The new year promises a fresh start, both in our personal and work lives. It offers us the chance to revive any resolutions we made last year and to make some new ones, in the hope that they will bring about positive change. It doesn’t matter what role you play in your workplace, anyone can be an advocate for promoting positive change and ensuring your workplace is fully equipped for first aid is the ideal place to start.
Check out our list of five new year's resolutions below, to fully equip your workforce for first aid in the new year.
1. Ensure you have one or more workplace first aiders
As most employers will already know, The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 state that ‘all employers are required to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.’
If you work in a low-hazard environment, such as a small office or library, there should at a minimum be a fully stocked first aid kit and an appointed person to manage all first aid arrangements, should an emergency occur. Larger and higher-hazard workplaces will likely require a trained first aider to ensure that the requisite provisions are in place.
2. Ensure you can provide mental wellbeing support for all employees
Stress, depression and anxiety are all too common in the workplace and accounted for 12.8 million workings days lost in 2018/19. Any workforce can be healthy and thriving with the right nurturing and support, encouraging employees to attend a mental wellbeing course is one way to do so. It’s important that staff at all levels are educated to feel confident to spot the signs of work-related stress and to tackle it in the appropriate manner.
3. Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit
What to include in your workplace first aid kit will be influenced by the results of your first aid needs assessment. A first aid kit is necessary for small injuries that occur in the workplace and are easily dealt with, such as grazes and bruises. It would be useful for all staff to know where the first aid kit is located, not just the appointed first aider.
4. Make sure you know if you require an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
It’s not compulsory for employers to purchase AEDs to comply with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, but if your needs assessment identifies a need for an AED, some staff members should be fully trained in its use. AEDs are an extremely useful piece of equipment and evidence shows that quick use of an AED can lead to survival rates of up to 50% to 70%
5. Ensure you have one or more workplace fire marshals
All employers have a responsibility to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and to adopt the right behaviours and procedures in the workplace. Any fire risks must be identified and fire marshals must be appointed, who will then take action to control risks and protect employees should a fire occur.
These resolutions may seem lengthy and costly, but an investment in employee health and safety is an investment in the future of your workforce. Take the opportunity of the new year to assess the first aid and mental wellbeing needs of your workforce and prepare them for 2020.
Topics: First Aid