First Aid is exactly that, the act of providing immediate assistance to an injured person in an attempt to save life, relieve pain or provide comfort.
The most important first step in first aid is ensuring your own safety and that of other persons affected by or in the area of the incident.
Basic rules for first aid can be summarised as follows:
Danger to yourself or others?
Response, is there any from the patient/victim?
Airways, are the patients airways clear?
Breathing, is the patient breathing?
Circulation, is there a pulse?
The DRABC Action Plan has long been recognised as an important first action procedure when you find yourself in a position where you need to administer first aid.
When approaching the scene of an accident or incident, follow the DRABC action plan.
D Check for danger, to you, to others, to the casualty. Make certain that noone else gets hurt. You will not be of any help if you get injured too.
Only proceed when it is safe to do so. For example, if you are attending a victim of electrocution, ask yourself, has the power supply been isolated?
R Check for a response, is the casualty conscious? Gently shake the casualty and ask a simple question such as “What is your name?” If the casualty is conscious, check for bleeding and other injuries. If the casualty is unconscious, turn on their side and place in the recovery position.
A Is the airway clear? With the casualty in the recovery position, tilt the head back and slightly down. Check for and clear any obstructions in the mouth.
B Is the casualty breathing? Look for the chest rising up and down. Listen for the sound of breathing and feel with your cheek. If the casualty is breathing, ensure that he or she is in a stable side position. Check and manage bleeding or other injuries. If the casualty is not breathing, turn onto back and commence EAR (expired air resuscitation)
C Check for circulation. Feel the pulse at the neck, (cartoid pulse) if a pulse is present continue EAR. If pulse is not present, commence CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
Know the location of first aid kits and familiarise yourself with the contents
Identify any trained first aiders on site and ensure others on site are also aware
Keep a copy of an up to date first aid manual on site
Maintain the contents of your first aid kid
A relevant person performing construction work must ensure that first aid
equipment is reasonably accessible to the person, and if the relevant person is an employer, to the person’s workers.
The first aid equipment must be appropriate and adequate for the construction work and the relevant person or the person’s workers.
The relevant person must ensure that all first aid equipment made available by the person is maintained in a hygienic, safe and serviceable condition.
FIRST AID KITS
Each site should carry a first aid kit which is adequately equipped with the contents being suitable for applying basic first aid.
In considering the required contents of a first aid kit for your site, you need to think about likely minor injuries that could occur as a result of working on the site.
Following is the suggested contents of a first aid kit suitable for a small workplace.
Preference is for all items to be disposable where possible.
CONTENTS USE FUNCTION/COMMENTS
adhesive strips (assorted sizes) minor wound dressing
non-allergenic adhesive tape (eg 5m x 2.5cm) secure dressings, strapping
eye pads (eg 5 single packs) emergency eye cover
triangular bandage (eg minimum of 5) slings, support, padding