87% of Australian Businesses are not first aid prepared. 45% of Australian Households do not have a first aid kit. Do you know what that could mean for you if you broke something while out and about? It's not worth the risk - make sure you're first aid prepared now.
Who is responsible?
The Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has the primary duty of care to ensure health and safety risks are taken care of. In other words, your boss needs to make sure first aid is taken care of - either by doing it themselves or delegating the task to somebody competent. You also have a duty to report any issues, discrepancies or concerns you have about how first aid is handled in your workplace. Everybody - from the top to the bottom - needs to feel safe and capable in the workplace in case of anything going wrong.
What do I need?
First aid is a complicated topic, and there are all kinds of different equirements based off of where you work, how many people are in your workplace, the common risks you face in the workplace... but fortunately, there are first aid kits to choose from.
Just for personal use, you'll want a personal kit (available in hard or soft packs). These kits are compact, but stocked with all the first aid equipment you'd need if you got an injury around the house.
For work vehicles, you'll want an R1 kit (in hard or soft packs) designed to hold everything you'll need and more on the road. As an added bonus, this kit is fully compliant with all the demands that come from working from home. Remember that if you're working from home, that makes your home a workplace, and your employer has that duty of care as per any workplace.
However, if working from home, or in any small workplace, you'll likely want an R2 or R3 kit. R2 kits are perfect for low risk workplaces, such as offices, retail sites, libraries, etc. R3 kits, however, are for high risk workplaces, such as construction sites or anywhere with risk of serious trauma. These kits are suitable for workplaces with anywhere between 1 and 25 people on site.
For a grander scale workplace, you'll want an R4 kit. Designed for use in dedicated first aid rooms, these kits have hospital-grade contents to ensure you have the proper response to any injuries that may occur. Suitable for up to 50 people, these kits are great for large industrial sites or construction workers, mine sites and the like.
Other kits and additional modules exist for non-standard workplace risks, such as workplaces where dangerous chemicals are frequently used. Consult with your first aid officer or a relevant first aid authority if unsure.
How many do I need?
Many workplaces need more than a single first aid kit, particularly for large workplaces. It is recommended you have at least 1 kit per separate level of your workplace, and 1 kit for every separate building. As a rule, you should always be within 1 minute's walking distance of a first aid kit. Grander scale workplaces are recommended to have dedicated first aid rooms (infirmaries) to increase the quality of care you can provide. High risk workplaces are recommended by Safe Work Australia to have a first aid room if there are 100 or more workers on site, but check your state/territory regulations if you have any questions or concerns.
Who do I need?
In addition to first aid kits, you also need trained first aiders on site who hold nationally recognised statements of attainment from a registered training organisation. Depending on the nature of the workplace and the likelihood of injuries, they may need additional training to meet the demands of the site - perform a risk assessment if you're not sure. As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended that you have 1 first aider per:
- 50 workers, in low risk sites
- 25 workers, in high risk sites
- 10 workers, in remote high risk sites (such as mines)