First Aid and Accidents in the Workplace

Accidents within the workplace can lead to staff being injured which in turn can lead to them taking time off. This result can also have a negative impact on productivity and output of the organization and so, in both the interests of the employer and employee, the workplace must be made as safe an environment as possible to help avoid any potentially preventable incidents.

Making the workplace safe can involve safety equipment, training and raising awareness throughout the workforce on workplace risks and how best to avoid them. However, in the event of an accident occurring, it is also important that one or more staff members are trained in at least the basics of First Aid, so that there is somebody on site that can respond to any incident quickly and correctly.

Any incident within the workplace must be reported and will fall under the regulations set out by RIDDOR - Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, which is run by the governments Heath & Safety Executive body. RIDDOR is a legislation set out to guide employees of their responsibilities for any accident that occurs as a direct result of working activity.

Furthermore, any workplace injury must be addressed, no matter how major or minor. The types of injuries will certainly vary depending on the industry and environment but, as examples, some common workplace incidents could be; fractures, burns, cuts and bleeding as well as pulled muscles or accidents with hazardous substances.

First aid for common accidents
Below are some top tips to help deal with common incidents or accidents within the workplace:

1. Ensure that both the injured person and the first aider are moved or located away from any danger or hazards. There should be no risks of further injury to either party whilst treatment is undertaken.

2. If an employee suffers from a burn, cool the area as soon as possible with cold water and if deemed serious, take the injured person to hospital immediately.

3. If a casualty suffers from bleeding, the first thing to do is (if possible) raise the injured area above the heart and immediately apply some pressure on or near the wound to reduce the bleeding. Once the bleeding has eased, clean the area and fit a dressing or bandage. If the injury is serious, carry this process out and get the casualty to hospital as soon as possible.

4. It is important that any casualty suffering with potential head or spinal injuries is not moved. Instead, stay with the casualty and contact the ambulance service who will be able to safely move the person without risk of further damage. The same goes for any leg break or similar.

5. Any injury caused to the eye will require cleaning the eye as soon as possible. Ensure that clean water is used and attempt to get any alien object or substance out of the eye quickly. If this proves difficult and symptoms do not improve, ensure the casualty is taken straight to the hospital to gain specialist treatment in the hope that any serious damage to the eye is avoided.

First aid courses cover the above and much more in detail and it is advised that there is a first aider present within a work place at all times. If anyone has any doubt on how best to treat an injury, it is important to gain specialist and professional help. Nothing is more important that a casualty's wellbeing and it is important not to risk further injury or damage through mistreatment.