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Why Employees Need First Aid Training

 

Whether the workplace is an office or a construction site, it has two common traits — valuable employees who may be injured or become ill and the need to protect them with adequate first aid procedures.

The good health and resulting productivity of employees is one area that is often overlooked as a means of improving a company’s profitability. The size of this opportunity is indicated by a National Safety Council estimate that in 1997, there were more than 80 million lost workdays due to unintentional injuries. The astounding cost to American businesses was $127 billion, or an average of $980 per worker.

Whether employees work in a high-hazard or low-hazard environment, they face a variety of risks. Shock, bleeding, poisonings, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies and distressed employees in confined spaces are just a sampling of the first aid emergencies which might be encountered in your business. These risks are compounded when employees don’t feel well. Their lack of concentration can result in costly injuries.

If your employees aren’t prepared to handle these types of injuries on all shifts and their coworkers are left untreated until an ambulance arrives, a victim’s condition may worsen and injuries can become far more debilitating, which leads to greater medical costs and lost productivity.

It makes good business sense to provide first aid and appropriate training to all your employees. By making such a minimal investment in keeping your employees safe and well-trained, you could net big returns, along with a competitive advantage. Moreover, it’s the law.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires businesses to provide first aid and CPR training to employees in the absence of a nearby clinic or hospital. While safety always begins with prevention, not every work-related injury can be prevented. Your primary first aid training goal should be to give employees the necessary tools and information they need to care for an ill or injured person, if necessary, until advanced help arrives.

“The outcome of occupational injuries depends not only on the severity of the injury, but also on the rendering of first aid care,” writes OSHA in its 1991 Guidelines for Basic First Aid Training Programs. “Prompt, properly administered first aid care can mean the difference between life and death, rapid vs. prolonged recovery, and temporary vs. permanent disability.” Since each site is so different, OSHA requires first aid training to be specific to the needs of the workplace. Proper training varies with the industry, number of employees and proximity to emergency care.

Although OSHA’s 1991 guidelines specify the requirements for a first aid program, OSHA does not teach or certify programs. Therefore, employers are faced with numerous programs to choose from, and the choice can be difficult. Because of this, a consensus group comprised of a panel of government and private experts developed the National Guidelines for First Aid in Occupational Settings in 1997.

This new and detailed curriculum identifies the skill training that makes a workplace first aid responder competent to provide care. Responding to OSHA’s requirement that every employer provide first aid assistance in the workplace, these guidelines document the minimum knowledge and skills necessary for an individual to provide basic life support care to an ill or injured person until professional emergency response arrives.

While starting a first aid program can be simple and inexpensive, it involves several essential steps:

Recognize that it is your responsibility as an employer to determine the requirements for your first aid program. As you assess your workplace, be mindful of the jobsite or work process that could cause illness or injury to employees. What types of accidents could reasonably occur in your workplace? Consider such things as falls, hazardous machinery and exposure to harmful substances. Be sure to put your evaluation in writing for reference purposes. Remember that, while OSHA does not recommend nor approve programs, it may evaluate your program’s adequacy during an inspection.

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Assess the location and availability of a medical facility to your workplace. If a hospital, clinic or other such emergency response is not readily available, for instance, within three to four minutes, you must have at least one employee trained in first aid and CPR per shift. There is no recommended number of trained employees to have on staff; it largely depends on your facility’s size and type of operations. Responding in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death, so it is crucial that you have an appropriate number of employees trained.

For organizations in multiple sites, such as construction operations, a larger number of employees must be trained. Many experts believe all employees should know how to provide first aid and CPR to ensure that help is always at hand. At a minimum, each department or location should have a responder available on each shift.

Make sure you have suitable first aid supplies readily available at all times. Effective Aug. 17, 1998, OSHA added an Appendix A to its very basic First Aid and Medical standard found in 29 CFR 1910.151. It requires the employer to reference ANSI Z308.1-1978, Minimum Requirements for Industrial Unit-Type First Aid Kits.

According to OSHA, the contents of the kit listed in the ANSI standard should be adequate for small worksites. However, larger or multiple operations should consider the need for additional first aid kits and additional types of first aid equipment and supplies in larger quantities. OSHA suggests consulting a local fire and rescue department appropriate medical professional or first aid supplier for assistance in these circumstances.

FA Cabinet

OSHA recommends you periodically assess your kit and increase your supplies as needed. Place your first aid supplies in an easily accessible area, and inform all your employees of its location. Along with a well-stocked, workplace-specific first aid kit, other basic supplies normally include emergency oxygen, blankets, stretchers, directional signs, eyewash stations and burn stations.

In addition to these items, if blood-related incidents are anticipated, you must provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as mandated in OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). It lists specific PPE for this type of exposure, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, masks, and eye protection.

On-site safety inspections, review of hazards and emergency dispatch, assessment, implementation, escape and treatment should be discussed in your training program. Employees must be trained to act and think quickly to avoid delayed treatment during an emergency. Ask yourself, whether each employee knows how to report an injury or illness.

Outline the accident investigating and reporting procedures and relay that to your employees as part of your company’s policy. Early recognition and treatment of an injury or illness is essential.

Employees must be aware of emergency contact information. It is best to post emergency procedures and emergency office contact numbers with your first aid supplies or in another highly visible and accessible area. Make sure that your field personnel also have suitable supplies and office contact numbers readily available. Appoint an employee in each department to watch for hazards and evaluate its current first aid status. Set a deadline to report any hazards or first aid needs to a manager or supervisor for improvement or correction.

Since people tend to forget their first aid training over time, OSHA recommends refresher training be conducted to recharge employees’ knowledge of first aid procedures. At a minimum, employees should be certified annually to perform CPR and once every three years to perform first aid. If such training sounds burdensome, consider that it can produce safer work practices and fewer incidents among employees.

Keeping the workplace safe involves three basic elements: steps to prevent or minimize accidents, adequate first aid supplies and proper first aid training. The employer uses training to make sure its employees know what to do, how to do it and who is in charge in case a first aid or emergency situation occurs. Proper first aid training not only satisfies OSHA requirements, but fosters good will among employees, who recognize the care that their company expends to provide a safe and healthy environment for its most valuable asset: its employees.

 

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Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/news/ehs_imp_33547


How to recognize a panic attack

Panic attack or hyperventilation is a state of breathing faster or deeper than normal.

Healthy breathing is when there is a balance between breathing in and breathing out. Hyperventilation is caused by exhaling more than you in hale. This causes an in rapid reduction in carbon dioxide in the body.

These attacks are rare, with most people reporting occurrences of 1 to 2 times in their lifetime. There can be many causes of hyperventilation and common triggers include emotions of stress, anxiety, depression, or anger.

Occasionally, hyperventilation from panic can be related to a specific phobia, such as a fear of heights, dying, or closed-in spaces (claustrophobia) and often, panic and hyperventilation become a vicious cycle.

The cause of hyperventilation cannot always be determined with sufficient accuracy (especially in the early stages) within the pre-hospital environment. Therefore you should always presume hyperventilation is secondary to hypoxia or another underlying respiratory disorder until proven otherwise.

Hyperventilation may occur secondary to a life threatening condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis.

Recognition of hyperventilation

  • Previous history of panic attacks or hyperventilation
  • Immediate history of emotional event
  • Fast, shallow rate of breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Pins and needles/tingling in the hands, face and around the lip
  • Hands in spasm (claws)

First aid for hyperventilation

  • Remove the patient from any distressing triggers
  • Attempt to control their breathing by ‘coaching’ – get them to copy your breathing pattern
  • Assess for any underlying causes: is this an asthma or anaphylactic attack
  • Obtain medical help if symptoms do not resolve
  • Want to learn more about first aid? Why not sign up to one of our free online first aid courses!

When to seek treatment for hyperventilation

Hyperventilation can be a serious issue. Symptoms can last 20 to 30 minutes. You should seek treatment for hyperventilation when the following symptoms occur:

  • Rapid, deep breathing for the first time
  • Hyperventilation that gets worse, even after trying home care options
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Bleeding
  • Feeling anxious, nervous, or tense
  • Frequent sighing or yawning
  • Pounding and racing heartbeat
  • Problems with balance, lightheadedness, or vertigo
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or around the mouth
  • Chest tightness, fullness, pressure, tenderness, or pain

 

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5 Reasons Why Basic First Aid Knowledge Is Important

People often don’t consider the importance of basic first aid education. There are numerous reasons why people put it off.

  • They don’t have the time
  • They don’t know where to begin
  • They don’t believe that accidents will ever happen to them or those close to them
  • They think they already have enough knowledge should the need arise
  1. Helps to save lives.

A trained person is more reliable, confident and in control of themselves when an emergency arises. People who are trained are more likely to to take immediate action in an emergency situation.

  1. It allows the rescuer to provide the victim comfort.

Having someone trained in first aid can bring immediate relief to the patient. Being calm and assessing the situation helps the patient relax while their injuries are being treated and stabilized until emergency personnel arrive.

  1. It gives you tools to prevent the situation from becoming worse.

In some situations if a patient doesn’t receive basic first aid care immediately their situation will deteriorate – often rapidly. By being able to provide basic care you can stabilize a patient until emergency medical services arrives. You’ll learn how to use basic household items as tools if a first aid kit is not available meaning that you’ll be able to cope with many situations.

You’ll also be trained in how to collect information and data about what happened and the patients’ condition. This information will be passed on to the emergency services, which saves them time – you will be a valuable link in the chain of survival.

  1. It creates the confidence to care.

Having a basic first aid knowledge means that you’ll be confident in your skills and abilities in relation to first aid administration. By taking first aid training, it helps you to reflect on yourself and how you and others react in certain situations. Having this understanding will boost your confidence in a wide range of non-medical day to day situations.

  1. It encourages healthy and safe living.

A trained person is better able to asses their surroundings. Knowledge of first aid promotes the sense of safety and well being amongst people. Having an awareness and desire to be accident free keeps you more safe and reduces the number of causalities and accidents.

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Pet first aid – What you need to know

We love our pets! Below we list of a number of quick Pet First Aid tips. This list is meant as intermediary steps. You should also consult a veterinarian.

Pet First Aid

Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:

  • If your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
  • Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior. If suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435
  • Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
  • Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. You should never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
  • If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
  • If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
  • Know where to go in case of an emergency. Your regular veterinarian is a great place if the emergency occurs during the day. If the the emergency occurs in the evening or weekends it may be necessary to go to the emergency clinic in your area. Most are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Ensure important phone numbers such as your veterinarian, emergency vet hospitals, or emergency contacts are easily accessible.
  • Pack a pet first aid kit. It is best if you can have one for her car, and one for at home use. Fill it not only with useful supplies, but also keep a copy of your pet’s medical records with your pets name, age, breed microchip number, vaccine history, and any pre-existing conditions.

This last point is especially helpful if you regularly use a pet sitter or babysitter and will ensure that this person will have all they need should an emergency arise.

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Do you know how to recognize and help someone who is choking?

Choking is a common cause of accidental death and often preventable. Objects such as food, candy or small objects can easily become lodged in the airway if they are accidentally ‘breathed in’ rather than swallowed.

Signs and symptoms of choking

  • Unable to speak or cough
  • Grasping or pointing to the throat
  • Distressed look on the face
  • First aid treatment of choking

Encourage the patient to cough, If the choking is only mild, this will clear the obstruction and the patient should be able to speak to you.

If the obstruction is not cleared:

Give back blows

Call for help, but don’t leave the patient yet.

Bend them forward so the head is lower than the chest. For a smaller child, you can place them over your knee to do this.

Give up to 5 firm blows between the shoulder blades with the palm of your hand. Check between blows and stop if you clear the obstruction.

If the obstruction is still not cleared:

Give abdominal thrusts

  • Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around the waist.
  • Place your clenched fist just above the person’s navel. Grab your fist with your other hand.
  • Quickly pull inward and upward as if trying to lift the person up.
  • Perform a total of 5 abdominal thrusts.
  • If the blockage is still not dislodged, continue cycles of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts until the object is coughed up or the person starts to breathe or cough.
  • Take the object out of his mouth only if you can see it. Never do a finger sweep unless you can see the object in the person’s mouth

Give CPR, if necessary

If the obstruction comes out, but the person is becomes unconscious, begin CPR.

Continue CPR until medical personnel arrives.

 

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Should you restrain a person having a seizure?

Approximately 1 out of 10 people have had a seizure. Because seizures are very common, it’s important to learn what to do to help keep that person safe until the seizure stops.

There are many types of seizures. Most seizures end in a few minutes.

These are general steps to help someone who is having any type seizure:

  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends and he or she is fully awake. After it ends, help the person sit in a safe place. Once they are alert and able to communicate, tell them what happened in very simple terms.
  • Comfort the person and speak calmly.
  • Check to see if the person is wearing a medical bracelet or other emergency information.
  • Keep yourself and other people calm.
  • Offer to call a taxi or another person to make sure the person gets home safely.

A seizure (fit) occurs due to excessive and disorganized electrical activity in our brain. A major seizure occurs when the victim falls to the ground and starts shaking uncontrollably. This is known as a tonic-clonic seizure or a grand mal seizure.

Victims of a major seizure are normally unconscious during the episode and not aware of their surroundings.

There are many myths about the correct first aid treatment for a victim having a seizure. One of these myths is around restraining a victim to stop them from injuring themselves – this is incorrect and potentially dangerous!

  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (like CPR). People usually start -breathing again on their own after a seizure.
  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.

Attempting to restrain the victim will not shorten the duration of the seizure or speed up the victim’s recovery. This myth has the potential to cause serious harm to a seizure victim.

The Correct First Aid Steps for a Seizure

The following first aid steps should be carried out for a victim having a major seizure (fit):

  • Call for emergency medical help
  • Move on any bystanders
  • Move away from any potential hazards from the victim and protect their head
  • Once the seizure finishes, roll the victim onto their side and ensure the airway is open and they are breathing
  • Don’t attempt to restrain the victim or place anything in their mouth
  • If the victim stops breathing then start CPR immediately and call for a defibrillator.

CDC Seizure First Aid

 

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What are the best way to manage insect bites and stings?

Common reactions to insect bites and stings are mild. Often causing little more than stinging, redness and itching or minor swelling. Rarely do insect bites and stings, such as from a bee, a wasp, a hornet, a fire ant or a scorpion, can result in severe reactions.

To take care of an insect bite or sting that causes a mild reaction:

  • Move to a safe area to avoid more bites or stings.
  • If needed, remove the stinger.
  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cool compress. Use a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice. This helps reduce pain and swelling. If the injury is on an arm or leg, elevate it.
  • Apply 0.5 or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or a baking soda paste to the bite or sting several times daily until your symptoms go away.
  • Take an antihistamine (Benadryl, others) to reduce itching.
  • Usually, the signs and symptoms of a bite or sting disappear in a day or two. If you’re concerned — even if your reaction is minor — call your doctor.

Call 911 or your local emergency number if the injured person experiences:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, eyelids or throat
  • Dizziness, faintness or confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives
  • Nausea, cramps or vomiting
  • A scorpion sting and is a child
  • Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical help:

Ask the person if he or she is carrying an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) to treat an allergic attack.

If the person says he or she needs to use an autoinjector, ask whether you should help inject the medication. This is usually done by pressing the autoinjector against the person’s thigh and holding it in place for several seconds.

Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Don’t give him or her anything to drink.

If the person is vomiting, position him or her to prevent choking.

Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement.

For more information see this Mayo Clinic article

 

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What’s the difference between a sprain and a strain, and what the heck is R.I.C.E Therapy?

Sprains and strains are often used interchangeably. While very common for a first responder to encounter, they are not the same thing.

Sprain

A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to bones at joints.

Excessive force applied to a joint can cause these ligaments to tear – this is a sprain. Usually when a person falls, twists, or is hit in a way that forces the body out of its normal position.

The most common type of sprain is a sprained ankle. About 25,000 people sprain an ankle every day.

Strain

A strain is also a stretch or tear, but it happens in a muscle or a tendon. Tendons link muscles to the bones. This is very common in contact sports like football, boxing and hockey.

Treatment of sprains and strains

Although there is a difference between sprains and strains the first aid treatment of both is the same.

This is known as RICE therapy.

-Rest

-Ice

-Comfortable support / Compression

-Elevation

This simple first aid treatment will relieve swelling and subsequently relieve the pain from these injuries.

Always seek medical attention if the pain and swelling don’t start to lessens after 24 to 72 hours.

 

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Pet First Aid – What You Need To Know…

We love our pets right? But do we as pet owners know pet first aid? Here’s a quick list, meant as intermediary steps. You should also consult a veterinarian.

Pet First Aid

Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:

  • If your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
  • Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior. If suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435
  • Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
  • Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. You should never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
  • If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
  • If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
  • Know where to go in case of an emergency. Your regular veterinarian is a great place if the emergency occurs during the day. If the the emergency occurs in the evening or weekends it may be necessary to go to the emergency clinic in your area. Most are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Ensure important phone numbers such as your veterinarian, emergency vet hospitals, or emergency contacts are easily accessible.
  • Pack a pet first aid kit. It is best if you can have one for her car, and one for at home use. Fill it not only with useful supplies, but also keep a copy of your pet’s medical records with your pets name, age, breed microchip number, vaccine history, and any pre-existing conditions.

This last point is especially helpful if you regularly use a pet sitter or babysitter and will ensure that this person will have all they need should an emergency arise.