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Last updated: 22.08.19

First Aid Planning – The Guide to Being Prepared

When an emergency happens in the workplace, an efficient and well-organised plan, coupled with first aid training, can save lives.

This isn’t an overstatement. Emergency procedures, when properly drilled, reduce reaction time, give focus to employees, and minimise time for the emergency services to arrive. All of this means that those who desperately need help get it as fast as possible under difficult circumstances.

This planning is not something which can ignored. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 place a responsibility on employers to provide adequate first-aid resources in the workplace. This includes equipment, personnel, facilities and training.

So how should you and your company go about organising first aid training and planning? Take a look at our helpful guide below:

Organise a first aid assessment

Before any planning can begin, your first step should be setting up a first aid assessment of your workplace and what the work entails.

Start by organising a checklist of the risks faced across the working day by each individual employee, taking into account their physical activities and their position in the workplace. If possible, ask the employee themselves to take a look at their own position, since they will be the expert in that area. A handy tip is to take a look at the history of injuries, which will offer up some risks you might have missed during your first appraisal.

The second step is to consider the placement of first aid kits and first aiders. This ensures that where an accident might occur, first aid equipment and trained personnel are never too far away. Be sure to provide first aid training to your employees and keep an eye on how many first aiders are in the office at any given time.

Finally, assess the workplace from an emergency services standpoint, considering how far the nearest fire station and hospital are. If you work in a remote location, consider how alternative forms of transport, such as medical aid by helicopter, might best be facilitated.

Develop an emergency procedure plan

Taking into account your first aid assessment, your next step is coming up with an emergency procedure plan which covers as many risks as it possibly can.

Organising first aid and alerting the appropriate emergency service should be the highest priority, and so these should appear first in the plan. Be sure to assign these responsibilities to the appropriate parties and have backups arranged in case those parties are away from work. Place a first aid kit at the centre of the workplace as part of your plan and in reach of the first aiders, and if possible, carry a small kit at all times.

Your plan should cover as many situations as it can – and much of it depends on the nature of your work, since every workplace is unique. One common thread between every emergency procedure plan, however, is that it should be signposted as much as possible. This can be in the form of wallposters, signs, or an emergency manual in easy reach of every employee.

Provide emergency procedure training

An emergency procedure plan is worth very little if none of your employees know about it. This starts with managers, who should be aware of both the procedure and everyone who has received first aid training. Ensure that training sessions are held for all operators and employees, detailing the plan as well as the risk assessment that informed it. Remember that no one can ever be too informed when it comes to first aid planning.

As a final point, ensure regular tests are carried out to check for any fallacies or mistakes in the first aid plan, and to provide hands-on training for your workforce. These tests are also helpful in evaluating the performance of the plan, allowing you to make changes where necessary to keep your emergency procedures up to date.

First aid training is one of the most important parts of the professional environment and for a helpful, comprehensive and informative training course, perfect for workplace training sessions, be sure to take a look at our intuitive First Aid at Work course. Covering many of the main proponents of first aid, this program teaches vital skills including knowing how to react on the scene of an accident, understanding the AVPU first aid method and applying the recovery position.

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