Are you starting on your very first job in Australia soon? Or perhaps you’ve recently switched professions, with your current one being something that involves a considerable amount of hazards in the workplace. Whichever the case, you may have heard about how your employer is requiring you and your co-workers to get first aid training from an officially accredited and reputable first aid training centre. This may seem odd, especially if your workplace already has an active clinic, one with an actual nurse or doctor on duty. Wouldn’t first aid training be unnecessary in this case?
Not quite. First aid training as a requirement for workers is in fact in compliance with Australian law, specifically the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations. Essentially, these sections of Australian law require that employees of all workplaces must be given access to first aid equipment and facilities, as well as trained personnel to administer first aid. It makes good business sense, then, to have employees undergo first aid training, rather than hire someone else specifically to provide first aid and nothing else.
Moreover, employers are mandated to provide a first aid officer to their employees—an individual trained in first aid who also has the authority to officially oversee and conduct duties related to first aid, such as inspecting safety practices and measures in the workplace, investigating the cause of a workplace accident or sickness, and so on. Having all their workers trained in first aid, then, gives employers a healthy pool of candidates to choose from and rotate accordingly.
But is that all there is to it? Of course not. There are other benefits to requiring first aid training to employees. Here are some of them.
An emergency in the workplace can happen to anyone at any moment, and the survival of the victim can often hinge on how quickly first aid is administered. If most of the workforce is trained in first aid, then any employee within proximity of the emergency will have the skills and knowledge necessary to administer the needed care without having to summon a first aid officer or an on-duty nurse. The same goes for any emergency situation—everyone will be familiar about what to do, and they will be able to come to the aid of affected individuals without having to be prompted.
When employees are trained in first aid, they are made very aware of the potential injuries and conditions that could befall them if they do not adhere to workplace safety standards or safety practices. Moreover, they are also made aware that their co-workers’ own safety and well-being also rely upon their ability to carry out their work safely and properly. This results in a much safer workplace, one with a greatly reduced number of injuries and accidents.
Nothing makes a business more productive and rewarding to work in than having good employee morale. By providing first aid training, employers are putting out the message that they genuinely care for the welfare and safety of their workforce. This makes each employee feel positive about their job and employer as a result. Moreover, it also makes them feel that they have something very important to contribute to their work community.
Workplace accidents or injuries can be quite costly to the employer, not just in the doling out of insurance or medical benefits for the injured workers but also in the delays in production that could result from the accident. Investing in first aid training for employees ultimately makes the workplace safer and less prone to accidents, which means less delays and more revenue.
Finally, first aid training also confers skills and knowledge to the worker that they can use in their day-to-day lives—not just at work but also in their homes, with their families and loved ones. This is a great and invaluable gift to employees, one that they will be sure to appreciate if misfortune or carelessness rears its ugly head outside of the workplace. It’s an absolute win for all parties concerned.
Employers requiring first aid training for their workers may seem like a good way to comply with Australian workplace laws and regulations. However, it does more than just that. It confers multiple benefits that ultimately results in a safer work environment, a more productive work force, and happier employees in general.
As such, if you’re an employee being asked to take first aid training for their job, we recommend that you take the training seriously and with much gusto. Not only will you know what to do when things get out of hand, you’ll also be a more well-rounded employee overall.
If your employer needs help finding a good first aid training program for you and your colleagues, however, consider pointing them in our direction. Here at Australia Wide First Aid, we are officially accredited and nationally recognized for our first aid courses, the most popular of which include CPR, First Aid, and Child Care First Aid. We have over 20 locations all over Australia, so no matter where you’re situated, chances are you’re near one of our training centres.