The Importance of Having an Emergency Response Team in the Workplace
By Stacey Dickert, Safety Matters, LLC and RiverHouse Creative, LLC
When an accident happens at your workplace, are you ready?
OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals for First Aid in the Workplace covers the requirements and importance of setting up a first aid program at your company. One of the best ways to meet their standards is to organize a volunteer team and provide training and supplies that are specific to your onsite hazards.
Putting a plan in place for an emergency response at work is not just about meeting OSHA’s requirements. It’s about taking care of your employees and preventing injury.
Emergency medical service (EMS) times can vary and in the face of a medical emergency or accident at work mere minutes matter. In the case of a cardiac arrest at work, every minute that goes by and CPR isn’t started, a 10% chance at life is lost. Having an AED on site and a trained team can provide survival rates higher than 80%.
It’s a great example of how having a team and the right equipment really does save lives.
Why You Need a Team
- Improve outcomes of survival and permanent disability
- Contribute to hazard prevention and reducing injuries
- Identify and assess workplace risks
- Comply with OSHA and MSHA requirements
- Provide employee involvement
- Instill leadership and team building skills
- Improve employee morale
When setting up your team, find trainers that understand your workplace hazards and provide fun, hands-on training that leaves your team confident and ready to step up and help.
Once your team is assembled and trained, they will be responsible for managing any medical emergency that happens onsite until EMS arrives. Its key that your team is made up of a mix of people from throughout your facility covering all locations and shifts. They will need annual training in handling bloodborne pathogens and training in basic first aid and CPR and/or AED every two years.
Organizations that take their first responder teams seriously not only have better outcomes when an accident happens but have a friendlier and safer worker environment over all.
OSHA Regulations that Require First Responder Training:
- 1910.269 Electric Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution
- 1910.151 Medical Services and First Aid
- 1910.266 Logging Operations
- 1910.2669d)(2) First Aid Kits and Training
- 1910.269 Medical Services and First Aid
- 1915.87 Shipyard Medical Services
- 1917.26 Marine Terminals First Aid and Lifesaving Skills
- 1918.97 Long Shoring First Aid and Lifesaving
- 1926.28 & 1926.50 Construction Medical and First Aid
Stacey Dickert brings her passion for helping others lead safe and healthy lives to every client she works with. She has 15 years experience in health communication and owns and operates two small businesses located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Safety Matters, LLC is a safety training organization that helps companies set up and train first-responder teams in accordance with OSHA guidelines. RiverHouse Creative, LLC is a health communication consultancy that develops messages and communication materials for both education and marketing outreach.
Stacey holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a Masters degree in Health Communication from Emerson College in collaboration with Tufts University School of Medicine. When she is not working, you can find Stacey ‘experimenting’ in the kitchen or hiking with her rescue pup, Diego.