Are you a ... first aider?

The purpose of this guidance is to help minimise the time taken for the emergency services to reach you and advise on ways to minimise the risk to operators if there is an emergency. It also highlights the need to include environmental and other emergencies within the planning process.

Employers and the self-employed need to assess the first-aid requirements of their work. Make sure there are enough suitably trained first-aid personnel (first-aiders) and facilities so that immediate assistance is available to casualties of illness or injury, and that an ambulance or other professional help can be summoned without delay.

The assessment should also identify which items need to be in the worksite first-aid kit.

The first-aid assessment should take account of:

  • The nature of the work;
  • The past history and consequences of injuries;
  • The nature and distribution of the workforce;
  • The remoteness of the site from the emergency services, including location, terrain and weather conditions;
  • The working on shared or multi-occupied sites;
  • The holidays and other absences of first-aiders;
  • The presence of trainees and the public;
  • The possibility of medical conditions or allergies. (The use of MedicAlert may be considered tel 020 7833 3034 for details.)

You must carry a personal first-aid kit on you while at work. It should contain at least a large wound dressing, a pair of plastic gloves and a Rescusciade (or similar device). This is in addition to a worksite first-aid kit which should be kept at a central location see HSE leaflet INDG214 First aid at work: Your questions answered and basic advice on first aid at work.

For any emergency procedures to work well, it is vital that all operators and managers are aware of the procedures and have had the opportunity to test them.

Remember: Emergency procedures should be tested, evaluated and modified, as necessary, to ensure they are working. Ensure you know your location. Be able to provide OS grid references, or GPS co-ordinates, and access points from the main road into the forest or woodland

You should also anticipate problems that will exist in getting to a casualty, eg tree climbing and the need for aerial tree rescue or releasing a casualty that has been trapped below a tree or heavy equipment. Identify the personnel and equipment that need to be on site and establish how to quickly get access to others that may become necessary.

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