Liz Sheffield

Should Your Employees Be Certified in First Aid and CPR?

No one wants to imagine a medical emergency in the workplace, but unfortunately they do happen. Being prepared means more than having an office first-aid kit on hand — it means having designated employees who are trained to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

Training employees on what to do in an emergency can mean all the difference if the worst happens. Even short of such crises, emergency-response training comes with other advantages, from increased employee engagement to compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements.

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Engage Employees and Build Relationships

Providing first-aid training and the opportunity to become certified in CPR are ways of engaging your employees and showing that you take their health and well-being seriously.

While that display of dedication may be able to improve employee satisfaction with your organization, it can also help build camaraderie and morale. The New York Times reports that CPR courses at financial firms have led to higher levels of trust, better working relationships and reduced stress among employees.

It’s also a skill your employees can take with them, whether home to their families or into their communities.

Take Care to Keep First Aid Available

While OSHA doesn’t require every employer to have someone trained in CPR on-site, it does stipulate that “an employer must ensure prompt first-aid treatment for injured employees, either by providing for the availability of a trained first-aid provider at the worksite, or by ensuring that emergency treatment services are within reasonable proximity of the worksite.”

OSHA also dictates that first-aid supplies be available on-site. For work environments with more than two or three employees, additional kits or supplies are required. Remember that kits shouldn’t be purchased only to be left in the closet until an emergency arrives. Instead, they need to be monitored and maintained to ensure the necessary supplies are available when needed.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that first aid is available in the critical moments between when an emergency occurs and when an employee can receive attention from a medical professional, so it’s wise to have at least a few people trained in how to properly respond.

Beyond the immediate reasons of emergency preparedness and employee safety, CPR training and certification are investments well worth making in your employees. As an employer, you can also have peace of mind knowing that should a medical emergency in the workplace occur, your staff will know what to do.

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