First aid training is a lifesaving skill that enables family members, friends, bystanders and fellow employees to assist patients who are injured until professional help or emergency services arrive. First aid training, knowing what to do to aid someone can be the deciding factor in minimising harm to a person who is injured.
First aid training and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is a lifesaving skill that has a proven positive impact on patients who are seriously ill, injured, or in cardiac arrest. We encourage first aiders to keep themselves current and familiar with the first aid training knowledge and skills gained on the first aid course. Offer your assistance and help to all patients who might need your help and skills as first aid and CPR does make a difference and saves lives!
First aid training is a fantastic skill to have, and the occupational health and safety act is not only something that makes workplaces safer environments, but it also empowers those who have training. The skills learned aren’t restricted to the workspace and can be used in times of emergency anywhere.
First Aid Level 1 – 2 Days
The differences between life and death means being prepared to assist the critically sick or injured in an emergency! First aid level 1 training is your first step.
First Aid Level 2 – 3 Days
First Aid Level 2 training encourages extended knowledge and practical applications of First Aid skills and is a great add on to all the core fundamentals gained in First Aid Level 1 training.
First Aid Level 1 & 2 Combined
First aid saves lives, don’t wait for an accident to happen rather be prepared and attend the First Aid Level 1 course now.
Advanced First Responder – First Aid Level 1, 2 & 3 – 5 Days
First Aid is a lifesaving skill that enables family members, friends, bystanders and fellow employees to assist patients who are injured until professional help or the emergency services arrive.
What First Aid Training Should Every Company Have?
Human resource managers, training, operations and security managers all play an important role in creating a healthy, safe and prepared working environment. Creating, supporting and having an active Health and Safety team, which has completed accredited and quality First aid training, Firefighting courses and Evacuation Planning courses will ensure that you and your employees are prepared to handle and manage unexpected emergencies at work and create ensure a safer and prepared working environment.
It is critical to ensure that you choose the correct Health and Safety training service provider to partner with and ensure that your Health and Safety team receives quality and accredited training. Absolute Health Service is your ideal training partner and specializes in providing accredited, quality theoretical and practical skills based first aid training.
Understand what is involved in First Aid Training
First Aid training covers essential life saving skills which allow for easy understanding and application by any person who encounters a First Aid incident, not only in their workplace but home and public environments.
First Aid training is both theoretical and practical based and is offered in three different levels with Level 1 being the core of all First Aid training and knowledge.
- Introduction and basic principles of first aid
- Terminology, positioning, and anatomy
- Emergency scene and patient assessment
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and choking
- Bleeding and wounds
- Fractures and sprains
- Head injuries, spinal injuries, and shock
- Emergency carry methods
- Review of First Aid Level 1
- Medical Emergencies
- Spinal Injuries and Spinal Immobilisation
- Chest Injuries
- Eye Injuries
- Pelvic and Abdominal Injuries
- Environmental Emergencies
- Bites and Stings
- Review of First Aid Level 1 & 2
- Crush Injuries and Compartment Syndrome
- Multiple Injury Management
- Skin Injuries
- Emergency Childbirth
- Behavioural Emergencies
- Water Accidents
In order to cover all outcomes and ensure all First Aiders leave confident and competent in the skills they have learnt, the minimum training needed is 2 days (8 hours each day)
Why is First Aid Training so important
Having an up to date and well maintained Occupational Health and Safety Act system, including first aid training of the required members of staff under the occupational health and safety act ensures the livelihood of all those in the workplace. The health and safety and well- being of all company employees should be apart of a company’s ethos and mentality; healthy business, healthy employees, happy working environments.
Why it is important in every workplace
Incidents and accidents can happen anytime and anywhere and it is vital to be prepared. The occupational health and safety act stipulates:
Section 8: General duties of employers to their employees
- Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees.
This ties into the general safety regulations section 3 subsection 1 (which is highlighted further on) By having a trained and competent first aider available and ready at all times, will reduce any potential injury and ill health from deteriorating until professional medical help arrives.
By having prompt First Aid intervention, not only will the First Aider be able to assist in potentially saving a life, any direct (medical or legal) or indirect (lost work time and investigations) costs to the company can be reduced.
Workplace hazards are everywhere. They can easily be reduced or mitigated against but there are the rare incidents where accidents do happen. Examples of workplace hazards include:
- Overloaded plug sockets
- Frayed or compressed electrical cables
- Incorrect stacking and storage which allows for falling objects
- Poor housekeeping and waste disposal
- Allowing unauthorised and untrained persons into a restricted work area.
How it can save a life
A few seconds is the difference between life and death is a common saying and is very relevant when it comes to pre hospital and first aid emergencies. Each step in a patient’s treatment is crucial. None more so than the initial first aid and basic medical intervention. Often the “Golden Hour” is spoken about which refers to the ideal time from incident/accident to the patient receiving definitive professional medical care in order to have a successful chance of full recovery.
Consider the amount of time it takes in South Africa for professional medical help to arrive or to get to a hospital or clinic for help, how does this fit in with the “Golden Hour” ideal?
“The initial basic patient treatment and intervention provides the grounding for further advanced medical intervention if needed and not only saves the professional medical team time in having to obtain all the critical information from the patient, but also in the case of your major injuries such as severe bleeding will undoubtedly save that patients life when attended to by the first responders almost immediately after the incident happens.” says Advanced Life Support Paramedic and Western Cape Branch Manager Emma Boreham
Equip your employees with the know how
By the employer ensuring the required amount of employees are First Aid trained and competent, they are not only encouraging employee growth, involvement and ownership of a positive Health and Safety culture within the company but also showing the employers commitment to Health and Safety and providing a safe working environment for all.
Importance of a first aid kit
What should be in it
Under the Occupational Health and Safety act general safety regulations, the stipulated minimum contents of a First Aid kit (referred to as Regulation 3 and 7 contents)
- Item 1 Wound Cleaner/antiseptic (100ml)
- Item 2 Swabs for wound cleaning (50)
- Item 3 Cotton wool for padding (100g)
- Item 4 Sterile gauze (minimum quality 10)
- Item 5 1 pair of forceps (for splinters)
- Item 6 1 pair of scissors
- Item 7 1 set of safety pins (12)
- Item 8 Triangular bandages x 4
- Item 9 Conforming bandages (75mm x 5 m) x 4
- Item 10 Conforming bandages (100 mm x 5 m) x 4
- Item 11 Roll of elastic adhesive (25 mm x 3 m)
- Item 12 Roll of non-allergenic adhesive tape (25 mm x 3 m)
- Item 13 Pack of plasters (minimum 10, assorted sizes)
- Item 14 First Aid dressing 3 (75 mm x 100 mm) x 4
- Item 15 First Aid dressing 5 (150 mm x 200 mm
- Item 16 Straight splints x 2
- Item 17 Pair of gloves (large) x 2
- Item 18 Pair of gloves (medium) x 2
- Item 19 CPR mouth pieces x 2
- Item 20 Blood spill kit
How to use it
On all the First Aid courses, each item, included in the Regulation First Aid kits, are discussed and practised with in order to use appropriately and when needed.
There is also discussion on properly placing to first aid kit in order to have easy access in case of emergency.
What the OHS Act of South Africa Dictates
In South Africa, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993 dictates and regulates the working environment for all employers and employees. Here are some important parts and content of the OHS Act which reference first aid.
General Safety Regulations 3(1) and (4):
First aid, emergency equipment and procedures
(1) An employer shall take all reasonable steps that are necessary under the circumstances, to ensure that persons at work receive prompt first aid treatment in case of injury or emergency.
(4) Where more than 10 employees are employed at a workplace, the employer of such employees shall take steps to ensure that for every group of up to 50 employees at that workplace, or in the case of a shop or an office as contemplated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1983 (Act No. 3 of 1983), for every group of up to 100 employees, at least one person is readily available during normal working hours, who is in possession of a valid certificate of competency in first aid, issued by –
(a) the SA Red Cross Society;
(b) the St. John’s Ambulance;
(c) the SA First Aid League; or
(d) a person or organisation approved by the chief inspector for this purpose.
Who needs to be compliant
All companies, businesses and schools who deal with people (employees and members of the public) on a daily basis.
What happens if you are not compliant
- The Department of Labour can impose stiff fines and even jail time, if the employer and company is found to be non-compliant with regards to First Aid accessibility and availability. General Safety Regulation 14 mentions imprisonment of up to 6 months when the employer is non-compliant with the Act regarding First Aid requirements, this includes using unaccredited First Aid training providers or when First Aid is conducted “in-house”. Over and above this penalty a fine of R200 per day, or one day additional imprisonment not exceeding 90 days can be imposed for every day that non-compliance continues.
What You Should Be Getting out of the First Aid Training Courses
A legal minimum requirement would be that your chosen Health and Safety training company is accredited by the Health and Welfare SETA and the Department of Labour to offer first aid training and first aid courses. Absolute Health Services is accredited with both the HWSETA and the DOL.
Employers must appoint a first aider where more than 10 employees are employed and, where there are more than 50 persons employed, a first aider must be appointed for each group of 50 persons or part thereof. Thus, when employers have 11 employees, they are required to appoint a first aider. Sub-regulation (4) requires the first aider to be readily available during working hours.
This automatically means that more than one first aider would be required should the organisation be working on a shift basis, in order for a first aider to be available at all times. Should the normal first aider become sick or be on leave, another qualified first aider must be available to the employees of the organisation. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that a first aider is readily available at all times to render immediate assistance in the case of an emergency.
First aid should be administered as soon as possible.
The commonly accepted ‘principles of first aid’ are to:
- Preserve life by keeping the patient alive
- Prevent further injury or the illness from worsening
- Promote healing through ongoing first aid or medical care
What to Look for in a Company That Provides First Aid Training
First aid training is a part of a much larger emergency care skill set that is prestigious and very technical. You should never commission a company that does not have proper accreditation to train your staff. Your time and money will be wasted and the training might not be valid or contribute towards your business becoming compliant with the occupational health and safety act.
You also risk trained staff members causing further harm to someone who is injured and needs assistance because they haven’t been trained correctly.
The team members of the company who is responsible for your occupational health and safety act first aid training should have a breadth of experience. The age and reputation of the company should not be the deciding factor – the experience of the team members themselves will dictate the value and quality of the first aid training.
The more experience the team members have the better the training will be and the better they will be at transferring skills to those that are not experienced in emergency care. Staff should also like the training, you want this to be a positive experience that colleagues enjoy and feel confident in.
Long-term relationship potential
Occupational health and safety should not be a once off grudge purchase. Companies have found that actively practising health, safety and wellness as a company improves happiness, employee engagement, motivation and productivity.
Having an OHS team to help manage health and safety administration, practice and processes at your company has helped many companies achieve great results.
Your OHS team will ensure that you are compliant with the OHS Act and that should an emergency occur, you are prepared to manage it correctly and simultaneously ensure that you are OHS Act compliant.
At Absolute Health Services all our instructors are registered and qualified paramedics and as emergency care professionals, we encourage everyone to attend a first aid course or to be familiar with, and able to, render basic first aid skills and treatment. In South Africa and most other countries, access to emergency services resources (paramedics and ambulances) is limited and/or stretched.
Often, injured victims or patients have to wait a very long time for professional emergency care assistance to arrive. Where quality first aid care and CPR were rendered, or offered on the scene before the paramedics arrive, the patient’s survival rate and positive recovery rates are much better. First aid training and first aid courses do make a difference, so contact Absolute Health Services for a quotation or to meet one of our professionals to discuss your first aid training requirements.
We mentioned accreditation earlier – one of the reasons this is so important is that you need to receive a valid certificate for trained staff to be compliant.
Certificates are accredited and recognized by various statutory bodies such as:
- The Health and Welfare Sectional Educational Training Authority (HWSETA)
- Resuscitation Council of South Africa (RCSA)
- Department of Labour (DOL)
- American Emergency Care and Safety Institute (ECSI).
You should be looking to work with a team that elevates your company, is experienced, accredited and makes first aid training a part of a larger, more important business ethos of health and safety compliance, emergency preparedness and delegate/learner enjoyment.
Absolute Health Services is a company that offers great first aid training and at the same time is professional, quality driven, client-focused and cost-effective. We are comprised of a team of friendly and talented staff, that have decades of OHS training and operational experience.
If you need our occupational health and safety services, why not try out our Speedy Quote tool to get a quick and easy quote delivered to your inbox today!