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First Aid Overview

Alberta Human Resources and Employment recently updated the Alberta First Aid Regulation (Part II Occupation Health and Safety Act, Regulation and Code). The revised regulation has several changes in the following areas, which will impact all schools and central services departments:

  • Number and type of qualified first aiders required.
  • Government certification of first aid trainers.
  • Supplies and equipment required on site.
  • Privacy considerations for first aid records.

The following guidelines are provided to assist principals, non-school based department heads and employees in meeting the government regulation. Administrators and employees can view the government regulation on the Alberta Human Resources and Employment’s website.

It should be noted that the purpose of the First Aid Regulation remains the same as before, i.e., to ensure that every worksite in the province has the equipment, supplies, and trained employees to support an ill or injured person until complete medical care and treatment can be administered. Individual schools and departments may deem it necessary to exceed district guidelines depending on the nature of their programs and environment.

 

Legislative Requirements

The Alberta Government has strengthened the first aid regulation in the following areas, which has implications for all school employees.

  1. The employer has to determine the level of hazards on its premises, which will in turn dictate the required number of first aiders, supplies and equipment.
  2. All first aid training must be delivered through a training program that has been approved by the provincial government’s Joint First Aid Training Standards Board. First Aid Certificates are valid for a period of three years and the District will provide retraining of employees as the need arises.
  3. Schools and central services locations can upgrade their current first aid kits to comply with the regulation or they can purchase new first aid kits through Supply Management.
  4. A first aid kit is required for employees who work and/or travel alone (e.g., maintenance staff, consultants).
  5. A trained emergency first aider, access to a first aid kit, and a record of first aid rendered (Accident/Incident Report and First Aid Record Form) are required when two to nine employees are present in a building.
  6. Worksites with more than two hundred employees regularly in the location must have an additional standard first aider for every increment of one to one hundred employees.
  7. Minimum requirements may differ if there are students working in District schools or facilities under work experience programs. For more information, contact the Health and Safety Officer or Supervisor CTS.
  8. Record of injuries and illnesses must be kept separate from the kit itself. Each injury and illness should be recorded on a separate record form and maintained by a designated person (see section on First Aid Records).

 

Meeting Legislative Requirements

The First Aid Regulation requires each workplace to have the following:

  • The required number of trained and certified employees to attend to the first aid needs of employees.
  • First aid kits and other equipment.
  • Signage indicating the location of first aid supplies and trained and certified
    first aiders.
  • A record of all acute injuries to employees regardless of whether first aid is administered
  • Emergency showers or eye-wash equipment if corrosive or other chemicals harmful to the eyes or skin are used in the workplace.
  • A room or designated area for first aid services if more than 99 employees are regularly present in the workplace.

 

Required Services and Equipment

As previously noted, schools and other locations should determine the required number and training level of the first aiders and the contents of the first aid kits, dependent upon the total number of employees, parents and volunteers who are regularly on the premises.

Signs should be posted throughout the premises, indicating the names of trained first aid personnel and the location of first aid services, supplies and equipment. If signs are not practical, building occupants should be informed by other means such as written documents and verbal instruction.

Kits

Lists in Additional Resources.

Medications

First Aid kits must not contain any prescription or non-prescription drugs. The inclusion of symptom-relief medication(s) is beyond the scope of the Regulation.

For student medications and instructions for administering the medication refer to District regulation; JLCD Administering Prescribed Medicines to Students.

Blankets

At least one of these blankets should be of a woven fabric such as wool, polyester, or other material. In addition to providing warmth, such blankets can also be used for positioning or immobilizing the limbs or head during care and treatment.

Eyewash Equipment

Eyewash stations (portable or fixed) should be located in areas where corrosive chemicals are used (e.g., boiler rooms, science labs and CTS shops). Eyewash stations should be:

  • Unobstructed and located away from electrical sources.
  • Located on the same floor near the work area that creates the hazard.
  • Located within ten seconds traveling distance from the work area.
  • Marked with clear signage to flag their location.

Portable eyewash stations (squeeze bottles) can be used while in transit to a fixed eyewash station. A fixed eyewash station should be located in science and CTS laboratories. Schools looking for additional information about emergency eyewash equipment should contact a Health and Safety Officer. Eyewash stations must be maintained and serviced on a regular basis.

To prevent contamination of the water used on the eyes and thus prevent infections or additional injury:

  • Keep equipment clean and free from dirt and chemicals.
  • Portable eye-wash containers should have the water changed weekly and the container should be cleaned with soap and water at least every six months.
  • Check container, water tubing, fountains and bubblers often to make sure they
    are working.
  • With fixed eye-wash stations water should be run through the lines weekly to help keep the water fresh and clean.

Field Trips

Principals will have to assess the risk level of all field trips. This will involve reviewing the nature of the activity, site of the trip and the availability and response time of EMS.

For low-risk field trips, schools will ensure that a portable (fanny pack) No. 1 kit is taken on the trip.

For high-risk field trips, schools will ensure that a portable (fanny pack) No. 3 kit is taken on the trip. Principals will ensure that a certified first aider(s) accompanies these outings.

Principals will order an appropriate number of these portable kits depending on the type and frequency of field trips in their school.

Emergency Conveyance

An emergency conveyance - municipal or commercial ambulance - must be readily available to a workplace.
For outlying schools, if an ambulance cannot reach the workplace within ten or fifteen minutes, alternate means of emergency transportation shall be provided.

An individual with a serious injury shall be accompanied by at least one person other than the operator of the emergency conveyance while being transported, and that person shall have the qualifications of at least an Emergency First Aid Certificate.

First Aid Records

A record must be kept of the names and qualifications of all first aid personnel. A sample is included in the Additional Resources section. Schools and other District worksites must keep blank individual Accident/Incident Report and First Aid Record Forms in immediate proximity to the first aid kits. One of these forms must be filled out each time the kit is used in response to an acute illness or injury involving an employee, volunteer or visitor. 

 

Training Requirements

There are two levels of qualification required:

  • Emergency First Aid Certificate
  • Standard First Aid Certificate

All first aid training delivered after September 1, 2003, must be delivered through a training program that has been approved by the provincial government’s Joint First Aid Training Standards Board.

Employees to Consider for Training

Emergency First Aid Certificate

  • Teachers
  • Clerical Staff
  • Custodial Staff
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Supply Management Staff
  • Maintenance Staff

Standard First Aid Certificate

  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Teachers
  • Science Teachers
  • Physical Education Teachers, Coaches
  • Special Needs Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Head Custodians
  • Maintenance Staff

 

Proximity to Health Services

Schools in rural or remote communities, where EMS response times can be longer, may consider having staff receive a higher level of training such as Emergency Medical Responder (EMR).


Adapted from:
Calgary Catholic School District OHS First Aid Guideline

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