As the summer holidays draw to a close, a new school year begins. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff and students is important at this time as staff and students settle in to perhaps new schools or new jobs.
With so much happening in the first few weeks of term, it is easy to overlook your first aid and medication needs... but critical that you don't!
Held annually from 2003, the upcoming World Day for Health and Safety takes place on 28th April 2017. The purpose of the awareness day is to promote decent, safe and healthy work in the workplace environment.
When you learn first aid, you hope that you'll never have to use your skills in an emergency. Ok, so you'll expect to have to use the odd plaster. Or perhaps you'll send someone to hospital to get a possible broken arm checked out.
But hopefully you'll never have to deal with a something as serious as a cardiac arrest.
We all rely on the medical professionals from our fantastic National Health Service to look after us when we get injured or ill. Whether it's GPs and Practice Nurses at our local surgery, or paramedics, consultants, nurses and surgeons in our hospitals.
But what happens when they're not around? What happens in the time between an accident, and the emergency services arriving?
Health and safety is often given a hard press as it can be used as an excuse for preventing staff, customers and those in an organisation’s care from doing certain activities.
Think about bans on playing conkers, wearing glasses on bouncy castles, and more topically, workers being banned from putting up Christmas decorations around their desks. In some cases, there may be good reasons for restrictions, but H&S is often used to mask the real thinking behind them.
However Health and Safety regulations do serve a useful purpose, and this is borne out when you review the accident statistics for the UK.
Despite a host of rules and regulations being in place an astonishing number of people become injured or are taken suddenly unwell whilst at work each year. Recent statistics from the HSE for the reporting year 2012 / 2013 show that during the year:
(source HSE annual statistics 2012/2013)
Obviously this costs both in the financial sense as well as the loss, pain, injury and discomfort for the individuals involved and their families.
Carrying out a thorough risk assessment, and putting in place the resultant safety measures, robust procedures and well trained first aiders is of paramount importance. In the event of an emergency you want to know that there are people around who can confidently help until the emergency services arrive.
As the New Year approaches you should be doing the following:
The simple answer is “Yes”!
Fabrice Muamba almost died in April and would have done so without an AED close at hand, and his coaches and the consultant cardiaologist who knew how to operate one.
30,000 people a year in the UK have a cardiac arrest out of hospital. Statistically if you have a cardiac arrest out of hospital your chances of surviving are poor; less than 10% people will survive. This appalling statistic hasn’t changed much in many years.
However with prompt intervention with an automated external defibrillator device and good basic CPR, your chances of survival go up to about 74%.
Many employers are often put off purchasing an AED on the basis of cost of the device, and the time that it takes to train staff to use one. However, the machines themselves are very reliable and easy to use.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death and you have a responsibility for ensuring safety to your staff, visitors and customers so why not invest in an AED? After all, you invest in fire extinguishers and hope you will never need to use those either!