What are your First Aid obligations?
Legally, every business in Australia - no matter what State or Territory - is required to adhere to their First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice, enabling them to provide their employees with vital first aid skills and resources.
At a bare minimum, any person conducting business in Australia has a responsibility to ensure that an adequate number of staff have been trained to deliver first aid and provide first aid equipment that is accessible to all employees.
To find out exactly what your workplace needs to comply with to meet its legal obligations, the best place to start is to conduct a first aid risk assessment. This assessment ascertains your obligations and obtains real compliance strategies and procedures specific to your workplace. A first aid risk assessment includes asking the following questions:
1. How risk-prone is your industry or workplace?
To give employees the best chance at helping out in an emergency, you need to ascertain whether your workplace is classed as “low risk” or “high risk.”
Simply put, a “low risk” business offers no exposure to hazards that could result in serious injury or an illness requiring immediate medical attention. On the other hand, a “high risk” business is one that potentially exposes employees to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness requiring medical attention (i.e. electric shock, spinal injury, serious lacerations).
2. How many first aiders do I need?
Once you’ve decided what level of risk your business is classed, you can determine how many first aiders and first aid kits will cater to everyone’s needs and safety.
At a base level, low risk businesses in Australia require one trained first aider for every 50 employees, while high risk environments need one for every 20-25 employees – differing slightly depending on your state.
Worksites which fall in the high-risk category need to be cognisant of how long it takes a first aider to attend a casualty from one end of the workplace to the other. There needs to be enough first aiders to attend a multiple casualty incident and to cater for leave and off-site absences.
3. What training do my first aiders require?
The risk classification of your business will determine the first aid competencies your first aiders require. At a base level, your first aiders will generally undertake the nationally recognised courses known as HLTAID001 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and HLTAID003 Provide First Aid.
But differing industry and workplace circumstances often call for additional first aid courses such as Advanced First Aid and Oxygen Administration.
In addition, as part of your health and safety requirements it is also now advisable to consider mental health in the workplace, and provide mental health first aid training for your first aiders – especially with 45% of Australian adults encountering mental health problems in their lifetimes.
Make sure you’re getting what you pay for
Although you might already be meeting minimum requirement levels, the investment in contextualised, quality courses conducted by experience paramedics and nurses can make all the difference between life or death for an employee in an emergency.
Get in touch with our team of first aid experts today to discuss conducting a risk assessment or to find out exactly what first aid training your workplace needs to meet legal requirements.