First aid risk assessment instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction assists with the undertaking of a first aid risk assessment in the workplace.

Exclusions

Nil.

Instruction steps and actions

A first aid risk assessment should be carried out to assist in the determination of the appropriate first aid facilities and the number of trained first aiders for a specific area.

By completing the First Aid Risk Assessment form, the recommendations for appropriate first aid facilities/ resources can be determined. Below are some instructions to assist with the interpretation of the risk assessment form and to assist in completing it.

Distance and time to nearest medical center/hospital

If the time it takes to transport an injured person to a medical centre exceeds 30 minutes, a greater number of appropriately trained first aiders may be needed. This will depend on the hazards and associated level of risk at the workplace.

The time taken to reach the nearest hospital is very important. If the workplace is particularly remote additional first aid facilities and services are likely to be needed. If adverse weather conditions or poor roads are likely to be a problem planning should be completed for aerial evacuation of sick and injured when determining first aid requirements.

Location of existing first aid kits

Are the current number of first aid kits and their locations suitable? Consider if the first aider will be required to leave the building or the floor to reach the first aid kits. Are the kits located where they are easily accessible and close to hazardous work areas?

Incidents over last 12 months

Reviewing incident data can help identify problem areas and if specific first aid equipment is required (eg for burns). Incident data will not provide information on all hazards present in the workplace and shouldn’t be used as the only method of identifying potential risks.

Potential hazards

There are a number of hazards which may be present in work places. The following list should be used for consideration only, it is not exhaustive:

  • Manual handling (pushing, pulling, carrying, restraining)
  • Plant and equipment (potential crushing, entanglement, cutting, striking, shearing, friction)
  • Electrical hazards
  • Chemical exposure
  • Radiation
  • Noise
  • Slip, trips & falls (uneven or slippery working surfaces)
  • Working at heights
  • Mobile equipment (forklifts, hand trucks, trolleys etc)
  • Biological hazards
  • High / low temperatures

Specific first aid requirements

All RMIT First aid kits are stocked with standard contents by first aid coordinators. The material safety data sheet of materials in your area may specify that additional first aid equipment should be available where the material is used. The contents of all standard first aid kits is:

  • 3 Saline 30ml Ampule
  • 5 MEDI SWAB AS200 Alcohol Based (Each)
  • 1 Adhesive Strip Plastic 72x19mm (Pack 50)
  • 1 Crepe Bandage (50mmx4m)
  • 1 Crepe Bandage (100mmx4m)
  • 1 EZ Ban Cohesive Bandage (7.5cmx1m)
  • 1 Combine Dressing (9x20cm)
  • 4 Triangular Bandage (disposable)
  • 1 pack Cotton Swisspers tip dove (100)
  • 1 Eye Pad (Sterile)
  • 1 Gauze Swabs 5x5cm 100/box
  • 1 Water Bottle for Irrigation
  • 4 Non-Stick Dressing Poren-Lite (7.5cm x 10cm)
  • 1 pack Safety Pins assorted packet of 12/card
  • 1 Surg Scissors
  • 1 Disposable Resuscitation Shield
  • 1 roll Surg Tape 13mm x 9m
  • 1 pair Disposable Gloves latex (2/ bag)
  • 4 Surgipad Combine Dressing (9cm x 20cm – Sterile)
  • Resuscitation Chart A2
  • Empty Case Metal
  • (Label - White Cross – on Green Background)
  • First Aid treatment form (found on RMIT Website)
  • RMIT First Aid Procedure
  • First Aid Handbook (optional)

Drugs for example like Panadol should not be stored in the kits or administered by first aiders.

Number of first aiders required

There is no simple formula for determining the number of first aiders required. The number of first aiders required depends on the outcome of the risk assessment, with high risk workplaces requiring more first aiders. According to the Victorian Compliance code - First aid in the workplace, a rough guide is one first aider for 10 to 50 employees for a low-risk workplace or one first aider for up to 25 employees for a higher-risk workplace.

Don’t forget to look at the hours the first aiders are on site. If your area operates outside of normal business hours try and make sure there are first aiders available at these times. Ideally first aiders should be those that are in the area and available all the time.

Level of training required

First aiders at RMIT can be one of two levels, Level 1 (basic) or Level 2 (Intermediate). Depending on the risks in your area you may only require first aiders trained to level 1, if the risks are higher you may need a mixture of level 1 and 2 and in high risk areas all first aiders should be trained to level 2.

The basic first aid certificate is obtained by completing a 1 day course. The course is recommended for staff in low risk areas such as 9 – 5 offices, where the staff do not work with those in higher risk areas (around machinery). The course covers:

  • Applying Emergency Action Principles
  • Performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Providing Care for Breathing Emergencies
  • Providing Care for Bleeding
  • Providing Care for Cardiac Emergencies
  • Providing Care for Shock
  • Performing Expired Air Resuscitation
  • Complying with Basic Documentation Requirements
  • Applying State Legislation for Occupational First Aiders.

The intermediate first aid certificate requires the completion of a 2 day course. It provides skills to deal with a wider range of injuries and illnesses than those addressed in level 1, staff who work out of normal hours and have contact with students, such as library and security staff or those who work with machinery and chemicals should do this course. The additional topics covered in level 2 are:

  • Providing Care for Altered Conscious States
  • Providing Care for Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Providing Care for Burns & Scalds
  • Providing Care for Poisoning
  • Providing Care for Envenomation
  • Providing Care for Conditions caused by Extremes of Temperature
  • Maintaining First Aid Equipment & Facilities
  • In addition, students will be briefed on infection control requirements
  • Workplace Level Three

Workplace Level Three is a four day course that builds upon the skills gained during the Course in Intermediate First Aid (Level 2). This enables the first aider to deal with a broader range of first aid and occupational health and safety issues in the workforce. This course is particularly useful for those first aiders who have responsibility for a first aid system in their workplace. A feature of this course is specific workplace topics presented by speakers specializing in those areas. The course content includes:

  • Revision of Level 2
  • Toxicology
  • Hazchem
  • Advaced Practical Decision making
  • Medications
  • Manual Handling
  • Workplace documentation
  • Role of the first aider in the workplace
  • Legislation and Codes of Practice – First aid in the Workplace
  • Oxygen Resuscitation and therapy
  • Confined spaces
  • Material safety data sheets
  • Spinal injury
  • Infection control
  • First aid rooms
  • Ethics and confidentiality
  • Reporting, recording and referral
  • Casualty simulation exercises

The evaluation of competency at the conclusion of the course is by written and practical assessments. A prerequisite for this course is a current Level 2 certificate.

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