First Aid

By Safeopedia Staff
Last updated: September 27, 2021

What Does First Aid Mean?

As the name suggests, first aid is the first response or treatment given to someone who has been injured. It is administered before they are transerred to proper medical care.

First aid does not constitute a full medical treatment. Rather, it is meant to stabilize the injured person so they can be moved to a hospital or other medical facility. When administered correctly, first aid measure can save lives.

First aid competence can be demonstrated by acquiring a first aid certification. This certification is a requirement in many professions and can be acquired through a wide variety of institutions.

Safeopedia Explains First Aid

Minor injuries can be quickly treated with first aid measures. Once administered, the affected employee can typically return to work within a few minutes or hours.

First aid measures are not sufficient for treating severe injuries. Rather, they ensure that the affected worker's condition does not worsen while they await more comprehensive medical treatment.

First aid interventions can be used in a variety of conditions, from cuts and muscle sprains to heat stress and hypothermia.

First aid training typically also includes training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

OSHA First Aid Requirement

The OSHA first aid standard 29 CFR 1910.151 requires trained first-aid providers at all workplaces of any size if there is no infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace. OSHA also requires training in CPR for permit-required confined spaces, electric power generation, transmission and distribution, qualifications of the dive team, and construction.

Responding to Emergency Situations

Three basic steps can be followed to respond to an emergency situation:

1. Assess the Scene and the Situation

If the scene around the injured or sick individual is safe, assess the condition of the sick or injured person. If there are other hazards present, such as fire and falling debris, the injured person should be moved to protect them from additional harm.

2. Call for Medical Help

If the person is seriously injured or sick, immediately call for medical help by dialing 911 or EMS. If the person does not need medical help, provide the best care possible and assist them to a safe place like their office or home.

3. Provide Basic Care

With the help of supplies from a first aid kit, provide basic care. Stop the bleeding if there is any. Apply bandages and dressings if relevant. Give fluids if dehydration is a factor. Keep the affected employee calm and comfortable.


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