When a medical emergency or injury occurs, knowing what to do and being able to react quickly is critical to limiting the severity of the incident. Proper first aid training provides individuals with the confidence and skills they need to address an emergency, prevent further injury, and a save a life. In extreme cases, equipping employees with first aid training could mean the difference between life and death.
Although all jurisdictions in the United States and Canada require workplaces to provide a first aid kit, a first aid attendant, and training, the requirements vary depending on the nature of the work, the number of employees on site, and the location of the worksite. All oil and gas work in is considered high hazard work and it’s highly recommended that all employees working onsite receive first aid training. This guarantees that first aid is readily available and accessible at all times, regardless of which employees are on shift. If providing first aid training all employees is not possible, it’s important to understand the requirements for the state or province you’re operating in to ensure compliance with their standards.
Having employees properly training in first aid is one component of a comprehensive First Aid Plan. A First Aid Plan sets out expectations and requirements regarding first aid services, equipment, supplies, records, communication, and transportation. Developing a First Aid Plan requires an assessment of the potential workplace hazards and the types of injuries and illnesses likely to occur. Consider information such as the number of workers, the type of work, and available medical treatment. When developing your First Aid Plan, you should always consider the worst-case scenario.
In summary, your First Aid Plan should include:
• The number of first aid attendants needed to cover all areas and shifts, including names and contact details
• Specific training requirements for first aid attendants
• Specific requirements and management for first aid box and first aid room (if required)
• Emergency response procedures
• First-aid recording and reporting system
• Important contact numbers (e.g., 9-1-1, police, poison control, hospitals/clinics,)
It is the role of managers and supervisors to understand the First Aid Plan and their accountabilities, as well as making sure first aid information is provided to all employees.
Regular reviews are an important part of maintaining your First Aid Plan. Emergency drills and exercises can help you make sure that your plan will work if an emergency does occur, and first aid kits and facilities should be reviewed on a regular basis. If an incident requiring first aid does occur, this is an opportunity for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your first aid plan and make any necessary changes or improvements.