Imagine witnessing an accident and being unable to help?
First aid is the immediate help given to an injured person before a professional arrives. First aid knowledge is invaluable in the workplace.
Workplace accidents can be a never-ending chain. When you think you’ve sealed all the safety loopholes, another accident happens.
What’s worse, accidents happen at the least expected times. They can throw your workspace into confusion. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, accidents can be upsetting and disruptive to the flow of work.
First aid training helps to reduce the impact of accidents in the workspace. Proper first aid also helps address injuries in the best way possible.
First aid knowledge is important because it:
- Can help save lives.
- Can reduce the severity of accidents.
- Provides relief to the injured party.
First Aid Requirements for Your Workplace
Every workplace has a legal obligation to provide first aid provisions for its workers.
As an employer, you are bound by law to provide first aid facilities and equipment to your employees.
Employees and employers are both required to work together in creating a safe workplace.
- Provide first aid kits and facilities at the workplace.
- Hire trained first aiders.
- Offer safety training to all employees.
- Accept training on safety.
- Report any potential hazards or threats.
- Conduct themselves in a safe manner.
First Aid Equipment and Facilities
Your workplace first aid must follow the health and safety guidelines set by the government.
There are essential items that should be in any first kit. These include:
- Tweezers and scissors
- Gauze pads
- Pain relief medication
- Instant cold pack
- Alcohol swabs
- Elastic bandages
- Defibrillator or AED
- Portable eyewash station
The video below shows you some basic first aid kit essentials.
A suitable room should be set apart to function as the first aid room. An ideal first aid room should contain:
- Telephone or means of communication
- Sink with running water
- Examination/medical couch
- Incident book where you record incidences and near misses
- First aid kit supplies
Every workplace needs to have trained first aiders on stand by. Employers are free to hire first aiders or to enhance employees’ training on first aid.
A proper needs assessment should be carried out to determine the number of first aiders required.
Note: The number of first aiders should be enough for your workplace. First aid staff should be scheduled at all times when there are staff working in the facility.
Maintaining Your First Aid Kit
You may have your workplace stocked with all the first aid essentials. But when was the last time you looked into their maintenance?
First aid supplies need to be well maintained to make them ready in case the need arises.
Inspect the First Aid Kit
Inspection of the first aid kit involves checking that all the items are available and ready to use. It also means organising the items in a way to make them accessible in times of emergencies.
Remember to check for the following:
Damaged or Contaminated Items
In an accident, your main aim is to save lives and ease discomfort. Avoiding further contamination is an important way to ensure this happens.
While inspecting your first aid kit, make sure you remove any damaged or contaminated items.
Dispose of these items and take note so you remember to restock.
Expired items in a first aid kit pose a potential threat to injured workers. Make sure you remove any expired items.
Check the expiry dates on each of the packages. This will help you organise your first aid kits and prevent the use of expired items.
Items should be made available so that the first to expire are at the front and the newest products are placed at the back of the queue.
Depending on your work environment, some first aid items will be used more than others.
Take note of the items that are more frequently used. Reviewing will help you plan your restocking better. It may also help you identify common hazards in your workplace.
Sanitise Your First Aid Kit
Accidents have a way of throwing everyone into confusion. In an emergency situation you have no control over who grabs the first aid supplies first.
Ensure first aid supplies are well sanitised to prevent further contamination. Follow these steps in sanitising:
- Empty all the contents of your first aid kit.
- Put on a pair of latex gloves for your protection.
- Remove all contaminated items which shouldn’t be there.
- Spray and disinfect all the items one by one.
- Once done, organise all the items and return them to their designated places.
Note: Do not forget to disinfect all the shelves and cabinets where the kit is kept.
Restock the First Aid Kit
Keeping a list of damaged, contaminated and expired items makes restocking easier.
Different workplaces also have different usage patterns. Knowing your workplace usage patterns will make it easier for you to know what to replenish.
Consider a managed first aid kit from Alsco New Zealand. Instead of restocking the kits yourself, Alsco will replace the expired, used and contaminated items in your kit, all for one yearly fee.
Are You Ready to Make Your Workplace Safer?
This article is a resource to get you started creating a safer workspace.
As you have already learnt, there is a lot that goes into creating a safe, first aid compliant workplace.
Alsco New Zealand has a wealth of experience on first aid at the workplace. They have you covered with top range first kits as well as other first aid solutions for 2020.
Do not hesitate, get in touch and discover their cost-effective first aid solutions for all your safety needs.
You can have a peace of mind with Alsco’s managed first aid kit rental service. The fully managed service provides legislation compliant products throughout the year.
Why Choose Alsco?
- Managed first aid kit: Services tailored to meet all your needs.
- Hospital-grade supplies: High-quality, long-lasting first aid supplies.
- Colour coded modules: Well-labelled supplies which save time in an emergency.
- Fast and reliable service: Regular restocking and servicing for your first aid kits.
Make your workplace first aid ready today.
Photo: Durrah Ramli