Scand J Work Environ Health 1979;5 suppl 2:12-15    pdf | Issue date: 1979

First-aid preparedness in small workplaces with special reference to occupational health services.

by Vaaranen A, Kolivuori T, Rossi K, Tolonen M, Hassi J

First-aid preparedness was surveyed in 163 small firms employing 2,400 persons. Although 11% of the employees had received first-aid training, half of the firms lacked first-aiders. Only one-fourth of the first-aid kits were equipped according to instructions. Checking and maintenance of the equipment, as well as information about first aid at the place of work, were generally inadequate. Instructions were commonly lacking for the safe use of chemical substances. Only 9% of the firms fully complied with the requirements for optimum first-aid preparedness. Employers at small firms seem not to be sufficiently aware of their liabilities with regard to first aid. Yet, most of the faults and defects could be corrected by means of arrangements within the firms once the instructions were better known. During their visits to places of work occupational health personnel should inspect the first-aid preparedness and advise the employer on first-aid requirements. In addition the expertise of the insurance company, the local Red Cross or the regional institute of occupational health may be utilized.