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Commercial First Aid Kits - Will You Step Up?

The commercial first aid kits should be located in the work place, in a clear easily accessible place. There should be at least one first aider within each zone within the company buildings, and they should be trained to handle any full emergency situation that can occur.

It does sound a little daunting doesn't it! Unfortunately this role isn't always taken seriously, perhaps more common place in offices, where no end of paper cuts are dealt with. But for some work places, these are vitally important positions, where someone that is known for the calm, authoritative presence can and will deal with the arising situations.

As the First Aider, be prepared to be known. All Company notice boards, the company intranet, reception and security will all be aware of who their First Aiders are, and more importantly how to contact them.

Should you wish to become a First Aider within your work place, you should make your superior's aware and I would suggest putting this in writing. However, may be your work place has approached you, believing you to have the qualities to deliver this important role. Will you step up to the mark, take charge of those commercial first aid kits, and be there when most needed?

Work has asked me to be a First Aider - do I have to?

 No. You don't have to, unless your job descriptions denotes this as a compulsory part of your role. However there are some benefits that you may well find. In some companies, this is seen as an extra responsibility and therefore there is a reward for taking on this role.

Being the First Aider you will be responsible for the commercial first aid kits, and quite likely the contents within. I know when I have taken on such a responsibility, I have always made sure that I have gone thoroughly through the commercial first aid kit's provided, even if I have been told that there is no need for me to do so.

Why? Well I like to know that everything that is within that box is

  • Within date
  • Sealed and therefore Sterile
  • There are no 'essentials' missing

With these things routinely checked, I find that it is something I don't need to think about when attending to an incident.

Here I have included an example sheet for you to use that will detail the bare minimum that you may like to record regarding your commercial first aid kits.

What will I need to deal with as a First Aider?

This is a good question, and there is no definitive answer.

The reason for this, is it will depend on the roles and those that deliver them where you work. If you are outside, office, or factory based, your incidents could be anything from a paper cut, to falling off a ladder, lacerating injuries.

It is therefore appropriate for you to ensure that your first aid training overs the likely incidents that will occur. For instance if you have kitchens that will come under your area of responsibility, make sure you are fully aware what to do with burns.

Before attending any first aid training course, take a walk around, or look through the accident book. See what sort of injuries occur, or likely to occur and make a note to take to your training. Make sure you leave your training comfortable that you know what to do with your most likely incidents.

What training will I need?

You will need to attend appropriate training for the role that you are to undertake.

There are many courses that are out there, some are even free.

I've always found that the company I work for has a preference on where you train, so they will likely tell you the course you will be on.

However make sure you are aware of these elements too...

  1. Company Health & Safety Procedures - It is wise to know these policies and procedures, get a good feel for them, know who to talk to about them should you have questions, and should you discover anything that causes you concern - to whom should you direct this.
  2. Company Policy on Accident Reporting - You must know this information. How, where and to whom each accident should be reported. You need to know all the information about the incident, and this becomes a formative part of any First Aider's role in managing the incident.
  3. Which certificate (if any) you will need to obtain, and whether this is Company sponsored or not
  4. Where your commercial first aid kit is, and whether you have sole responsibility for it. I have been in places where this is kept locked. If this is the case make sure you know where the key is at all times.

in summary

 I have always considered being asked to be a First Aider as a compliment. But it's a role that should never be under-estimated and taken with the up most of seriousness, as the implications can be big.

Along side this, I also take the contents of the commercial first aid kits very seriously, and if I feel that there is something missing, I will challenge this and make sure it is corrected.

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