appropriate first-aider, first-aid box, first-aid room (if needed) and first-aid equipment.

However, the relevant employers may make arrangement where one of them agrees to provide adequate and appropriate first-aider, first-aid box, first-aid room (if needed) and first-aid equipment. The agreement should be recorded in writing and a copy of the agreement should be kept by each employer concerned.

An employer should display a notice, in a prominent place in the work-site, of the names and locations of first-aiders. First-aiders should also be provided with a form of identification for easy recognition. An employer shall, from time to time, recruit or select suitable persons to go for first-aid training. The employer should consider persons with the following qualities to be trained in first-aid: physically fit, free from blood borne infectious diseases, and free to leave their work immediately to respond to an emergency.

The training will be a course on first-aid conducted by institutions recognized by a governing body. The local telephone book will have many listings on companies given courses. Depending on the number of trainees, they will come to your workplace. Once trained, first-aiders will need to undergo recertification. Check with the course giver on years of validation. Employers should keep a record of the dates on which first-aiders obtained their training and the dates on which they received refresher training.

In the management of an injured worker or ill worker, first-aiders should:

  1. Give immediate first-aid treatment, keeping in mind that a casualty may have more serious injuries and illness
  2. Arrange without delay for the injured worker(s) to be sent to a doctor, hospital or home, according to the seriousness of this condition.

This first-aider’s responsibility ends when the injured are handed over to the care of health care personnel.

A record of the injury and treatment given by the first-aider should be made.

This record shall be kept by the employer for a period of five years.

The record should include information on:

  1. The immediate treatment
  2. Details about the incident/accident including information about the work process involved
  3. Details about injury or work-related illness
  4. Any referral arrangements made such as the usage of local ambulance service, referral to local hospital
  5. Subsequent injury management.

First-aid boxes should be made of sturdy material and be portable so that it can be taken to the site of an incident. The boxes should also be clearly marked and kept current with a written record of contents. Each first-aid box should be placed in a clearly marked area. Where a workplace covers a large area, an adequate number of first-aid boxes should be provided. Employees should be informed of the location of all first aid boxes.

First-aid boxes should contain a sufficient quantity of suitable first-aid materials.

They should not contain oral medication of any kind other than those required for first-aid treatment. It is essential that first-aid boxes be checked frequently so as to make sure they are fully equipped and all items are usable. Materials used should be replaced as soon as possible. The size and contents will be determined by the number of employees and type of industry. In the first-aid box, it is a good idea to have a quick reference sheet in first-aid and booklet. A quick reference sheet is handy for quick analysis of an injury. Send for one and we can e-mail one.


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