Workplace safety focus

17 April 2015

A PROMOTIONAL campaign by St John Ambulance has put the spotlight on reducing injuries and saving lives in workplaces across the state.

The Worst Aid to First Aid campaign follows several incidents in South Australian workplaces with serious and costly consequences.

The Boandik Lodge age care facility has taken the course on board with chief executive officer Gillian McGinty commending the campaign for highlighting the importance of first Aid safety in workplaces.

"About 70pc of our staff have completed a senior first Aid course," Ms McGinty said.

"We have people working in our organisation 24 hours a day and it is vital they are able to help clients or themselves when in need." The courses include learning about wounds and bandages to dealing with asthma and diabetes sufferers in times of crises.

"It is an important course to complete because you never know when you will need it," she said.

St John Ambulance SA chief executive officer Sharyn Mitten said the organisation was committed to preventing injury and saving lives in workplaces.

"Workplace safety starts with being prepared and this often comes down to the basics such as having the right number of people trained in first Aid and fully stocked first Aid kits," she said.

"Being able to provide medical care and respond to an incident or emergency situation can sometimes literally be the difference between life and death, or at the very least prevent or reduce injuries." With South Australia's adoption of work health and safety laws two years ago, all businesses across the state are expected to have a first Aid risk evaluation to identify the equipment, procedures and the number of trained people they need.

"Worryingly in South Australia, we believe a very large number of organisations simply aren't aware of the First Aid Workplace Code of Practice," Ms Mitten said.

"This leaves a situation where not only people's safety could be in danger, but businesses are failing their legal responsibilities and are therefore at risk of prosecution if an incident occurs.

"Safety in the Workplace is not a benefit, it is a person's right." Meanwhile, SafeWork SA has praised St John Ambulance's new campaign.

"Reducing the human toll of work related injury is paramount," SafeWork SA executive director Bryan Russell said.

"Campaigns like this one support our inspector focus on increasing Workplace safety through active involvement with employers, businesses and workers to foster understanding and ensure everyone is meeting their responsibilities," he said.

 

FAST FACTS

34 people have lost lives in Workplace incidents and injuries since 2012.

In the past financial year, SafeWork SA has issued more than 600 prohibition notices in relation to work health and safety matters and 1300 improvement notices.

20,000 Australians were injured at work in the 12 months up to July 2014.

Community services, manufacturing, wholesale, retail and construction industry account for the most Workplace incidents and injuries.

 

Find out more about first aid compliance in the workplace. 

 

SOURCE: St John Ambulance Australia and SafeWork SA