First aid is the practice of providing immediate assistance to a person suffering a sudden injury or illness in order to preserve life. A first-aider is someone who has been properly trained to provide first aid by a competent first aid trainer. Do you have first-aiders in your workplace? Do you need first-aiders in your workplace?
Whether you work in a low risk office setting or a high risk industrial factory, there are many benefits to making sure you have employees who are trained in first aid. If you’re unable to hire new employees who are competent first aiders, consider starting your own in-house safety training programme. The small investment of providing training to your employees can pay off by lowering insurance premiums, reducing litigation and limiting amount of money paid to workers on medical leave due to a workplace injury. More importantly, you will have employees who are more aware of general safety and will be proactive in avoiding potentially dangerous actions thereby reducing on-site accidents. In the event that there is an accident or injury, your trained employees will be equipped with knowledge that will allow them to react appropriately to the situation and minimise the impact to the injured person by using the three Ps of first aid.
The first P is certainly the most important: preserve life. Preserving life is the primary goal of first aiders. This step begins with assessing the area and checking for danger before approaching the victim. If the surrounding area is safe, the first aider then addresses any immediate life-threatening injuries to the victim such as obstructed airways, circulation and deadly bleeding. An employee trained in first aid will know to identify these conditions and respond with swift action to clear airways, perform CPR or apply immediate pressure to wounds.
The goal of the second P is to prevent the victim’s condition from growing worse after preserving life. This step could be anything from keeping the victim from moving to moving the victim out of harm’s way.
The third P is all about promoting the victim’s recovery. The goal here is to help the victim recover more quickly by doing things such as dressing wounds to avoid infection and cooling burns to reduce scarring. It can also include relieving pain and comforting the victim.
Fast and competently administered first aid can mean the difference between life and death, speedy or prolonged recovery times and temporary or permanent disability. Having a first aid kit is not enough to protect your employees without the people who know how to use it correctly. Although many of the steps above sound like common sense, training your employees in first aid is the best way to make sure that your company is on the right side of safety. And if the safety of your employees isn’t motivating enough, reconsider the cost saving aspects of training your employees in first aid.