Disaster can strike at any given moment. It could be when you’re having a night out with friends, at work, or even at home alone. And truth be told, not many of us are adequately prepared for when it does strike. Yes, we don’t have an advanced medical degree, nor are we nurses working at the NHS. But first aid at work does not require anyone to be a trained medical professional.
Education courses like first aid at work training teaches the trainees on how to perform a successful first aid in the case of an emergency. First aid at work training teaches an individual with the skillset on how to assist an injured person with temporarily. Therefore, this training plays an important role in maintaining the wellbeing of the workplace. An employee who is properly trained would be able to perform first aid when needed and can stop the situation from escalating. Therefore, it is your responsibility as an employee to provide your staff with adequate training. We only need to do so much so that the ailments of an injured person are not aggravated. Our duty of care only lies to the extent of the injured party not getting worse before receiving medical treatment.
Having a health and safety system in a workplace was instituted by the Health and Safety Act of 1974. This obligated employers to control and be responsible for the risks their workers were exposed to. A more detailed list of legislation on first aid at work may be found on the Health and Safety Executive Website.
It is thereto essential for any workplace to develop a first aid program. First aid training is simple enough for a layperson to understand and execute. So risks of aggravation during actual engagement are low. Nonetheless, there are basic guidelines for first aid at work that must be adhered to and complied with;
Usually, when someone sustains an injury, we freeze. Our minds cannot fathom the situation around us. And because of this, we cannot help or assist. Therefore, the first “do” of first aid at work is staying calm. We can understand and work accordingly to diffuse the situation if we’re relaxed and composed. We can interpret what is required in such a moment of peril. And we can calmly execute the necessary steps until a medical professional takes over.
Even if we don’t freeze, we aren’t calm, creating problems. It’d be challenging to interpret and understand what needs to be done. And given one’s inability to understand and develop the required solutions appropriately, things are more likely to worsen with either the injured party receiving no first aid treatment. Or a wounded party is receiving negligent first aid treatment. Both exponentially increase the risk of the wounded party sustaining aggravated injuries.
Properly Assessing the Circumstances at Hand
An injured party needs to receive first aid as soon as possible. But it is also essential for the person giving first aid treatment to assess the situation first calmly. It is difficult to see how proper first aid could be administered without adequately considering an injured party’s ailments. Another “do” for first aid at work would appropriately evaluate the scene. Evaluate the scene involves another set of “dos”;
Scanning for immediate danger, it is always necessary to check whether there is something in the area surrounding an injured person that could aggravate their injuries. It could be anything, from a sharp to a very heavy object. Eliminating it should be the priority.
Find the cause of injury; before administering first aid, knowing more about the ailment is important. One can better assist with the injury itself if one can understand the cause of the injury. It is also essential to note looking for what caused the damage requires the injured party to be approached. Only approach the injured party if it is safe to do so.
Call 111; once a cause of injury has been discovered, call 111. Always stay on the call with the operator until medical help arrives unless you are instructed otherwise by the operator. Ideally, ask a bystander to do so while you tend to the injured party.
Only administer basic first aid; if you do not know CPR, do not try it. It could make the situation worse. Do what you know to help, anything else might aggravate the injury, and instead of helping, you’ll be making things worse.
Knowing the Basics
It also helps to know about the most common injuries suffered at work so that one might equip themselves to administer first aid accordingly. The most common ailments at work are; heart attacks, strokes, seizures, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. If you’re undergoing training for first aid at work, try and get training for these particular ailments. You’ll be better equipped to understand the nature of the ailment at the very outset and appropriately administer the first aid required in such a scenario.
Another “Do” of first aid at work is protecting yourself. It complicates everything and ensures an injured party does not receive the necessary treatment, which could potentially contribute to aggravation. You don’t help anyone if, while administering first aid, you must also be administered first aid. It is essential to see if the surroundings are safe before approaching an injured party. If not, wearing the appropriate protective gear before approaching an injured party is ideal. If no such gear is available, wait for medical help to arrive.
In conclusion, first aid at work is always about being diligent. And making informed decisions. It isn’t about saving the day or acting heroically. You are not providing medical treatment. You are simply caring for an injured person until professional medical arrives and take over. Do not rush into anything, be diligent and observant. But firstly, learn how to stay calm. Many people lose their minds when they see blood, for example. And don’t understand how to stop the bleeding. The quality of your first aid training matters as well. An excellent first-aid training program will teach you all of this. So be sure to get yourself into a good one.