Cover Image
close this bookThe Organization of First Aid in the Workplace (ILO, 1999, 70 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
close this folder1. Why first aid and the organization of first aid?
View the document1.1. What is first aid?
View the document1.2. The need to prevent accidents
View the document1.3. If an accident occurs
View the document1.4. An organized approach to first aid
View the document2. What first aid must do
close this folder3. Responsibilities and participation
close this folder3.1. Responsibilities of the employer
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View the document3.1.1. Equipment, supplies and facilities
View the document3.1.2. Human resources
View the document3.1.3. Other
View the document3.2. Workers’ participation
close this folder4. How first aid is organized
close this folder4.1. Variables to be considered in the assessment of first-aid requirements
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View the document4.1.1. Type of work and associated risks
View the document4.1.2. Size and layout of the enterprise
View the document4.1.3. Other enterprise characteristics
View the document4.1.4. Availability of other health services
close this folder4.2. First aid in the context of the general organization of safety and health in the enterprise
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View the document4.2.1. Occupational health services
View the document4.2.2. Safety and health committees and safety delegates
View the document4.2.3. The labour inspectorate
View the document4.2.4. Other institutions
close this folder4.3. First-aid personnel
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View the document4.3.1. Functional tasks
View the document4.3.2. Type and number of first-aid personnel required
View the document4.3.3. Advice to, and supervision of, first-aid personnel
View the document4.4. The role of the occupational health physician or nurse
close this folder4.5. Equipment, supplies and facilities for first aid
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View the document4.5.1. Rescue equipment
View the document4.5.2. First-aid boxes, first-aid kits and similar containers
View the document4.5.3. Specialized equipment and supplies
View the document4.5.4. The first-aid room
View the document4.5.5. Means for communicating the alert
View the document4.6. Planning for access to additional care
View the document4.7. Records
close this folder5. The training of first-aid personnel
View the document5.1. General considerations
close this folder5.2. Basic training
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View the document5.2.1. General
View the document5.2.2. Delivery of first aid
View the document5.3. Advanced training
View the document5.4. Training material and institutions
View the document5.5. Certification
View the document6. Relation to other health-related services
close this folderAnnexes
close this folderAnnex I. Examples of first-aid legislation
View the document1. New Zealand
View the document2. United Kingdom
View the document3. Federal Republic of Germany
View the documentAnnex II. Be ready for emergencies1
View the documentAnnex III. Rescue equipment: An example
close this folderAnnex IV. First-aid boxes
View the document1. Belgium
View the document2. India
View the document3. New Zealand
View the document4. United Kingdom
View the documentAnnex V. Antidotes: Some useful examples
View the documentOccupational Safety and Health Series
View the documentBack cover

5.1. General considerations

It has previously been noted that first-aid personnel are people on the spot, generally workers who are familiar with the specific conditions of work, and that they are not medically qualified but must be trained and prepared to perform very specific tasks. Besides the selection of the people to be appointed, the training of first-aid personnel is the single most important factor determining the effectiveness of organized first aid.

Not every worker will be suitable to be trained for providing first aid. Potential first-aiders should be motivated, and should possess a high level of comprehension and an ability to make decisions. They should be emotionally stable and able to cope with human beings in a crisis situation. They must be reliable. Employers must carefully and responsibly select first-aid personnel in accordance with these criteria. In the process they should seek cooperation and advice from the occupational health physician or nurse, if available, from the health and safety committee and, as appropriate, from outside physicians or other health personnel.

Training first-aid personnel once is not enough. Refresher training will be necessary from time to time. All this will take time and cost money. A prerequisite for success is that the persons selected are willing to give at least some of their free time. However, most of the time needed for training and retraining first-aid personnel, and the time spent on drills and other activities related to first aid, is usually made part of working time.

Training programmes will depend on many factors, including the variables discussed in section 4.1, especially the type of work and the associated risk involved. Ultimately, however, the programmes must respond to the functional tasks to be fulfilled by first-aid personnel.

A distinction was made in subsection 4.3.2 between two types of first-aid personnel (basic and advanced), depending on the likely complexity and severity of the situations they may have to deal with. This implies that their training also involved two levels:

(a) a basic programme of training adapted to the needs of all first-aiders, which will normally suffice for situations involving low risks at work;

(b) an advanced programme of training for situations involving higher, unusual or special risks. This programme would address the tasks of the advanced-level first-aider and would be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the basic programme of training.