FIRST AID IN THE WORKPLACE
If you are the designated First Aider in your workplace then there are some special conditions and have responsibilities that you should be aware of.
- As a First Aid officer, you are in control of the first aid kit. Your employer is responsible for ensuring the first aid kit is properly stocked.
- The names, location, and contact details of first aid officers should be available to all staff. It should also be displayed in common place
- An incident/accident report form must be completed after every incident and forwarded through the appropriate channels for action by the OHS committee.
- Your workplace has specific requirements for reporting any incident, including near misses, action required in case of an emergency, and levels of training required by first aid officers among other things.
- As a first aid officer, you should make yourself aware of those specific requirements.
It is important that all incidents requiring first aid are reported correctly. Each workplace has a system of reporting that must be adhered to. If the incident is not a workplace incident correct reporting is also important in case of insurance or legal implication. Correct incident reporting is important to ensure:
- The history of the incident is available to hand on to medical professionals.
- OHS committee can act to prevent a repeat of the injury
- Appropriate information is available to relevant parties It Should contain
- Name of casualty
- Time of the incident
- History of incident
- Signs and symptoms
- Action taken
- Assistance sought-time
- Name and contact details of the first aider
- Name and contact details of any witnesses to the incident
SAFETY FOR FIRST AIDER
Do not put yourself in any danger while you are managing the incident.
Some of the dangers you may need to be aware of are:
- Infectious diseases.
In any first aid situation, you must consider your own safety first. This is sometimes very difficult to do when you are aware that the casualty needs urgent assistance. If you put yourself at risk and become a casualty, the situation has worsened, not improved.
A. INFECTIOUS DISEASES
- Meningococcal meningitis.
- Methods of transmission
- Skin to skin contact.
- Airborne particles.
- Body fluid.
You must assume that anyone you are assisting may suffer a contagious disease. For any infectious disease, protection comes in the form of a barrier.
- Gloves, Latex, vinyl or Nitrile gloves give protection to your hands.
- Hand washing before and after using gloves gives added protection.
- Gloves should be disposed of appropriately.
- Face Shield In the case of giving CPR it is advisable to use a face mask to protect from saliva-borne and direct contact infections.
- If there is any spattering of body fluid it is important to protect your eyes from exposure.