Employees Need First Aid Training
Your workplace could be an office or a construction site but it has two common traits – valuable employees who may be injured or become ill and the need to protect them with adequate first aid procedures. So it goes without saying that your employees need first aid training.
It might not look like a priority but bear with me as you read further and understand the need.
Your employees are paramount in a company’s profitability and therefore you should not overlook their good health and resulting productivity. Due to the fact that Nigeria has very poor data collection, we cannot estimate the money and workdays lost due to unintentional injuries. In America, it was estimated by the National Safety Council that in 1997, there were more than 80 million lost workdays due to unintentional injuries.
Whether employees work in a high-hazard or low-hazard environment, they face a variety of risks. Shock, bleeding, poisonings, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies and distressed employees in confined spaces are just a sampling of the first aid emergencies which might be encountered in your business. These risks are compounded when employees don’t feel well. Their lack of concentration can result in costly injuries.
If your employees aren’t prepared to handle these types of injuries on all shifts and their coworkers are left untreated until medical help arrives, the casualty’s condition may worsen and injuries can become far more debilitating, which leads to greater medical costs and lost productivity.
It makes good business sense to provide first aid and appropriate training to all your employees. By making such a minimal investment in keeping your employees safe and well-trained, you could net big returns, along with a competitive advantage. Moreover, it’s the law. Since 1982, it has been a legal requirement that adequate first aid equipment, facilities and personnel to give aid are provided at work. If injury is serious, the casualty should be seen by a medical personnel as soon as possible.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires businesses to provide first aid and CPR training to employees in the absence of a nearby clinic or hospital. While safety always begins with prevention, not every work-related injury can be prevented. Your primary first aid training goal should be to give employees the necessary tools and information they need to care for an ill or injured person, if necessary, until advanced help arrives.
It is your responsibility as an employer to determine the requirements for your first aid program. As you assess your workplace, be mindful of the jobsite or work process that could cause illness or injury to employees. What types of accidents could reasonably occur in your workplace? Consider such things as falls, hazardous machinery and exposure to harmful substances. Be sure to put your evaluation in writing for reference purposes.
Is there a medical facility close to your workplace? If a hospital, clinic or other such emergency response is not readily available, for instance, within three to four minutes, you must have at least one employee trained in first aid and CPR per shift. There is no recommended number of trained employees to have on staff; it largely depends on your facility’s size and type of operations. Responding in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death, so it is crucial that you have an appropriate number of employees trained.
For organizations in multiple sites, such as construction operations, a larger number of employees must be trained. Many experts believe all employees should know how to provide first aid and CPR to ensure that help is always at hand. At a minimum, each department or location should have a responder available on each shift.
Make sure you have suitable first aid supplies readily available at all times. There are basic contents of a first aid kit for small work sites. However, larger or multiple operations should consider the need for additional first aid kits and additional types of first aid equipment and supplies in larger quantities. We recommend you periodically assess your kit and increase your supplies as needed. Place your first aid supplies in an easily accessible area and inform all your employees of its location.
Employees must be aware of emergency contact information. It is best to post emergency procedures and emergency office contact numbers with your first aid supplies or in another highly visible and accessible area. Make sure that your field personnel also have suitable supplies and office contact numbers readily available.
Since people tend to forget their first aid training over time, it is recommended that refresher training be conducted to recharge employees’ knowledge of first aid procedures. At a minimum, employees should be certified annually to perform CPR and once every three years to perform first aid. Do not think of this as burdensome, consider that it can produce safer work practices and fewer incidents among employees and best of all, less lives lost.
Keeping the workplace safe involves three basic elements:
- Steps to prevent or minimize accidents,
- Adequate first aid supplies and
- Proper first aid training.
The employer uses training to make sure its employees know what to do, how to do it and who is in charge in case a first aid or emergency situation occurs. Proper first aid training not only satisfies legal requirements, but fosters good will among employees, who recognize the care that their company expends to provide a safe and healthy environment for its most valuable asset: its employees.
Culled from www.ehstoday.com