Welcome to our seventh and final toolbox talk! Can we get a whoop whoop?
Over the last nine months, we’ve been working away, writing up one toolbox talk after the other and sending it out to you guys. It has been super exciting and we hope that you’ve all got some awesome workplace talks out of it.
As you might know, this Toolbox Talk series is based on the Elementary Health and Safety Course from REHIS. Over the last few months, we’ve covered all there is to cover in the REHIS syllabus and if you’ve been paying attention, you should be a whole lot smarter by now!
Here’s an overview of the toolbox talks we’ve delivered so far:
If this is the first toolbox talk you’re seeing, then do yourself a quick favour and check out our blog ‘What’s the deal with toolbox talks’ before you crack on with it. In there you’ll find a quick explanation of why toolbox talks are brilliant, how to do them and some extra tips and tricks to running your own.
Moving on to the grand finale of our Elementary Health and Safety Course series, this one is about first aid and electricity at work. Let’s get this show on the road.
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (1981) requires you to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure that your employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
These Regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees and to the self-employed (hse.gov).
What’s adequate and appropriate will depend on the circumstances and the outcome of your first-aid needs assessment.
If you’re thinking, ‘Do I really have to carry out a first- aid assessment?’, the answer is yes.
This assessment involves thinking about workplace hazards, the risks the hazards pose and the size of your organisation to determine what first- aid equipment is necessary and what training should be provided to workers.
The Health and Safety Executive has provided a super handy checklist to run through when carrying out this assessment. You can download a free copy here: First aid at work. Your questions answered.
The minimum first-aid provision on any work site is:
- A suitably packed first-aid kit
- An appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements
- Information for employees about first-aid arrangements
What goes in the first-aid box?
Let’s start off by saying that there is no mandatory list of what goes in the first-aid box as it all depends on the workplace first-aid needs assessment.
That said, the Health and Safety Executive has provided a good list of suggested contents. It includes:
- A leaflet with general guidance
- 20 individually wrapped sterile plasters (of assorted sizes)
- Two sterile eye pads
- Four individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile)
- Six safety pins
- Two large, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings
- Six medium sized, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings
- At least three pairs of disposable gloves
The appointed first-aid member of staff
Regardless of whether your assessment shows that you need a trained first-aider, you are required to appoint someone to take charge of first aid arrangements.
The role of the appointed staff is to look after first aid equipment and facilities and to call the emergency service if required.
An appointed member of staff does not need first-aid training unless specified in the assessment.
Make sure your employees
- Know who the appointed first-aid staff is and how to reach them
- Know where to find the first-aid kit
- Have been provided with the required training outlined in your first-aid needs assessment
Electricity at work
Electricity is something you need to be extra super tremendously careful with. Wrong handling, poor prevention or faulty equipment can result in injuries at best and death at worst.
Common electrical hazards
The most common electrical hazards are: (hse.gov)
- Electrical shock and burns from contact with live parts
- Injury from exposure to arcing, fire from faulty electrical equipment
- An explosion caused by unsuitable electrical apparatus or static electricity igniting flammable vapours or dusts, for example in a spray paint booth
First-aid in the event of someone receiving an electric shock
- The first and utmost important thing to do when someone has received an electric shock is to turn off the source of electricity.
- Call 999 if the source of the burn is a high-voltage wire or lightning, or if the injured person experiences: severe burns, confusion, difficulty breathing, heart rhythm problems, cardiac arrest, muscle pain and contractions, seizures or loss of consciousness.
- Do not move the person with an electric injury unless he/she is in immediate danger.
- Follow the instructions provided by the person on the emergency line
- If calling the emergency line is not an option, begin CPR if the person shows no sign of circulation such as breathing coughing or movement.
- Try your best to prevent the injured from becoming chilled
- Apply bandages to cover burned areas with sterile gauze. Don’t use a towel or a blanket as fibres can stick to the burn
Make sure your employees
- Know which common electrical hazards are at their workplace
- Can describe the actions to take, including first-aid, in the event of someone receiving an electric shock.
As this talk concludes our first series of toolbox talks, we’d like to thank you for tagging along! We’d love to hear how you have got on with the talks so please get in touch and share your stories with us.
If you’d like all these toolbox talks to take away, then we ask that you have a bit of patience as we are working on a full Elementary Health and Safety Course Toolbox Talks eBook with even more exclusive tips and industry insights.
If the sound of adding toolbox talks to your weekly routine has tickled your fancy, but you aren’t quite sure how to execute it – give us a call! We can help you plan and run your toolbox talks to make sure your team is up to date with the latest and most important health and safety good practice.