First Aid at Work
Every year thousands of people are injured or fall sick at work – some seriously.
A quick first aid response can mean the difference between life and death, or can reduce the severity of the injury. There is also a legal requirement for workplaces to take all practicable steps to provide first aid facilities under the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995, and to have procedures for dealing with emergencies under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act).
First Aid for Workplaces – a Good Practice Guide can help you manage first aid needs in your workplace. This guide takes into account recent regulatory changes, including the withdrawal of the Factories and Commercial Premises (First Aid) Regulations 1985. It can be downloaded from http://www.osh.govt.nz/publications/booklets/first-aid-2009/
There is also a first aid at work fact sheet that summarises some key points from the guide, and is particularly relevant to small to medium businesses.
What first aid does my workplace need?
First aid requirements at work fall into three categories:
- Suitably stocked first aid kits and facilities
- Where needed, an appropriate number of trained first aiders
- Information for employees about first aid arrangements.
The Guide and factsheet contain suggestions to help you organise your first aid kits and facilities, first aiders and information for employees.
But exactly what’s needed at your workplace will depend on your individual circumstances.
Some workplaces have greater risks of injury and illness because of the sort of work they do. These risks are important in deciding first aid requirements, because different first aid may be needed for different activities. Circumstances that can affect your first aid needs include hazards common in your industry or workplace, dangerous chemicals or machinery used, dangerous activities like working at heights, the number of employees, and how far away you are from medical help.