Protec PPE Blog
Emergency First Aid Solutions Posted by alona zakharchenko , Posted on 22/09/2020
Every day, those in the UK are having to adapt and change their lifestyle to cater for things such as new working patterns which, only a matter of months ago, didn’t seem plausible.
Key workers, those who provide essential and fundamental services, have had to quickly adjust to new social distancing measures which have been introduced into working environments. Meanwhile, key workers in service roles are having to sit around dining tables while balancing the demands of entertaining the children, home-schooling and also maintaining their incomes during a global healthcare and economic crisis.
As the government releases new policies which are more and more stringent in an attempt to reduce the rate of transmission of Covid-19 and also flatten the curve in terms of the number of cases recorded on a daily basis, an emphasis has been placed on effective handwashing protocols and increased PPE provisions. In times of a national emergency, it’s essential to not lose sight of the overall role that first aid solutions play when it comes to protecting the health and welfare of your workforce, especially for those who are maintaining our essential services.
Recently, the NHS published data which highlighted that during the previous financial year (18-19), there were a total of 24.6 million attendances in Accident and Emergency throughout the UK. Even with emergency plans in place, professionals and experts agree that this number needs to be reduced to keep up with standards that we’re seeing in South Europe.
Maintaining effective first aid practices at work helps to reduce the requirements of emergency care wherever possible, and this will be a massive benefit to our already overstretched health service.
While this is extremely relevant in high-risk industries, such as those delivering critical construction and infrastructure projects, it’s also present amongst the millions of desk-based workers who, overnight, had to adopt new remote working practices and had to adapt to working from home.
Emergency legislation has enabled modifications to current mental health and employment rights, yet there is barely any impact on the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations Act of 1981. An employer still has a legal obligation to provide adequate and appropriate equipment which ensures that their staff receives immediate attention if they’re taken ill or suffer an injury while they are at work. As an employer, you have the same health and safety regulations for home workers as for any other type of worker.
Some key areas to consider are:
- How will you keep in touch with them?
- What work activity will they be doing (and for how long?)
- Can it be done safely?
- Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?
It is advisable to carry out a risk assessment for anyone who is working from home and ensure that the space which they are utilising as a make-shift office is suitable in terms of having adequate ventilation, lighting and also the correct temperature. Assessing the workspaces should include removing any potential hazards, such as trip hazards caused by leads and cables. It’s likely that, in the current situation most people who are adapting to their new work arrangements will only be conducting low-risk desk-based work from their homes. In this case, there are no additional first aid requirements needed beyond those of any normal domestic needs. However, workplace ergonomics should be considered to prevent any unnecessary injuries.
Protec Direct offers a wide range of first aid solutions which are designed to suit every business requirement, from lone workers to multinational organisations.
Having the equipment needed to handle minor injuries while working from home is only part of the solution, it’s more than likely the case that the majority of those working from home haven’t received any form of first aid training. In fact, the British Red Cross has claimed that only 5% of UK adults have the skills and the confidence required to administer first aid in an emergency situation. This becomes more relevant in the context of the increased burden of childcare that many households now have since the school closure on March 20th.
Quality education resources from respected providers have now become essential in building up confidence in those looking to administer immediate and effective first aid treatment. All first aid kits supplied by Protec Direct also include easy-to-follow instructions and first aid guidance leaflets.
As the UK sees the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continuing to rise, we have a responsibility to follow the national guidance when it comes to handwashing and self-isolation to help restrict the transmission of this potentially fatal virus. The social implications of this global pandemic will be lasting and profound.
In the short term, it’s important for businesses to not lose sign of their health and safety obligations to provide for the welfare of their employees. Increasing the confidence and the ability of those working from home to effectively treat minor injuries without the need for emergency care will not only boost the effectiveness of social distancing measures, but it will also have a long-lasting benefit on society in general.