First aid and emergency procedures

Planning for an emergency helps you to:

  • Minimise the time taken for the emergency services to reach you
  • Minimise the risk to operators if there is an emergency
  • Include environmental and other emergencies in your plan.

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

You should also identify which items need to be in the worksite first aid kit.

Your first aid assessment

Your first aid assessment should take account of:

  • The nature of the work
  • The 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
  • Working on shared or multi-occupied sites
  • Holidays and other absences of first aiders
  • The presence of trainees and the public
  • The possibility of medical conditions or allergies.

First aid kit

You should carry a personal first aid kit on you while at work. Make sure you have received suitable training on using its contents. It should contain at least one or more haemostatic dressings, a tourniquet, a pair of plastic gloves and a Resusciade (or similar device). Keep a worksite first aid kit at a central location.

Emergency procedures

For any emergency procedures to work well, all operators and managers must aware of the procedures and have the opportunity to test them. You should test, evaluate and modify your procedures to ensure they are working. Ensure you know your location. Be able to provide OS grid references or GPS coordinates, 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 the need for aerial tree rescue, or releasing a casualty who is trapped below a tree or heavy equipment. Identify the personnel and equipment that need to be on site and set up how to quickly contact other people you need.

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