Summary: Is your workplace capable of giving immediate care during emergency cases?
Workplace first aid readiness can mean the difference between life and death. A quick response can reduce the severity of the injury.
It is a legal requirement for employers to provide first aid facilities in the workplace, as stated in the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995. However, the process to first aid readiness may be a bit complex.
If you want a fully managed, hassle-free, safety solution, contact Alsco now.
Why is Workplace First Aid Important?
According to the Workplace Health and Safety Strategy for New Zealand to 2015, there are about 100 work-related fatal injuries in New Zealand every year. More so, approximately 17,000 to 20,000 new cases of work-related diseases are reported annually. Over 200,000 occupational injuries result in ACC claims.
First aid in the workplace covers the arrangements for employers to ensure that employees receive immediate attention in times of illness or injury. It also includes calling an ambulance in serious cases.
First aid can save lives in a number of situations. For instance, immediate CPR treatment can increase the chances of survival for heart attack.
First aid readiness can also protect your business. Providing immediate and effective first aid to injured workers may help speed up recovery. They may be able to return to work quicker, with lesser treatment costs.
What Does the Law Say About Workplace First?
Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 was created to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces by eliminating or minimising risks, promoting the provision of information and training, and providing the right facilities.
Employers are required to take all steps to ensure:
- First aid facilities are provided at every workplace
- Facilities are suitable for the purpose for which they are used
- Facilities are provided in sufficient numbers
- Facilities are maintained in good order and condition
- All employees have access to these facilities
How to Do a First Aid Needs Assessment?
To identify your first aid needs, a workplace assessment should be completed. Some circumstances can affect your first aid necessities.
Low-risk workplaces only need minimum arrangements, such as a stocked first-aid box. For workplaces with greater health and safety risks, they are more likely to need a first-aider.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What are the hazards present?
It can be physical, environmental, chemical, or biological. For example, working at heights provide greater risks for fall. Or, working under an open heat of the sun can result in sunburns. Work processes like cleaning machinery also create hazards.
How many employees are in the workplace?
The number of workers will affect the facilities you need, including the volume of supplies. It will also determine the number of first aiders you need. Make sure that the first aid provisions cover all hours when employees are working.
What is the layout of my workplace?
The size and layout of the workplace matter. First aid should be readily accessible to all employees upon minutes of emergency situations. You need to consider how long it will take for a first aider to reach the injured or ill person.
How can location affect my first aid needs?
Employers should also take into account the proximity of the workplace to medical centres, hospitals or ambulance service. For those situated in remote areas, find out how long it takes for emergency services to reach the workplace.
How many first aiders do I need?
The hazards in your workplace, the nature of work, the number of your employees, and location will determine the number of first aiders you’ll need. For instance, an IT company close to a medical centre, with three employees, may no longer need one.
The Core Elements of First Aid Readiness
First aid readiness offers obvious benefits for both your employees and your business. It can also help you with reduced claims costs associated with workplace injuries. Here are its three core elements:
1. Resources and equipment
A fully-stocked first aid kit, with clear first aid signage, should be found in each place where people are working, including work vehicles. Supplies should be enclosed in a sturdy material to protect contents from contamination.
For high-risk workplaces, such as those located in remote areas, first aid rooms may be necessary. First aid kits must be checked regularly. Items should be replenished after use, and replaced before the expiry date shown on the packaging. Nothing other than first aid equipment or related equipment should be in the kits.
2. Accredited first aiders
A first aider should be available during work hours and provided on all shifts. Low-risk workplaces are required one first aider for every 50 workers. High-risk workplaces need one first aider for every 25 workers.
First aiders are required to undertake annual refresher courses in CPR and renew their qualifications every two years. Training should be carried out by people who work for an organisation accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
3. Procedures and drills training
All employees must be given clear information about first aid available in the workplace. They should know the location of first aid kits and first aid rooms. Communication channels should be clear in case of an emergency.
Employees need to be introduced to first aiders so that they know their names and where to find them. For high-risk workplaces, employees need to be trained in basic first aid procedures, and what to follow when needed.
Give your workers an extra dose of confidence by letting them know that their safety and wellbeing is taken care of. Alsco offers best-practice solutions for your business to get you first aid ready and compliant.
Alsco’s serviced first aid kits have the following advantages:
- Their dedicated team does all the checking
- They make first aid kits sturdy, well mounted, and portable.
- Supplies are hospital-grade and auditable to WHS guidelines.
- They offer a scheduled maintenance program.
- Fees are inclusive of consumables with value for money.
Be first aid ready! Visit www.alsco.co.nz to discover the services Alsco can provide. Fill out our enquiry form and we will contact you shortly.
Photo Courtesy: Reytan