As the saying goes: it’s better to be prepared than sorry. While you may not expect a significant medical emergency at work, accidents will and do happen. If you have provisions in place, however, you stand a better chance at minimising risk for your employees, and maintaining your business reputation.
In 2017, 609,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by workers. Thankfully, fatal injuries are relatively rare, and tend to occur in highly-dangerous industries. However, the common causes for the non-fatal injuries relate to handling, carrying and slips. With that in mind, you can attempt to reduce risks attributed to those incidents.
It goes without saying that you need a risk assessment in place. The necessity for a risk assessment is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, so you cannot avoid the measurement. However, if you don’t know what should be included, you can find templates online. In simple terms, your assessment must analyse all equipment and conditions to ensure they run as they should, and you have provisions in place for any emergency. It should feature:
- The action determined to resolve any accidents
- Identify the first aiders in the workplace
- Highlight any unsafe equipment of conditions, with the aim to resolve all issues
Emergency Accident Reporting
Emergency reporting of any incident is crucial for all businesses. In many cases, staff are not even aware this is part of their duties. You should contact all team members with the action plan in place for all emergencies, highlighting the necessity of incident reporting immediately and the form they will need to fill out.
As we mentioned above, the government has conducted surveys as to the most common causes of non-fatal injury in a workplace. As such, you can work to reduce those incidents and identify potential hazards in your office. Of course, you cannot eliminate all risks, but you can work to ensure the safety of your employees.
Handling and carrying incidents accounted for 122,000 of non-fatal injuries reported by UK workers, and there are straightforward procedures you can put in place. One such example is to provide proper training for your employees on lifting boxes etc., and to ensure there are no obstacles in their path. Similarly, make sure the doorways in your workplace are not obstructed.
Common incidents relating to this cause can easily be minimised – you just need to follower proper steps, which is where we come in. For example, if there happens to be a spillage, get rid of it straightaway. You should always make sure you provide suitable floor materials and signage.
First Aid Kits
We can’t state this any clearer, but you need several first aid kits in your business. Depending on the size of your team, the number of kits should relate. Your first aiders should also be aware of their responsibilities during an emergency. Your first aid kit should include:
- Various types of dressing
- Eye pads
- Sharp and blunt scissors
- Instant ice packs
- Sports tape
- Triangular bandages
- Sterile gauze swabs
- Crepe bandages
- Wound wash solution
- Deep freeze spray
- Emergency foil blanket
- Safety pins
- Resuscitation face mask
Your business should have a med plan in place, and it must feature everything mentioned above. Now you’ve got the basics, we suggest including:
- Evaluating the particular injury/illness
- Designate contacts for incident reporting
- Ensure all first aiders have received proper training
- Store all first aid certificates in an accessible place, keeping them up-to-date
- If you have medical facilities near your office, speak to them to see if they could handle any emergency cases that may arise
- Deliver medical procedures to all staff and ensure they understand the action from each accident
- Consult with healthcare professionals to provide advice on first aid kit/supplies
Essential Medical Apps
While all of the above is essential, you could even download professional medical apps to ensure you have all information at your disposal. While they are certainly not as accurate as healthcare professionals, these apps will be able to guide you through responding to a medical emergency.
The medical dictionary is as expected. The app boasts thousands of downloads, providing users access to more than 180,000 medical terms, all from authoritative sources. The medical app states that it will offer ‘clear, in-depth definitions of medical terminology’, and they could prove invaluable in a case of an emergency. The app includes features on diseases, drugs, physiology and treatments for specific illnesses.
First Aid by British Red Cross
This medical app is officially produced by British Red Cross, offering excellent guidance for first aiders. Their emergency section provides step-by-step instructions for all manner of incidents, including those occurring due to asthma, allergies, burns, broken bones, choking and even diabetes.
St John Ambulance First Aid
Another trusted app, this time produced by St John Ambulance. It does not replace the need for first aid training, but can help in terms of emergency. Similar to the British Red Cross app, this offers easy-to-follow illustrated guides and voice instructions on specific emergencies, both minor and major.
Instant Heart Rate Monitor
This is the world’s best mobile heart rate measurement app, and is worth installing to your device. The app works by detecting a colour change in your finger, thus calculating your heart rate. It is exceptionally accurate, but should never replace a true heart rate monitor.
Ultimately, if you do put provisions in place for emergencies, you will reduce the risk for staff and even any visitors to your premises. In the long run, that will only serve to enhance your company reputation.