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First Aid Kits

When I visit services to complete my Health and Safety overview, I am continuously amazed at the contents of the first aid kits (and not in a good way), and at times the lack of first aid kits provided.

Services need to ensure that they have sufficient amounts of kits, and they contain what is required to be kept in the first aid kits - taking into consideration you need suitable first aid for both the children and educators.

Let's look at the legalities of this first.

The WHS Regulations place specific obligations on a person conducting a business or undertaking in relation to first aid, including requirements to:

• provide first aid equipment and ensure each worker at the workplace has access to the equipment

• ensure access to facilities for the administration of first aid

• ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid at the workplace or that workers have access to an adequate number of other people who have been trained to administer first aid.

So what does that mean?

The best guide to use for this to ensure compliance is the Code of Practice First Aid in the Workplace. This is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulation.

This code provides information on using a risk management approach to tailor first aid that suits the circumstances of the workplace, while also providing guidance on the number of first aid kits, and their contents.

What do we need to consider?

When determining first aid requirements for your service, the below must be considered:

  • the nature of the work being carries out

  • the nature of the hazards at the workplace

  • the size, locations and nature of work

  • the number and compositions of the workers at the workplace

Completing risk assessments on the hazards in a Childcare setting is a must also - it will help identify what you will need in your first aid kits. (refer to Appendix A- Code of Practice First Aid in the Workplace.)

So what needs to be in the first aid kits and where should they be located?

Once we have considered the above, and completed risks assessments, this will give a clearer picture of what should be provided in your first aid kits.

The first aid kit should provide basic equipment for administering first aid for injuries including:

• cuts, scratches, punctures, grazes and splinters

• muscular sprains and strains

• minor burns

• amputations and/or major bleeding wounds

• broken bones

• eye injuries

• shock.

(Refer to Appendix C - Code of Practice First Aid in the Workplace.)

In the event of a serious injury or illness, quick access to the kit is vital. First aid kits should be kept in a prominent, accessible location and able to be retrieved promptly. Access should also be ensured in security-controlled workplaces. First aid kits should be located close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness.

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