Accidents happen. Emergencies happen too. First aid training is not only essential to keep employees safe and healthy, it gives them peace of mind to handle medical emergencies calmly and effectively. Hopefully the worst-case scenario never happens, but it’s better to be prepared and responsive than stunned and stupefied. First-aid training for employees prepares them for anything and everything that could potentially go wrong, making their place of work a safe place to be.
What exactly is first aid training and what does it do for employees?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) defines first aid training as emergency care provided for injury or sudden illness before emergency medical treatment is available. It’s the first step to ensuring a safe place of work for safe employees.
The benefits of first aid training for employees
1. Saves lives
First aid training can be the difference between an employee who responds and reacts to an emergency situation, and one who stands by unsure of what to do. It is potentially the difference between life and death, which is why it’s crucial for employees to learn the basics. First aid training enables employees to help co-workers until professionals can reach the scene and take over.
2. Gives employees peace of mind
According to OSHA, there were 5,703 work-related fatalities in private industry in 2004. In that same year there were 4.3 million total workplace injuries and illnesses, of which 1.3 million resulted in days away from work. First aid training for employees prepares workers for when these unfortunate accidents occur. It allows employees to focus more on their work productivity and less on their overall safety in the workplace.
3. Meet OSHA standards and requirements
In order for employees to be trained in first-aid they need first-aid supplies. The OSHA First Aid standard (29 CFR 1910.151) requires trained first-aid providers at all workplaces of any size if there is no “infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees.” It’s crucial for every place of work to comply with these OSHA requirements, not only in terms of government standards, but because they ensure the safety of all employees. Meeting OSHA requirements means your workplace’s first-aid kit should also be ANSI compliant. To figure out if your work site’s first-aid kit is ANSI compliant read this.
4. First aid training minimizes risk
If you’re familiar with Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong, will. When employees receive first aid training they’re prepared for the worst. They can provide assistance to anyone who may need medical attention before medical professionals arrive, potentially saving that person’s life or preventing further damage and injury to occur. The worst might happen, but first aid training allows your employees to be prepared when it does.