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WHS P005 First Aid Management Protocol

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) First Aid is the immediate treatment or care given to a person suffering from an injury or illness until more advanced care is provided, or the person recovers. The University will provide First Aid facilities and resources that are adequate for the initial response to injury and illness that may arise at the workplace.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This document has been developed in accordance with:

  1. Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW); and
  2. The SafeWork NSW First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2015.

(3) This Protocol applies to University Representatives, Students  and Visitors.

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Section 3 - Protocol

Determining First Aid Requirements

(4) In order to determine adequate facilities and resources for the effective provision of First Aid the University shall consider:

  1. the nature of the work being carried out at the workplace;
  2. the nature of the hazards at the workplace;
  3. the size, location and nature of the workplace; and
  4. the number and composition of the workers at the workplace.

Consideration of the nature of the work

(5) Certain work environments have greater risks of injury and illness due to the nature of work being carried out and the nature of the hazards at the workplace. For example, workshops and wet-labs (e.g. chemical and biological laboratories) have very specific risks (i.e. chemical and/or biological) that may pose a greater risk and/or consequence of injury that would require immediate medical treatment, when compared with offices or libraries that are more likely to have risks related to manual handling and ergonomics. Furthermore fieldwork, clinical placements, maintenance of grounds, and working with animals (large or small) all have particular risks associated with those workplaces. These workplaces will therefore all require somewhat different First Aid arrangements.

Consideration of the nature of the hazards

(6) The following provides a list of common hazards and the injuries that may be sustained, requiring First Aid treatment:

  1. manual tasks - overexertion can cause muscular strain.
  2. working at height - slips, trips and falls can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, concussion.
  3. electricity - potential ignition source could cause injuries from fire. Exposure to live electrical wires can cause shock, burns and cardiac arrest.
  4. machinery and equipment - being hit by moving vehicles, or being caught by moving parts of machinery can cause fractures, amputation, bruises, lacerations, dislocations.
  5. hazardous chemicals - toxic or corrosive chemicals may be inhaled, contact skin or eyes causing poisoning, chemical burns, irritation. Flammable chemicals could result in injuries from fire or explosion.
  6. extreme temperatures - hot surfaces and materials can cause burns. Exposure to heat can cause heat stress and fatigue. Exposure to extreme cold can cause hypothermia and frostbite.
  7. radiation - welding arc flashes, ionizing radiation and lasers can cause burns.
  8. violence - behaviours including intimidation and physical assault can cause nausea, shock and physical injuries.
  9. biological - infection, allergic reactions.
  10. animals - bites, stings, kicks, scratches.

(7) The hazards and possible associated injuries above should be considered when choosing or compiling First Aid kits and equipment required for workplaces.

Consideration of the Size and Location of the Workplace

(8) In relation to the size and location of the workplace, consideration should be given to the following when determining First Aid facilities and resources:

  1. the distance between different work areas; and
  2. the response times of emergency services.

(9) First Aid equipment and facilities should be located at convenient points and in areas where there is a higher risk of an injury or illness occurring.

(10) A large workplace such as UNE requires First Aid facilities to be available in various locations due to:

  1. work is sometimes carried out a long distance from emergency services e.g. field work;
  2. small numbers of workers are dispersed over a wide area;
  3. access to all parts of the workplace being difficult; and
  4. the workplace has various buildings and floors.

Consideration of the Number and Composition of Workers and Other People

(11) When considering the size of the workforce and other people that may require First Aid treatment, the University shall include Students, Visitors, contractors, subcontractors and volunteers. These numbers fluctuate from time to time, so provisions shall take in to account peak numbers.

(12) Public events such as graduations and open days may require additional First Aid kits and First Aiders, and shall be determined by risk assessment.

(13) All Workers must have access to a First Aid kit.

Responsibility for Provision of First Aiders and Equipment

(14) It is the responsibility of Heads of School and Directors to ensure the following:

  1. there is an appropriate and compliant First Aid kit in the workplace/s they have control of;
  2. First Aiders have been nominated to oversee the First Aid equipment (check and replenish stock) and respond to injuries that occur in the workplace/s;
  3. training of the First Aider/s is current;
  4. the nominated First Aider/s understands immunisation requirements; and
  5. budget provisions are adequate to ensure all associated First Aid resources and facilities are provided according to this Protocol.

First Aid Kit Contents

(15) The University provides a checklist (WHS F050 First Aid Kit Content Checklist) for all University First Aid kits that is compliant with NSW First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2015.

(16) Additional items may be required depending upon the considerations listed above in Clauses 4 - 13.

(17) It is recommended that this checklist is printed out by the First Aider/s and attached to the local First Aid kit. If required, special or specific items should be included in the First Aid kit to account for the hazards in that work environment (e.g. sunscreen for outdoor work, calcium gluconate for working with hydrofluoric acid, glycerol for working with phenol etc.).

(18) Medication, including analgesics such as paracetamol and aspirin, should not be included in First Aid kits because of their potential to cause adverse health effects in some people including asthmatics, pregnant women and people with medical conditions. The supply of these medications may also be controlled by drugs and poisons laws. Workers requiring prescribed and over-the-counter medications should carry their own medication for their personal use as necessary.

Design of Kits

(19) First Aid kits can be any size, shape or type to suit the work environment, but each kit should:

  1. be large enough to contain all the necessary items;
  2. be immediately identifiable with a white cross on green background that is prominently displayed on the outside;
  3. contain a list of the contents for that kit; and
  4. be made of material that will protect the contents from dust, moisture and contamination.

(20) It is recommended that the First Aid kit is portable (i.e. with a carry handle) so that it can easily be carried out during an evacuation of the workplace.

Location and Access

(21) In the event of a serious injury or illness, quick access to the kit is vital. First Aid kits shall be kept in a prominent, accessible location and able to be retrieved promptly.

(22) Access shall also be ensured in security-controlled work environments.

(23) First Aid kits shall be located close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness.

(24) Emergency floor plans displayed in the workplace shall include the location of First Aid kits.

(25) A portable First Aid kit should be provided in the motor vehicles supplied by the University. These kits shall be safely located so as not to become a projectile in the event of an accident.

Restocking and Maintaining Kits

(26) The nominated First Aider/s must maintain the First Aid kit and should:

  1. monitor access to the First Aid kit and ensure any items used are replaced as soon as practicable after use;
  2. undertake regular checks (after each use or, if the kit is not used, at least once every 12 months) to ensure the kit contains a complete set of the required items, as per WHS F050 First Aid Kit Contents Checklist; and
  3. ensure that items are in good working order, have not deteriorated and are within their expiry dates and that sterile products are sealed and have not been tampered with.

Determining the Number of Trained First Aiders Required

(27) The following ratios are recommended by the NSW First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2015:

  1. Low Risk workplaces — one First Aider for every 50 workers;
  2. High Risk workplaces — one First Aider for every 25 workers.

(28) The number and type of trained First Aiders can be further refined by following the fiveā€'step guide below:

  1. Identify the maximum number of Workers and other persons within the work environment at any one time.
  2. Consider the nature of the work being carried out in the work environment and determine if Workers and other people are at a high risk of being exposed to hazards that could require immediate First Aid treatment.
  3. Determine if the work environment is remote or if access to emergency services is difficult. High risk work environments that do not have timely access to medical and ambulance services should have at least one First Aider for every 10 workers.
  4. Consider the variety of ways that Workers carry out work, for example:
    1. if a Worker spends most, if not all, of their time working alone or after-hours;
    2. if a Worker's location varies on a regular basis and they often work without supervision (e.g. fieldwork, work from home);
    3. where there are large numbers of other persons present on a regular basis (e.g. graduations, open-days); and
    4. access during times when a First Aider is absent (e.g. annual leave).
  5. In these situations, it may not be practicable to have a First Aider available at all times in every work environment within the University. However, Workers must be able to access First Aid assistance, for example by ensuring they are provided with an effective means of contacting emergency services or First Aiders information, and instruction and training should be provided on how to respond if a serious injury or illness occurs.

First Aider Training

(29) University First Aiders shall hold nationally recognised Statement/s of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for the nationally endorsed First Aid unit/s of competency.

(30) First Aiders shall complete a course in 'Provide First Aid' or 'Provide Advanced First Aid' or equivalent.

(31) UNE Workforce Strategy and Development unit (formerly OD) provides access to First Aid training via Web Kiosk.

(32) First Aiders shall attend refresher training in CPR annually and First Aid qualifications remain valid for three years.

(33) First Aiders may also need to undertake additional First Aid training to respond to specific situations in their work environment. For example, where workers have severe allergies, First Aiders should be trained to respond to anaphylaxis.

Cost of Training

(34) Heads of School and Directors are responsible for payment or reimbursement to staff for First Aider training and recertification of First Aid, including CPR.

(35) Where First Aid qualifications are stipulated as a requirement of the Worker's position, Heads of School and Directors are responsible for payment or reimbursement to staff for First Aider training and recertification of First Aid, including CPR.

Appointment of First Aiders

(36) Where the need for one or more First Aider/s is identified, expressions of interest will be called from amongst the staff in the relevant area/s to fill the positions.

(37) The selection of the appropriate First Aider will be determined by the relevant Head of School or Director.

(38) Training, or retraining in the case of existing First Aiders continuing in the role, shall be attended by the prospective First Aider/s.

(39) The prospective First Aider is responsible for completing WHS F037 First Aider Allowance Form and WHS F009 First Aider Notification Poster and sending to:

  1. for payment of First Aider Allowance; and
  2. for inclusion on the University First Aider register.

(40) Towards the end of the period of currency of the First Aider/s' qualifications the Head of School/Director should make an assessment as to whether there are new nominations for the First Aider. HRS-WHS support a periodic rotation of First Aiders.

First Aider Allowance

(41) Approved First Aiders only, are entitled to a First Aid allowance as stipulated in the UNE Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2019-2022 (Schedule D) and UNE Academic and English Language Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020-2022 (Schedule D).

First Aider Duties

(42) First Aiders shall:

  1. ensure their qualifications are up to date and renewed as required;
  2. provide WHS F037 First Aider Allowance Form and WHS F009 First Aider Notification Poster to Human Resource Services (HRS) and Work Health and Safety (WHS) unit every time qualifactions are renewed, as required in Clause 41 above;
  3. attend a UNE First Aider Induction with the Work Health Safety (WHS) unit upon certification or recertification;
  4. provide their contact details on the workplace safety noticeboard using WHS F009 First Aider Notification Poster;
  5. provide First Aid assistance as required, within their work environment, and in special circumstances, to surrounding work environments (e.g. in a major critical incident);
  6. inform the injured person that they are required to submit an incident/injury report via the UNE SkyTrust online incident notification system. If the person is unable or unwilling to submit an incident/injury report, the First Aider or the injured person's supervisor must submit the report on their behalf; and
  7. maintain an inventory of First Aid kit contents and equipment, and check these on a regular basis using WHS F050 First Aid Kit Contents Checklist.

First Aid Provisions in Induction

(43) Persons working or studying at UNE grounds and facilities should be informed as part of their induction, or via safety notice boards:

  1. the type of First Aid kits available and where they are located;
  2. the location of First Aid facilities such as First Aid rooms;
  3. who the First Aider is for their work area;
  4. emergency contact numbers;
  5. how to report injuries and illnesses that may occur in the workplace; and
  6. about voluntary disclosure of any First Aid needs that may require specific treatment in a medical emergency, such as severe allergies (note that information about a Worker's health must be kept confidential and only provided to First Aiders with the Worker's consent).

Reviewing First Aid Requirements

(44) If an incident has occurred that required First Aid, the effectiveness of the First Aid that was provided shall be considered upon reporting and review of incident reports.

(45) If new information is obtained about a previously unidentified hazard, First Aid resources and facilities shall be reviewed/considered.

Special Events

(46) When planning for special events, such as graduations or open days, when large numbers of visitors are on campus, additional First Aid facilities and persons qualified to administer First Aid may be required.

Off Campus

(47) Where University Representatives are working off-campus at a workplace controlled by another entity, First Aid provisions will be as provided by the other entity.

(48) University Representatives who are required to undertake activities away from the campus are required to carry out a risk assessment beforehand.

(49) Suitable First Aid requirements will be identified as an outcome of completing the fieldwork risk assessment process.

Infectious Disease and First Aid

(50) The risk of acquiring an infectious diseas when administering First Aid is very low. Stringent infection control practices should be followed when administering First Aid (such as handwashing, wearing protective disposable gloves and using a mouth shield or resuscitation bag and mask when administering CPR).

(51) Occupational transmission of serious infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV is very infrequent but can occur if the person administering assistance sustains a sharps injury from an instrument contaminated with infected blood or is exposed to blood in the eye or another mucosal surface.

(52) The optimal way for First Aid personnel to protect themselves from blood-borne infections is to consider all injured or ill persons to be potentially infectious.

(53) First Aid transmission of these infections can be avoided with a combination of immunisation and effective infection control practices.


(54) First Aiders are recommended to have completed the standard Australian National Childhood Immunisation Schedule and to also to be immunised against Hepatitis B.

(55) First Aiders can obtain vaccination (and screening to confirm Hepatitis B immunity) by contacting their General Practitioner.

(56) Annual Influenza vaccination is recommended for all health care providers. First Aiders can obtain Influenza vaccination via the annual Staff Influenza Immunisation programme or from their personal health care provider.

Hepatitis B and HIV

(57) It is important that protection against Hepatitis B is available for all First Aiders. Active immunity is reliably and safely produced by being vaccinated i.e. the person develops their own protective antibodies in response to the vaccine.

(58) After a significant exposure to HIV infected blood or other body fluid and following meticulous wound care and cleaning, prompt consideration must be given to whether anti-viral medication should be taken. There is evidence that anti-viral medication taken in this situation may reduce the risk of infection. Urgent advice should be obtained from the Medical Clinic or an infectious disease specialist at a major hospital, as the medication needs to be started ideally within a few hours of the exposure.

Infected Personnel

(59) All First Aiders who may be infectious have a responsibility to notify the relevant authorities of any infectious risk that they may present to injured or ill employees. Advice is available from the UNE Medical Centre.

(60) Injured or ill employees have a responsibility to advise treating personnel of any known or possible communicable disease which could be transmitted in these circumstances. The individual's right to privacy and confidentiality must be respected.

Authority and Compliance

(61) The Director People and Culture as Procedure Administrator, pursuant to the University's Work Health and Safety Rule, is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Protocol. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Protocol.

(62) University Representatives must observe this Protocol in relation to University matters.

(63) This Protocol operates as and from the Effective Date.

(64) Previous Protocols relating to First Aid Management are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Protocol.

(65) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Protocol, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Protocol where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Protocol would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(66) First Aid is the immediate treatment or care given to a person suffering from an injury or illness until more advanced care is provided or the person recovers.

(67) First Aider (otherwise known as First Aid Officer) is a person who has successfully completed a nationally accredited training course or an equivalent level of training that has given them the competencies required to administer First Aid.

(68) First Aid equipment includes First Aid kits and other equipment used to treat injuries and illnesses.

(69) First Aid facilities include First Aid rooms, health centres, clean water supplies and other facilities needed for administering First Aid.

(70) Wet-lab, is a laboratory or facility where chemicals, drugs and/or biological matter are handled in liquid solutions or volatile phases and includes piped services such as water and gas (as opposed to a dry-lab where computational or applied mathematical analyses are performed).

(71) A Worker, as defined by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, is a person that carries out work in any capacity for a person conducting a business or undertaking, including work as:

  1. an employee; or
  2. a contractor or subcontractor; or
  3. an employee of a contractor or subcontractor; or
  4. an employee of a labour hire company who has been assigned to work in the person's business or undertaking; or
  5. an outworker; or
  6. an apprentice or trainee; or
  7. a student gaining work experience; or
  8. a volunteer; or
  9. person of a prescribed class.