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
View the document(introduction...)
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
View the document(introduction...)
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

3.2. Workers’ participation

Without full participation of the workers, first aid cannot be effective. Workers’ participation can take many forms, some of which are as follows:

Workers may need to cooperate in rescue and first-aid operations, if this is demanded by rescue or first-aid personnel or by occupational safety and health staff. They should, in particular, assist in transporting victims as required. Workers do not usually consider that such participation is beyond their duty.

All workers should be informed about first-aid arrangements. The employer should organize briefings for all workers. The following are essential parts of the briefing:

- the organization of first aid in the enterprise;

- colleagues who have been appointed as first-aid personnel;

- ways in which information about an accident should be communicated, and to whom;

- location of the first-aid box;

- location of the first-aid room;

- location of the rescue equipment;

- what the workers must do in case of an accident;

- location of the escape routes;

- workers’ actions following an accident;

- ways of supporting first-aid personnel in their task.

Written instructions about first aid, preferably in the form of posters, should be displayed by the employer at strategic places within the enterprise. Workers should read these instructions carefully and seek clarification if the information provided is unclear or seemingly inadequate. They should make suggestions, based on their knowledge of the workplace, as to what additional information may usefully be communicated to all workers.

Usually many workers are willing to be trained in first aid and to be registered or appointed as first-aid personnel. However, some have reasons not to do so because of their own health, or because of emotional problems when dealing with the casualty of an accident. The employer should explain to the workers the reasons why they are being selected for first aid. Persons selected have a right to insist that, if they are appointed, the employer must do whatever necessary to protect their health and safety from any hazards to which they may be exposed as first-aid personnel under conditions of higher, unusual or special risks.2

Workers should report any accident to which they are exposed, irrespective of how serious the injury seems to be at first sight. All employees should adopt safe behaviour standards at work, and make use of the information provided to them by the employer on occupational safety and health, including first aid, with a view to contributing to the prevention of future accidents.


1 P. Barr“Le secourisme en milieu de travail”, in Cahiers de Notes Documentaires - Sritt hygi du travail (Paris), No. 96, 1979.

2 For example, guidelines for AIDS and first aid in the workplace are being prepared by the World Health Organization in cooperation with the ILO. Editor’s note: Guidelines on AIDS and first aid in the workplace, WHO AIDS Series No. 7 (Geneva, WHO, 1990) has since been published.