Better Managing First Aid – Step 1 – Plan

“Failure to plan is planning to fail” is a common motto for many businesses and people. If you don’t know where your going and how you getting there, how can you be surprised when you end up no where!

Planning is a vital part of managing first aid in the workplace. Ideally your planning starts before you even open your business. However in the real world, we need to work with an existing situation and existing first aid arrangements. This means our focus when planning is making sure all the right pieces are in place and working smoothly. So where do we start?

Write it down!

It seems like a simple enough thing to do, but too often it gets forgotten. You need to make sure that your plan is up to date and accessible to your staff in written form. If it’s not written down, it’s not a plan, it’s an idea and ideas, no matter how good, are not a legal defense when something happens.
So let’s say it again:”Write it down!”

3 key pieces of the puzzle

An effective first aid management plan is simple and works. If workers find the plan too complicated, it will be ignored. Your plan should clearly deal with three areas:

  1. First aid kits – What do we need and who looks after it
  2. First aid officers – Who needs to be trained and in which courses?
  3. First aid protocols – What do workers do in an emergency? What arrangements are in place for making employees aware of the plan?

Now you know what you need to find out…

How can I get the right answers?

You probably have much of the information you need to get the right answers already available.  For example you probably already know a lot about:

  • The work you do;
  • the hazards involved;
  • the location and layout of the workplace; and
  • the experience and skill of your employees.

All this information combines to give you what you need for your plan.  However there is one additional source of information it is vital for you take into consideration.  This is your register of injuries and near misses.

This is where you can get hard data on what injuries are actually occurring.  Not only that but by looking at the near misses you can see what could happen, if your work health and safety systems aren’t followed or aren’t working properly.  Take a close look at this data and you may be surprised to find there are some types of incident that you are just not prepared to handle.  On the other hand, this information may show you that your current systems are working effectively.

The final source of information you need to consult is your local work health and safety authority.  They enforce the standards that apply to your workplace and can be a great source of information and suggestions.  For instance, most states have specific regulations on first aid for workplaces of a certain size. You can use the industry code of practise to find out what is required for you. If your not sure how to get in touch with your local WHS authority, check out our useful links page for details.

Need some help asking the right questions?

There are two key things you can do to improve the answers you get:

  • Training – An Apply first aid course will give you a basic understanding of what you need to do to get the right first aid management plan for your workplace. However, if you have a larger workplace, it’s recommended that you complete the nationally recognised unit “Manage first aid in the workplace.” as a part of the Occupational First Aid course This unit is designed for those who are caring for a large or high risk workplace or who are looking after after multiple sites. Click here for more information
  • Get some experienced help – Medilife offers an individual service to all our clients. We can come and help you make the best choices for your workplace. To find out more, contact us or call our friendly sales advisory team on 1300 130 385

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