Tag Archive for: Medical

Having the right medical stores in your workplace can and has saved lives. This is why SafeWork have developed a Code of Practice for First aid in the workplace.

Who has health and safety duties in relation to first aid?

Duty holders who have a role in first aid include:

  • persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs)
  • designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers of plant, substances or structures; and
  • officers

Person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)

A PCBU must ensure:

  • provision of first aid equipment
  • each worker at the workplace has access to the equipment
  • access to facilities for administering first air; and
  • an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid, or workers have access to an adequate number of people who have been trained to administer first aid

A PCBU may net need to provide first aid equipment or facilities if these are already provided by another duty holder at the workplace and they are adequate and easily accessible at the times the workers carry out work.

What is required in providing first aid?

First aid requirements will vary from one workplace to the next depending on the nature of the work, the types of hazards, the workplace size and location as well as the number of people at the workplace. These factors must be taken into account when deciding what first aid arrangements are provided.

How to determine first aid requirements for your workplace.

Certain work environments have greater risks of injury and illness due to the nature of work being carried out and the nature of the hazards in the workplace.

The table below identifies injuries associated with common workplace hazards that may require first aid.

 

HazardPotential harm
Manual tasksOverexertion can cause muscular strain
Working at heights or on uneven or slippery surfacesSlips, trips and falls can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, concussion
ElectricityPotential ignition source – could cause injuries from fire. Exposure to live electrical wires can cause shock, burns or cardiac arrest
Machinery and equipmentBeing hit by moving vehicles or being caught by moving parts of machinery can cause fractures, amputation, bruises, lacerations, dislocations
Hazardous chemicalsToxic or corrosive chemicals may be inhaled or may contact skin or eyes causing poisoning, chemical burns, irritation.

Flammable chemicals could result in injuries from fire or explosion.

Extreme temperaturesHot surfaces and materials can cause burns

Working in extreme heat can cause heat-related illness. It can also increase the risks by reducing concentration and increasing fatigue and chemical uptake into the body.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause hypothermia and frostbite.

RadiationWelding arc flashes, ionising radiation and lasers can cause burns.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause skin cancers and eye damage.

ViolenceBehaviours including intimidation and physical assault can cause both physical and psychological injuries
BiologicalInfection, allergic reactions
AnimalsBites, stings, kicks, crush injuries, scratches

 

Records of injuries, illnesses, “near miss” incidents and other information will be useful when making decisions about first aid requirements.

You should take into account:

  • the distance between work areas; and
  • the response times for emergency services

A large workplace may require first aid to be available in more than one location if:

  • work is being carried out a long distance from emergency services
  • workers are dispersed over a wide area
  • access to a party of the workplace is difficult; or
  • the workplace has more than one floor level.

There are other factors to consider but go beyond the scope of this newsletter. For further information please contact our office.

First aid kits

All workers must be able to access a first aid kit. This requires at least one first aid kit to be provided at the workplace.

Contents

The first aid kit should provide basic equipment for administering first aid for injuries including:

  • cuts, scratches, punctures, grazes and splinters
  • muscular sprains and strains
  • minor burns
  • amputations and/or major bleeding wounds
  • broken bones
  • eye injuries, and
  • shock

The contents of your first aid kit should be based on a risk assessment which may identify higher risk levels for certain operations.

Location

In the event of a serious injury or illness quick access to the first aid kit is vital. First aid kits should be kept in a prominent, accessible location where they can be retrieved quickly.

Restocking and maintaining kits

A person in the workplace, usually a first aider should be nominated to maintain the first aid kit and should:

  • monitor the usage of first aid kit and ensure items used are replaced as soon as possible after use
  • carry out regular checks after each use or if the kit is not used at least once every 12 months to ensure the kit contains a complete set of the required items. An inventory list in the kit should be signed and dated after each check; and
  • ensure items are in working order, have not deteriorated are within their expiry dates and sterile products are sealed and have not been tampered with.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Number one recommendation to check your first aid kit…you do have one don’t you? The best recommendation we can give is that if you’re unsure about what you need go to a first aid supplier who can then advise you about your requirements.

They can then either upgrade your existing kit or provide you with one that meets your specific requirements.


Tip

If you need further information on workplace medical requirements please feel free to contact our office or if you would like an example of contents for first aid kits in the workplace please contact our office

 

Having the right medical stores onboard can and has saved lives. This is why AMSA have documented lists based on your vessels area of operations.

NSCV Section C7A states that sufficient and appropriate medical supplies must be maintained to treat likely individual injuries until professional medical treatment becomes available.

In the NSCV Annex H Requirements for medical supplies Table H1 Medical assistance times specifies the time period in which medical assistance can be obtained and which Scale applies.

Location: First Aid kits

The first aid kit shall be located adjacent to the Masters accommodation or in the wheelhouse. In small partly open vessel, the first aid kit shall be stowed so as to protect it from incoming salt and spray.

Location: Medical Cabinets

All vessels covered by Scale D and E shall be provided with a medical cabinet of suitable size, design and construction for storing medical supplies

In DCV’s they shall be located either:

  • The Masters accommodation; or
  • In a dry and cool space accessible to the Master and a nominated crew member.

Maintenance of first aid kits and medical cabinets

First Aid kits and medical cabinets shall be cleaned and checked every three (3) months. It’s vital to ensure medical supplies with expiry dates are monitored and replaced when passed their expiry date.

We often come across owners, Master and crew members who believe that the expiry dates are not important, and the medicines continue to work when expired. The simple fact is they have expiry dates as the medicine’s components start to break down and fail making them less effective every day following their expiry date!

Flexibility to determine the type and quantity of first aid supplies

If you are operating in Class C, C Restricted, D or E waters, and are required to meet the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part C7A (Safety Equipment), you now have flexibility to determine the type and quantity of first aid supplies that are appropriate for your operation.

To do this you need to apply for an equivalent solution.

Equivalent Solution

The owner/Master of a vessel operating in operational area C, C Restricted, D or E may undertake a risk assessment of their vessel and operation and determine the appropriate type and quantity of first aid supplies that are to be carried onboard the vessel for that operation.

The risk assessment and subsequent determination of the type and quantity of first aid supplies carried onboard must:

  • Consider the required outcomes of the NSCV Part C7A; and
  • As a minimum comply with the WHS Code of Practice; and
  • Where necessary include additional items needed to address identified risks including the following:
  • Distance/access to medical aid;
  • Communication capability to access medical assistance and advice;
  • Type of operation and activities being undertaken (e.g., types and level of hazards likely to be encountered);
  • Length of voyage;
  • Number of persons onboard (e.g., children, elderly, level of experience, gender, etc.);
  • The level of first aid training of the crew, personnel and persons onboard including the first aid procedures and drills carried out onboard the vessel;
  • Prevailing or expected environmental conditions likely to be encountered on the voyage;
  • Incidents and accidents that have occurred in the operation and in the wider industry sector.

To enable regular review and ease of resupply, it is recommended that the risk assessment and resulting list of first aid items that will be carried onboard the vessel are kept with the records or as part of the vessels SMS.


Shorlink’s Recommendation

We strongly recommend that you check your medical supplies against the Scale relevant to your operations and that all items with expiry dates are replaced where the expiry date has passed.

Secondly we recommend you keep a copy of the scale relevant to your operations with your medical supplies for easy reference.

For recording medical incidents and supplies, we recommend the use of a Log Book.  Shorlink has produced and updated a Medical Log Book which can be ordered from us with free postage.  Please contact us HERE and we will be in touch. (Website updated shortly)


Tip

If you carry extra medical supplies our best tip is to ensure you have a list of those with your required scale list.

If you need a list of what’s required either go to the AMSA website or email us providing the following information and we’ll send you a printable list along with an additional medicines form.

 

What most operators don’t realise is that there is a requirement to have a Medical Log Book onboard your vessel to record medical information including the dispensing of drugs.

The NSCV Part C7A H8 specifies that all vessels shall carry and record the use of all medicines, first aid and medical incidents in a Medical Log Book and record the stock movements for Controlled Drugs in a Controlled Drug Register.

To date AMSA have not been pushing Medical Log Books other than on larger vessels but I’m guessing that this is another area that is going to surface in the near future, especially on passenger and charter vessels!

If you operate passenger or charter vessels you should consider getting a Medical Log Book in place sooner rather than later.

Other vessels that should be getting one together are commercial fishing vessels and vessels engaged in construction or towage and in particular those that undertake long voyages.

Medical Supplies: Things to consider

When considering your requirements for medical supplies you need to take into account the tables specified in C7A. Now there are more flexible rules for first aid supplies on DCV’s.

The owner/master of a domestic commercial vessel (DCV) operating in operational area C, C Restricted, D or E may undertake a risk assessment of their vessel and operation and determine the appropriate type and quantity of First Aid supplies that are to be carried on board the vessel for that operation.

Please note that the first aid kit must also comply with the Work Health and Safety Code of Practice. If necessary, assistance may be sought from an appropriately experienced pharmaceutical provider or First Aid provider/supplier in order to do so.

Based on your risk assessment you may apply for and Equivalent Solution. A few questions that you need to take into account when conducting your risk assessment…

  • Is your operation considered high risk in the WHS code of practice?
  • Do you have crew with current First Aid qualifications onboard ALL the time?
  • Are you operating more than two hours from medical assistance?
  • Based on your operations are persons on board likely to encounter specific hazards e.g., burns, stings, cuts and abrasions, etc.?

These are just a few of the things you need to take into account when undertaking your risk assessment. If you need help with completing a risk assessment for your First Aid requirements don’t hesitate to contact Shorlink or request First Aid Risk Assessment sheet.

What’s required in a Medical Log Book

There are specific requirements for a Medical Log Book which include:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Patient
  • Condition
  • Treatment

If you carry Controlled Drugs your Controlled Drugs Register should include:

  • Supply
  • Use
  • Disposal
  • Loss
  • Theft

While all of this may seem a bit daunting it’s really not too bad if you have the right layout in your log book and register.

First Aid Kits and Medical Cabinets

There are also a number of other considerations in relation to First Aid Kits and Medical Cabinets which includes…

  • Location
  • Construction and provisions
  • Labelling and identification
  • Construction and illumination for Medical Cabinets
  • Maintenance for Medical Cabinets

Shorlink’s Recommendation

The one thing that we see so often is OUT OF DATE First Aid certificates which means that person may not be up to date with the latest First Aid knowledge and skills. We strongly recommend that you ensure your First Aid is current.

 

 

For vessels with more than two crew we recommend at least one other crew member has current First Aid training. This takes the pressure off the Master in the event of an incident where injuries are sustained.

 


Tip

If you think you can have a case for an Equivalent Solution then do a risk assessment on your operations or if you need assistance in doing one then contact our office. We can assess your situation and develop a risk assessment for you.

Need a Medical Log book then look no further as Shorlink has them available and they meet all the legal requirements.Medical Stores Log Book