Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. Every year, thousands of people are subject to injuries. Work-related injuries are extremely common. About 84% of nonfatal injuries happen every day at work due to overexertion, slips, trips, falls, and strains. At times, however, accidents could be life-threatening. First-aid measures must be applied immediately to avoid further complications.
First responders and medical professionals are not always readily available during emergencies. In this case, the only person that could respond is you. That is why understanding basic first aid in the workplace is essential to create a safe environment within any business or organization.
What Is First Aid?
First aid is the fast, initial response to anyone suffering from a minor or major illness or injury. It is important to remember that first aid is not medical care. The goal of first aid is to provide temporary assistance to the Injured until professional help arrives. While it is highly recommended to go through some kind of first aid training, administering basic treatment can be done by anyone with basic knowledge.
Among the major benefits of first aid includes:
- It provides invaluable support to victims, as well as to emergency responders and medical practitioners. A person who can apply treatment becomes more than just another bystander. Your help can also make the victim feel safer and comforted. You will also be able to provide responders necessary information about the situation.
- First aid treatment saves lives. It is no exaggeration of how first aid could be a matter of life and death. The human brain can only last 6 minutes without oxygen. Immediate assistance can buy enough time until professionals can take over.
- Knowledge of first aid can also help you. Basic knowhow can help you make informed decisions when encountering any issues. It helps you become more aware of your own situation and surroundings.
Basic First Aid Procedures and Tips for the Workplace
First aid is incredibly helpful for people coming from different sectors. It can be applied both to kids and adults. When in high-risk environments, like factories and industrial plants, it is crucial that the workplace has trained first aid providers when no clinic or hospital is nearby.
These 6 basic first aid tips can go a long way in helping an injured person:
1. Understand the “Three Ps” of First Aid
The “Three Ps” of first aid are:
- Preserve life
- Prevent further injury
- Promote recovery
When in a precarious situation, it is often to easy to panic and forget what needs to be done. The 3 Ps are simple goals to remind you that you can provide assistance to save a person’s life, keep them from sustaining further injuries, and help them heal.
In the event of an injury at work, it is your goal to keep the person alive and safe so they can recover quickly when turned over to medical professionals.
2. Assess the Scene for Danger
Before you go and help an injured person, always check your surroundings for danger. Take a moment to analyze the area so as not to put yourself in harm’s way. The fact is, you won’t be able to help anyone if you are also injured.
Here are a few reminders of what you should assess:
- Survey the area for danger. Eliminate any potential hazards before rushing onto the scene. If you’re experiencing a terrible storm, see if it is flooding or if there are any fallen trees or unstable structures. If the scene is not safe, it is best to contact the emergency service immediately and leave it to them.
- Look for the cause of injury. If it’s safe to approach the victim, determine the cause of the injury. Know the person’s condition or where they might have been injured. These will be helpful to medical professionals later on.
- Do not move the injured person. It is important that you must not move the person until services arrive. Moving them could either shift any material, worsening the situation. Also, the injury could be internal. Let the professionals determine what’s the best way to move the injured individual.
- Call emergency services. Always call emergency services right away. You can also have a bystander place the call if you are occupied with applying first aid. Be sure to stay on the line to keep them well informed of the scene, unless the operator instructs you to hang up.
3. Remember the Good Samaritan Law
Wherever you encounter accidents, in your workplace, or even outside of work, you must provide help whenever you can. Good Samaritan Laws offer protection from liability to people who give the necessary help to those who are injured, ill, or in peril. This means you cannot be sued for injuries or death resulting from your actions as a rescuer. For example, you cannot be sued for breaking someone’s rib while performing CPR.
In Canada, Good Samaritan laws fall under provincial jurisdiction. While bystanders are not legally obligated (except Quebec) to help in an emergency, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia all have enacted Good Samaritan laws. In Quebec, a person has the general duty to provide aid to anyone in peril as detailed in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedom.
4. Know the Common Medical Conditions in the Workplace
When in the workplace, it is most helpful if you are aware of the most common medical conditions you may have to attend to. Familiarity with these may help you prepare the necessary kits and know what procedures to follow.
The most common medical conditions in the workplace include:
- Respiratory-related distress, such as asthma and choking
- Allergic Reactions
- Heart Attacks
- Burns, Cuts, and Scrapes
The more you are aware of these, the easier for you to notice the warning signs of these conditions, and the earlier you can administer first aid.
5. Always Protect Yourself
When administering first aid to the injured, always remember to also protect yourself. The only way you can be helpful and effective is if you are also not in danger. You must take the necessary precautions before you assist.
- Wear PPE.
PPE, or personal protective equipment, helps protect you from exposure. Examples of PPE include latex gloves, disposable masks, gowns, face shields, and goggles.
- Do not approach if the scene is unsafe.
Again, assess the scene for danger and eliminate potential hazards before providing assistance.
- Let someone with more training take over.
Help as much as possible, but if there is a trained or experienced individual, let them handle it. Assist by calling emergency services, fetching first aid kits, or keeping the area clear.
6. Prepare Yourself with the Right Gear
Knowing what conditions you might need to attend to is half the preparation. You must also equip yourself with the right gear. Make sure that you or your workplace has an accessible first aid kit.
Some first aid essentials are:
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Burn Gel
- Gauze Pads
- Medical Gloves
- Medical Instrument Kit
- First Aid Instructions
First Aid and Safety Training
Even a simple first aid administration can have a significant impact on your workplace. Having someone who has the basic knowledge in first aid can boost confidence and productivity. Employers should consider offering their employees the necessary training.
As people tasked to look out for the company’s safety and welfare, first aid, and safety training is an important requirement from many security guards. If you are aspiring to become a security guard and interested in taking first aid training and certification to broaden your skillset, Centre for Security Training & Management Inc. is the longest-running security training school in Toronto. Call us at (416) 750-4747 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.