How to organise first-aid care in your company?
As an employer, you are required to provide first-aid services within your company. An adequate number of people within your organisation must be trained in first-aid so they can administer first-aid assistance to employees who are suddenly injured or ill. But how do you plan for this?
1. Define the specific needs of your (type of) company
The first-aid measures and knowledge level required for your company will depend on the nature of your business activities. A risk assessment will easily reveal the type of first-aid assistance you need to organise, not only for your employees but also for any (sub)contractors and other relevant parties. You will need to provide at least the following:
- prompt and efficient emergency assistance;
- transport of the victim to the medical room, or to a medical practitioner or hospital close by;
- contact with specialised emergency services, if required.
2. Develop an internal emergency response plan
List the procedures and tools for first-aid care in an internal emergency response plan in consultation with the internal or external department for prevention and protection in the workplace. The occupational health physician will assist you with this and will assess the final plan.
3. Make sure a first-aid worker or designated person is available at all times
Employees who completed first aid-training will be able to assess whether or not a wound can be taken care of internally, for instance. This way, no unnecessary time is spent in the waiting room of an external medical practitioner.
- Group A, B and C companies (more than 20 employees) must have a fully certified first-aid worker available at all times. Do your operations include industrial activities? Then you are legally required to have a certified first-aid worker available if you employ 20 people or more. Non-industrial companies only need to have a certified first-aid worker available if they employ 50 people or more.
- Group D companies (fewer than 20 employees) are legally required to have one or more designated persons available on their premises at all times who are able to administer first-aid care.
4. Ensure that your first-aid workers are properly trained
First-aid workers must complete at least one three-day basic training course in first aid, as well as an annual half-day refresher course thereafter. This time frame may be extended to every two years provided that you can demonstrate that he or she possesses the necessary skills and knowledge. Designated persons only need to complete the four-hour initiation course.
Throughout these courses, first-aid workers learn to assess wounds and injuries and how to administer first-aid care. The risk assessment will tell you the exact skills that will be required of these first-aid workers to suit the needs of your company.
Would you like to have every useful First Aid tip in your pocket? Then download the free ‘First Aid – Red Cross’ app
It is important to react quickly and correctly in the event of minor injuries, such as a nosebleed or an abrasion, as well as in the event of serious accidents. The app does not replace First Aid classes, but it will enable anyone to learn the basics of First Aid themselves or to find out what needs to be done in case of an emergency. In addition to First Aid knowledge, the app also offers a handy overview of where you can find the nearest AED device.
5. Keep a first-aid log
Keeping a first-aid log is a legal requirement and provides an excellent overview of incidents and their follow-up care. The log serves many purposes: it can help you when developing a prevention plan for your business, and the information recorded in the log is sometimes used to help resolve insurance disputes. Last but not least, it is an easy tool to help collect details that need to go in the annual report.
What to record in the first-aid log?
- the identity of the first-aid worker, the victim and any witnesses;
- the time, location and circumstances of the incident or sudden illness, including a description;
- the time and type of intervention;
- the cause and nature of the wound, the wound care provided, and any follow-up care.
What should be in your first-aid kit?
Contact your occupational health physician for assistance. Apart from the standard first-aid tools and equipment, the contents of your first-aid kit will depend on the nature of your company’s activities.
First-aid legislation was modified under the Royal Decree of 9 March 2014.