OHS Newsletter – October 2012 – First Aid – Part 2
FIRST AID FACILITIES
A risk assessment will assist in determining the type of first aid facilities. This could simply be a quiet, clean and private area within a workplace or it may identify that a first aid room or a health centre is required in certain workplaces.
A First Aid Room is recommended for:
Low risk workplaces with 200 or more workers
High risk workplaces with 100 workers or more
The contents of the first aid room should suit the hazards that are specific to the workplace.
A Health Centre located at a workplace is staffed by a registered health practitioner such as a doctor, nurse or paramedic and is equipped to provide emergency medical treatment to cater for the types of hazards in high risk workplaces such as a large mine site.
EYE WASH AND SHOWER EQUIPMENT
Eye wash and shower equipment may be permanently fixed or portable, depending on the workplace. Eye wash equipment should be provided where there is a risk of hazardous chemicals or infectious substances causing eye injuries.
A PCBU must ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid at the workplace or that workers have access to an adequate number of other people who have been trained to administer first aid.
As a minimum, the following ratios are recommended regarding the number of first aiders.
Low risk workplaces – one first aider for every 50 workers
High risk workplaces – one first aider for every 25 workers
FIRST AID TRAINING
First aiders should hold nationally recognised Statement/s of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for the nationally endorsed first aid unit/s of competency.
Apply First Aid provides competencies required to recognise and respond to common life-threatening injuries or illnesses, including life-support using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and to manage the casualty and incident until the arrival of medical or other assistance. In low risk workplaces, first aiders are sufficiently trained if they can perform CPR and treat minor illnesses and injuries.
Apply Advanced First Aid – provides additional competencies required to apply advanced first aid procedures. This type of training is suitable for some high risk workplaces.
Manage First Aid in the Workplace (Occupational First Aid) – provides competencies required to apply advanced first aid procedures and to manage a first aid room.
Provide First Aid in Remote Situations – provides the competencies required to administer first aid in a remote and/or isolated situation, including preparing for aero-medical evacuation. This type of training is suitable for high risk workplaces that are likely to have a major delay in accessing emergency services.
First aiders should attend training on a regular basis to refresh their first aid knowledge and skills and to confirm their competence to provide first aid. Refresher training in CPR should be undertaken annually and first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years.
First aiders may also need to undertake additional first aid training to respond to specific situations at their workplace. For example, first aiders should be trained to respond to anaphylaxis if this topic has not been covered in previous first aid training.
In Summary, you should:
- Develop and implement emergency plans and first aid procedures to ensure that workers have a clear understanding of how emergencies and first aid is managed in their workplace.
- Regularly review your first aid arrangements in consultation with your workers to ensure they remain adequate and effective.
- Ensure that your first aiders remain appropriately trained
- Regularly check the contents of all first aid kits
- Maintain first aid treatment records in a confidential manner
- Display well recognised First Aid signs to assist workers and other persons easily locating first aid equipment and facilities.
Further information and guidance is available in:
First Aid in the Workplace – Code of Practice
Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination – Code of Practice
Managing the Work Environment and Facilities – Code of Practice
AS1319 – Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment
AS4775 – Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment
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