The Importance of First Aid and CPR Training on the Job
Unpleasant though it may be, the fact remains that accidents do happen in the workplace. When accidents occur on the job, you cannot be a helpless witness, since simply standing by can potentially worsen the situation. This is why it’s so important to have at least a basic knowledge of first aid, and some lifesaving skills.
At its most basic, first aid is the initial assistance given to a victim of injury or illness. Comprised of relatively simple techniques that can be performed with uncomplicated equipment. On the job, first aid is usually carried out by a coworker until professional medical assistance arrives.
Most companies offer health and safety training for their employees. However, first aid and CPR are often overlooked. First aid and CPR trainings are critical for all employees and apply to every industry across the board. Whether the workplace is located on a construction site, in a factory or in a traditional office, every organization has employees who will benefit from first aid training. It is not a matter of “if”, but “when” the situation will occur. First aid training for your employees is essential for workplace safety.
5 Reasons Why Basic First Aid Knowledge Is Important
1. Helps to save lives.
A trained person is more reliable, confident and in control of themselves when an emergency arises. People who are trained are more likely to take immediate action in an emergency situation.
2. It allows the rescuer to provide the victim comfort.
Having someone trained in first aid can bring immediate relief to the patient. Being calm and assessing the situation helps the patient relax while their injuries are being treated and stabilized until emergency personnel arrive.
3. It gives you tools to prevent the situation from becoming worse.
In some situations, if a patient doesn’t receive basic first aid care immediately their situation will deteriorate – often rapidly. By being able to provide basic care you can stabilize a patient until emergency medical services arrive. You’ll learn how to use basic personal items as tools if a first aid kit is not available meaning that you’ll be able to cope with many situations.
You’ll also be trained in how to collect information and data about what happened and the patients’ condition. This information will be passed on to the emergency services, which saves them time – you will be a valuable link in the chain of survival.
4. It creates the confidence to care.
Having a basic first aid knowledge means that you’ll be confident in your skills and abilities in relation to first aid administration. By taking first aid training, it helps you to reflect on yourself and how you and others react in certain situations. Having this understanding will boost your confidence in a wide range of non-medical day to day situations.
5. It encourages healthy and safe living.
A trained person is better able to assess their surroundings. Knowledge of first aid promotes the sense of safety and well-being amongst people. Having an awareness and desire to be accident free keeps you safer and reduces the number of casualties and accidents.
Benefits of First Aid Training for Employers
1. Faster response during an emergency:
In the event of a work medical emergency, a fast first aid response can be the difference between life and death. Employees trained in first aid and CPR will understand the steps needed during an emergency, thanks to their increased confidence and preparation. A fast employee first aider response can reduce recovery time, leading to less lost productivity from injuries.
2. Reduce workplace accidents:
First aid training helps employees to be more mindful of safety in the workplace. When staff goes through first aid training, they become more aware of safety and can spot hazards and potential incidents before they occur. They also become more alert to their environment and will recognize potential problems more efficiently when they understand the risks and dangers of their environment. This leads to fewer accidents and injuries in the workplace. Minimizing risk to employees and decreasing workplace incidents benefits everyone.
3. A more positive work environment:
By offering first aid training to all employees, employers show their staff they care about cultivating a safe work environment. First aid training in the workplace can even be used as an excellent team-building exercise and morale booster.
4. Promotes teamwork:
First aid training is a great team building exercise. When your employees get the opportunity to learn a skill together, it brings them closer together. This is especially true with first aid training, as this skill will help your employees look out for one another.
5. Valuable life skills:
First aid training in the workplace is a life skill each employee can maintain through ongoing refresher courses. Your employees can now administer first aid and CPR to their family, friends and the general public effectively in an emergency.
First Aid Training and First Aid Kits go hand in hand
Individuals who want to prepare for medical emergencies or if they have an injury will want to have the appropriate first aid supplies ready to use. A basic first aid kit can be used to help reduce blood loss, infection, and future medical complications. Having a first aid kit on hand allows you to immediately treat injuries so the body can begin to heal. Everyone, including workers and travelers should keep a first-aid-kit close by to treat basic cuts, scrapes, burns, and other minor injuries.
What type of first aid kit do I need?
When choosing which first aid kit is right for your workplace, you first need to determine when and where it will be used and if there are environmental factors that should be considered. For example, a first aid kit that will be kept outdoors, should be waterproof, but an indoor first aid kit can be a nylon bag or compact box. If you need a first aid kit for a business, it’s important to select a kit that will be easily accessible for employees.
When determining the right first aid kit for your use, consider how many people the first aid kit needs to treat and the possible injuries that are likely to occur. Select the kit with the appropriate first aid supplies to treat that number of people and injuries.
What essential items should I keep in my first aid kit?
Every basic first aid kit should include the essential first aid supplies used to treat minor injuries including cuts, scrapes and burns. Depending on your use, you may want to include additional items that will treat possible injuries for your specific use including eye wash, cold packs, splints, CPR masks, gauze and medicines.
The following is a list of the basic first aid essentials that should be included in your first aid kit.
- Bandaids – keeping different shapes and sizes of bandages is always a good idea.
- Sterile Gauze Pads – Gauze pads absorb blood and protect the wound from infection.
- Gauze Roll – Wrap and protect a gauze pad or wound area from infection.
- Non-Latex Gloves – Reduce exposure from blood and other bodily fluids.
- Large Pressure Bandage – A combination of thick gauze pads and gauze rolls to stop bleeding.
- Antiseptic Wipes – Antiseptic wipes, peroxide, alcohol can all be used to clean wounds.
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment – Ointment used to help keep a wound site from getting infected.
- Eye Pads – Used to protect an injured eye and absorb drainage.
- Eye Wash – Sterile wash solutions are perfect to help rinse the eye or a wound site.
- CPR Shield – Barrier protects both victim and rescuer from bodily fluids during CPR.
- Tongue Depressors – Used for splinting or even applying ointments.
- Elastic Bandage – Used to help secure dressings, cold packs, wrap and protect an injured area.
- Triangular Bandage – Use as a sling, tourniquet or even to help splinting.
- Adhesive Tape – First aid or medical tape, holds gauze dressings and splinting material in place.
- Cold Packs – Instant, ready-to-use cold pack helps control swelling, sprains, fractures, burns and contusions.
- First Aid Book – Booklet offering pictures and instructions on how to give first aid.
- Scissors – Used to cut clothes, gauze or other items when providing first aid.
- Thermometer – Used to determine body temperature. It is an inexpensive and handy diagnostic tool.
- Penlight – This mini flashlight is perfect for looking in ears or throats.
- Tweezers – Remove splinters from under the skin.
- Aspirin, Tylenol or Motrin – Good for fever, swelling, pain and headaches.
- Antihistamine Tablet – Used for allergic reactions from food, insect bites and seasonal allergies.
- Anti-diarrhea Tablet – While traveling, consider including other meds like anti-diarrhea.
- Hydrocortisone – Treats skin irritations, redness and itchiness.
- Sting Swabs – Help provide relief from the discomfort of minor insect stings.
Consider these thoughts when deciding where you should store your first aid kit:
- Ensure the supplies are stored in a central location
- Everyone should know where the first aid kit is located
- Supplies should be easily accessible
- Every automobile should have a first aid kit
Workplace accidents do happen. Because of this, properly-trained individuals and the right first aid equipment helps ensure better safety for everyone. Without the proper first aid, a simple injury could turn into something much more severe. Many fatalities resulting from accidents and emergency situations result from lack of immediate medical treatment. First aid doesn’t just facilitate recovery. It helps save lives!