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Charlie Duff

Sift Media

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

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59% want workplace first aid training

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Research carried out by St John Ambulance has discovered two thirds of us wouldn’t have the confidence to adminster potentially life-saving first aid.

The study of 2045 adults was conducted by ICM, and uncovered several worrying statistics including that 24% would do nothing at all. Some 39% would attempt first aid, despite not being sure of the correct procedure.

Just over a quarter (28%) say they’d know what first aid to do – but sadly their confidence is misplaced, as the survey results show many would do the wrong thing and may even make the situation worse.

More than half – 59% – of people think first aid should be taught in the workplace. In a separate survey conducted late last year, the charity also found that 79% of  businesses could report periods of time where they had no first aid trained workers present. If more people were trained in first aid these incidents would be less frequent. The implications of workplace injury can be huge, in terms of business performance and also financially when you consider replacement cover and possible fines.

The charity is launching a hard-hitting campaign depicting five common scenarios in which first aid could have been the difference between a life lost and a life saved. It is offering a free pocket-sized guide featuring first aid skills that can help in these life-threatening situations.

If faced with a man thrown off his motorbike and not breathing, over two-fifths (42%) wrongly say they’d know what to do. However, of these people, 43% would make the mistake of not moving him for fear of spinal injury, yet if he’s not breathing and CPR is not given, he’ll die.

Other scenarios showed people who thought they knew what to do didn’t always get it right:

  • If someone was choking, only half (53%) would intervene with back blows – the correct procedure. Worryingly, one in 10 (9%) would stick their fingers down his or her throat which could push the obstruction further down
  • For a middle-aged man with chest pains, one in 10 (9%) would put him in the recovery position while waiting for an ambulance which would not relieve the strain on the heart and may aggravate the condition; instead they should sit him in a comfortable position
  • The other scenarios covered were severe bleeding and an unconscious person who is breathing.

Sue Killen, CEO, St John Ambulance said: "We believe that anyone who needs first aid should receive it and yet, as our latest research shows, that’s not happening. This highlights that we can’t rely on other people to have the skills – everyone should take the responsibility to learn first aid themselves. Armed with this knowledge we can all be the difference between a life lost and a life saved."

To get your free pocket sized guide, text LIFE to 85010 or visit the St John Ambulance website for more information on the campaign. You can also get advice on your iPhone with the St John Ambulance first aid app, available through iTunes.

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Charlie Duff

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

Read more from Charlie Duff
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