CPR First Aid

Principles/Priorities of First Aid Practices

Priorities of First Aid Practices

Safe Manual Handling

Manual handling includes pulling, pushing, lifting, moving, carrying, restraining or holding any person or object.

safe manual handlingAssessing the situation and the load:

  • Can you move the person yourself, or is help required?
  • How far will you have to move the person?
  • Is the pathway of the work environment clear or cluttered?
  • Are there any manual handling aids available? (sheets / lifting equipment etc.)
  • Test the weight by lifting the corners, or tilting the object
  • Ask for help if it is too heavy

good lifting techniquesUse of good lifting techniques:

  • Use good body mechanics – maintain a straight back, bend your legs and use equipment when available
  • Maintain a large base of support (stabilising using your feet)
  • Don’t move a casualty on your own
  • Lift only as a last resort (the best lift is NO lift – unless life-threatening)
  • Keep the object close to your body

Code of Practice: First Aid in the Workplace

First Aid in the Workplace

workplace code of practiceThe Model Code of Practice (CoP) on first aid in the workplace is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).

An approved code of practice provides practical guidance on how to achieve the standards of work health and safety required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations) and effective ways to identify and manage risks

(Excerpt from the Model First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice: July 2019, Paragraphs 1 & 2, Page 4)

The Model Code of Practice for first aid in the workplace gives directional guidance on several first aid needs that include:

  1. An overview of Model Code of Practice: first aid in the workplace
    a. Who has health and safety duties in relation to first aid?
    b. What is required in providing first aid?
  2. How to determine first aid requirements for your workplace
    a. The nature of the work and workplace hazards
    b. Size and location of the workplace
    c. The number and composition of workers and others at the workplace 3
  3. first aid equipment facilities and trainingFirst aid equipment, facilities and training
    a. First aid kits
    b. First aid signage
    c. Other first aid equipment
    d. First aid facilities
    e. First aiders
    f. First aid training, procedures, and emergency plans
    g. Providing first aid information
    h. Reviewing your first aid requirement

Each State or Territory has implemented their own Code of Practice (CoP) on first aid in the workplace. A number of States though have implemented their First Aid CoP based on the national model code of practice developed by Safe Work Australia as noted above as part of the harmonisation of work health and safety laws. States and Territories to do so are:

  • Australian Capital Territory – ACT
  • New South Wales – NSW
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania

The other two States, Victoria and Western Australia while meeting national safety legislation requirements, have their own State-based version First Aid Code of Practice

First Aiders

The person/s conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must ensure an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid at the workplace or that workers have access to an adequate number of other people who have been trained to administer first aid.

As a minimum first aider should hold nationally recognised Statement/s of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for the nationally endorsed first aid unit of competency Provide First Aid or a course providing equivalent skills. A higher level or additional training may be required to ensure your first aiders have appropriate skills for the risks you have identified in your workplace.

(Excerpt from the Model First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice: July 2019, Paragraphs 1 & 5, Page 17)

Workplace First Aid Kits:

Whether a person works at high risk workplaces or low risk workplaces, all workers must be able to access a first aid kit. This will require at least one first aid kit at their workplace.

administering first aid for injuriesThe first aid kit should provide basic equipment for administering first aid for injuries including:

  • Cuts, scratches, punctures, grazes and splinters
  • Antiseptic for any wounds
  • Muscular sprains and strains
  • Minor burns
  • Amputations and/or major bleeding wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Shock

Defibrillators are also one piece of important first aid equipment that should come with first aid kits. The defibrillator can largely help with reducing fatalities if cardiac arrest were to occur.

Workplace First Aid Kits: – Risk Assessment

The contents of first aid kits should be based on a risk assessment. For example, there may be a higher risk of eye injuries and a need for more eye pads in a workplace in which work involves machinery or chemicals. For example, where:

  • Hazardous chemicals, liquids, or powders are handled in open containers
  • Spraying, hosing or abrasive blasting operations are carried out
  • There is a possibility of flying particles causing eye injuries
  • There is a risk of splashing or spraying infectious materials, or
  • Welding, cutting or machining operations are carried out.

The extra equipment may be needed in remote workplaces, for example for serious burns, breathing difficulties or allergic reactions.

(Excerpt from the Model First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice: July 2019, Paragraphs 5 to 7, Page 12)

Workplace First Aid Kits: – Medication

Medication including analgesics like paracetamol and aspirin should not be included in first aid kits because of their potential to cause adverse health effects in some people including pregnant women and people with medical conditions like asthma. The supply of these medications may also be controlled by drugs and poison laws. Workers requiring prescribed and over-the-counter medications should carry their own medication for their personal use as necessary.

However, workplaces may consider including an asthma-relieving inhaler and a spacer to treat asthma attacks and an epinephrine auto-injector for the treatment of anaphylaxis or severe allergies. These should be stored according to the manufacturers’ instructions and first aiders should be provided with appropriate training.

Some types of workplaces may require extra items to treat specific types of injuries or illnesses. These may also require your first aiders to have additional training

(Excerpt from the Model First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice: July 2019, Paragraphs 1 to 3, Page 31)

Workplace First Aid Kits: – Design of kits

First aid kits can be any size, shape or type to suit your workplace, but each kit should:first aid kits design

  • Be large enough to contain the necessary items
  • Be immediately identifiable with a white cross on green background prominently displayed on the outside
  • Contain a list of the contents of that kit
  • Be made of material that will protect the contents from dust, moisture and contamination

Image: Commander F6 Series workplace first aid kit from Aero Healthcare

(Excerpt from the Model First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice: July 2019, last Paragraph, Page 12)

Workplace First Aid Kits: – Contents of Kits

For most workplaces, a first aid kit should include the following items as shown in the table:

first aid kit content

first aid kit content 2

Workplace First Aid Kits:– Maintenance of Kits

maintenance of kitsFirst aid kits should be well maintained.

Check that all items are in good condition*, within the expiry date and if any items are missing. Replenish required items.

*Sterile items (single use) should be sealed, and the packaging unbroken.

For further information on the first aid kit requirements go to: _first_aid_in_the_workplace_0_0.pdf

Staying Prepared

A risk management approach to all the hazards is recommended for all workplaces. There are many safety risks and hazards to take into consideration. These include things like risk of falls, having the right equipment such as first aid rooms and eye wash stations to name a few, disclaimers and information on dangerous chemicals, and even having the right personal protective equipment for the jobs at hand.

If you have concerns in your workplace, connect with your safety representative to investigate matters or voice out any issues you may have.


Do you know what the principles of first aid are? In our blog post, we outlined five key priorities of first aid practices. Knowing these priorities can help you provide basic care to an injured person before emergency responders arrive on the scene. Following these will ensure the duty holder and even additional labour hire will stay safe.

Part of being prepared though includes understanding If you’re interested in becoming certified in first aid, check out our course offerings. We offer a variety of modules and courses that will equip you with the skills necessary to handle common emergencies.

And remember, first aid is always best practised with a friend—so make sure you know your nearest CPR-certified neighbour!



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