First aid

This page contains frequently asked questions on first aid.  First aid is the immediate treatment or care given to someone suffering from an injury or illness. The initial treatment a person receives directly after an injury, accident or when a person becomes ill at work is extremely important in achieving the aims of first aid.

What first aid training do I require?

First aid may be administered by the first person 'on the spot'. It is generally recognised, however, that a first aider is a person who has had some level of formal training. First aiders may have skills that range from basic expired air resuscitation (EAR) or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to being able to provide more complex treatment.

Selection and training of first aid personnel is most important.  First aiders should be familiar with the specific conditions and hazards at the workplace and the types of injuries likely to require treatment. The level of training that is needed should be determined according to the hazards identified at the workplace and the assessed risks.

How many first aiders are required at my workplace?

In selecting and determining the number of first aiders needed at a workplace, consideration should be given to:

  • the hazards identified at the workplace; 
  • an assessment of the risks associated with the hazards; 
  • the size and layout of the workplace; 
  • the location of the workplace including whether it is an isolated or remote workplace; 
  • the distance from the workplace to the nearest occupational health or medical service, or ambulance service; and 
  • the number and distribution of employees including those employees working shiftwork.

Can I keep paracetamol in my first aid kit?

Medication, including analgesics should not be included in a first aid kit because of their potential to cause adverse effects in some people, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions such as asthma. Workers requiring prescribed or over the counter medication should carry their own, however, for the treatment of severe allergies or anaphylaxis, workplaces may consider keeping an asthma-relieving inhaler and a spacer to treat severe asthma attacks and an epinephrine auto-injector (e.g. an EpiPen) for anaphylaxis. These should be stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Where required, first aiders or co-workers should have knowledge of the co-worker’s Action Plan for Asthma or Anaphylaxis and be provided with appropriate training.  


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