FIRST AID PROCEDURES

First aid provides the initial attention to a person suffering an injury or illness. First aid in the workplace has a number of benefits:

  • it can save lives;
  • it can prevent permanent disablement;
  • it can improve safety awareness and thereby prevent injury and illness in the workplace;
  • it places the incident on record for future reference if required;
  • it can assist early return to work and rehabilitation.

The University has humane, legal and financial obligations to provide a first aid service for its staff, students and visitors. The University is committed to providing a first aid service that satisfies the University's obligations under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001. The legislation sets out minimum standards for first aid in the workplace and guides the workplace in determining appropriate first aid arrangements to suit the particular needs of the organisation, taking into account the types of work performed, the nature of hazards encountered, the likely injuries and illnesses that may occur, the number of people at the workplace, and the size, layout and location of the workplace. These procedures requires that all first aid injuries be treated and reported.

Contents

1. Objectives and Responsibilities

2. Nominated First Aid Officers
2.1 Determination of Nominated First Aid Officer Needs for a Building
2.2 Selection of Staff to be Appointed as Nominated First Aid Officers
2.3 Training and Appointment of Nominated First Aid Officers
2.4 Role of Nominated First Aid Officers
2.5 Role and Appointment of Occupational First Aiders
2.6 First Aid Allowance
2.7 Management of Health Information
2.8 Refresher Training and Competency Development for Nominated First Aid Officers
2.9 Legal Protection of Nominated First Aid Officers

3. First Aid Facilities
3.1 Determining Numbers and Locations of First Aid Kits
3.2 First Aid Kit Types and Contents
3.3 Maintenance of First Aid Kits
3.4 Determining Where First Aid Rooms are Required
3.5 Responsibility for First Aid Rooms
3.6 First Aid Room Requirements
3.7 Other Rooms
3.8 Resuscitation Equipment
3.9 Specialist First Aid Supplies for Specific Hazards

4. First Aid Emergency Procedures
4.1 Camperdown/Darlington Campus
4.2 Role of Security Officers
4.3 Other Campuses
4.4 Signage and Information Dissemination to Staff and Students
4.5 Interaction with Emergency Control Organisation (Emergency Wardens)
4.6 Debriefing Following First Aid Treatments

5. Health Information
5.1 Staff and Student Disclosure of Medical Conditions
5.2 First Aid Response Plans for Known Conditions

6. Reporting Incidents
6.1 Staff Injuries and Illnesses
6.2 Student and Visitor Injuries and Illnesses
6.3 Recording First Aid Treatments

7. Field Trips

8. Research Laboratories, Clinics & Workshops, etc

9. References

10. Appendices

1. OBJECTIVES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

To guide the University community:

  • to determine appropriate trained first aider coverage for buildings and campuses and to select and appoint appropriate staff to fulfil the role of Nominated First Aid Officer
  • to determine needs for first aid equipment, primarily first aid kits, for buildings and campuses and to ensure that the equipment is maintained to facilitate rapid response to first aid situations
  • in responding promptly and appropriately to first aid situations and other emergencies with a first aid aspect
  • in making appropriate arrangements for first aid in field work and field trips away from University campuses and premises
  • in making appropriate arrangements for first aid in situations where volunteers and/or members of the public participate in research activities, clinics, trials etc where there is or could be an increased risk of adverse health effects requiring first aid or emergency response
  • in reporting incidents, injuries and illnesses as required by law.

To guide members of the University community in disclosing health information that can assist in prompt and appropriate first aid responses to foreseeable medical emergencies and to guide Nominated First Aid Officers in dealing confidentially with such disclosed health information.

To encourage activities to be undertaken that prevent injuries.

In brief departments are responsible for:

  • recruiting and supporting Nominated First Aid Officers (NFAOs), and funding the first aid allowance
  • informing staff, students and visitors of local first aid arrangements including details of how to contact NFAOs
  • provision of first aid kits in relevant locations in buildings
  • first aid arrangements for clinics, fieldwork, research activities and laboratories with particular hazards, etc beyond the scope of basic building-based first aid services.

In brief Nominated First Aid Officers are responsible for:

  • providing first aid to people who are injured or ill in the workplace
  • maintaining first aid kits
  • liaising with other NFAOs in their building to ensure a coordinated approach
  • maintaining confidentiality of disclosed health information
  • reporting incidents and recording treatments
  • maintaining a current first aid qualification
  • participating in refresher training and competency development activities.

In brief Work Health & Safety Services (WHS Services) is responsible for policy and procedures development and high level coordination of first aid arrangements across the University.

2. NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS

2.1 DETERMINATION OF NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICER NEEDS FOR A BUILDING
Nominated First Aid Officers are appointed on a Building basis, i.e. they are appointed to provide first aid throughout a building. Therefore the number and location of Nominated First Aid Officers is determined on the basis of a risk assessment of the needs of the building. Factors to be considered in determining how many Nominated First Aid Officers should be appointed for a building and where they should be located are:

  • the types of work performed and types of classes conducted in the building and the nature of hazards associated with those types of work and classes - laboratories and workshops typically require a higher level of first aid coverage than office areas with mainly sedentary activities
  • the typical number and type of occupants of the building, for example staff, students, visitors, general public
  • the typical operating hours of the building – libraries and other areas operating outside normal daytime weekday hours will need additional coverage for the extended hours
  • coverage for periods when the NFAO is on leave, absent from the building etc.
  • the physical size and layout of the building – large and/or complex buildings may need additional coverage to ensure adequate proximity of Nominated First Aid Officers to all parts of the building, particularly areas of higher need such as laboratories and workshops and any secure facilities with restricted access
  • the proximity of the building and/or campus to emergency service responses and health services – campuses other than Camperdown/Darlington may have additional needs due to:
    * absence of on-campus Security Officers trained in first aid
    * remoteness from ambulance services
    * absence of on-campus medical service
  • if there is a First Aid Room in the building, as one or more Occupational First Aiders will be needed to oversee this room (see also sections 2.5 and 3.4 for further details).

A Nominated First Aid Officer need not be appointed in a building with fewer than ten occupants, provided this is consistent with a low level of risk due to the activities conducted in the building and its close proximity to other sources of First Aid.

WHS Services will assist local managers in determining the appropriate Nominated First Aid Officer coverage for a building and/or campus in consultation with staff. Where a building is occupied by a number of groups belonging to different Schools, Faculties and/or administrative units, OHS & Injury Management will facilitate coordination between the occupant groups for the purposes of reviewing first aid needs.

2.2 SELECTION OF STAFF TO BE APPOINTED AS NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS
Although the role of Nominated First Aid Officer is a voluntary additional duty, in order to provide effective first aid only staff who meet the following selection criteria will be considered for appointment:

  • willingness and enthusiasm to act in this role
  • ability to act calmly and take charge in an emergency
  • evidence of a capacity to deal with injury and illness
  • ability to assess the situation and know when to call for assistance
  • ability to relate well to other staff
  • have no health problems or disabilities that are likely to impede performance of first aid activities
  • based in one regular location in the building, readily contactable and able to be called away from ordinary work at short notice
  • full-time member of the regular staff or on a contract with at least 18 months to run, although regular part-time staff members may be appropriate to provide coverage where the building operates outside normal daytime weekday hours.

Academic staff are not excluded from appointment as Nominated First Aid Officers, however students cannot be appointed as Nominated First Aid Officers.

2.3 TRAINING AND APPOINTMENT OF NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS
Where a staff member does not already have a current WorkCover approved senior first aid certificate or higher qualification, OHS & Injury Management will arrange and fund the training of staff members who are to be appointed as Nominated First Aid Officers. The following procedure should be followed:

  1. Identify vacancy/need – this could be because a Nominated First Aid Officer leaves the building or their status changes, or it could be because a Department or Unit in the building or OHS & Injury Management identifies a need
  2. Department contacts OHSIM for NFAO training and appointment application form
  3. Department returns completed form signed by Head of Department to OHSIM
  4. OHSIM contacts staff member to arrange training
  5. Staff member attends training & forwards certificate to OHSIM
  6. OHSIM notifies HR, the Department and the newly qualified NFAO of appointment
  7. OHSIM adds new NFAO to intranet list and OHS network
  8. Department ensures building occupants are informed of the name and contact details of the new NFAO.

2.4 ROLE OF NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS
The role of NFAO encompasses

  • the provision of a service for the emergency treatment of injuries or illness
  • arranging prompt and appropriate referral of casualties to medical aid as required
  • recording treatments and reporting incidents – see Section 6 for more details
  • the maintenance of first aid facilities, including first aid equipment, and keeping clean, checking and restocking first aid kits
  • liaison with other NFAOs in the building to ensure co-operation in all aspects of the role
  • keeping up to date lists of Nominated First Aid Officers, their contact numbers and locations, and information on what to do in a medical emergency prominently displayed in the building.

In a first aid emergency an NFAO is expected to take charge and may direct others on the scene to assist with managing the emergency until/unless Emergency Services personnel take over.

2.5 ROLE AND APPOINTMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL FIRST AIDERS
Wherever there is a First Aid Room (see section 3.4), one or more Occupational First Aiders must be appointed to oversee that room. The appointment of Occupational First Aiders should be specifically considered for remote campuses/sites and campuses/sites without a medical centre. The additional training of an Occupational First Aider enables them to deal effectively with more serious injuries and illnesses whilst awaiting ambulance or other medical services. Factors to consider are:

  • types of serious injuries and illnesses that could occur due to work activities, particularly those involving farm machinery, large animals, dams, poisons, etc
  • likely time for an ambulance to respond to the site, hence duration of treatment/support period by the first aider – for example if emergency medical services are more than five minutes distant
  • availability of staff with medical or related training who would be willing to assist
  • number of people routinely on campus/site
  • whether there is a First Aid Room in the building, as a person with a Senior First Aid Certificate is not qualified to be in charge of this room (see also section 3.5).

The need for an Occupational First Aider on the campus/site should be determined in consultation with staff most likely to be impacted by the decision, for example those involved in higher risk activities or working more remotely from emergency services.

2.6 FIRST AID ALLOWANCE
An allowance is paid to Nominated First Aid Officers and Occupational First Aiders in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement. The allowance is paid from devolved unit funds and for this reason appointment of a staff member as a Nominated First Aid Officer or Occupational First Aider requires the approval of the staff member’s Head of Department. WHS Services notifies the relevant HR team to commence payment as part of the appointment process. The allowance is only payable while the staff member is available to provide first aid services and retains a valid certificate. Payment of the allowance can be suspended during extended periods of leave.

2.7 MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH INFORMATION
Staff and students with known medical conditions are encouraged to disclose their conditions and recommended first aid responses to their local Nominated First Aid Officers. The health information disclosed must be kept confidential in accordance with Privacy legislation requirements. Any records kept must be in a locked drawer and only accessed by Nominated First Aid Officers. See section 5 for further details.

2.8 REFRESHER TRAINING AND COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT FOR NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS
WHS Services co-ordinates regular basic refresher training for Nominated First Aid Officers. Refresher training includes practical components, such as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation practice. This is augmented with first aid scenario simulation exercises, which aim to improve situation evaluation and teamwork skills.

2.9 LEGAL PROTECTION OF NOMINATED FIRST AID OFFICERS
Nominated First Aid Officers are protected by vicarious liability when acting in good faith and discharging their responsibilities in accordance with their training. Vicarious liability means that employers are generally held responsible for the acts and omissions of their employees. The University appoints NFAOs to act on its behalf and discharge its responsibilities in relation to providing first aid, so it is clear that in most situations where NFAOs render first aid in the workplace or otherwise in the course of their duties, they will be doing so as employees of the University and vicarious liability will apply.

In addition, at common law, people giving medical assistance to an injured person at an accident site in an emergency (a circumstance in which immediate medical treatment is required to save someone’s life or prevent serious injury to health) cannot be sued for “assault and battery”.

Nominated First Aid Officers and others should also be aware of the provisions of the NSW Civil Liability Act 2002, which covers good Samaritan acts. Section 57 (1) states that a “good samaritan does not incur any personal civil liability in respect of any act or omission done or made by the good samaritan in an emergency when assisting a person who is apparently injured or at risk of being injured” . A good Samaritan is defined as someone who, “in good faith and without expectation of payment or other reward, comes to the assistance of a person who is apparently injured or at risk of being injured”. Note, however, that protection from personal liability is not available if people:

  • render first aid when their judgement is impaired by drugs (including medications) or alcohol and they fail to exercise reasonable care and skill
  • caused the injury or risk in the first place
  • impersonate an emergency services worker or falsely represent their skill or expertise in responding to the situation.

Under Section 24 of the NSW OHS Act it is an offence to hinder the giving or receiving of first aid or refuse to give or receive first aid without a reasonable excuse. Whilst the University of Sydney is not responsible for providing first aid to non-University tenants in University-owned buildings, NFAOs should be prepared to render first aid if called upon to attend an emergency in a tenanted area.

3. FIRST AID FACILITIES

3.1 DETERMINING NUMBERS AND LOCATIONS OF FIRST AID KITS
First aid kits should be located close to all work areas where there is a likely risk of injuries or illness occurring. No workstation should be more than 100 m from or one floor above or below a kit. First aid kits should be:

  • easily accessible during the normal working hours of the area
  • located in supervised areas – to reduce opportunities for pilfering as kits should not be locked during normal working hours (although they must be capable of being locked)
  • located if possible close to running water, toilets and a private area that can be used for treatment
  • clearly visible and signposted with a standard safety sign consisting of a white cross on a green background.

In many buildings a large central kit can be complemented with smaller portable kits that can easily be taken to the place where a person is injured. Portable kits may be kept at an NFAO’s work location.

Factors to be considered in determining the number and locations of first aid kits for a particular building include:

  • the types of work performed and types of classes conducted in the building and the nature of hazards associated with those types of work and classes - laboratories and workshops typically require more frequent access to a first aid kit than office areas with mainly sedentary activities
  • the typical number and type of occupants of the building, for example staff, students, visitors, general public – more densely occupied buildings may need a higher concentration of kits; buildings with public areas may need additional kits close to those public areas
  • the physical size and layout of the building – large and/or complex buildings may need additional coverage for areas of higher need such as laboratories and workshops, for any secure facilities with restricted access and to ensure adequate proximity of kits to all parts of the building,
  • the typical operating hours of the building – libraries and other areas operating outside normal daytime weekday hours may need their own kits accessible during their particular operational hours.

Every University vehicle and boat must be equipped with a first aid kit. The type of kit required will depend on the type of work associated with the vehicle or boat use. When work is done away from a building a portable kit suitable for the type of work activities and remoteness of the work location should be provided, eg for farm work. Also see the section on Field Work.

3.2 FIRST AID KIT TYPES AND CONTENTS
The type and size of the first aid kit depends upon the number of people to be served by the kit and the types of activities conducted in the area.

  • Size A kits are suitable for areas used by large numbers (> 100) of people.
  • Size B kits are suitable for areas used by between 10 and 100 people.
  • Size C kits are suitable for areas where fewer than 10 people work, which may include University vehicles.

For large buildings with large numbers of occupants, several size B kits spread around the building may provide better access to kits than one size A kit in a central location.

The contents of first aid kits are prescribed in the NSW OHS Regulation 2001 and listed in Appendix 1. Kits may contain additional first aid items, such as additional bandages, disposable gloves and disposable resuscitation masks. Medications, such as headache tablets, must not be kept in first aid kits as first aiders are usually not qualified to safely administer them. Staff and students are advised to provide their own headache and other pain relief tablets, which they should expect to self-administer.

To prevent possible cross-infection first aid kits must not contain creams, lotions or other preparations, the sterility of which cannot be maintained (eg antiseptic creams). Items such as antiseptics and eyewash solutions should only be of single-use types.

Care must be taken when purchasing first aid kits to ensure that only kits complying with the requirements of the NSW OHS Regulation 2001 are purchased. First aid kits must be of sturdy waterproof construction, but need not be rigid metal or plastic boxes.

3.3 MAINTENANCE OF FIRST AID KITS
It is the responsibility of Nominated First Aid Officers to ensure kits are kept clean, tidy and stocked. This includes replacing items such as sterile eyewash solution ampoules before their expiry dates. An NFAO may be responsible for the maintenance of more than one kit in a building. Where there are multiple first aid kits and multiple NFAOs in a building, the NFAOs must share the kit maintenance responsibilities.

Funding for replacement of consumable items and kits is currently the responsibility of the devolved unit(s) which the kit serves.

Information about suppliers of kits and replacement items will be updated from time to time by OHS & Injury Management.

3.4 DETERMINING WHERE FIRST AID ROOMS ARE REQUIRED
Under the NSW OHS Regulation 2001 a First Aid Room is required at a workplace where more than 200 persons work. For campuses with more than 200 regular workers a First Aid Room is a requirement. In the University context First Aid Rooms should also be provided irrespective of occupant numbers if a risk assessment indicates there is a need. A First Aid Room may be needed on campuses without on-campus medical facilities and/or where ambulance services are likely to take more than five minutes to respond. The need for a First Aid Room on the campus/site should be determined in consultation with staff most likely to be impacted by the decision, for example those involved in higher risk activities or working more remotely from emergency services.

3.5 RESPONSIBILITY FOR FIRST AID ROOMS
Under the NSW OHS Regulation 2001 a First Aid Room must be under the supervision of a suitably qualified first aider. The minimum qualification is an Occupational First Aider certificate.

3.6 FIRST AID ROOM REQUIREMENTS
First Aid Rooms must be accessible during working hours and not used for any other purposes except first aid or occupational health. They must be under the supervision of a qualified Occupational First Aider or equivalent.

First Aid Rooms must be situated close to toilets and a sink or basin with hot and cold water and have access to a means for boiling water. They must be well lit and well ventilated, and have a wide enough door for entry and exit of a person on a stretcher. First Aid Rooms must contain items listed in Appendix 2 and must not contain items unrelated to first aid. They must have the equivalent contents of a size A first aid kit in the room and a portable size B kit for use outside.

3.7 OTHER ROOMS
Some buildings in the University have rooms that are used for injured or ill people to rest in. These rooms do not meet the full requirements to be classed as First Aid Rooms, and must not be labelled as First Aid Rooms. These rooms should be well lit, well ventilated, close to running water and contain a couch for people to lie down on. The room should be under the care of a Nominated First Aid Officer and monitored when in use. These rooms should be kept locked when not in use so that unwell persons cannot use them without an NFAO or alternate member of staff being alerted.

3.8 RESUSCITATION EQUIPMENT
Oxy-viva equipment and automatic defibrillators will generally not be provided at the University. Fully staffed medical centres may wish to maintain such equipment. First Aid Rooms under the control of Occupational First Aiders may maintain air-viva facilities if resuscitation equipment is needed. All first aid kits must contain disposable resuscitation masks to protect those conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from infection risks.

3.9 SPECIALIST FIRST AID ARRANGEMENTS FOR SPECIFIC HAZARDS
Clinics, laboratories and workshops with particular first aid needs arising out of specific work activities are responsible for meeting these additional first aid needs and cannot rely on the basic first aid service of Nominated First Aid Officers appointed in the building. This includes responsibility for the provision of and capacity to administer antidotes for exposure to specific hazardous substances. See Section 8 for further details.

4. FIRST AID EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Refer to the emergency help section of this website.

Familiarity with local emergency procedures will assist in responding promptly to a medical emergency.

  1. If a person is seriously injured or ill phone an ambulance on 0-000 from internal phones or 000 from any external or mobile phone*.
  2. Then contact a local Nominated First Aid Officer and the local Security Service. It is important that Security is notified if an ambulance is called. Security can then contact the Ambulance service and provide additional information to guide the Ambulance to the correct location.
  3. After calling the ambulance, If possible dispatch someone to flag down the ambulance outside the building.

Outside normal working hours Nominated First Aid Officers may not be available.

*Note also that the emergency number 112 will work from locked mobile phones and mobiles with insufficient credit.

4.1 CAMPERDOWN/DARLINGTON CAMPUS
During normal working hours Nominated First Aid Officers should be available to assist with medical emergencies. If the injury or illness appears to be life-threatening call an ambulance immediately then seek assistance from NFAOs in the building and contact Security. If the injury or illness does not appear to be life threatening call an NFAO, who will assess the situation and provide initial treatment and direction.

Nominated First Aid Officers should immediately assess the situation and call an ambulance for all serious injuries and illnesses, and commence first aid. If the NFAO assesses that the injured or ill person needs further medical treatment following first aid treatment, they should refer the person to medical attention. The University Health Service can provide medical advice and/or treatment following initial first aid assessment or treatment. Contact the University Health Service on 13484 for the Wentworth Building or 14095 for the Holme Building. The UHS may be able to attend to the injured or ill person on site or it may be appropriate to escort or transport the person to either the Wentworth or Holme Building.

Find out more about the University Health Service.

Outside normal working hours NFAOs will probably not be available in most buildings. In this case

  1. contact an ambulance immediately for any life threatening or serious situations where medical attention is likely to be required
  2. then contact the Security Service.

For less serious injuries and illnesses, contact the Security Service directly if no local NFAO is available to respond.

Fisher Library routinely operates over extended hours and NFAOs will usually be available during normal opening hours. Local procedures should be followed at all times in Fisher Library.

Hazardous activities should not be conducted outside normal working hours unless risks have been assessed and arrangements made to cover possible first aid emergencies.

4.2 ROLE OF SECURITY OFFICERS
All Security Officers are trained in first aid and can be called upon to assist in a medical emergency. This is particularly important for first aid emergencies outside normal working hours. If the situation is life threatening or it is likely an ambulance will be needed, call the ambulance first on 0-000 and then contact Security on 13333. The Security Service can also assist in guiding the ambulance to the correct location.

4.3 OTHER CAMPUSES
Each campus must have a local emergency procedure that includes first aid. NFAOs on Campuses other than Camperdown Darlington must familiarise themselves with the local procedures. See also Emergency Help page.

4.4 SIGNAGE AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
Building occupants must know how to contact Nominated First Aid Officers in an emergency. Details of the names, locations and contact numbers for NFAOs must be provided to occupants and included in emergency signs in each building. Proformas are available on the web. Special attention is required for classrooms and other areas used by people who may not be familiar with the building.

The current local first aid procedures must be disseminated to all building occupants as part of any local induction procedure as well as periodically. This is the responsibility of the Head of Department. In buildings occupied by different unrelated groups, local first aid information must be updated and disseminated in a coordinated manner.

4.5 INTERACTION WITH EMERGENCY CONTROL ORGANISATION (EMERGENCY WARDENS)
Nominated First Aid Officers should be prepared to render first aid whenever a building emergency occurs. It is preferable for NFAOs not to take on other warden roles that could conflict with this. Consideration should be given to providing NFAOs with easily portable (eg back-pack style) first aid kits to assist them in this role. When a building emergency occurs NFAOs should follow instructions, evacuate if required and report to the Chief Warden ready to treat injured people. Building emergency planning and post-emergency de-briefing should involve the building’s NFAOs.

See Fire and Other Emergencies in University Buildings on the OHS and Injury Management website for further guidance.

4.6 DEBRIEFING FOLLOWING FIRST AID TREATMENTS
First aid treatment may be traumatic or confronting for the person providing the treatment and or for bystanders witnessing the incident or injury. Anyone involved in a first aid incident who feels uncomfortable with the experience should be given the opportunity to de-brief after the incident. Find out more about the Employee Assistance Program (staff counselling) and Student Counselling and Psychological Services

5. HEALTH INFORMATION

5.1 STAFF AND STUDENT DISCLOSURE OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Staff and students with known medical conditions are encouraged to disclose their conditions and recommended first aid responses to their local Nominated First Aid Officers. The health information disclosed shall be kept confidential in accordance with Privacy legislation requirements. Records, if kept, must be in a locked drawer and only accessed by Nominated First Aid Officers. See Appendix 3 for more details on the protection of privacy of health information. The recommended form for disclosure of relevant health information to local Nominated First Aid Officers can be found at Appendix 4A.

5.2 FIRST AID RESPONSE PLANS FOR KNOWN CONDITIONS
Upon receiving disclosure of a known condition on the standard form (Appendix 4A) or in another format, the Nominated First Aid Officer should ask the person concerned whether she/he agrees to disclosing the information to the supervisor or Head of Department. If the person agrees the NFAO should check with the supervisor or Head of Department that there are no associated work/study risks that need to be managed. If the person does not agree to disclosure of the health information to their supervisor or Head of Department and/or there are work/study risks associated with the disclosed condition the situation should be referred for further assistance to WHS Services or the Case Management Group, Human Resources for members of staff or the relevant Faculty Office for students. Disability Services may be also be able to provide advice and assistance for students.

If the disclosed condition appears to be well controlled, a serious outcome is not likely and the first aid response is within the competence and confidence level of the NFAO then the NFAO should develop and document a simple First Aid Response Plan in consultation with the person and their supervisor/Head of Department. This plan should be provided to all parties who need to know (all who were consulted and possibly other NFAOs in the building and/or close work colleagues who are likely to be presented with a health emergency involving the person) and kept confidentially by them. A sample simple First Aid Response Plan can be found at Appendix 4B.

If the NFAO believes that a serious outcome is likely or the required response is outside their competence or confidence level then additional input will be needed. Once again such cases should be referred to WHS Services or the Case Management Group, Human Resources. The relevant NFAOs will be consulted in the development of the First Aid Response Plan for that situation.

The University will endeavour to assist persons with disabilities, ill-health or medical conditions with arrangements to keep them safe in their work/study environment.

6. REPORTING INCIDENTS

6.1 STAFF INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
All staff injuries and illnesses must be reported on RiskWare. Find out more about reporting an incident. It is the responsibility of the injured person or their supervisor to report incidents. However, where the injured person is not able to report promptly the treating NFAO should initiate a report. NFAOs should advise staff at the time of treatment that all work injuries and illnesses must be reported.

Nominated First Aid Officers should record all treatments given to staff. See section 6.3 below for more details.

6.2 STUDENT AND VISITOR INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
All student and visitor injuries and illnesses requiring medical attention after initial first aid treatment/assessment must be reported to WHS Services. Find out more about incident and accident reporting. Less serious injuries and illnesses can be recorded as first aid treatments only.

Nominated First Aid Officers should record all treatments given to students and visitors. See section 6.3 below for more details.

6.3 RECORDING FIRST AID TREATMENTS
Nominated First Aid Officers shall record all treatments given by them on the First Aid Treatment Record Form (see Appendix 5). This form should be kept in or near each first aid kit. The NFAO must send the original of this form to WHS Services K07 at least every quarter, and sooner when the form is full. The NFAO may retain a copy locally for their own records. Where there is a local Department/School/Unit Safety Committee, that Committee may request to review these forms periodically to assist with local WHS risk management.

7. FIELD TRIPS

It is the responsibility of the person in charge of a field trip to plan for possible first aid needs in consultation with field trip participants and other relevant staff, and to ensure that appropriate first aid equipment and trained first aid personnel are provided. See also Fieldwork Safety Guidelines.

The first aid equipment carried on field trips must be limited to that necessary for reasonably foreseeable circumstances given the competence of field party members in first aid. It must be reasonably portable (light and compact) so as to interfere minimally with the carriage of necessary research and camping equipment, supplies, etc. It must be durable so as to remain intact and keep its contents sterile in adverse conditions.

Medical emergencies and major trauma on field trips cannot be completely covered by a first aid kit. The primary need is for trained first aiders who can manage the immediate needs of the casualty and arrange facilities for obtaining prompt evacuation to medical care. In remote areas 24 hour communications facilities from base camp or vehicle are advisable.

The contents of basic vehicle first aid kits are given in Appendix 1 for size C kits. All vehicles must be fitted with at least this minimum kit.

8. RESEARCH LABORATORIES, CLINICS & WORKSHOPS, ETC

Clinics, laboratories, workshops and other areas with particular first aid needs arising out of specific work or student activities are responsible for meeting these additional first aid needs and cannot rely on the basic first aid service of Nominated First Aid Officers appointed in the building. The Faculty/School/Department concerned is responsible for all arrangements where first aid skills are a job requirement. The NFAO role supported by WHS Services is voluntary.

An OHS risk assessment must be conducted for all potentially hazardous activities, including research projects. Risks must be controlled to prevent injury and illness as far as practical. However, in some situations there may still be the potential for a serious risk to health to arise or there may be predictable adverse health reactions that can be minimised by prompt first aid specific to that situation. In these cases specific planned first aid responses will be required beyond the standard first aid service available in the building from volunteer NFAOs.

Examples include the following.
the head of department should appoint someone, usually NOT the Nominated First Aid Officer, to be responsible for ensuring they remain in good working order, eg laboratory Technical Officer, etc.

  • Clinics and research programs where staff, students and/or members of the public are subject to tests, challenges and activities that could result in adverse reactions, eg fainting after a blood sample is taken, or exacerbation of underlying or known conditions: staff with first aid qualifications or relevant health care practitioners should be employed as part of the research team/clinic staff to conduct or supervise the activities.
  • Laboratories where acutely toxic hazardous substances (eg Hydrofluoric Acid) are used: the Principal Researcher or laboratory manager is responsible for ensuring adequate preventive measures are in place, that any relevant antidotes are kept and that staff are trained in their administration.
  • Laboratories and clinics where there is a risk of sharps injury: Principal Researcher/ Laboratory Manager must ensure all staff and students are trained in local procedures for prompt assessment and treatment of sharps injuries relevant to the types of contamination likely to occur, eg exposure to untested human blood or body fluids.
  • Student artistic performances involving intentional self-harm: the academic supervisor must ensure the student has made arrangements for treatment and/or emergency response that do not rely on NFAOs being present.

Find out more about the University's Risk Management System.

9. REFERENCES

  • Australian First Aid St John Ambulance Australia 3rd edition reprinted with corrections 8/2004
  • Australian Standard AS1319 Safety signs for the occupational environment
  • Lawlink NSW website Issues Paper 24 (2004) accessed 10/11/05
  • NSW Civil Liability Act 2002
  • NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000
  • NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001
  • WorkCover NSW First Aid in the Workplace Guide 2001

10. APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 - CONTENTS OF FIRST AID KITS (ACCORDING TO THE REGULATION)

Kit A Kit B Kit C Contents
2 1 1 Adhesive plastic dressing strips, sterile, packets of 50
1 1 - Adhesive dressing tape, 2.5 cm x 5 cm
2 1 1 Small bags, plastic, for amputated parts
2 1 1 Medium bags, plastic, for amputated parts
2 1 - Large bags, plastic, for amputated parts
5 2 - Dressing, non-adherent, sterile, 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm
5 2 - Eye pads, sterile
3 1 1 Gauze bandages, 5 cm
3 1 - Gauze bandages, 10 cm
10 4 2 Gloves, disposable, single
1 1 - Rescue blanket, silver space
1 1 - Safety pins, packets
1 1 - Scissors, blunt/short nosed, minimum length 12.5 cm
1 1 - Splinter forceps, stainless steel
12 6 - Sterile eyewash solution, 10 ml single use ampules or sachets
1 1 - Swabs, prepacked, antiseptic, packs of 10
8 4 1 Triangular bandages, minimum 90 cm
10 3 1 Wound dressings, sterile, non-medicated, large
1 1 1 First-aid pamphlet (as issued by the St John Ambulance or the Australian Red Cross Society, or any other first-aid pamphlet approved by the Co-ordinator)

Kit A is intended for workplaces (other than factories & construction sites) at which 100 or more persons work.

Kit B is intended for workplaces (other than factories & construction sites) at which fewer than 100 and more than 10 people work.

Kit C is intended for workplaces (other than factories & construction sites) at which 10 or fewer persons work. A type C kit would be suitable for most University vehicles.

N.B. Kits may contain additional items as long as these are FIRST AID items only, such as additional bandages and swabs, endothermic ice-packs for treating minor sprains and strains, etc. Every first aid kit should include disposable CPR masks. These masks are designed to provide protection against possible infection risks in resuscitation.

Kits should not contain medicines of any kind. This includes headache preparations, and multiple use lotions, creams or other preparations, the sterility of which cannot be maintained.

APPENDIX 2 - REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST AID ROOMS

A first aid room at a place of work must:

  • be located so as to be readily accessible during working hours
  • be located close to toilets
  • be located close to a sink or washbasin equipped with suitable drainage and a supply of clean hot and cold running water
  • be located close to a means of boiling water
  • have an access door wide enough to allow entry and exit of a patient on a stretcher
  • be well lit and well ventilated
  • not used for any purpose other than first aid or occupational health.

A first aid room at a place of work must contain the following items:

  • a work bench or dressing trolley
  • a storage cupboard
  • a container fitted with a disposable bag or liner suitable for disposal of soiled dressings
  • a container for the safe disposal of sharps
  • a power point
  • a couch (waterproof surface) with blankets and pillows
  • a movable screen, suspended curtain or door that can close for privacy needs
  • a desk or table and suitable chairs
  • a telephone
  • a stretcher, lifting frame or something similar for transporting patients
  • a sufficient supply of soap and disposable towels
  • a copy of the current edition of an occupational first aid handbook approved by WorkCover
  • first aid kit items in at least the quantities required for a size A kit
  • a portable size B first aid kit for use outside the room.

A First Aid Room may also contain additional first aid equipment and items relevant to the nature of work undertaken and taking into account any particular additional legal requirements. This may include resuscitation equipment. A First Aid Room must not contain equipment or items not used for first aid or occupational health purposes.

Every entrance to the first aid room must be marked on the outside with the words "first aid" and a safety sign complying with AS1319.

APPENDIX 3 - HEALTH INFORMATION PRIVACY PROTECTION PRINCIPLES

  • Collection of private health information must be lawful, directly related to the University’s activities and necessary for the purpose.
  • Information must be collected directly from the person unless the person has given consent otherwise.
  • The person must be told why the information is being collected, what is done with it and who else might see it.
  • Information collected must be relevant and accurate.
  • The person concerned must be allowed to access, update, correct or amend their health information.
  • Personal health information must be securely stored, kept only as long as necessary and then disposed of appropriately.
  • It must be protected from unauthorised access, use or disclosure.
  • Authorised officers of the University may only disclose health information for the purpose for which it was collected or a directly related purpose, unless the person to whom it relates has consented otherwise.
  • There is an exemption that allows disclosure without consent in order to deal with a serious and imminent threat to any person’s health or safety.

Further guidance on compliance with privacy requirements is available from Archives and Records Management Services.

APPENDIX 4A - DISCLOSURE FORM FOR KNOWN MEDICAL CONDITIONS

APPENDIX 4B - FIRST AID RESPONSE PLAN FOR KNOWN CONDITION

APPENDIX 5 - FIRST AID TREATMENT RECORD