First Aid In Your Workplace

You diet carefully, exercise regularly and meditate mindfully. But what about situations that could impact your health beyond your control?

Full-time Aussie workers spend nearly a quarter of their week in the workplace. All that time means a higher risk of serious incidents occurring.

That’s why having first aid available at work is a protection. Performing first aid can reduce the severity of injuries, which could mean the difference between a temporary or permanent health problem—or even life and death. For employers, providing appropriate first aid facilities and training also means fulfilling your duty under the Code of Practice on first aid in the workplace.

But with different workplaces facing different risks, are your first aid needs covered? Here are some of the most basic requirements and guidelines:

Equipment 

Low-risk workplaces should have:

  • One first aid kit for every 50 employees.
  • Another kit for every additional 50 workers up to 200.
  • Another for every additional 100 employees above 200.

High-risk workplaces with specific requirements should refer to guidelines from your state’s WHS authority.

  Your first aid kit’s contents depend on the types of hazards in your workplace. Again, there’s information in the Code of Practice. In most cases, there’s no need to stock first aid kits with medication, as medical professionals should be the only ones to administer these.

Ensure your first aid kit is easy to spot, access and open (never lock it). It should also be labelled clearly and use a case that protects it from damage and contamination.

Employers (or first aid officers) must regularly check and restock first aid kits.

Facilities

A first aid room is a must for low-risk workplaces with more than 200 employees and high-risk ones with more than 100 workers. It must be well-lit and ventilated, easily accessible and located close to toilet facilities.

Most businesses must also provide signage for first aid kits and facilities, emergency telephone numbers and the names of first aid officers. For companies with fewer than 10 employees, having a clearly marked first aid kit may be enough.

People

The number of first aid officers for low-risk workplaces should be:

  • One for every 10-50 workers up to 100.
  • Another officer for every 100 additional employees.

For high-risk workplaces there should be:

  • One first aid officer for every 25 workers up to 50.
  • Another officer for every 50 additional employees.

Employers are responsible for making sure first aid officers get the training and certification needed to carry out first aid.

Speak to your manager or HR if your workplace is lacking some of these basic measures. Business owners and managers can find detailed guidelines from Safe Work Australia or your state WHS authority.