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safety program in construction

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First-aid in the workplace includes the provision of first-aid facilities, services and personnel required for the initial treatment of persons suffering from injury or illness at a workplace. It is the immediate treatment or care given to a victim of an accident or sudden illness before qualified health personnel attend to provide treatment.

The aims of first aid are to:
Preserve life;
Prevent illness or injury from becoming worse;
Reduce pain;
Promote recovery; and
Care of unconscious.

First-aid facilities includes first-aid box; first-aid room; and first-aid equipment, e.g. oxygen tanks and stretchers.

An employer should display a notice, in a prominent place in the work-site, of the names and locations of first-aiders. First-aiders should also be provided with a form of identification (e.g. badge, arm band) for easy recognition.

An employer shall, from time to time, recruit or select suitable persons to go for first-aid training. The employer should consider persons with the following qualities to be trained in first-aid:
• physically fit
• free from blood borne infectious diseases, e.g. Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS
• free to leave their work immediately to respond to an emergency

First-aiders need to undergo a recognized course once every three (3) years. The employer should keep a record of the dates on which first-aiders obtained their training and the dates on which they received refresher training.

Management of Casualty
In the management of an injured worker or ill worker, first-aiders should: give immediate first-aid treatment, keeping in mind that a casualty may have more serious injuries and illness; and arrange without delay for the injured worker(s) to be sent to a doctor, hospital or home, according to the seriousness of this condition.
Apply the principle of Universal Precautions while delivering the responsibility to protect the first-aiders from acquiring blood borne pathogen e.g. Hepatitis B and HIV.

This first-aider’s responsibility ends when the casualties are handed over to the care of health care personnel.

Maintenance of Treatment Record
A record of the casualty and treatment given by the first-aider should be made. This record shall be kept by the employer for a period of five years.

The record should include information on: the immediate treatment; details about the incident/accident including information about the work process involved; details about injury or work-related illness; any referral arrangements made, e.g. usage of local ambulance service, referral to local hospital; and subsequent casualty management.

Responsibilities for Maintenance of First-Aid Requirement
This first-aider is responsible for maintaining the first-aid box. He/She should ensure that only first-aid material is kept inside the box. He/She should check them periodically and ensure that the contents of the box are regularly replenished. However, it must be remembered that the absolute responsibility for maintaining first-aid facilities lies with the employer. Hence, the employer must ensure that the first-aider carries out his/her assigned responsibility. The employer should review annually the first-aid requirement to ensure that the services are adequate at all times.

In places where a registered nurse or medical assistant is employed, he or she is responsible for the supervision of the first-aider and the responsibility for maintenance of the first-aid facilities.

FIRST-AID BOX

First-aid boxes should be made of sturdy material and be portable so that it can be taken to the site of an incident. The boxes should also be clearly marked.

Each first-aid box should be placed in a clearly identifiable, well-illuminated and accessible location. Where a workplace covers a large area, an adequate number of first-aid boxes should be provided. The box should be kept locked and the key thereto kept by responsible person available during all working hours. The employees should be informed of the location of all first aid boxes.

Contents

First-aid boxes should contain a sufficient quantity of suitable first-aid materials. They should not contain oral medication of any kind other than those required for first-aid treatment. It is essential that first-aid boxes be checked frequently so as to make sure they are fully equipped and all items are usable. Materials used should be replaced as soon as possible.

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