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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Training your designated first aider: Why every company should have one

Business first aid
Employee first aid programs help increase workplace safety
By Glenn Hughes

When it comes to the priorities in the workplace, the safety of all staff should be the first thing on the list. Many companies take a risk by not training any of their staff in first aid, putting everyone in danger. 

It is easy to say that nothing bad will happen, but what happens when something does? In the time it takes for professional medical help to arrive, a first aider could mean the difference between someone living and dying. Here is why your company should always include a designated first aider, and how achieving this is easier than many people think.

What is a first aider?

A first aider is exactly what the name suggests – a person who is qualified to deliver the first treatment to an injured person. They don't need to be a doctor or a nurse, just someone who has passed a suitable course and is equipped to deal with a workplace injury. Many people undertake some kind of first aid training during the course of their working lives, and see the qualification as something valuable to add to their skill set.

The legalities

The law regarding first aid in the workplace is quite easy to understand. The minimum requirements for a low-risk company such as a small to medium office should be that a first-aid box is available, and then a person qualified to use the equipment in the box and doing anything else to ensure that the injured person is safe. This may include calling an ambulance and following the advice of a medical professional. Employees must be aware of the first aid arrangements in their office, such as the location of a first aid box and the identity of the first aider.

It's easy to arrange

It is good idea to arrange some kind of first aid training for your workplace. There's no need to worry about the cost or the loss of your workers – most courses are inexpensive, and taking the course and passing the qualification takes very little time at all, with some courses lasting as little as one day. With minimal cost and very little loss of labour, there's no reason why a company shouldn't offer first aid training to its employees.

There's no excuse

As you can see, putting some kind of first aid system into place is not difficult. If you are in any doubt, contact a reputable company that specialise in health and safety training. You will be able to find out exactly what the process entails, and figure out what kind of training is most suited to your company. After all, if something bad did happen and there was no first aider present, the head of the company would have some serious questions to answer.

Some businesses, such as retailers or restaurants, have to concern their selves with the safety of the general public too. If you are in any doubt about putting a first aider in place at your company, push those doubts aside - bite the bullet and start the process today. For the sake of very little upheaval, the safety of your workforce could be ensured.

About the author: Glenn Hughes is a managing director of health and safety awareness course provider Zero Harm. He knows first hand the importance of keeping a firm's health and safety accreditation up to date and truly believes it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to training staff on basic first aid!

Image: Dreamstime; royalty free license