How to use first aid at work?

There may be an accident in the place where we work. In such a situation, we must be familiar with the principles of first aid. Thanks to this, we can help another person quickly and efficiently. A troublesome issue for the employer is the choice of a person who will provide first aid. How to start basic first aid activities at all and what does the labor code say about it? Such knowledge is important because every minute counts in accidents! 

A few words about first aid 

When an incident occurs in a workplace, we must first assess whether all participants in the incident are safe. Sometimes it is necessary to move to another place to help the victim. If we are sure that it is safe, we check the victim's consciousness. At first glance, it is often difficult to judge what condition a person is in. We then have to rely on the account of the witnesses of the accident. When the injured person is unconscious and has breathing problems, the respiratory tract should be checked and, if necessary, cleared. A sunken tongue or a foreign body is the most common cause of breathing problems. Chest movements can be checked to make sure the person is breathing. It is possible to check whether the injured person is breathing by feeling his breath, e.g. on our cheek. If the victim is breathing, we put him in a side position, and if not - we perform CPR. Remember that CPR involves thirty chest compressions around the sternum and two rescue breaths, and repeating these actions in this sequence. Be sure to call the emergency number 112 to notify emergency services of such an incident. 

Some statistics ... 

According to the data of the Central Statistical Office from the first half of 2020, 14,140 people suffered from an accident at the workplace. Admittedly, this is ten percent less compared to the same period in 2019. These statistics show us that there may also be a risk of an accident in the workplace. The greatest number of accidents took place in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodship. There, the statistics showed that there were 1.4 accidents per 1000 working people. In Mazowieckie voivodship the same indicator was 0.67, which is the lowest result in Poland. The analysis of data from previous years shows that the most common accidents at work are employees with low work experience (up to 3 years of work). 

Employer's Responsibilities 

Art. 209 of the Labor Code tells us that the employer must provide the necessary resources to provide first aid, as well as appoint appropriate employees to provide it. All these activities must be adapted to the nature of the workplace, the number of people employed and the type of hazards that may occur. In certain situations, there may be a risk of threat to the life or health of employees, and therefore - the employer must inform them about these potential threats, as well as provide them with adequate protection. Additionally, the employer should instruct his employees on what actions they should take in the event of a specific threat. When this happens, work must be stopped immediately. 

Can you not help? 

Many people are afraid that they will fail to perform first aid activities for the injured person. They fear that as a result of their actions, the injured person may be at risk of loss of life or health. However, in the light of article 162 of the Criminal Code, if we or another person are not in danger, we must provide the victim with first aid. Otherwise, we commit a crime punishable by up to three years' imprisonment. If we take actions to the best of our knowledge and capabilities, we are not threatened with any legal consequences, even if as a result of our actions we expose the injured person to health damage. So, in the event of an accident, don't think twice, just help the other person until emergency services arrive. 

First aid kit 

An important issue is the presence of medical kits in the workplace. According to the regulations, it is a mandatory element in every workplace. What is in it should be adapted to the nature of the work and the number of employees, so the criteria are the same as for the appointment of specific people to provide first aid. However, there are no strict guidelines that should be followed when selecting its content. Generally accepted principles of occupational health and safety state that the first aid kit should contain wound dressing agents, i.e. bandages, plasters, sterile gases, as well as safety measures such as a mask for artificial respiration, gloves, and a thermal blanket. The place where the first aid kit has been placed must be marked in accordance with the Polish Standard, e.g. with the symbol of a white cross on a green background. If there is a potential risk of disrupting vital signs in the workplace, AED placement may be considered. 

Medical point 

When there is a high risk of accidents during work in the company, the mere presence of first aid kits is insufficient. In this case, medical points should be organized in the workplace. The number, equipment and locations of such points should be consulted with the physician in charge of the employees' health care. This is due to general health and safety regulations. Medical points should be properly marked and be easily accessible to everyone who is in the workplace. 

Usually, initial health and safety training includes elementary first aid. This training is mandatory for an employee who starts working in his or her position. However, it is often the case that the information on such first aid is purely theoretical and is easily forgotten once the training has taken place. It is important to know the principles of first aid thoroughly. This makes it possible course at the CSO Operator Training Centre. With this training, employees can not only learn the theoretical aspects in first aid, but can also test their knowledge in practice. By agreement with the client, the course can be tailored to their specific needs as an employer. Training courses at OSO are either open or closed. The price of each training course is set individually and the date can be tailored to suit the individual needs of the client. If you need training for your employees, don't wait! Proper first aid knowledge will pay off in the future! 

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