Emergency & First Aid

From The Blog

Requirements for Emergency and First Aid

When that awful day comes and there is a medical emergency, will you have everything on hand, ready for rapid response? Or will your supplies be found wanting? As mentioned in Safe Work Australia's First Aid guide, “incidents can happen without warning and in every type of workplace. It is critical that you are prepared for any first aid emergencies that could happen in yours”. A well-stocked contingency room means that you can respond to any emergency with speed and professionalism.

In Australia, the requirements of first aid are well set out in in a risk rated matrix including the number of persons that need to be catered for. View the R-Series Risk Rated First Aid Kit matrix HERE. Every workplace and institution should also have a First Aid Trauma Tent or Privacy Screen, examination table and eyewash stations.

A well thought out plan, highly visible signage and the right support equipment is essential for an effective response. Evacuation equipment should also be part of your contingency plan including colour coded warden vests and caps, emergency response Go Kits, megaphone, wheelchair, power generator, fuel (for generator), flammable storage cabinet (for fuel), electric extension leads, portable flood lights, traffic cones, portable No Entry swing-stand signs, rolls of barrier tape and traffic control batons.



“A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has the primary duty under the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking”


What is ‘WHS’?
The ‘Work Health & Safety Act’ (WHS) is the agreed harmonisation of each state and territory’s OHS legislation to develop a new national code of practice by Safe Work Australia.

Is ‘WHS’ good for me?
Yes, WHS simplifies 8 old regulations into 1 new national code of practice. This overcomes confusion and entitles all Australian workers to the same work health and safety standards regardless of where they work.

Who regulates and enforces the new ‘WHS’ laws?
Safe Work Australia does not regulate compliance and enforcement of the ‘WHS’ code of practice. It is conducted by each state or territory’s body such as WorkCover, WorkSafe or SafeWork etc.

Have all states and territories implemented the ‘WHS’ first aid code?
Yes, all apart from WA and VIC. Both are committed to or support the principle of national harmonisation. FastAid manufactures first aid kits to cover the existing VIC and WA regulations as well as the new WHS code.

What does ‘WHS’ mean for me?
Essentially, the WHS change means you are or will soon be required to replace or update your current first aid kits.


Who should perform the restock?
“…usually a first aider…”

How often?
“after each use or, if the kit is not used, at least once every 12 months”

What do I check for?
“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.”
“…an inventory list in the kit should be signed and dated after each check…”


“Displaying well-recognised, standardised first aid signs will assist in easily locating first aid equipment and facilities. Further information on the design and use of signs is available in AS 1319 – Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment.”

First aid signage for vehicles
FastAid recommends small adhesive signage for the external of vehicles to assist in easily locating first aid equipment and facilities.


“A first aid room should be established at the workplace if a risk assessment indicates that it would be difficult to administer appropriate first aid unless a first aid room is provided.”

“A first aid room is recommended for:
  • Low risk workplaces with 200 workers or more
  • High risk workplaces with 100 workers or more.”

When does a site require an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)?
“Providing an automated external defibrillator can reduce the risk of fatality from cardiac arrest. It is a useful addition for workplaces where there is a risk of electrocution or where there are large numbers of members of the public.”

Source: FIRST AID IN THE WORKPLACE Code of Practice Feb 2016, SafeWork Australia

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