How aware are you of first aid risks at your place of work and how best to respond to them?
According to recent research from St John Ambulance Australia, there may well be room for improvement in your workplace, and in many others around the country.
Research released in March by St John reveals that less than half of Australian workplaces have the appropriate first aid resources to respond to situations arising from relevant risks.
Just 24 per cent of workers were found to have participated in first aid training or drills, and only 48 per cent of workplaces made accredited training available to employees.
“Australian workplaces are in a volatile situation and employers need to act now to reduce the risk to their employees, customers and ultimately their businesses,” said St John Ambulance Australia chief executive Peter LeCornu in a statement.
He said that the research his organisation had done revealed a “serious first aid knowledge gap”.
That included the fact that 65 per cent of Australian employers were unaware of Safe Work Australia’s new Code of Practice.
Even though Victoria (15.4 per cent) and NSW/ACT (14.3 per cent) had the highest levels of first aid readiness, it still remained that fewer than one in six businesses were compliant with the new code.
Whether dealing with a personal medical emergency or an injury suffered in the workplace, Mr LeCornu says that knowledge of first aid procedures can make a big difference.
“Administering first aid in the first five minutes after an accident can dramatically change the outcome,” he explained.
He says that employers shouldn’t simply buy a first aid kit and expect that staff will know how to use it when an incident occurs, but that steps should be taken to ensure staff members are confident and competent at administering first aid in the workplace.
“Every employer should be striving for best practice when it comes to first aid and St John recommends conducting an initial first aid risk assessment evaluation to proactively ensure your workplace is compliant.”
When a worker suffers an injury in the workplace, they can sometimes be unable to return to work or to continue working full-time, as a result of their injuries.
In some such cases, it may be possible to access permanent disability benefits through a life insurance or superannuation policy.