In a critical situation, time can mean the difference between life and death, and an emergency response plan should include suitable First Aid Response. It is typically designed around minimising the time taken to respond to a medical incident and having the appropriate level of trained first aiders and equipment available.
Whilst the legal requirements for first aid provision will differ depending on the results of a particular workplace’s risk assessment, it is beneficial for all employees to have some basic response skills that allow them to help out in a crisis.
Here are some emergency skills that every employee should know to respond immediately to a crisis.
ABCs And Assessing the Danger
When you first see someone who is injured or unconscious, there are three priorities that need to be examined before attempting any treatment:
- Airway – is the injured person able to open their mouth and breathe without the tongue or any obstacle in the way?
- Breathing – checking to see if the injured person is breathing, putting them in the recovery position if possible.
- Circulation – checking for sudden gasps of breath that are a sign of a cardiac arrest.
Better known as CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is such an important emergency first-aid skill that many people will immediately think of CPR when they are asked to think of emergency medical skills.
CPR information is the first action to take if you are near someone who is unconscious, as well as calling for emergency services.
It is divided into two different forms: hands-only CPR and rescue breaths CPR. The latter should only be undertaken if you have been trained in CPR and feel confident in your skills.
The Recovery Position
Knowing how and when to put an unconscious person in the recovery position is a critical part of initial first aid efforts.
It is a careful procedure that will end with the injured person on their side, their airway open and safe in case they start to vomit.
How To Safely Lift Someone
Most of the time, if there has been an accident, you should not try to move them, as it could potentially exacerbate broken bones or other injuries.
However, in situations where it is unsafe for someone to be left alone, there are safe ways to lift people, sometimes known as the fireman’s carry position.
You start by pulling the person’s arm over your shoulder, kneel down and then thrust upwards, carrying the weight on your legs rather than your back. This will end with the person on your shoulders, and you should be able to walk around.
Outside of airway blockages and immediately dangerous situations, stopping bleeding is an incredibly important emergency technique to avoid complications and an extremely dangerous situation.
Wash your hands, put on gloves (or a clean plastic bag if none are available and elevate the site of bleeding. Remove dirt and debris but leave in deeply embedded objects to avoid causing further bleeding.
Apply continuous pressure with a bandage or clean cloth for at least 20 minutes. Do not check if the bleeding has stopped and thus relieve the pressure. Add more bandages and clothes if you need to.
Apply pressure to the main artery in the artery if the bleeding continues, which would be placed either just below the armpit, just above the elbow, just behind the knee and in the groin, depending on where the wound is.
Once the bleeding has stopped, immobilise the injured body part whilst waiting for emergency services to arrive.
If you require a First Aid Needs Assessment conducting or would like to discuss the required level of first aid training for your staff, please contact us.