The Role of a First Aider
Being a first aider is about more than just handing out the odd plaster around the office. It’s an important role, and the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require that an employer provides suitable first aid cover in the workplace.
A first aider has a number of key responsibilities which can be broken down into the following areas
- Understand what has happened, determine how many casualties they are dealing with and look for history, signs and symptoms relating to each casualty
Protect Against Danger:
- Determine if danger remains present that could lead to further casualties. Perhaps there are falling objects or frayed electrical cables. As first aider you must protect yourself first and then others. Becoming another casualty yourself will help no one
- First you need to work out what help you think you require. Bystanders may be able to offer adequate assistance and if none are available you can shout for help. When the emergency services are required you can phone them or ask a bystander to make the call whilst you administer first aid on the casualty or casualties
- The priorities of treatment are making sure oxygen gets into the blood and that this blood carries the oxygen to the brain. If either of these functions are threatened these casualties should be prioritised
Controlling the Risk of Infection:
- Wear gloves whilst administering first aid and wear protective clothing if required. Make sure during first aid you are using sterile, undamaged and in date items. Following treatment dispose of contaminated waste carefully
Ultimately the aims of first aid can be remembered thanks to the three P’s
P – Preserve Life
P – Prevent the Situation Worsening
P- Promote Recovery
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