OHS Act Compliance: First Aid Supplies and Health & Safety Policy Guide

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What is the connection between first aid supplies and health and safety? According to the OHS Act, your employer needs to provide you with a safe and healthy work environment. So, by having first aid supplies, you are taking precautions for any injury or illness you might come across in your workplace. By being prepared we can reduce the injury or illness from getting worse while we wait for the ambulance.

Why is it also important to have OHS Act compliance at work? The answer is simple, it safeguards the welfare of those who are employed, by removing all the risks that can endanger the workforce, therefore protecting both the employer and the employee against dangers.

Health and Safety Policy Guide:

In order to develop a comprehensive health and safety policy, it is important to first know what a health and safety policy is.

It is simply a written statement that shows the company’s commitment to workplace safety, to protect the employees, visitors, and community. By developing a health and safety policy we are complying with a legal requirement.

Here are 3 main aspects to consider:

  1. The policy statement of intent, which shows the company’s aims and objectives.
  2. Organization of the company’s health and safety, which shows us who the key role players are as well as their responsibilities in health and safety.
  3. Arrangement for health and safety, this displays the specific systems and procedures we need to follow to assist in implementing the safety policy, for example how to report an incident and how to follow safe working procedures.

How do we identify potential hazards and risks in the workplace?

We just have to look around us. By doing regular checks in our work area and risk assessments we can “see where there are dangers”. But we can also listen to our fellow employees’ concerns and implement measures for workplace safety if required.

Procedures for reporting and responding to incidents.

It is very important to report an incident or even a near miss to your health and safety representative, supervisor or manager immediately after it has happened. When there is an incident report, an investigation can be implemented. With the investigation procedure, there are 9 easy steps to follow:

  1. Immobilize the scene.
  2. Prepare for the investigation.
  3. Collect the evidence.
  4. Analyse the evidence.
  5. Find the root cause.
  6. Implement control measures.
  7. Formulate the report.
  8. Communicate the report to the employer and Department of Employment & Labour.
  9. Follow up.

The importance of regular training and updating policies

By getting regular training and updating safety policies, we are preparing for any changes we might experience in the workplace. Every day, our workplace changes without us even realizing it. The way we conduct work also changes day to day. So, by keeping ourselves trained and our policies updated, we become the best versions of ourselves with regards to doing things safely at our work.

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First aid supplies:

Having first aid boxes in the workplace is important as the nominated first aider needs this equipment to provide an injured or ill worker with the care and treatment they need until the ambulance arrives at the scene.

With different work environments, there might be a special need for different types of first aid supplies. For example, in a kitchen, we will need a good supply of burn shields and plasters due to injuries caused by oil burns or knife cuts. In an office environment, we will have less burn shields but will still need plasters and bandages for any slips and trips that may occur. In a construction work environment, we will need plenty of compression bandages and a tourniquet as the types of injuries that occur can be major and possibly life threatening.

Maintaining and restocking your first aid supplies are very important. By maintaining the first aid box, we make sure that the first aid supplies have not expired, and we have enough for any type of emergency that could occur. Making sure we restock our first aid boxes after an incident is also important, because we then know we are prepared and have enough stock to deal with any future emergencies.

Tips for improving health and safety in the workplace:

  1. Communication: Have an open-door policy when it comes to health and safety concerns.
  2. Regular reviewing and updating: Ask your employees for recommendations and always look out for changes in the policies.
  3. Training and educating employees: Ask them what training they would like in order to improve their knowledge on health and safety topics.
  4. Rewards: Rewarding staff for being safe and giving them recognition goes a long way in getting their buy-in to the company health and safety initiatives.

Remember, if you have safety concerns you need to voice them so management can investigate and fix them. Being compliant with the OHS Act is a legal requirement by law so by following all policies and having adequate first aid supplies, we are providing a safe and healthy work environment.

First Aid Kit Checklist

Ensure that you always have a correctly stocked First Aid Box in your workplace as per the Regulation 7.

Download our free checklist to keep on hand so that your are to respond to emergencies effectively.