The workplace is known to have two common traits, irrespective of it being a constructive site or an office. These are valuable employees who while working might become ill or injured. Knowing in-depth first aid procedures will help protect them.
Good health of your employees results in increased productivity and profitability. National Safety Council had come up with an estimate in 1997 that 80+ million workdays were lost resulting from unintentional injuries. American businesses were hit by approximately $127 billion. On an average, it amounted to $980/worker.
The truth is that the workplace is filled various types of risks and dangers, be it a high or low-hazard environment. It includes bleeding, shock, burning, poisoning, stings and medical emergencies. Such risks only tend to get compounded if employees feel unwell. This further result in lack of concentration, thereby causing costly injuries!
What if your employees do not have proper training to manage such risks and injuries on all shifts? It could be that their coworkers will lie writhing in pain, left untreated until the arrival of an ambulance. Until then, the victim’s health condition might only further deteriorate leading to far more debilitating results. It will only cause loss in productivity and greater medical costs.
Imparting First Aid Training
It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure overall wellbeing of all your employees at the workplace. Hence, it is a wise move to provide them with basic and advanced training in First Aid. It requires minimal investment and sure to keep your employees well-trained and safe all the time. Moreover, it ensures increased productivity and allows you to enjoy big returns apart from competitive advantage. But the most important point is that it is law of the country to provide basic first aid training to employees.
OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) requirements
According to OSHA, it is mandatory for businesses to provide their employees with CPR and first aid training. This becomes all the more important if there is not present any hospital or clinic nearby. Although prevention leads to increased safety, it is not possible to avoid all types of work-related injuries. Hence, the primary objective will be to provide employees with the essential information and tools required. This will help them to take care of the injured or sick colleagues until medical help reaches.
Providing first aid on time ensures reducing severity of occupational injuries. OSHA states that First Aid care should be administered properly and promptly. This creates a huge difference between prolonged vs. rapid recovery, life vs. death, permanent vs. temporary disability. But it is important to note that every work site is different. Hence, First Aid training imparted to the employees should be workplace specific. Appropriate training tends to vary with employee numbers, industry and presence of emergency care nearby.
The 1991 guidelines set by OSHA specify clearly the first aid program requirements. It is necessary to know that OSHA does not offer any certify programs or provide training. Hence, employers are to select a program that best fits their industry needs. To ease the selection process, there has been created National Guidelines in Occupational Settings for First Aid in 1997.
It is a detailed curriculum that identifies the crucial skills required by the employees to keep the workplace safe. The well-trained employees can also be expected to offer competent care to those struggling from injuries at the workplace. Such guidelines require minimum skills and knowledge essential for the person to provide the injured or sick person with basic life support. This is until the arrival of professional emergency response team.
Starting the Program
1- As an employer, it is your responsibility to determine the first aid program requirements. Understanding the work process will help you to know how employees might get injured or sick. Also identify the types of accidents that might occur at the workplace. Do take into consideration some crucial aspects like exposure to toxic substances, hazardous machinery and falls. Although OSHA does not approve or recommend programs, they might conduct an inspection of your worksite to evaluate adequacy of your set program.
2- Evaluate medical facility availability and location: There might not be any clinic or hospital nearby. If so, then you should train an employee to have good knowledge in CPR and first aid per shift. Timely response is sure to make a huge difference between safeguarding the injured or sick person’s life. However, if you are engaged in constructing business, then select a few employees to get adequate trained in CPR and first aid.
3- Have ready essential first aid supplies in proper, easy to access place. OSHA has specified employers to keep handy First Aid kits depending on their nature of business and employee numbers.
Considering the above will ensure your business remains OSHA compliant and increase welfare and productivity of your employees.