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First Aid During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Non-Healthcare Settings

It has been a busy time for employers ensuring their businesses are prepared to open for their workers and, in some cases, the public. While risk assessments are being reviewed to include safer working practices during the outbreak of COVID-19 and incorporating the Government Guidance. As an employer it would be a good time to refresh your first aid at work needs assessment.

First Aid During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak  Non-Healthcare Settings
Embark First Aid Advice on COVID-19

First aiders in the workplace will need the confidence to know if someone becomes unwell, they are able to help and provide the right care. When reviewing your risk assessment, consult with your first aiders on any factors to be taken into account.

The Resuscitation Council UK have provided specific guidance for employers and first aiders on giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during the COVID-19 outbreak. Remember to always keep up to date with current articles as these will have the most up to date information and guidance.

The following guidance for first aiders has been issued by the HSE:

Try to assist at a safe distance from the casualty as much as you can and minimise the time you share a breathing zone. 

If they are capable, tell them to do things for you, but treating the casualty properly should be your first concern. Remember the 3P model – preserve life, prevent worsening, promote recovery.

Preserve life: CPR

  • Call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms

  • Ask for help. If a portable defibrillator is available, ask for it

  • Before starting CPR, to minimise transmission risk, use a cloth or towel to cover the patient’s mouth and nose, while still permitting breathing to restart following successful resuscitation

  • If available, use:

    • a fluid-repellent surgical mask

    • disposable gloves

    • eye protection

    • apron or other suitable covering

  • Only deliver CPR by chest compressions and use a defibrillator (if available) – don’t do rescue breaths

Prevent worsening, promote recovery: all other injuries or illnesses

  • If you suspect a serious illness or injury, call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms 

  • If giving first aid to someone, you should use the recommended equipment listed above if it is available 

  • You should minimise the time you share a breathing zone with the casualty and direct them to do things for you where possible 

After delivering any first aid

  • Ensure you safely discard disposable items and clean reusable ones thoroughly

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as soon as possible

If your business has reduced first aid cover due to COVID-19 and you want to upskill an employee or your first aiders require a refresher, we have an online First Aid Training course which will be ideal for you.

Remember Embark Consulting are here to help. To speak to one of our fully qualified Health and Safety Consultants contact us today.


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