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The most common first aid scenarios at work

Posted on 12th Mar, 2020 | By Lorretta Tatham

By law, every workplace needs a qualified first aider on hand to deal with any injuries or first aid situations. This is especially important in hands-on industries where the potential for injuries is more common and severe, such as construction, or petrochemical sectors.  (Here at Browns Safety, we offer a first aid course that can help your experienced first aiders to refresh their skills, or new first aiders to learn the essentials.) Here are some of the most common scenarios that first aiders will most frequently find themselves dealing with.

Slips and falls

If someone suffers a slip or fall at work, the first step is to quickly establish how serious it is. Many people will be able to pick themselves up and walk away following a fall, but if not, then you need to know what to do. Check whether they are breathing, and if they are, put them into the recovery position. If not, you need to begin CPR. If you think that the victim has landed on their spine or neck, then do not move them – wait for paramedics to assess their injuries.

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Cuts and lacerations

Lacerations include everything from minor scrapes to deep cuts. If a cut is bleeding severely or there is a significant amount of blood, call an ambulance. Similarly, if you cannot stop the bleeding after 10 minutes of applying steady and firm pressure, you should summon an ambulance. For minor lacerations, your focus should be on stopping the flow of blood by applying pressure to the wound using a clean gauze or cloth. Once the bleeding has stopped, using an antibiotic ointment to clean and sterilise the wound area.


Your first priority when someone suffers from a burn should be to get them away from the heat source as quickly as possible. Once they are away from the heat, cool the affected area with lukewarm or cold water. Do not use ice-cold water or any kind of cream or greasy substance.

Remove any clothing or jewellery around the burnt area, but do not remove anything that is stuck to the skin. Minor burns can be treated without hospital intervention, but serious burns, including chemical and electrical burns or burns that are larger than the size of your hand, should be treated by a professional.

Loss of consciousness

There are a variety of different causes that can lead to unconsciousness. Unconsciousness can last for just a few moments, as is the case with fainting, or it can be much more prolonged.

If there is an unconscious person in your workplace, you need to first check they are breathing. You should then remove any restrictive clothing they are wearing and ensure that there is nothing obstructing the airway. Call an ambulance if you don’t know why the person lost consciousness.

Health and safety considerations for autumn

Consider a first aid course for your workers

No matter how careful you are, there is always scope for accidents to occur at work. Having staff trained in first aid will ensure that if anything does occur, you will have people on hand who are able to respond. Browns Safety offers a first aid course that is designed specifically for the workplace and equips your workers with the knowledge they need to react to situations appropriately.

You can’t put a price on the safety of your workers. The better-equipped your workforce is for handling medical emergencies, the less chance there is for a medical incident to derail your business, even momentarily.

If you’d like to book a place on one of the first aid courses we offer here at Browns Safety, you can click the link above, or just give us a call on 01282 615517 – we’re always happy to help!

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