5.1 First Aid Information
- The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981;
- Section 3, Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974;
- The reporting of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995;
- Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999.
The provision for First Aid which an employer must make for employees and trainees, is set out in 3(1) of the 1981 First Aid regulations. However, it should be realised that this does not include any obligation - beyond a general duty of care as defined in Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work 1974 Act - to any person who is not their employee, which in our case includes students as well as visitors. Any provision that is made is a moral act by The University College as a responsible employer.
In accordance with the 1981 Regulations, First Aid is defined as:-
- Treatment for the purpose of preserving life and minimising the affect of the injury/illness, until a nurse or medical practitioner arrives;
- Treatment of minor injuries which would otherwise receive no treatment or are not sufficiently serious to require the services of a medical practitioner or nurse;
- First Aid should be applied in accordance with the parameters stated in 2 above, and reinforced during any First Aid debate or training;
- It is important to appreciate that First Aid is precisely what it says it is:- "a first line of action as defined by the qualification and within the limitations of the equipment supplied". If a First Aider has any doubt at all that further treatment is necessary, they must refer the patient to a qualified medical practitioner;
- A University "Accident/Dangerous Occurrence" form must always be filled and returned to the SHE office for record purposes. In cases of serious injury, staff should be aware that the CSA is obliged by law, to inform the Health and Safety Executive immediately so must contact him as soon as possible after the occurrence;
- Action taken by a First Aider, must be fully recorded on the above form in case of any further development of an injury. This record must also include details of what treatment and advice was given. In more serious cases where the patient is referred for further treatment, a full investigation may be necessary and a written report produced by the Health Safety and Environment Advisor. A copy of any additional report/information will be filed with the "ADO" form.
First Aid Qualifications
All First Aiders must have an up to date "First Aid at Work Certificate" in order to practice. This must be renewed every three years by attendance at a recognised refresher training course. In order to stay in practice, this qualification must not be allowed to expire, even by a day. It is therefore important to monitor expiry dates and inform the "CSA" in good time - at least two months - so that attendance at such a refresher course can be arranged.
First Aid Equipment
- It is the responsibility of all First Aiders to ensure that the equipment in their First Aid Bag is up to date at all times to the scale of materials as per the latest information available from current regulations only. No other additions such as tablets, lotions, sprays, etc. should be held for use;
- They should also carry a supply of Accident reporting forms to eliminate delay in reporting incidents;
- Where food is being prepared Blue Detectable Plasters are provided and must be used;
- The use of Eye baths/cups/ refillable containers are not generally supplied due to the danger of infection if not properly controlled. A better solution in cases of eye contamination is generally the use of copious amounts of tap water where possible. Only in exceptional circumstances or where tap water is not available, the use of sealed disposable containers of saline will be issued be sanctioned by the Health Safety and Environment Advisor, but must be monitored for use and date, by the specific First Aider.
Precautions Against Aids
It is sensible to consider that all body fluids, but particularly blood, as being potentially infected with Hepatitis B virus and HIV. Contact with them is therefore best avoided wherever possible. Where spillage has occurred, mopping up should be speedy and thorough. This is best done by the "owner", but since this is often not possible, then the following procedure should be observed:
- Ensure that you have no open cuts or wounds.* Disposable gloves and apron must be worn whilst the spillage is removed using a wet paper roll, towels or even newspaper;
- The spillage area must then be thoroughly cleaned with a disposable cloth or towel using detergent and water;
- All these materials including the gloves and apron, must be disposed of in the special yellow medical waste disposal bag supplied with First Aid Kits and taken for incineration to a Medical Centre;
- A spillage area should finally be wiped over with disinfectant and left to dry naturally. The cleaners mop and bucket can be used for this purpose.
Finally, WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY.Note: It is important when washing hands to ensure that special attention is given to thumbs, between fingers and finger tips.