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Insight: Lack of first aid skills leads to 140,000 deaths a year

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Although up to 140,000 people die each year due to lack of access to first aid, about half of all UK employers have no formal processes in place to assess workers’ needs in an emergency.
According to research conducted among 4,000 people by One Poll on behalf of St John’s Ambulance, less than 20% acknowledged even knowing the basics.
As a result, the survey, published to mark the launch yesterday of a campaign to highlight the value of first aid, revealed that four out of five respondents had in the past found themselves at work with no first aid cover whatsoever.
Richard Evens, St John’s Ambulance’s director of training and marketing, said: “Every employee deserves to feel safe in their working environment and ensuring there are enough first aiders in the event of an emergency is paramount. The fact that over one third of employees fear they don’t have enough first aiders at work is quite concerning.”
It was also worth bearing in mind that one first aider was rarely enough as cover was required should they be on holiday or take ill, he added.
But the study also indicated that workers in the agricultural, forestry and fishing industries were most likely to suffer an accident, with 54% of workers having been present when a colleague required help and 28.8% having lost them due to inadequate first aid skills.
Those sectors that were next most likely to experience accidents at work were mining (44%), followed by manufacturing (40%) and education (38%).
But those industries in which workers were most likely to lose a colleague due to poor access to help were transport, communication and utilities (14.4%), followed by construction (13.4%).
This article first appeared on our sister site HRzone

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Jon Kennard

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