What happens when there is a quick medical emergency in the office?
Do you have a first aid kit to help you respond to the situation as you wait for professional medical help?
Accidents and medical emergencies will happen in the workplace even with the best risk management in place.
You need to ensure you have the capacity to respond to common workplace injuries and accidents.
What Are Some Common Workplace Accidents in NewZealand?
While setting up an office, you must ensure it is reasonably safe and healthy for your employees. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), this responsibility extends to anyone visiting the office. Workplace safety includes customers, suppliers and visitors.
Some common injury risks in the workplace you should watch out for include:
1. Lifting and Carrying Injuries
Lifting and carrying heavy objects around the office can lead to injury if:
- The load is too heavy or too large.
- The carrier must bend and twist when handling the load.
- You need to place or remove the load from a high shelf.
Lifting and carrying heavy and bulky objects can strain the back and other large muscles. You should watch out for injuries such as:
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Injuries to ligaments and the back
- Soft tissue tears
- Chronic pain
How to Prevent These Injuries
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of lifting and carrying injuries, for example:
- Get the right lifting equipment for your office. You can either buy the equipment or hire it when needed.
- Train your workers on proper lifting techniques.
- Invest in ramps and trolleys if you need to move things around on a regular basis.
- Install your racks and shelving at accessible heights.
2. Posture and Equipment Related Injuries
Spending long hours sitting and working on a computer stresses the body. In workspaces without the right furniture, this can lead to strains and injuries.
As more people spend time working on their computers and mobile devices, you need to prepare for posture-related injuries.
Wrong use of office furniture and equipment can also lead to serious injuries.
How to Prevent Posture and Equipment Injuries
- Equip your office with adjustable furniture and equipment to suit different users.
- Educate your employees and workers on the right working posture.
- Offer flexible working options such as standing desks or laptop stands.
- Provide extensive handling and safety training for all workers.
3. Slips and Falls at the Workplace
Slips and falls can lead to minor or major injuries. The severity of the injury will depend on the magnitude of the fall.
How to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Office
You can make your office safer by looking out for:
- Clutter around the office.
- Poor lighting, especially in high traffic areas.
- Damaged floors and broken tiles making the floor uneven.
- Water and other liquids on the floor.
- Poor workflow through the office space.
- Structural issues such as the absence of a rail on a staircase.
How Do You Respond to Workplace Injuries?
In case of an accident or injury in the office, you should call for medical help immediately. But, having a first aid kit can reduce the severity of the injury significantly.
Having a first aid kit in the office can save lives or prevent an injury from worsening. Equipping your office with the right first aid kit can prevent a routine injury from escalating into a life-threatening condition.
A basic first aid kit should help you:
- Treat cuts and scrapes.
- Clean and dress wounds.
- Attend to sprains and burns.
- Offer some OTC medication such as painkillers.
If you run a high-risk workplace, you can add more supplies to your first aid kit. You can speak to Alsco to help you assess the risks in your office. Thereafter, they will customise your first aid kit to suit your working environment.
For example, adding an eyewash station if you run the risk of employees accidentally touching their eyes after handling chemicals.
How Will a First Aid Kit Help You in the Workplace?
There are several benefits to having a well-equipped first aid kit in your office, namely:
1. Respond to Emergencies as You Wait for Help
Having a first aid keeps you ready to respond to a medical emergency or an injury.
The first aid kit will not help you cure an illness or an injury, but it can help you offer relief before help arrives. You can apply basic treatment to the patient such as stopping bleeding.
While equipping your kit, start by assessing possible injuries in your workplace. This will help you find the right mix of supplies for your first aid kit.
For example, a welding factory will need more burn supplies in their kit.
After the emergency, make sure you replace all the used supplies. You need to ensure the kit stays well-supplied at all times.
A quick response also helps reduce the recovery time for some injuries. This reduces the amount of time the patient spends in the hospital or on bed rest.
2. Reduce the Risk of Workplace Infections
You cannot keep your employees from getting hurt. But, you can offer the necessary protection in case of an injury. For example, having an antiseptic solution to clean a cut before dressing the wound.
Minor injuries in the workplace can escalate quickly, leading to life-threatening infections.
Besides, other workers on the floor can protect themselves from infection while responding to an emergency. Handling a bleed or exposed flesh exposes both the injured and the responder to infection.
A well-equipped kit helps ensure the patient gets the necessary help fast. It also helps to protect the people helping out.
3. A First Aid Kits Helps Save Lives
Having a first aid kit gives other workers the confidence and tools they need to respond to an emergency fast.
This response can make the difference between life and death in many workplace accidents.
A first aid kit can help save a life in different ways:
- If you have trained first aiders in the workplace, they will know how to manage most injuries as they wait for help. But, this is only possible if they have access to a well equipped first aid kit.
- Once you call for help, you can have the medical response team walk you through basic life-saving procedures using the available first aid supplies.
With a custom first aid kit, you can have access to equipment such as portable defibrillators. These make it easy for you to respond to cardiac issues, which cause up to 6,000 deaths annually in New Zealand.
4. Provide Emergency Medication in the Workplace
A good first aid kit will have a selection of medication to help you respond to different situations. A kit should have both preventative and remedial medication, such as:
- Pain relief medication
- Antacid tablets
- Cold relief medication
- Antihistamine liquid or tablets
- An EpiPen
- Alcohol wipes
- Antiseptic cream or ointment
5. Inspire Confidence in the Safety of the Workplace
Having a first aid kit on site inspires confidence in everyone in the office.
Your employees can go on with their work without worrying about your ability to respond to an injury or a medical emergency.
- Offering first aid training to everyone as part of their safety training. This way, everyone learns the basics of responding to different emergencies.
- Having a few people receive extensive first aid training and certification. This way, workers are confident of receiving the best emergency care possible as they wait for medical professionals.
- Customising the first aid kit to your needs. Make sure you have a safety assessment to identify the best supplies for your office.
How to Equip Your Workplace with a First Aid Kit
According to the New Zealand Health and Safety Laws, every business must have a first aid kit.
With Alsco’s managed first aid kit, you can keep your workplace safe and follow New Zealand’s safety regulations.
Once you sign up to Alsco, you can customise your kit to meet your needs at no extra cost.
Our first aid kit rental services guarantee you:
- A regularly stocked kit supplied every three months so you never have to worry about it.
- Customisation to ensure your kit meets safety standards in your industry.
- An all-inclusive and affordable annual charge exclusive to Alsco.
You can upgrade the safety in your office today with Alsco. Request a custom quote right now.