First aid in the workplace
What do I have to do?
The new legislation requires that a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must:
- ensure the provision of first aid equipment for the workplace
- ensure each worker at the workplace has access to the equipment and facilities for the administration of first aid.
- ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid or workers have access to an adequate number of trained persons.
Why do I need to do it?
All businesses (no matter how big or small) now have first aid requirements under the new Work Health and Safety Regulation (WHS Regulation) 2011. Small businesses with fewer than 25 workers are no longer exempt.
How do I do it?
The provision of first aid will require the PCBU to take into account all relevant matters, including :
- nature of the work being undertaken
- hazards in the workplace
- size and location of the workplace
- number and composition of workers and others (including contractors, subcontractors, volunteers and visitors) at the workplace.
Once these factors have been considered you can then determine the appropriate first aid kit contents for your workplace, as well as the adequate number of trained first aid providers required.
The type of work being undertaken will be a factor in determining what are an adequate number of first aid kits and trained first aid providers. For example, a business handling hazardous chemicals may require a higher number of first aid kits and providers than a finance business with the same number of workers.
A small business employs 20 people. The injury register shows lacerations and burns are the most frequently recorded injury.
In addition to consulting with workers, the small business would need to consider the following when assessing what first aid arrangements are likely to be adequate:
- What is the size and layout of the workplace?
- Is the workplace in close proximity to medical services or hospitals?
- Where should suitable stocked first aid kits be located?
- Should the first aid kits contain additional burns packages (for example, additional first aid contents specific to the treatment of burns)?
- Is there a trained first aid provider available at most times?
- Do any workers work off site?
- What are the first aid arrangements for offsite workers?
Review the information on Emergency plans
Use this Emergency management plan checklist - template
Use this Incident/Near miss investigation form - template
Read the DRAFT First aid in the workplace: Code of practice (draft available at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au)
Contact WorkCover NSW 13 10 50.
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