Work-related injuries and fatalities can take place in any business establishment, anywhere. Accidents at work inevitably cannot be reduced to zero but can be controlled. Preventive measures must be put in place to maintain good health and a safe work environment.
Under the Australian Work Health and Safety Act (WHS), employers have the legal responsibility to ensure that workplace risks are identified and managed in order to safeguard the staff, employer, customers, and visitors from any possible harm. If conditions are not met, this could result in decreased productivity, fines and loss of staff.
Safe Work Australia is a national body responsible for improving work health and safety and compensation arrangements for workers. Annually, they release the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics which includes the latest national data on workplace fatalities and compensation claims of workers in Australia. There were 194 fatalities in total across the country in 2020.
Reported Workplace Injuries and Fatalities
Muscular stress while lifting or handling objects is the most regular workplace injury in Australia, and this represents almost 40% of time off from work. Other workplace injuries include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases
- Wound, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage
- Mental health conditions
Types of Hazards at Work
Depending on the industry and the nature of work, everyone is exposed to some degree of workplace risk and hazard. Let’s find out what the common types of injuries and classifications are in the workplace setting.
Major Hazard Types
- Physical – machine handling, electrical, fire, noise, vibration
- Chemical – solids, liquids, gas, fumes, dust
- Ergonomic – workstation design, tool design, equipment design
- Radiation – infra-red, ionising, ultra-violet, microwaves
- Psychological – discrimination, harassment, shift work, workload
- Biological – viruses, bacteria, fungi (capable of causing infections and diseases)
Why Workplace First Aid is Important?
In the event of an accident or emergency at work, having first aid facilities and trained personnel secure the safety of staff and visitors. First aid at work is important because it can help save lives, reduce pain and suffering, and promote recovery. Preventing further injuries from occurring is the main goal until medical assistance arrives. Injuries and fatalities can cost the business money, time, and productivity. Thus, it is imperative that employers invest in workplace health and safety which can help yield favourable returns for both employees and employers.
In all Australian states, under the WHS Act and person/s conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) guidelines, workplace settings and locations must have at least these two implemented:
First aid facilities
This refers to a first aid room, a health centre, having the appropriate equipment to deliver first aid, first aid kits
First aid services
First aid personnel, first aid training and information suitable to workplace needs e.g. completion of a first aid course in Southport QLD.
Workplaces Require Different First Aid Arrangements
Some work environments have greater risks of injury and illness. Requirements will vary from one working area to the other. Different factors must be taken into consideration.
Nature of Work Done
Hazard levels are assessed in the workplace. Most likely, construction and factories have more risk of injury that would require immediate medical treatment than offices.
Size and Location
A large area for a workplace may need first aid to be accessible in different locations. Priority locations will be in areas where there is a higher risk for injuries to occur. Equally important is the response time for emergency services.
Questions like how long can the ambulance reach the workplace must be taken into consideration. How far are the nearest medical centres if there is a need to transport patients from the work area? These two pieces of information are vital in determining the first aid requirement. If prompt access to emergency services cannot be assured, a person trained in more advanced first aid techniques such as establishing an IV line will be needed.
Number and Composition of Workers
It follows that a larger workforce will require more first aid resources like more trained personnel and more first aid equipment and facilities.
Can Anyone Give First Aid in Southport?
Can you give first aid if not trained? Employers must assign some of their staff members to undergo first aid training and acquire certification updated on a regular basis, normally every 12 months for CPR. First aiders are given the responsibility to provide an initial response in emergency situations. They should also record all the first aid treatments given in an emergency situation:
- Date, time, name of person treated
- A detailed description of the person’s physical symptoms or condition
- First aid provision and treatment
- Referred to further medical treatment e.g. doctor outside of the work location or hospital
Who Has to Give First Aid?
Aside from professionals in the medical field, there are a number of different careers or jobs in Southport Queensland that require first aid training.
School staff or childcare providers
Parents will have peace of mind if their children are under the watch of first aid qualified school staff or childcare providers.
Factory and Construction Workers
A factory or construction worker is always exposed to a high-hazard situation where injuries frequently happen at any time. The presence of a physically demanding condition necessitates the ability to act and provide prompt first aid treatment.
In the same manner, an electrician is exposed to a high-risk environment where electric shock, fires, explosions, and falls could take place. In most cases, first aid training is required in case of emergency cases involving himself and his co-workers.
Police Officers and Firefighters
Are police officers trained in first aid? Police officers, especially those deployed in the field, must hold a first aid certificate in order to provide emergency life support when needed.
Firefighters often deal with medical emergencies when doing their job. They must be adept at assisting victims and they must know how to perform first aid in any type of emergency.
A coach’s job is to keep the athletes safe while they are in intensive training to improve strength, endurance and stamina. A sudden cardiac arrest and other training-related injuries can be mitigated if the coach or trainer has ample knowledge of first aid.
Like depicted in television shows and movies, beaches and pools are crowded with people in summer. Lifeguards must be ready to rescue people drowning and perform CPR when deemed necessary.
Even up in the air, emergencies cannot be prevented. Flight attendants are the first expected to respond and manage in-flight emergencies that may require immediate first aid or CPR.
Other jobs that can benefit from a first aid course include fitness instructors, social workers, security guards and so on.
How Many Employees Need to be First Aid Trained?
In order to determine the number of first aiders needed at the job site, the assessment involves knowing the type and nature of the workplace, in turn identifying the risk level and ratio of first aiders to workers. Here’s a risk overview by SafeWork NSW.
Low Risk – 1:50 ratio for retail shops, offices, libraries or art galleries
High Risk – 1:25 ratio for factories, motor vehicle workshops or forestry operations
Remote High Risk – 1:10 ratio for all night convenience store and service station workers, long distance freight drivers
In conclusion, the cost of not providing first aid and appropriate training to all your employees can be substantial. Not only does it put people at risk, but you’re putting yourself in legal trouble if they get hurt on the job! Taking these simple steps now and investing in workplace first aid will ensure great results in the future as well being safe goes hand-in-glove with being business savvy.
Where Can I Enrol on a First Aid Course?
CPR First Aid is a leading provider of accredited first aid courses and training all across Australia. Employers from Queensland can book training for workplace first aid in Southport held in the business location or our training facility. HLTAID011 Provide first aid Courses (Level 2 or Workplace) have been tailored for your team and workplace first aid requirements. Call us for more information.