The necessity to protect important employees with effective first aid practices exists whether the workplace is an office or a construction site. Both environments share these two characteristics.
Employees face a variety of hazards regardless of whether they work in a high- or low-hazard environment. Just a few of the first aid crises that might occur in your place of work include shock, bleeding, poisonings, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies, and agitated personnel in tight places. When workers are unwell, these hazards are increased. Their lack of focus could lead to expensive injuries.
If your staff are not prepared to address these types of injuries on all shifts and their coworkers are left untreated until an ambulance arrives, the victim’s health may worsen and their injuries may become much more incapacitating. This will result in increased medical expenses and decreased productivity.
Providing first aid and the necessary training to all of your staff is a smart business decision. You may earn significant returns and gain a competitive edge by making even a small investment in your employees’ safety and training. It’s also against the law.
In the absence of a nearby clinic or hospital, employers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to offer first aid and CPR training to employees. Although safety usually starts with prevention, not all workplace accidents can be avoided. Giving staff the skills and knowledge they need to treat an ill or injured individual, if required, until professional help arrives should be your main first aid training objective.
A workplace first aid responder can become competent to offer care with the skill training identified in this new and thorough program. These recommendations outline the minimal knowledge and abilities required for a person to offer basic life support care to an ill or injured person until professional emergency response arrives, in response to OSHA’s mandate that every employer provide first aid help in the workplace.
While establishing a first aid program can be easy and affordable, there are many crucial actions to take first:
Recognize that it is up to you to decide what your first aid program’s requirements should be as an employer. Consider the jobsite or work process that may result in employee illness or injury as you evaluate your workplace. What kinds of mishaps are conceivably possible at your place of employment? Think about problems like falls, dangerous machinery, and chemical exposure. For reference, make sure to put your assessment in writing. Just keep in mind that OSHA may assess your program’s suitability during an inspection even though it neither recommends nor approves programs.
Examine the proximity of a medical facility to your place of employment as well as its location. You must have at least one employee trained in first aid and CPR every shift if, for example, a hospital, clinic, or other similar emergency response is not immediately accessible within three to four minutes. The size and kind of operations at your business will determine how many trained employees you need to have on staff. It is critical that you have the right amount of staff who are trained since acting quickly can mean the difference between life and death.
OSHA recommends that you evaluate your kit on a regular basis and replenish your supplies as needed. Place your first aid items in a conveniently accessible location and make sure that all of your staff are aware of their whereabouts. Other essential materials, in addition to a well-stocked workplace-specific first aid pack, include emergency oxygen, blankets, stretchers, directional signs, eyewash stations, and burn stations.
Your training program should cover on-site safety inspections, hazard review, emergency dispatch, assessment, implementation, escape, and treatment. To avoid delayed treatment during an emergency, employees must be trained to respond and think swiftly. Consider whether each employee understands how to report an injury or illness.
Outline the accident investigation and reporting procedures and make them part of your company’s policy. It is critical to recognize and treat an injury or disease as soon as possible.
Employees must be aware of who to contact in an emergency. Post emergency procedures and emergency office phone numbers near your first aid supplies or in another easily visible and accessible location. Make sure your field staff have adequate supplies and office contact information on hand. Appoint someone in each department to keep an eye out for hazards and assess the department’s present first aid status. Establish a deadline for reporting any dangers or first-aid requirements to a manager or supervisor for improvement or correction.
Because people tend to lose their first aid training over time, OSHA recommends that refresher training be provided to employees to refresh their knowledge of first aid practices. Employees should be qualified to perform CPR and first aid at a minimum once every three years. If such training appears to be time-consuming, remember that it can result in safer workplace practices and fewer mishaps among employees.
Keeping the workplace safe entails three fundamental components: efforts to prevent or limit accidents; enough first aid supplies; and competent first aid training. The company employs training to ensure that its employees understand what to do, how to do it, and who is in control in the event of a first aid or emergency crisis.
Proper first aid training not only meets OSHA regulations but also generates good will among employees, who appreciate the effort their company does to offer a safe and healthy environment for its most valuable asset: its personnel.