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Workplace First Aid Responsibilities

All companies are required to have a first aid kit on-site, but how many of your employees know how to properly use it? In some cases, every minute matters when your employees become injured at work even if the injury is minor. With updated training programs and resources, your employees will be prepared to handle a variety or workplace scenarios.

Not sure what’s considered first aid?

According to OSHA, first aid can include the following:

  • Cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches
  • Treating a minor burn
  • Applying bandages and dressings
  • Using non-prescription medicine
  • Draining blisters
  • Removing debris from the eyes
  • Drinking fluids to relieve heat stress

It’s very likely that jobs in the manufacturing industry will have different occupational hazards from jobs in the education or agriculture sectors. However, there are basic first aid responsibilities that are applicable to every company.

  1. Schedule first aid training programs for your employees. First aid training should be included with the on-boarding process for new employees so they know how what to do from day one. OSHA recommends for employees to renew their first aid skills and certifications at least every three years.
  2. Make sure your first aid kit on display. First aid kits should be in a place that’s easily accessible. If you are operating a large facility, place first aid kits strategically throughout the building(s) so there is a kit within close proximity to all workers. First aid kits should be stocked with supplies that are applicable to the job setting. Don’t forget to place first aid kits in semi-trucks, tractors, and other vehicles for when your staff members are out in the field.
  3. Have gloves readily available and stress the importance of using them when handling blood. Whether there’s a paper cut or a serious injury to attend, employees providing first aid must always wear gloves when they’re exposed to blood. Bacteria and viruses in the blood, like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV can be transferred from one employee to the next without any visual clues.
  4. Discuss the protocol for handling life-threatening situations. Offering CPR training classes for your employees could can be extremely beneficial.  Even though CPR isn’t considered a part of first aid, it can be crucial in a life-threatening situation. A properly trained CPR certified employee can help out until emergency services arrive on site. Review how they should respond to emergencies like chest pain, seizures, strokes, breathing problems, allergic reactions, and more.

No matter what industry you work in, have a first aid kit readily available at your workplace and always provide adequate first aid training.After all, first aid supplies are useless if your employees don’t know how or when to use them.If you live in the northern Wisconsin area, contact our expert professionals at EHS Management for a free consultation. We can help coordinate first aid training, CPR training, bloodborne pathogen programs, and numerous safety preparedness programs for your employees.