Preventing injury and illness in the workplace: updates to Canadian First Aid Guidelines

Working with and around others on a regular basis is often mandatory in our workplace but there are safety precautions we can all take to help minimize the risk of injury or illness.

Did you know:

Less than 45%25 feel confident in respond to more serious emergenciesThe Canadian Red Cross offers workplace first aid training so you can have the tools and confidence to respond to all kinds of emergencies. There are also workplace first aid resources such as: guidelines from flu prevention and handwashing guidelines to responding to choking, allergic reactions and heart attacks.

New Canadian First Aid Guidelines are being announced at the Emergency Care Conference (Feb. 22-24, 2016), co-hosted by the Canadian Red Cross and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to provide updates for more efficient care in workplace emergencies.

Updates to the Canadian First Aid Guidelines include:

  • Use of Epinephrine: a person with symptoms of anaphylaxis, treated with epinephrine, may be given a second dose if the first dose is not effective after five minutes.

Chew aspirin when experiencing chest pain

  • Use of C-Collar or spinal motion restriction, for first aid providers, the routine application of cervical collars is not recommended.
    • In suspected cervical spine injury it is recommended to manually support the head in position, limiting angular movement, until more advanced care arrives.

Seek medical attention when someone experiences a blow to the head

  • For open chest wounds, first aid providers may leave the wound exposed or a non-occlusive-type dressing may be applied and saturation must be avoided.
    • If a dressing becomes saturated, it must be changed.
    • If there is significant external bleeding, direct pressure to the chest wound with a hand and/or a dressing should be applied.

small wounds should be cleaned with running tap water, no soap

For more resources on workplace safety and first aid training, visit our web site.


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