Submitted by Colin Skinner.

As a business it’s important not only to protect yourself but also your employees. It’s a good idea to implement a health and safety plan for your workplace in order to reduce accidents and provide your staff with the care they need if something happens. It doesn’t take that long, have much paperwork or cost your company millions; it makes great business sense!

Anything Can Happen

Firstly, the most important thing to do is to assess your businesses’ needs to see if you require basic first aid precautions or decide that you should have an appointed person or qualified first aider. You can then choose someone to be trained by an approved organisation where they’ll complete a course and gain a first aid qualification.

To complete this assessment there are a few steps you should go through:

  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Decide who could be harmed and how
  • Evaluate risks and consider precautions
  • Take note of your findings and put them in to practice
  • Make sure you review your assessment and update when necessary

These steps should really be carried out regularly in order to keep up to date with any changes in your work environment.  It is also a good idea to review any past accident and health records because these can often tell you what less obvious hazards might be.

It all depends on your circumstances, so if you work in manufacturing, engineering or agricultural industries for example then it’s probably a good idea to have a trained first aider on site. A first aid room can also be helpful for larger companies.

Would you know what to do if an accident happened at work?

Slipping or tripping is one of the most common causes of injury in the work place. At a first aid course your employees would learn all of the necessary skills in order to act in an emergency situation. Taking on this responsibility would mean taking charge if someone is injured, administering any treatment and calling an ambulance if necessary.

One of the top mistakes concerning first aid is not frequently restocking the first aid box after use so it’s a good idea to make sure that it is checked regularly and to replace those items as soon as possible. As an appointed first aider in the work place this would be their responsibility. It’s important to make sure they keep up to date with annual refresher courses.

Do you value your employees?

With first aid you can not only protect your employees but protect yourself and your company. First aid can safeguard your business from potential legal action and protect your reputation. It ensures the number of working days lost due to illness or injury are reduced and can retain staff.

Could you save a life?

Businesses need training in first aid in order to potentially save lives and prevent minor injuries worsening. Not all companies have a formal process in place for assessing their first aid needs, as an employer you are responsible for your company’s first aid arrangements. There aren’t enough first aiders in the workplace and many injuries from accidents that occur can often be prevented by sufficient first aid.

First aid training at work is a cost effective way of not only potentially saving lives but also reduces the damage to a business an accident can cause.

Paula, the author, is an expert in health & safety and first aid training for businesses and is part of the Aid Training group.