Australian businesses fail at first aid

Almost 90 percent of Australian businesses are currently not first aid compliant, new research has revealed.

The research, released by St John Ambulance Australia, also shows that 65 percent of employers are unaware of Safe Work Australia’s new Code of Practice.

“Australian workplaces are in a volatile situation and employers need to act now to reduce the risk to their employees, customers, and ultimately their businesses,” says Peter LeCornu, St John Ambulance Australia CEO.

“It is not just a matter of buying a first aid kit and assuming staff will know what to do. Every employer should be striving for best practice when it comes to first aid.”

As well as putting their employees and customers at risk, businesses can also face fines and prosecution if they aren’t first aid ready.

The report found that only 48 percent of workplaces offer accredited first aid training to their employees, with just a quarter of employees having participated in first aid procedures training or first aid drills.

“Administering first aid in the first five minutes after an incident can dramatically change the outcome. Businesses need to be prepared to save a life and empower their employees with the confidence to act,” says LeCornu.

Education was the best performing industry overall with 21.5 percent of workplaces compliant with the new Code.

Despite being classified as typically low-risk industries, only ten percent of hospitality workplaces and six percent of retail workplaces were found to be compliant, with retail the worst performing industry overall.

The research assessed first aid readiness by looking at whether the workplace offered accredited training and refresher courses, whether it had first aid kits and clear and visible first aid signage, and whether employees had participated in either procedures training or emergency drills.

If you want to find out more about workplace obligations and first aid readiness, contact St John Ambulance Australia on 1300 360 455 or click here.

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