first aid officer

It makes sense for any workplace to have at least one first aid officer who has completed a first aid training course in Sydney or any other major Australian city. First aid officers are responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of first aid facilities and supplies in their office, as well as administering first aid in the event of workplace emergencies. The workplace is no stranger to accidents and injuries, and not all employees will be expected to be familiar with first aid techniques.

Responsibilities and Duties

What does it take to become a competent first aid officer, and what is expected of someone who has this title in the office? A first aid officer must:

  • Make sure first aid kits are updated and properly stocked with essential equipment. First aid kits are only ever used in the case of workplace emergencies, so the rest of the time they are simply kept in a safe, visible, and accessible place. Failure to keep the supplies updated may adversely affect first aid outcomes.
  • Safe disposal of expired items in first aid kits, as well as making sure they will not be used by others. Sometimes first aid kits contain medication and anti-allergy medicine that may seem tempting to workplace staff and employees to peruse for themselves which may result in adverse reactions. Using expired medications can also result in similar outcomes.
  • Know the location of the first aid kits and ensure they are highly visible and easily accessible in the event of a workplace emergency. Many people tend to forget where their first aid kits are or might have difficulty getting to them in an emergency. A clear path and a safe storage promote the kit’s efficacy in an emergency.
  • Undertake updated HLTAID0003 and HLAID0001 training and Accreditation by a registered training organization. First aid procedures are constantly updated as technology improves, and first aid officers should always be up to date with the most effective first aid techniques.
  • Be consistent with the first aid code of practice and should be able to undertake a CPR refresher course every year. Unused skills have a tendency to be forgotten—a risk that cannot be allowed when a first aid officer is tasked with handling emergencies including trying to save a life.
  • Be familiar with what medical resources are available in the vicinity, such as where to access a defibrillator. Knowing where resources are is a key tool in first aid, as accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.
  • Know how to assess situations to be able to administer the proper first aid procedures, as well as to take control of the situation.
  • Know how to identify all potential hazards and risks posed by the workplace environment. They can take necessary steps to inform WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) and coordinate with them on how to minimize these risks to reduce and the likelihood of an emergency, and how to properly respond if after best attempts to reduce risks an emergency still occurs.
  • Control cross-contamination in case of infections. Keeping diseases from spreading throughout an office is something a first aid officer should be able to manage, as workplaces consist of a multitude of people in small spaces.
  • Be able to calmly reassure crowds in cases of casualties. Unfortunately, in worst case scenarios, there will be fatalities. This can lead to widespread panic within the workplace. It’s the first aid officer’s job to control people by managing the situation effectively and calmly diffusing the situation.
  • Administer first aid and/or CPR. Not everyone in the workplace will have the proper training to effectively and efficiently perform first aid techniques in an emergency. A first aid officer must always be ready to spring into action once a workplace emergency presents itself.
  • Call the authorities for medical assistance. A good first aid officer should know when to ask for help—effective first aid works in a way to de-escalate an emergency, stabilize injury, and prevent disability or fatality before professional medical assistance arrives.
  • Assist with incident investigations, as well as any unresolved issues related to the use of first aid supplies. This includes any cases involving WHS officers on-site.

Who Should Be Nominated as a First Aid Officer?

Not just anybody can be a first aid officer. One must have completed the required minimum first aid training and get the certification, spend most of their working hours on-site at their workplace of assignment, and be physically and mentally capable of administering CPR and first aid. First aid officers are often nominated by completing Form 144 (Work Health and Safety Roles Nomination Form) whenever a position becomes vacant in a workplace.

Knowing first aid is not a social responsibility so far, however having a first aid officer in any workplace is a compliance requirement. More than providing the WHS with an extra guarantee of assistance in cases of workplace emergencies, the presence of a first aid officer can also make the staff and employees feel reassured that they are in safe hands.

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This post was written by GDI

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