The role of a first aid officer is no joke. While in many cases, they would provide only minor first aid treatment; there may be emergency cases where a life is on the line. That’s why it’s critical for employers to choose a first aid officer that has the right disposition and training for the job.
To make sure that your new first aid officer will be able to fulfil all their duties and responsibilities, you should look for someone who possesses the following skills and qualities:
Training and Certification. A first aid officer needs to have undergone first aid training from a nationally recognised training organisation. According to the official workplace safety guidelines, the first aid officer must have successfully completed at least the “Provide First Aid” level of training, which includes CPR (HLTAID001), basic life support (HLTAID002), and general first aid treatments (HLTAID003).
Availability. The first aid officer must be on-site for most of his or her working hours. Workers doing fieldwork are not the ideal candidates as they would likely be unavailable during emergencies.
Volunteer work. An ideal first aid officer is one that volunteers for the job. They must understand the responsibilities of the role and agree to fulfil it. Even if the role is appointed to a worker, they must be willing to put in the extra time and effort to keep the workplace safe.
Capability. It’s important to choose a first aid officer who is mentally, physically, and emotionally capable of providing treatment. In some cases, he or she may need to physically manoeuvre an unconscious patient or assist them in reaching first aid facilities. A first aid provider also needs to learn to set aside their emotions and burdens in order to focus on the patient in need of immediate care.
What are the duties of a first aid officer?
First aid officers not only prove their worth during a disaster or evacuation; they have responsibilities that they have to fulfil even if everything is calm and quiet in their place of work. Here are some of the duties you should expect from your first aid officer:
Maintain a Certified Status. The initial first aid training is merely the starting point of a first aid officer’s education. In order to maintain their certified status, first aid officers need to undergo refresher courses. CPR certification for example is only valid for 12 months. Meanwhile, the “Provide First Aid” Course is valid for 3 years. Many fast-tracked first aid training courses offered in Melbourne include an automatic reminder to renew, keeping your first aid officer’s certification active and their first aid knowledge updated.
Keep a Compliant First Aid Kit. The first aid officer’s first task is to ensure that the facility maintains a first aid kit that’s compliant with the state’s laws and regulations. Different industries have varying levels of risks and their first aid kit should reflect the needs of their work environment. It’s critical that first aid officers replenish the supplies as needed in order to respond efficiently in case of emergencies.
Provide First Aid Treatment. As a first aid provider, he or she must calmly assess situations properly and apply treatment. For serious injuries or disease, the first aider must call for medical assistance and provide first aid while waiting for medical professionals to arrive and take over. If there is a risk of infection from an ill worker, the first aid provider must act to prevent it from spreading. This is why it’s important to make sure first aid officers are provided immunisation from common diseases such as Hepatitis B.
Document Treatment. Specified under the compliance code is the need to keep record of any first aid treatment given by the first aid officer. These records are turned over to managers regularly to help the company form an accurate risk assessment of the facility. Be aware that these records are subject to the requirements of the Health Records Act 2001.
Employers have the responsibility of uplifting their worker’s welfare by providing a safe workplace environment with a competent first aid officer on standby. At the end of the day, everyone benefits from having accessible and high-quality first aid care in the workplace.