Your First Aid Procedures: Do They Match the Code of Practice
This article provides key points from the First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice that you can check off against your first aid procedures to confirm that those key points are covered in your first aid procedures.
The legal requirements for first aid in your workplace are set out in clause 38 of the WHS Regulations 2011 and no doubt you have systems in place to ensure that first aid is provided as needed. Written first aid procedures are an important way of helping to ensure that this does occur and that first aid is provided rapidly and effectively when needed.
The following recommendations can be found on page 18 of the First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice.
“You should develop and implement first aid procedures to ensure that workers have a clear understanding of first aid in their workplace. The procedure should cover:
- the type of first aid kits and where they are located.
- the location of first aid facilities such as first aid rooms.
- who is responsible for the first aid kits and facilities and how frequently they should be checked and maintained.
- how to establish and maintain appropriate communication systems. (including equipment and procedures) to ensure rapid emergency communication with first aiders.
- the communication equipment and systems to be used when first aid is required (especially for remote and isolated workers). These procedures should contain information about how to locate the communication equipment, who is responsible for the equipment and how it should be maintained.
- the work areas and shifts that have been allocated to each first aider. These procedures should contain the names and contact details of each first aider.
- arrangements to ensure first aiders receive appropriate training.
- arrangements for ensuring that workers receive appropriate information, instruction and training in relation to first aid.
- seeking information when a worker commences work about any first aid needs that may require specific treatment in a medical emergency, such as severe allergies. Information about a worker’s health must be kept confidential and only provided to first aiders with the worker’s consent.
- how to report injuries and illnesses that may occur in the workplace.
- practices to avoid exposure to blood and body substances – refer to Appendix D.
- what to do when a worker or other person is too injured or ill to stay at work, for example if they require assistance with transport to a medical service, home or somewhere else where they can rest and recover.
- access to debriefing or counselling services to support first aiders and workers after a serious workplace incident.”
This Code of Practice on first aid in the workplace is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).
An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations).