04:54 pm, Wednesday 26 June, 2013
Photo: SafetyCulture Library
A new study conducted by St John Ambulance revealed that millions of employees are at risk due to lack of first aid awareness.
The research entitled, First Aid Readiness in the Australian Workplace was done to assist employers in understanding their responsibilities in ensuring the safety of their employees.
According to the research, only 13 percent of Australian workplaces know how to ensure their employees’ safety.
The research found that:
- Majority of Australian employers (65%) are not aware of Safe Work Australia’s new Code of Practice.
- Only 48 percent of Australian workplaces has accredited first aid training to their employees.
- Less than half of workplaces have proper workplace first aid resources, including first aid kits and safety signage.
- Only 24 percent of workers went through first aid procedures training or first aid drills.
St John Ambulance Australia CEO, Peter LeCornu, said the new Code, which is now being rolled out across most States and Territories will change first aid responsibilities for business.
“Australian workplaces are in a volatile situation and employers need to act now to reduce the risk to their employees, customers and ultimately their businesses,” said Mr LeCornu.
“The St John research shows that a serious first aid knowledge gap exists.”
In addition, the research also found that:
- Education was the best performing industry on first aid readiness, buteven so only 21.5 percent of education workplaces are fully compliant with the new Code.
- Only ten percent of hospitality workplaces are compliant and only six percent of retail workplaces.
- VIC (15.4 percent) and NSW/ACT (14.3 percent) have the highest levels of first aid readiness, but fewer than one in six workplaces are meeting the guidelines set out by the new Code.
- WA has the lowest level of first aid readiness (8.8 percent) with less than one in ten workplaces meeting the guidelines set out by the new Code.
“Administering first aid in the first five minutes after an incident can dramatically change the outcome. Businesses need to be prepared to save a life and empower their employees with the confidence to act,” said Mr LeCornu.
“It is not just a matter of buying a first aid kit and assuming staff will know what to do. Every employer should be striving for best practice when it comes to first aid and St John recommends conducting an initial first aid risk assessment evaluation to proactively ensure your workplace is compliant,” he said.