Occupational health and accidents
First aid equipment
Ensiapuvarustus englanti - sisältö
In the dimensioning of first aid equipment, workplaces can be divided into three groups depending on whether the risk of accidents in the workplace is minor, apparent or exceptional.
First aid equipment includes:
- first aid supplies
- stretcher and other transportation equipment
- emergency showers and eye irrigation equipment
- first-aid medicines
- first aid facilities
- emergency medical supplies.
Ensiapuvarustus englanti - plussisällöt
When planning first aid preparedness at the workplace and purchasing first aid supplies, consideration must be given to the special circumstances at the workplace.
As a rule, it is recommended that workplaces susceptible to accidents have first aid equipment in accordance with the recommendation and checklist taking into account the number of employees, the location of the workplace, separate units and similar matters. Some supplies are loose materials that can be used to treat the most frequent minor injuries and stores can be supplemented according to consumption. Some of the supplies are packaged using the so-called module principle as units that remain clean and ready for use and can also be easily carried to an accident site.
In dangerous sectors where work is carried out alone or away from colleagues, access to assistance must be secured with mobile phones, radiotelephones, satellite phones or alarms. The functionality of the equipment (audibility, battery life, etc.) must be taken into account when planning first aid preparedness.
A first-aid kit and pocket kit are available for farms. On construction sites and at vessel loading and unloading sites, mining and excavation sites, forest work break rooms and other similar sites located far away from the emergency treatment point, and where the risk of serious injuries is apparent, there should be at least two air-filled splints for limbs (upper and lower limbs), a life blanket type device (or at least a plastic covering of measuring 2x2 m) for carrying and protecting the patient as well as a flashlight with extra batteries.
In forestry work and other work in which people work alone or in pairs, each employee should have a pocket kit. Working groups with more than one person that work separate from others should have first aid supplies in accordance with the recommendation and checklist.
Regardless of the transport task, lorries and vans should have a first-aid kit or first aid bag in accordance with the recommendation and checklist, if the driver is external workforce and the vehicle operates in road transport. Fewer supplies are only acceptable n distribution and other similar tasks, in vehicle operating in residential centres.
Buses and coaches must be equipped with first aid equipment in accordance with the Ministry of Transport's decision on their structures and equipment.
Vehicles used for the transport of dangerous substances must have the necessary personal protective and preventive equipment for the driver. International ADR transports must also have an eye irrigation bottle filled with water.Finavia has issued regulations on first aid kits for aircrafts (small planes and helicopters).
Workplaces where workers are at particular risk of drowning, suffocation, electric shock, etc., must have appropriate rescue and resuscitation equipment (or at least instructions for resuscitation). When carrying out work that involves diving, the employer must determine the possibilities for access to pressure chambers and other further treatment in advance.
Storage of first aid supplies
First aid supplies must be kept in good order so that they are easy to access and, if necessary, to carry to in the accident site. At fixed workplaces, the storage location may be a first aid cabinet, a package on a wall mount or a portable box. The wound care equipment intended for the treatment of small injuries will best be kept clean in its own box (so-called plaster automat).
The first aid kit, cabinet or other packaging must bear a clearly visible and durable label with a white cross on a green base (except in cases where use of the SPR logo is authorised).
If necessary, the location of the first aid devices shall be indicated with signs. For example, it is a good idea to have information on the location of first aid equipment on the bulletin board in personnel premises. The bulletin board may also include a list of persons with first aid skills and instructions for how to call for an emergency vehicle.
A person must be appointed responsible for each piece of first aid equipment (e.g. cabinet, pack or other package), either separately or workplace-specifically, and they will be tasked with checking at least monthly the number and condition of the first aid supplies and the cleanliness of the storage site. The basic review and update of supplies, where necessary, is essential at least once every five years, and in the case of possible medicines, often earlier than this.
It is recommended that the workplace have an appropriate emergency first aid guide, emergency first aid wall posters or other guidelines suited to the specific conditions of the workplace.
Minimum equipment for providing first aid (see recommendation and checklist) is provided for each workplace group. The list presented is indicative. It can be used to assist in the purchase of first aid equipment. It is possible to replace supplies and equipment with other options that, taking into account the circumstances of the workplace, can be considered at least as suitable for the purpose.
If necessary, a stretcher or other transfer device must be available at the workplace for the transfer of injured or ill persons. For example, lightweight stretchers or different carrying clothes can often be more useful than ordinary stretchers. The use of vacuum mattress makes it considerably easier in particular to transport a patient who is in pain. It may be used as a carrier or on a stretcher as such. It is advisable to keep instructions on transport positions of the injured or ill persons in the same place where stretcher or other carriers are kept.
In workplaces where there is a risk of fire or explosion or of splashes of corrosive and toxic chemicals, the equipment must include an eye irrigation device and an emergency shower. Quick access to an emergency shower or eye irrigation can prevent serious eye injuries and burns. The showers must be tested regularly to ensure that the water in the showers is at an appropriate temperature. In Finland, clean tap water (drinking water) can also be used to rinse eyes.
Eye irrigation can also be arranged at a fixed irrigation point (e.g. in connection with a water tap), an eye irrigation bottle or an eye irrigation spray. When choosing a suitable method of implementation, the risks at the workplace should be taken into account, for example whether there is a hazards are caused by metal shavings or chemical splashing. The expertise of occupational health care can be utilised in this. If it is necessary to continue irrigation of the eye on the way to the first aid, a mobile eye irrigation option may also be necessary.
For work-related travel abroad, it may be necessary to include, for example, diarrhoea medication, antibiotics and other medicines deemed necessary in accordance with the conditions in the destination country and the duration of the journey.
If you are transporting medicines abroad, make sure in advance that they are legal in the country of destination and that you have the documents needed to export them, such as a prescription.
An example of the contents of the medicines package for international assignments:
- instructions for each drug
- pain/fever medication
- diarrhoea medicine
- medicine for travel sickness (if necessary)
- antihistamine (if necessary)
- hydrocortisone cream (for sunburns and insect stings)
- antibiotic (if necessary)
- sleep medicine (if necessary)
- mosquito repellent and cream (where necessary)
- acetylsalicylic acid 250 mg (for long flights)
- antiseptic solution for wound cleaning
- dressings (gauze dressings, plasters)
- sterile needles
- water purification tablets or filter (depending on the country of destination)
There is a separate law on the content of medical stores on ships (Act on Ships’ Medical Stores 584/2015).
Due to factors such as the size or location of the workplace, it may be appropriate to arrange a room that is suitable for providing first aid and emergency care which marked with a sign. At the same time, it may also serve as a rest room in persons with mild illnesses.
If the occupational health care unit is located in the workplace or in its immediate vicinity, it should be equipped with emergency medical supplies and medicines. How it is equipped should be determined according to the nature and location of the workplace and the level of education and skills of the health care personnel. The equipment may include respiratory resuscitation equipment, fluid transfer equipment, emergency medication and drug solutions, and suture kits for wounds.