Most organisations put measures in place to protect their people and prepare for the worst case scenario (e.g. fire drills), but how many are able to respond effectively to first aid emergencies?

Even in a relatively safe working environment such as an office, medical emergencies such as a heart attack, an allergic reaction, or a simple accident can occur at any time. These could affect a range of people in your workplace, including staff, contractors, visitors or other members of the public.

According to a government health study, there was a continuous increase in the rate of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis, over a 12-year period to 2005 (1).

As such, it makes sense to take some basic steps:
• Be aware of any staff who have severe allergies
• Ensure general staff know the situation so they can act accordingly 
• Have adrenalin auto-injectors on site (Epipen®)
• Have staff first aid trained and able to manage severe allergic reactions

Not only is first aid training for staff an important safety measure, it is a requirement under the Worksafe Australia Code of Practice (2).

While Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws vary from state to state, all jurisdictions require that at least one staff member is trained. The national Code of Practice states that there should be one first aider for every fifty staff, or one first aider for every twenty-five in high risk workplace environments.


What constitutes a high-risk workplace environment?

According to Worksafe Victoria:

• Low-risk workplaces are those where employees are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness. They are generally located where medical assistance or ambulance services are readily available.
• High-risk workplaces are those where employees may be exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness that would require immediate medical treatment. High-risk workplaces include manufacturing plants, kitchens, motor vehicle workshops, medical research facilities and forestry operations.

The following relevant first aid certifications are available in Australia:

• HLTAID003: Provide First Aid
• HLTAID001: Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
• 22099VIC: Course in First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis
• 22024VIC: Emergency Management of Asthma


A simple solution for training:

Getting staff trained in four qualifications can be time consuming and expensive, however there is a course that combines all the national accreditations listed above: HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education setting. While the name of this course mentions education, it is the standard Provide First Aid course, with the additional Anaphylaxis and Asthma elements included.

For more information on what is included in the course see our page http://dynamiqglobal.com/services/training/courses/first-aid-courses-133  

If you have any questions about the regulations that apply in your state or a particular aspect of the guidelines, please contact a Dynamiq consultant on eco@dynamiqglobal.com



1. Food-related anaphylaxis is on the rise in Australia, http://www.aihw.gov.au/media-release-detail/?id=6442464716 
2. Safe Work Australia www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/first-aid-in-the-workplace

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