Procedures

First Aid Management - Procedures

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines requirements for the management of first aid at The University of Queensland (UQ).

This procedure supports UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness (HSW) Policy, which outlines UQ’s commitment to the continuous improvement in the prevention of injuries, illness and incidents through an effective health and safety management system.

1.1    Context

UQ is legally obliged under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (the WHS Regulation) to comply with duties to provide adequate first aid and first aid facilities in the workplace. In addition to this procedure, guidance for Organisational Units on how to determine first aid requirements and information on first aid equipment, facilities and training is provided by the Queensland Government’s First aid in the workplace – code of practice 2021.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

  1. Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for:

    1. assessing and managing risk related to the hazards that are present in the workplace, taking into account the duties and activities of the workplace as a whole;

    2. ensuring adequate first aid resources and facilities in the workplace are provided and maintained; and

    3. requiring UQ staff as First Aid Officers (FAOs), qualified in the provision of first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to oversee the maintenance and management of first aid arrangements in Organisational Units.

  2. Incidents requiring first aid must be reported in UQSafe by the person injured or the Organisational Unit’s FAO.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Risk assessment and management

First aid requirements at UQ will vary across campuses and workplaces according to the nature of hazards, tasks and the size and location of the workplace. First aid requirements must be implemented in accordance with the First aid in the workplace - code of practice 2021.

Appendix B of the First aid in the workplace – code of practice 2021 provides guidance on the first aid risk management process, and further information about assessing workplace risks at UQ.

3.2    First aid equipment and facilities

Organisational Units must have displayed in the workplace the following first aid information:

  • up-to-date emergency contact details;

  • location of first aid equipment and facilities;

  • name(s) and location(s) of the Organisational Unit’s FAOs;

  • names and location of other UQ workers in the Organisational Unit trained to administer first aid; and

  • procedures to be followed when first aid is required.

FAOs are responsible for monitoring and maintaining first aid equipment for the Organisational Unit including first aid kits and automated external defilbrilators (AEDs).

3.2.1    First aid kits

Organisational Units must maintain first aid kits with contents appropriate to the activities being conducted in the workplace. The contents of first aid kits will depend on:

  • size, layout and location of the workplace;

  • number of UQ workers;

  • types of hazards; and

  • likelihood and type of injury.

First aid kits can be any size, shape or type to suit the workplace. The recommended content of a first aid kit is provided in Appendix E of the First aid in the workplace – code of practice 2021. First aid supplies can be ordered from UQ stores at the expense of the Organisational Unit.

Organisational Units can send expired first aid supplies to the School of Veterinary Science Clinical Studies Centre (Gatton) or the Animal Ethics Unit (St Lucia) for use with animals.

3.2.2    Automated external defibrillator

An automated external defibrillator (AED) may reduce the risk of fatality from cardiac arrest. Organisational Units that identify the need for an AED through a risk assessment are responsible for:

  • the purchase, installation and ongoing maintenance of the AED; and

  • notifying the HSW Division of the installation and location of the AED so as to update the website.

AEDs must be adequately signed and should be located in areas that are clearly visible, accessible and not exposed to extreme temperatures. A list of AED locations across UQ campuses is available from UQ’s first aid website.

3.3    First Aid Officers (FAOs)

Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for conducting a risk assessment to determine the Organisational Unit’s requirements for FAOs and for formally requiring FAOs in the Organisational Unit.  Consideration must be given to the first aid coverage on campus/site, therefore where first aid officers have working from home/working off campus arrangements in place, the risk assessment must consider this to determine if coverage is adequate. The requirement of FAOs is at the discretion of the Head of the Organisational Unit as determined through the risk assessment. The following FAO ratios are recommended:

  • Low risk workplaces – one FAO for every 50 UQ workers.

  • High risk workplaces – one FAO for every 25 UQ workers.

In these cases, the requirement of a FAO takes on the responsibilities set out in section 4.2 of this procedure and they are eligible to apply for the first aid allowance (section 3.3.1).

UQ may also make available FAO training to other staff on a voluntary basis. These staff may not be formally required by the Head of the Organisational Unit, and are not eligible for the FAO allowance. They may decide to voluntarily provide first aid services if they are competent to do so.

Heads of Organisational Units should consult with staff and/or the local Health, Safety and Wellness Manager to determine the FAO needs of the Organisational Unit. UQ staff can enrol in training through the UQ Staff Development website with authorisation from the Head of the Organisational Unit.

To be qualified as a FAO, UQ staff must complete the following training:

  • Provide First Aid (HLTAID003), which must be renewed every three years with a Registered Training Organisation; and

  • Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (HLTAID001), which must be renewed annually with a Registered Training Organisation.

3.3.1    FAO allowance

As per the Enterprise Agreement – the FAO allowance is only an entitlement for professional staff.  Academic staff do not have this entitlement.

UQ professional staff who are required by the Head of the Organisational Unit to hold a First Aid Certificate:

  • are eligible to apply for payment of the first aid allowance in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement; and
  • must apply for the allowance by submitting a request though MyAurion.

FAOs who receive the allowance are obliged to respond promptly to any requests for first aid assistance and the application of first aid within the scope of their certified training at any UQ workplace. 

The allowance is funded by the Organisational Unit and may be applied for annually by the required FAOs who have met the qualification requirements as outlined in section 3.3 of this procedure. Further information about applying for the allowance is available from local Human Resources Professional Services Teams.

Some UQ professional staff may be required to hold a first aid qualification and be required to provide first aid for certain tasks / activities for short periods of time during the year, such as field work.  In these circumstances, the FAO is entitiled to receive the FAO allowance for this period and can apply for this through MyAurion.

UQ workers who have first aid qualifications, but are not formally required by the University to hold such qualifications are not eligible for the First Aid Allowance.

3.3.1.1    Applying for the allowance

Applying for the FAO allowance is an online process through MyAurion.

Process -

  1. Click on My.UQ on the UQ homepage.

  2. Click on “Go to my.UQ dashboard”.

  3. Click on “MyAurion” on the left hand side of the page.

  4. Click on “Dashboard” located at the top of the page.

  5. From the dropdown list select “My Forms”.

  6. Select “+Add” and search for “First Aid Allowance”.

  7. Complete the form and upload current First Aid and CPR certificates. This will automatically go to the supervisor for approval.

More information on applying for the allowance can be found on the Systems Training Hub for allowances.

Supervisors can find information on approving allowances through the Systems Training Hub – approve allowances.

Alternatively further information can be sought from HR Payroll.

3.3.2    Vaccine preventable diseases

FAOs are recommended to have completed the standard Australian National Childhood Immunisation Schedule and be immunised against Hepatitis B. Organisational Units may require FAOs to have immunisation for Hepatitis B as a result of the risk assessment process. FAOs can obtain vaccination (and screening to confirm Hepatitis B immunity) by contacting the Occupational Health Nurse Advisor in the HSW Division. If vaccinations are a requirement, costs will be met by the Operational Unit. For more information on vaccine preventable diseases, refer to Vaccinations and Immunisation Procedure.

3.4    Additional first aid training

Heads of Organisational Units may require FAOs to undertake additional, or more extensive, first aid training in workplaces where there may be a higher risk of serious injury occurring or for specific projects involving higher risk activities (e.g. boating/diving and some types of field trips).

Managers and supervisors of the activity are responsible for determining any additional first aid training requirements and ensuring that UQ staff have undertaken the appropriate training. The cost of any additional first aid training will be met by the Organisational Unit. 

3.5    Reporting incidents

All injuries, illnesses and near misses must be reported in UQSafe.  It is the responsibility of the Organisational Unit’s FAO to report first aid incidents in UQSafe if the injured person has not reported the incident or is unable to do so.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1    Heads of Organisational Units

The Head of the Organisational Unit is responsible for the ongoing review of the Organisational Unit’s first aid management, including:

  • an annual review of the adequacy and availability of first aid facilities and resources;

  • reviewing the risks of the workplace, tasks and activities to determine first aid requirements (in consultation with relevant UQ workers, taking into account the size, location, risk profile of the workplace and response times for UQ security and emergency services – see section 3.1);

  • ensuring adequate budget allocation in the Organisational Unit for the management of first aid facilities and requirements as outlined in this procedure including –

    • purchase and ongoing maintenance of first aid kits and supplies;

    • battery and pad replacement for AEDs;

    • additional first aid training requirements specific to the Organisational Unit; and

    • resourcing of FAOs (e.g. vaccines and allowance costs).

The Head of the Organisational Unit is also responsible for:

  • requiring FAOs; 

  • undertaking a risk assessment prior to the requirement of new FAOs or the reappointment of an existing FAO;

  • liaising with the supervisor and manager to ensure the number of FAOs adequately cover the risks of the Organisational Unit;

  • ensuring immunisation status of FAOs is suitable to the risks they may be exposed to; and

  • ensuring FAO names and contact details are prominently displayed in the workplace.

4.2    First Aid Officers (FAOs)

First Aid Officers (FAOs) that are required by the Head of the Organisational Unit are responsible for:

  • administering first aid wherever it may be required;

  • maintaining current first aid training competencies, vaccinations and immunisations throughout their appointment;

  • monitoring the adequacy of first aid facilities in the workplace, including first aid kits and AEDs;

  • ensuring the location of first aid kits and facilities is adequately signposted (first aid signs must comply with AS 1319: 1994 - Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment);

  • maintaining the workplace first aid kit on a regular basis (at least monthly for high risk workplaces and three monthly in lower risk areas), including –

    • recording use of its items,

    • replenishing items as required, and

    • ensuring it remains fit for purpose;

  • arranging for additional security, ambulance or medical assistance for a casualty where required;

  • maintaining records of all injuries and treatments under health records legislation (e.g. name, address and contact details, nature of the problem, treatment and possible diagnosis, family history) and ensuring an incident report on UQSafe has been completed; and

  • completing the injury report in UQSafe if the injured party/parties are unable to complete the report themselves.

Further guidance on first aid responsibilities is available from the First aid in the workplace – code of practice 2021.

4.3    Managers and Supervisors

Managers and supervisors are responsible for:

  • providing workers with access to first aid facilities and first aid kits in the workplace;

  • ensuring that relevant corrective action is implemented following an incident requiring first aid;

  • ensuring all first aid incidents are recorded in UQSafe; and

  • ensuring that UQ workers receive appropriate induction on the local provision of first aid, e.g. the location of first aid kits, AEDs (if available in the work area) and the identy of the FAOs.

4.4    UQ workers

UQ workers are responsible for taking reasonable care of themselves and others in the workplace, including:

  • familiarising themselves with the name and location of the local FAO;

  • participating in induction and first aid training programs as instructed by their supervisor;

  • participating in the development of risk assessments for the provision of first aid as required; and

  • being aware of the correct emergency and first aid procedures associated with the work activities they undertake.

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Director of the HSW Division is responsible for the implementation and communication of this procedure, including ensuring that Heads of Organisational Units are aware of their first aid management obligations. Local Health, Safety and Wellness Managers and Work Health and Safety Coordinators must review the workplace and its first aid kits as part of the annual workplace inspections.

The HSW Division will review this procedure periodically to ensure its currency and relevance to the management of first aid at UQ.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

The HSW Division maintains UQSafe which includes incident, hazard and risk management modules:

  • in order to meet legal obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011; and

  • as an important component in hazard control, risk management and incident prevention.

One reason first aid information is collected by UQ, is for the protection of UQ workers from the risk of vaccine preventable disease exposure or transmission due to the inherent requirements of their work, study or research activities. The information provided, as a requirement of the Public Health Act 2005, may be disclosed to Queensland Health or other placement organisations where the disclosure is authorised or required by law.

Human Resources Division will update an individual’s first aid training records in the HR system upon evidence of the first aid qualification.

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise agreement 2018 – 2021 or as amended or replaced.

High risk workplace – a workplace where workers are exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness and would require first aid. Examples of workplaces that may be considered high risk are ones in which workers:

  • use hazardous machinery (e.g. mobile plant, chainsaws)

  • use hazardous substances (e.g. chemical manufacture, laboratories, horticulture)

  • are at risk of falls that could result in serious injury

  • carry out hazardous forms of work (e.g. working in confined spaces, electrical work, welding)

  • are exposed to the risk of physical violence

  • work in or around extreme heat or cold.

Low risk workplace – a workplace where workers are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness such as offices, shops or libraries. Potential work related injuries and illnesses requiring first aid would be minor.

UQ workers – for the purposes of this procedure includes:

  • staff - continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff;

  • higher degree by research students; and

  • volunteers where required and approved by the Organisational Unit.

Workplace – for the purpose of this procedure a workplace is any place where work is undertaken by UQ, including field sites and other off-campus locations.

7.2    Assessing workplace risks at UQ

Nature of the work and hazards of the workplace

Certain Organisational Units have greater risks of injury and illness due to the nature of work being carried out and the nature of the hazards at the workplace. For example laboratories, workshops and animal facilities have a greater risk of physical injury that would require immediate medical treatment than office based environments. These workplaces may therefore require different first aid arrangements.

Records of injuries, illnesses, near miss events and other information that have been reported in the workplace can assist Organisational Units to make appropriate decisions about first aid requirements.

Size, location and nature of the workplace

In relation to the size and location of the workplace, the following should be taken into account:

  • distance between different work areas; and

  • response times for emergency services.

First Aid equipment and facilities should be located at points in the workplace that are easily accessible, clearly visible and in areas where there may be a higher risk of an injury or illness occurring.

Number and composition of the workers at the workplace

When considering the composition and size of the workforce, contractors, subcontractors, volunteers, students, visitors, and members of the public must be included. Consideration should also be given to the particular needs of workers, such as those who are elderly, who have a disability or known health concerns (e.g. asthma, allergies or cardiac conditions).

 

Custodians
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael

Guidelines

First Aid - Guidelines

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

This guideline supports The University of Queensland’s (UQ) First Aid Management Procedure and provides additional information for UQ staff and students in the management of first aid.

Other guidance and resources available to staff and students include the following:

Providing prompt and effective first aid to an injured person can reduce the severity of an injury or illness and can substantially promote the likelihood of an injured person making a full recovery. In some instances, first aid intervention can prevent loss of life. First aid requirements at UQ will vary across campuses and workplaces according to the nature of hazards and tasks and the size and location of the workplace – refer to the First Aid Management Procedure for further information on requirements.

2.0    Risk Management

First aid requirements in the organisation unit are determined through a risk assessment that considers the nature of the work and the hazards, size, location and number and composition of workers.  Different work environments have different risks, even if they are part of the same organisational unit, which is why the risk assessment must be undertaken at the operational level. Risk assessment should consider the following areas when determining the requirement for first aid for the organisational unit.

2.1    Nature of the work and workplace hazards

Workplaces require different first aid arrangements. Some injuries that are associated with common workplace hazards that may require first aid include:

Hazard

Potential harm

Manual tasks

Overexertion can cause muscular strain.

Working at height

Slips, trips and falls can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, concussion.

Electricity

Potential ignition source—could cause injuries from fire. Exposure to live electrical wires can cause shock, burns and cardiac arrest.

Machinery and equipment

Being hit by moving vehicles or being caught by moving parts of machinery can cause fractures, amputation, bruises, lacerations, dislocations.

Hazardous chemicals

Toxic or corrosive chemicals may be inhaled or may contact skin or eyes causing poisoning, chemical burns, irritation. Flammable chemicals could result in injuries from fire or explosion.

Extreme temperatures

Hot surfaces and materials can cause burns. Working in extreme heat can cause heat-related illness. It can also increase risks by reducing concentration and increasing fatigue and chemical uptake into the body. Exposure to extreme cold can cause hypothermia and frostbite.

Radiation

Welding arc flashes, ionising radiation and lasers can cause burns. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause sunburn, skin cancers and eye damage.

Violence

Behaviours including intimidation and physical assault can cause both physical and psychological injuries.

Biological

Infection, allergic reactions.

Animals

Bites, stings, kicks, crush injuries, scratches.

2.2    Size and location of the workplace

Two main items to consider in size and location is the distance between work areas and the response times for emergency services. This is particularly important when considering the first aid requirements for field trips where extra first aid considerations may be necessary. For example, where access is difficult due to travel time, poor roads or weather conditions, arrangements should include aerial evacuation.

In the workplace first aid equipment and facilities should be at convenient points and in areas where there is a higher risk of injury of illness occurring. Where there are multiple levels (buildings) or where the workplace is dispersed (Gatton, Long Pocket, Pinjarra Hills sites), more than one location should be considered and portable first aid kits could be considered.

2.3    The number and composition of workers and others

When determining first aid requirement, contractors, subcontractors and volunteers should be considered. Generally, the more people in the work area, the more first aid resources are required.

Other consideration include:

  • workers with disabilities or known health concerns; and

  • others such as students, members of the public involved in the clinics, trials, sports areas (gyms, pools), entertainment (Schonell Theatre), libraries, eating areas, etc.

2.4    Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)

AEDs may reduce the risk of fatality from cardiac arrest.  While CPR can prolong life, defibrillation is the only way to restore a heart with a fatal heart rhythm back to a normal heart rhythm.  AEDs should be considered as part of the assessment where:

  • there is a risk to workers from electrocution;

  • where there may be a delay in ambulance services arriving; or

  • where there are large numbers of members of the public.

They should be located in areas that are clearly visible accessible and not exposed to extreme temperatures.

2.5    Determining the number of trained first aiders

First aid officers must be available at the workplace – consideration should be given to working from home/working off campus arrangements to ensure that adequate first aid coverage on campus is available. The number and type of trained first aiders can be further refined by following the five-step guide below.

Step 1: Identify the maximum number of workers at the workplace at one time.

Step 2: Consider the nature of the work being carried out at the workplace and determine if workers are at high risk of being exposed to hazards requiring immediate first aid treatment.

Step 3: Determine if the workplace is remote or if access to emergency services is difficult. High risk workplaces that do not have timely access to medical and ambulance services should have at least one first aider for every 10 workers.

Step 4: Consider the variety of ways your workers carry out work. For example, a worker may:

  • A good proportion of their time working alone or in isolation.

  • Work in a variety of locations on a regular basis and often work without supervision, for example tradespeople, construction workers farmhands and cleaners.

  • Sometimes work alone for relatively short periods of time, for example working back late.

In these situations, it may not be practicable to have a first aider available at all times at the workplace. However, these workers must be able to access first aid assistance, for example by ensuring they are provided with:

  • an effective means of accessing emergency services or other first aiders; and

  • information, instruction and training on how to respond if a serious injury or illness occurs.

Step 5: Before finalising the number of first aiders consider if there are other factors for example:

  • work arrangements, for example shift work or overtime;

  • seasonal work, where there may be a sudden and significant increase or decrease in the number of workers e.g. beginning of semester;

  • where there are large numbers of other people present on a regular basis, for example libraries;

  • workplaces with unique hazards, for example fitness centres, laboratories, animal facilities; or

  • access during times when a first aider is absent, for example on annual leave.

 

3.0    Emergency notices and plans

A list of campus-specific Emergency Procedures templates are available from the Property and Facilities website.

An up-to-date emergency notice should include the details and contact information for the following:

  • the First Aid Officer (FAO) for the workplace

  • UQ Campus Security

  • the Work Health and Safety Coordinator for the workplace

  • Chief Building Warden

  • Floor Warden.

Other useful information includes:

For off-campus locations, advice appropriate to the particular location should be displayed e.g. "000", appropriate hospital extension, emergency services, Poisons Information Centre and other relevant telephone numbers.

4.0    Additional first aid training

Subject to a risk assessment and the Organisational Unit’s requirements, staff may need to undertake additional first aid training in workplaces where there may be a higher risk of serious injury or for specific projects involving higher risk activities (e.g. boating/diving and some types of field trips.

Prior to any additional first aid training, the following must be completed:

  • Provide First Aid (HLTAID011), must be renewed every three years with a Registered Training Organisation; and

  • Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (HLTAID009), must be renewed annually with a Registered Training Organisation.

4.1    High risk work areas where there is no prompt access to security or onsite medical services

The following additional units of competency can provide the FAO with an extended level of training to apply advanced first aid procedures such as administering oxygen and maintaining life in an unconscious casualty while waiting for medical help to arrive.

  • Provide Advanced First Aid - HLTAID014.

  • Provide Advanced Resuscitation and oxygen therapy - HLTAID015.

4.2    Remote field trip work where there is no prompt access to medical services

The following additional unit of competency provides the FAO with skills to administer first aid in a remote and/or isolated situation, including preparing a casualty for aero-evacuation. This level of training is suitable when activities are anticipated in areas where there is likely to be a major delay in accessing emergency services.

  • Provide First Aid In Remote Situations - HLTAID013.

4.3    Work areas where a first aid room is located

The following additional units provides competencies to apply advanced first aid procedures and to manage a first aid room.

  • Provide Advanced First Aid - HLTAID014.

  • Provide Advanced Resuscitation and oxygen therapy - HLTAID015.

  • Manage First Aid Services and Resources - HLTAID016.

OR

  • Occupational First Aid Skill Set - HLTSS00068 (which includes all the above competencies).

4.4    Where there is a substantial risk of anaphylaxis occurring in a workplace

FAO that are located in a workplace associated with an increased risk of severe allergic reactions occurring may also consider additional training modules with the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Allergy and Anaphylaxis e-training for Health professionals.

Refer also to First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis.

4.5    Further training information

Resuscitation guidelines are regularly updated; it is therefore important that FAO regularly check the Australian Resuscitation Council website to remain aware of any changes to relevant guidelines.

For general information on first aid training and examples of external first aid training providers, refer to UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness webpage Information for First Aid Officers.

Information about first aid training courses held on the Gatton, Herston and St Lucia campus is available on the Staff health and safety training and induction webpage or  the Staff Development webpage.

5.0    Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

FAO’s that administer first aid in situations where severe injuries have occurred may be distressed by the experience. UQ’s Employee Assistance Program is free and confidential wellbeing, coaching and counselling service available to staff should they require this assistance.

6.0    First aid rooms

First aid in the workplace – code of practice 2021 advises that a first aid room should be provided in workplaces where a risk assessment shows that it would make the provision of first aid treatment more effective. It is recommended that first aid rooms are supervised by FAO with occupational first aid certificates (or higher).

The first aid room entrance should be adequately marked with first aid signage and should provide egress wide enough to permit transport of injured or ill persons supported by a stretcher, wheelchair or persons manually carrying the injured person.

6.1    Recommended first aid room contents

The following items should be provided in a first aid room:

  • hand cleaner and wash basin (or easy access to a sink with hot and cold water)

  • disposable paper towels

  • an examination couch with waterproof surface, pillow and disposable sheets

  • suitable seating

  • an occupational first aid reference book

  • a moveable screen or curtain around examination couch

  • a first aid kit appropriate for the workplace

  • an examination lamp

  • storage cupboard

  • a stretcher (not necessary for areas with security response)

  • a lockable filing cabinet to securely store records

  • a telephone and/or emergency call system

  • electric power points

  • refuse containers lined with disposable plastic bags for infection control and clinical wastes

  • a safe sharps disposal container

  • workbench with work surface or dressing trolley

  • emergency contacts cards - see section 2.0of this guideline

  • oxygen equipment - in workplaces where there is an increased risk of a serious injury occurring and where hazardous substances, particularly cyanide, are stored or used.

7.0    High risk workplaces

Workplaces with chemical hazards that require special first aid treatments or procedures should contact UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness Division for advice.

Some first aid procedures for chemical exposures may require specific antidotes or neutralising agents, which may need to be kept in the workplace’s first aid kit. Where a risk assessment deems specific items are required, instructions for their use should be displayed at the point where they are kept and strategies developed by the relevant work areas relating to the emergency management of accidental exposures. These strategies should focus on procedures such as the location of antidotes and the provision of safety facilities such as showers, eye wash stations and disposable eye wash packs.

The following guidelines provide specific information on hazardous chemicals:

Where corrosive materials or substantial quantities of flammable liquids are used, the supply of safety showers and eye wash units are required (the use of refillable eye wash bottles is not recommended). Disposable eye wash packs or potable running tap water (water quality suitable for drinking) are to be used for eye irrigation. Refer to the following guidelines for further information:

8.0    Infectious disease

The risk of acquiring an infectious disease when administering first aid is very low. Stringent infection control practices should however be followed such as handwashing, wearing protective disposable gloves and using a mouth shield or resuscitation bag and mask when administering CPR.

Occupational transmission of serious infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV is very infrequent but can occur if the person administering assistance sustains a sharps injury from an instrument contaminated with infected blood or is exposed to blood in the eye or other mucosal surface. The optimal way for first aid personnel to protect themselves from blood borne infections is to consider all injured or ill persons to be potentially infectious. First aid transmission of these infections can be avoided with a combination of immunisation and effective infection control practices (refer to the Vaccinations and Immunisation Procedure and Guidelines and the Working Safely with Blood and Body Fluids Guideline).

8.1    Precautions

The following precautions should be implemented to avoid exposure to infectious pathogens and reduce the likelihood of infection transmission if exposure occurs:

Blood and other body substances - use appropriate barrier precautions (gloves) whenever exposure to blood, body fluids or moist body surfaces occurs.

Needles and syringes - Syringes, needles, scalpel blades and other sharp items are not necessary items to include in first aid kits. Splinters should be removed with disposable forceps rather than needles. Sharps which are being used in a workplace should always be disposed of in rigid-wall puncture-resistant containers according to Working Safely with Blood and Body Fluids. These containers should be located as close as practicable to the area where usage is occurring.

Linen and disposable items - all disposable items that are visibly soiled with potentially infectious material should be considered "clinical waste", identified as such and kept separate from other waste. Infectious linen should be transported in leak-proof bags. Gloves and protective clothing should be worn when handling infectious linen. Workplaces that do not have clinical waste bins should contact Property and Facilities - Cleaning to make an urgent cleaning and waste disposal request.

Emergency resuscitation - there is no reason to withhold resuscitation from anyone but the decision of whether to use direct mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is an individual one for FAO. A CPR face shield (single use, disposable) should be included in the first aid kit. Resuscitation bags and masks will be available in first aid kits in certain situations where the likelihood of administering CPR is high e.g. working as a security officer or where a special reason exists such as working with cyanide. These resuscitation devices should only be used by certified first aiders or health practitioners trained in their use. Facemasks equipped with one-way valves are usually unnecessary, require maintenance and are potentially dangerous to the casualty.

Good wound care - wounds should be cleaned thoroughly with clean running water or normal saline. A waterproof dressing should be applied after cleaning.

8.2    Immunisation and vaccinations

UQ FAOs are recommended to have completed the standard National Immunisation Program Schedule. This schedule is a series of immunisations given at specific times throughout life from birth through to adulthood and includes a full course of hepatitis B immunisations. 

UQ FAOs can obtain advice regarding vaccinations or screening to confirm Hepatitis B immunity through their supervisor or by contacting the Occupational Health Nurse Advisor at the Health, Safety and Wellness Division.  Further information is also available in the Vaccinations and Immunisation Procedure and Guideline.

A prompt response is required for any exposure to blood and body fluids, especially cuts and needle stick injuries which may require referral to an infectious disease specialist. Refer to Working Safely with Blood and Body Fluids Guideline

In addition, an annual influenza immunisation is recommended before the start of the influenza season.  The period of peak influenza circulation is typically June to September in most parts of Australia.  First aid personnel can obtain influenza vaccination via the annual UQ Staff Influenza Immunisation programme or from their personal health provider.

8.3    Infected personnel

All first aid personnel who may be infectious have a responsibility to notify the relevant authorities of any infectious risk that they may present to injured or ill employees. Contact the Occupational Health Nurse Advisor at the HSW Division for confidential advice about the risk of transmission in the workplace. Advice is also available from UQ Health Care.

Injured or ill employees have a responsibility to advise treating personnel of any known or possible communicable disease which could be transmitted in these circumstances. The individual's right to privacy and confidentiality must be respected.

Custodians
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael

Forms

Printer-friendly version

Custodians
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael
Custodians
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael