What Are the 5 Main Aims of First Aid?



First Aid Box

It is impossible to predict when will an accident happen in the workplace. However, it is the employer’s duty to do everything in their power to prevent accidents and provide access to first aid to their employees and everybody who frequents their workplace.

The 5 main aims of first aid are:

  1. preserve life
  2. prevent the escalation of the illness or injury
  3. promote recovery
  4. pain relief
  5. protect the unconscious.

Preserve life – while the first aider is the person who has the certificate for the first aid, they are not medical professionals. They can do their best to make sure the patient is given the basic care and they can help treat minor injuries like cuts and scrapes that don’t need routine or emergency attention.

However, in case of severe situations that are a threat to the patient’s life, they do not focus on providing care but on preserving life long enough until the ambulance arrives

Prevent the escalation – again, the efforts of the first aiders are directed toward prolonging the time the patient has until the ambulance arrives. If the patient is bleeding profusely, the first aider will not stitch the wound, but they will do their best to stop the bleeding until the ambulance arrives. In that way, they will prevent further complications and health deterioration.

Pain relief – this is done only if it is in any way possible and it doesn’t present a risk to the patient. Some pain relief medications can be dangerous in case a person is bleeding. Therefore, if not sure if the pain medication is appropriate, it is better to ask the medical experts first.

Protect the unconscious – one of the important factors in administering first aid is protection and safety for both the patient and the first aider. Moreover, this extends to the people who are nearby, as well.  Protecting the unconscious can mean removing them from a dangerous situation, like fire, flooded space or road with traffic.

Promote recovery – every action that a first aider takes should be in the direction of helping the person who has suffered an injury or sudden illness get better.

Promoting the recovery usually means using the first aid kit. It is packed with supplies that are necessary for the first aider to be able to help the person in need. You can understand that the time of providing the first aid is crucial. If your first aid is not well-stocked or it is not there at all – that is a big problem.

Let Alsco NZ provide you with all the necessary first aid kits for your workplace and always be ready for an emergency.

As you know, children are most prone to accidents. So, if you work in a school, your duty is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for them.

You could start with the washrooms. The Ultimate School Washroom Guide will help you learn how to address major washroom health and safety concerns according to the New Zealand standards.

What Are the Types of First Aid?

The two types of workplace first aid in New Zealand are:

  • Basic first aid
  • Workplace-specific first aid

The basic first aid contains all those types of assistance that you would expect from a first aider to know about. These include:

  • Dealing with cuts, scrapes, grazes, burns and other minor injuries
  • Managing eye injuries of different kinds
  • Immobilising fractures, sprains and strains of joints
  • Preventing choking
  • Stopping the excessive bleeding
  • Helping unconscious patients

More or less, those are the areas that the most basic first aid course covers. These courses are not places where first aiders learn to treat people, but simply to offer the first aid that will buy some time and prevent the situation from getting much worse.

Workplace-specific first aid courses in New Zealand are easily organised with the institutions that offer the basic first aid courses. These are the training sessions that focus on the specific dangers that can occur in the workplace.

For example, if you have a touring business and the most of your tours are by boat, your first aiders need to be ready to administer first aid for people who had near-drowning experience, hypothermia or sunstroke.

What Are the 10 Items in a First Aid Kit?

There is no legal requirement about what you need to put in a first aid kit. However, you can expect to find the following 10 items in almost any workplace kit.

  1. Bandages of different kinds
  2. Adhesive tape and bandages
  3. Sterile gauzes and eye  pads
  4. Wet wipes
  5. Antibiotic ointment
  6. Saline solution
  7. Clasps and safety pins
  8. Scissors and tweezers
  9. CPR mask
  10. First Aid Guide that includes first aider phone number

However, the nature of your workplace will determine the contents of your first aid kits. Workplaces that involve ovens, open fire and similar hazards will need more antibiotic ointments and gauzes than anything else. Keep that in mind when choosing the first aid supplies.

What Are the Types of First Aid Kits?

Not all first aid supplies are the same. These, again, should be positioned and packed in a way that ensures the most convenient use. Mostly, all the first aid kits are:

  1. First aid cabinets – This means that this type of first aid supplies is not movable in its entirety. You can open the cabinet and take the supplies you need from it, but you cannot carry them all at once. The good side of this type of first aid kit is that you always know where it is. The bad side is the impossibility to move it.
  2. First aid kits – This is usually the most common way to pack supplies. You can grab the entire kit and take it with you directly to the place of the accident. That saves time and prevents making several trips for this item or that during the treatment. On the other hand, there is a possibility for this first aid kit to be misplaced.
  3. Vehicle first aid kits – These first aid kits are specially designed so they can be placed inside the vehicles at all times. New Zealand companies that have vehicles are required to have a first aid kit in each of the vehicles.

Alsco New Zealand has decades of experience in dealing with workplace first aid. You can trust us to offer you the most effective and cost-efficient solution for your company. Don’t worry about what happens when you use your first aid kit or whether you will have to think about the expiry dates. For a fixed annual rate, we do that for you. Learn more about Alsco NZ rental first aid kits.


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Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.