It is required by law in the UK for all workplaces to appoint someone to take charge of the first aid arrangements, even if you are self-employed or a sole trader. If you fail to appoint someone to be responsible for providing emergency first aid at work, you could be subject to substantial fines or even prosecution.
A first aider should be appropriately trained with the right emergency first aid courses for their profession. They also should be someone who you would trust to handle a potentially life-threatening situation. So how do you know which of your employees you should appoint to this very important position? Here are some things to look for in a staff member when choosing a first aider:
Solid Understanding of First Aid Techniques
Choose someone who has a deep and profound understanding of first aid techniques. This doesn’t mean that they took the Emergency First Aid at work course and daydreamed through most of it – it means that they paid close attention, took notes, asked questions and passed the exam with flying colours. Perhaps they have also had experience working in a health and safety role before or had a solid understanding of first aid techniques.
Take Charge Personality
The person who you appoint to take care of emergency first aid at work should be able to respond with confidence in a crisis and should be able to take control of the situation. In a disaster or an emergency when people are hurt, many people will tend to panic or to freeze and go into shock. Your first aider needs to be able to overcome their own urge to panic and stay calm, directing others where to go and what to do. Look for someone who has demonstrated this kind of calm in a crisis before.
Attention to Detail
Another positive trait in a first aider is someone who can pay attention to details in a situation. They will always have their eye out for potential hazards and they will be able to spot specific signs in a victim to quickly figure out what is wrong with them. This attention to detail can be very valuable and the small things that they notice might turn out to be something very big and significant.
Strong Emotional Awareness
Responding to an emergency situation is a very traumatic experience. During the event you experience a lot of sensations and see many graphic images, which tend to come back into your mind and haunt you later once the situation is over and the adrenaline has worn off. For this reason, emergency first aiders are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.
When choosing an emergency first aider, you should look for someone who has a strong emotional core and an awareness of their own feelings, so that they will be able to handle the mental pressure of the role. These are just a few of the traits to look for when you are choosing a staff member to provide emergency first aid at work.