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First Aider Duties

Duties of a First Aider 

You should look after your own psychological health and stress management.  As a First Aider your duties include:
·         Ensure first aid kits are provisioned
·         Ensure first aid kit availability is adequate
·         Record keeping and reporting
·         Clearing up, communicating with EMS, reassuring bystanders, replenishing first aid kit and talking things through with friends and colleagues 

The First Aid Kit 

There are no mandatory first aid kit items.  Employers should determine first aid kit contents based upon their first aid needs assessment.  Here is a sample minimum stock of first aid items for a workplace with no special risks:
·         Guidance leaflet eg HSE leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work
·         20 individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes);
·         two sterile eye pads;
·         four individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile);
·         six safety pins;
·         six medium-sized (approximately 12 cm x 12 cm) individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings;
·         two large (approximately 18 cm x 18 cm) sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings;
·         one pair of disposable gloves. 

First Aid kits should be easily accessible, dust and damp proof, and properly marked.  Kits should not include tablets and medications but should be frequently examined and restocked.  Sufficient supplies should be kept in a back up stock on site.   

Record Keeping 

Employers should provide First Aiders and appointed persons an accident book.  If there are multiple First Aiders, one central book should be used when practicable.  The information to be recorded should include:
·         Incident date, time and location
·         Name and function of the injured or ill person
·         Injury or illness details and first aid delivered
·         Immediate result (e.g. did person go home, go back to work, go to hospital)
·         Name and signature of the First Aider or person responding

Employers also have a responsibility under RIDDOR to report to the appropriate authority any of the following:
§         Death or major injury
§         Injury of more than three days absence
§         Disease
§         Dangerous occurrence This information can help identify accident trends and possible areas for improvement in the control of health and safety risks 

Dealing with the Aftermath

As a First Aider you must also understand hazardous substance disposal procedures.  These items include:
·         Blood and body fluids
·         Broken glass or sharp debris
·         Chemical hazards

Place soiled items, including gloves, in a plastic bag (ideally a dedicated yellow biohazard bag).  Dispose of sharp objects in a plastic container (ideally a dedicated sharps container).  Seal and label the bag or container, indicating that it contains clinical waste.  Biohazard bags should be incinerated.  If you don’t have this capability, ask your local ambulance service or local environmental health department for suggestions.  Continue cleanup with a bleach solution. 

Moving and Transporting Casualties 

First Aiders should move an injured or ill person only if there is clear and direct danger to the casualty’s life or if emergency care is impossible due to a casualty’s location or position.  Never move a casualty unless absolutely necessary. How can you safely move a casualty without causing further harm ? Assisting a casualty Select the appropriate transportation method and prepare equipment.  When possible use more than one person and elect a leader.  Explain to casualty what is happening and solicit co-operation from the casualty.  Ensure the safety and comfort of all involved. 

Supporting a walking casualty Stand on the casualty’s injured side and grip the casualty’s palm, holding the casualty’s arm out slightly in front of their body.  Pass a free arm around the casualty’s waist and grip their belt, waistband or clothing.  When the casualty is ready to move, take small steps walking at the casualty’s pace.  If the casualty starts to fall, assist them to the ground. 

Controlling a fall Move behind the casualty and place your arms around the casualty.  Place your feet shoulder width apart and one foot in front of the other with knees slightly bent.  Allow the casualty to fall against and then down your body.  Adjust their position to make them comfortable. 

Moving a collapsed casualty onto a carry sheet for transport Roll the sheet lengthways to half its width.  Use a log roll, with helpers, to move the casualty onto their side and place the rolled section of sheet against the casualty’s back.  Lower the casualty back over the sheet and onto the other side.  Unroll the sheet and roll the casualty back onto the flat sheet.  Ensure they are fully supported throughout.

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