First Aid in the Workplace

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First Aid is extremely important in the work place. Sudden injuries or illnesses, some of which may be life-threatening, occur at work. It can be something that is often overlooked in the workplace because of its simplicity. First Aid can be as simple as treating a small scrape so it does not become infected to keeping a person alive by performing CPR.

OSHA describes the definition of first aid as medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs. This attention is given at the location where the injury occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris from the eyes; massage; and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress. OSHA requires trained first-aid providers at all workplaces of any size, an exception to this is if there is an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees.” Along with OSHA’s first-aid requirements, several OSHA standards also require training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) because sudden cardiac arrest from asphyxiation, electrocution, or exertion may occur. CPR may keep the victim alive until EMS arrives to provide the next level of medical care. However, survival from this kind of care is low, only 5-7%, according to the American Heart Association. The OSHA standards requiring CPR training are: Permit-required Confined Spaces, Logging Operations. The standards that require First-Aid and CPR Training are Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Qualifications of Dive Teams and, Power Transmission and Distribution. This training of first aid is primarily administered by the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council (NSC), and also by other private institutions. The American Red Cross and NSC offer standard and advanced first aid courses from their local chapter/training centers. After completing the course and successfully passing the written and practical tests, trainees receive two certificates; (adult CPR and first aid). An emphasis on quick response to first aid situations is incorporated throughout the program. Other program elements include basic first aid intervention, basic adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and universal precautions for self-protection. Specific program elements include training specific to the type of injury, shock, bleeding, poisoning, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies, and confined spaces. Training of these different injuries is taught to be administered to the head and neck, eye, nose, mouth and teeth, chest, abdomen, and hand, finger, and foot. Below are a few examples of different injury, and what should be done to treat them. In the program the participants also learn how to use a first aid kit. OSHA has a required first aid kit for employers. This kit is described by OSHA as a minimal amount of first aid supplies. Also what is included in the kit is described as for a small work site, of about two to three employees, OSHA required multiple first aid kits to be present or additional amounts of the supplies. Below is what OSHA requires in their first aid kit. 1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).

2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
3. Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
5. Two triangular bandages.
6. Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelette.
7. Scissors.
8. At least one blanket.
9. Tweezers.
10. Adhesive tape.
11. Latex gloves.
12. Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask. 13. Two elastic wraps.
14. Splint.
15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance....
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