In the workplace, accidents can happen unexpectedly. Whether it’s a construction site or a warehouse, being equipped with essential first aid skills can make a significant difference in saving lives and mitigating injuries.

EMR Safety & Health understands the importance of providing comprehensive health and safety training, including first aid skills, to ensure preparedness in emergency situations.

In this article, we will discuss 13 crucial first-aid skills that everyone should know to handle medical emergencies effectively.

1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is a life-saving technique used in emergencies such as cardiac arrest or drowning.

CPR involves chest compressions and rescue breathing to maintain blood circulation and oxygenation until medical help arrives.
Learning CPR through first aid courses can significantly increase the chances of saving someone’s life during critical situations.

The EMR Safety and Health offers various American Heart Association training courses, including Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), catering to healthcare professionals and allied health positions, providing comprehensive instruction in life-saving techniques and technologies

2. Basic First Aid Training

Basic first aid training covers essential skills like assessing an injured person, applying direct pressure to control bleeding, and stabilizing injured limbs.

This foundational knowledge forms the basis for providing immediate care until medical professionals arrive.

EMR Safety & Health offers comprehensive first aid courses that equip individuals with the necessary skills to handle various medical emergencies effectively.

3. Bleeding Control Techniques

Severe bleeding can lead to life-threatening situations if not addressed promptly. First aid techniques such as applying direct pressure, elevating the injured limb, and using pressure dressings can help control bleeding and prevent further blood loss.
Additionally, learning how to identify arterial bleeding, which is characterized by bright red blood spurting rhythmically, is crucial for immediate intervention.

4. Airway Management

Maintaining an open airway is essential for individuals experiencing respiratory distress or unconsciousness.

First aiders should know how to perform basic airway maneuvers such as head-tilt-chin-lift or jaw thrust to ensure adequate oxygenation.

Clearing obstructions from the airway and performing rescue breathing can also be life-saving techniques in emergency situations.

5. Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Use

AEDs are portable devices that deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm in individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Knowing how to use an AED effectively can significantly increase the chances of survival for someone experiencing a cardiac emergency.

First-aid courses often include training on AED operation and integration with CPR techniques for optimal outcomes.

6. Fracture Management

Broken bones require immediate attention to prevent further injury and facilitate healing.

First aiders should be able to recognize signs of a fracture, such as deformity, swelling, and inability to bear weight on the injured limb.
If an individual nearby has sustained a broken bone, it’s beneficial to know how to properly set a splint depending on the situation and how soon help can arrive

Participating in a first aid course will provide you with the necessary knowledge to perform this task safely. Setting a splint is essential before relocating the injured person to alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of further injury.

7. Burn Injury Care

Burn injuries can range from minor first-degree burns to severe third-degree burns requiring immediate medical attention.
First aiders should know how to assess the severity of a burn injury and provide appropriate care, such as cooling the affected area with water, covering the burn with a sterile dressing, and monitoring for signs of infection.

Learning about topical remedies and the importance of seeking medical help for severe burns is crucial for effective burn injury management.

8. Choking Relief

Choking occurs when the airway is partially or completely obstructed, leading to difficulty breathing.

First aid training should focus on performing abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, to dislodge foreign objects blocking the airway.

Recognizing the signs of severe choking and intervening promptly can prevent asphyxiation and save lives in emergency situations.

9. Recognition of Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can range from mild itching and hives to severe anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate intervention.

Basic first-aid skills include being able to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, and rapid pulse.

Administering epinephrine with an auto-injector and seeking emergency help promptly are essential steps in managing allergic reactions effectively.

10. Assessment of Head Injuries

Head injuries can result from falls, accidents, or blunt trauma to the head, potentially causing brain damage or concussion. First aiders should know how to assess head injuries for signs of concussion, such as loss of consciousness, confusion, or pupil dilation.

In addition, stabilizing the head and neck, monitoring for changes in consciousness, and seeking medical attention promptly are crucial for preventing further complications.

11. Recognition of Seizures

Seizures can occur suddenly and unpredictably, requiring immediate attention to ensure the safety of the affected individual.

First aiders should be able to recognize the signs of a seizure, such as convulsions, loss of consciousness, and unresponsiveness.

Creating a safe environment, protecting the individual from injury, and providing reassurance until the seizure subsides are essential aspects of seizure management.

12. Hypothermia and Hyperthermia Management

Extreme temperatures can lead to hypothermia, characterized by abnormally low body temperature, or hyperthermia, characterized by elevated body temperature.

First aiders should know how to recognize the signs of these conditions and provide appropriate care, such as warming or cooling measures, insulation from the environment, and rehydration.

Prompt intervention can prevent further heat loss or overheating and help maintain normal body temperature.

13. Psychological First Aid

In addition to physical injuries in a medical emergency, emergencies can also cause emotional distress and trauma to individuals involved.

Psychological first aid involves providing emotional support, reassurance, and practical assistance to those affected by a traumatic event, which can also sometimes save someone’s life.

First aiders should be empathetic listeners, offer comfort, and connect individuals with additional support resources as needed to promote healing and recovery.

First Aid Regulations in the Workplace

In the United States, employers are legally obligated to comply with specific regulations concerning first aid in the workplace.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says that employers must have adequate first aid provisions in all working environments. This includes the requirement for a well-stocked first aid kit readily accessible to employees. Your first aid kit should be in a visible place and all employees should know where it is located.

Moreover, employers must ensure the presence of individuals with basic first aid skills within the workplace. Depending on the nature of the industry, there may be additional requirements imposed on businesses regarding first aid.

This could entail providing additional first aid training for employees beyond basic CPR and first aid certification, supplying specialized tools or equipment in the first aid kit tailored to the industry’s specific hazards, or designating a dedicated room for first aid purposes.

It’s essential to note that while these regulations enforce first aid provisions for employees, they do not extend to non-employees such as the general public or students in educational settings. However, it is advisable for employers to consider the well-being of all individuals present on their premises and include provisions for non-employees where feasible.

Regardless of the size of the company, these regulations apply universally to ensure the safety and well-being of all individuals within the workplace. Compliance with these legal requirements not only promotes a safe working environment but also demonstrates the employer’s commitment to prioritizing employee health and safety.

FAQs Relating to Basic First-Aid Skills

In this section, you will find answers to common questions relating to the basic first-aid skills needed to treat common injuries before proper medical treatment is possible.

Basic first aid skills encompass a range of fundamental techniques essential for providing immediate care in emergencies, often using a first-aid kit.

These include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), wound management, fracture stabilization, choking relief, burn care, bleeding control, and recognition of medical emergencies such as heart attacks or strokes.

The ten basic first aid procedures encompass a variety of actions crucial for addressing common injuries and medical emergencies.

These procedures include assessing the situation and ensuring safety, calling emergency services when necessary, providing CPR if needed, controlling bleeding, treating shock, immobilizing fractures, managing burns, relieving choking, recognizing signs of stroke or heart attack, and administering basic wound care.

Familiarity with these procedures equips individuals with the ability to respond effectively in emergencies, promoting better outcomes for those in need of immediate assistance.

Summing Up: First Aid Skills Everyone Should Know

Acquiring first aid skills is essential for everyone, especially in workplace environments where accidents and emergencies can occur.

From performing CPR to advanced injury management, knowing how to respond effectively in medical emergencies can save lives and minimize the impact of injuries before an ambulance arrives.

EMR Safety & Health is committed to providing comprehensive first aid training courses that empower individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle various emergency situations with confidence and competence.

By investing in first aid training, workplaces can create safer environments and ensure preparedness for unexpected events.