At last a client who sees the benefit of not training in silos. This week one of our pharmaceutical clients asked us to develop a course for them which, not only complies with the requirements of the Emergency First Aid at Work, 1 Day Course as specified by the Health and Safety Executive, but goes further. It has been designed to position the role of First Aider within the overall incident management resource. It also includes sections on the use of Diphoterine on chemical burns. What’s Diphoterine? Well it’s at the cutting edge of chemical spill response when treating casualties. Acid and alkali burns, not something usually covered within the EFAW course, are included as well as a clear understanding of the connection between the first aid response and the spill team.
Far too often first aiders are tempted to intervene when called to chemical incidents involving casualties and, in their desire to help, forget the D of DRAB and run the risk of becoming a casualty themselves.
When was the last time you ran an exercise in your lab or plant which included a casualty and required a dynamic risk assessment by the incident team? What is the role of the first responder on scene and, more importantly, have you clearly defined what you expect from your first aiders in the event that you have a chemical inventory which poses significant hazards?
Sapira’s Integrated Incident Management and First Aid at Work Course covers a all of these questions and a lot more. Desk top exercises are fine but, you will never really find out how prepared your incident team are, if you don’t run live exercises. What would you do if a member of your staff accidentally phosphorous oxychloride on them in the lab?
Would you use the emergency shower? What PPE and RPE is required? How would you get them out of the lab? What would you do with them when in the corridor?
These were just some of the issues developed with one of our clients recently to test their BA Team, First Aid Response and existing processes. The post training report and gap analysis produced by the Sapira audit team who attended the exercise certainly produced a long list of improvements and, better thanfinding out for real, the exercise proved more than its worth by identifying the problems of providing training in silos. Far too often training is delivered by different organisations to a single client, with no thought of integration and continuity. It’s only when an incident occurs that disciplines such as fire warden, spill responder, first aider and incident manager have to come together to form a cohesive response. As we constantly say, it’s no good finding out that things aren;t working when the stuff is running around your trouser legs.
Find out more about the various sapira courses at www.spill-training.co.uk