Richard Evens: Is it time you celebrate your achievements in first aid?

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Is your workplace leading the way in first aid?

First aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved but often those businesses that go the extra mile and train more than they are legally required don’t get the credit they deserve. Making sure your business has the correct first aid cover in place is important but many businesses go further, acknowledging that emergency situations are unpredictable and you never know who might be faced with one or when.

A finance company in the South East of England provides first aid courses including AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training for staff to be workplace first aiders according to the company’s legal requirement. However, understanding the value of first aid skills, they also offer the remaining members of staff the opportunity to learn at work. The courses are free for employees to attend and cover topics such as CPR and the recovery position.

It’s not just staff who can benefit from first aid training. Owning more than 5000 properties, one housing association offers first aid training to their residents free of charge. The courses cover how to treat children and infants and those who attend the courses have found it increased morale and helped them get to know their fellow tenants. The idea behind it was to enhance the skills, knowledge and experiences of residents and ensure they feel able to cope in a crisis and look after their family by providing access to training.

Projects such as this demonstrate leadership in an aspect of corporate social responsibility that many businesses have yet to capitalise on and it also gives employees another reason to want to work for your company, and business partners and customers another reason to do business with you.

Not all businesses are in the position to offer free training for all, especially in today’s financial climate. However, there are other ways to celebrate the work of staff trained specifically to be workplace first aiders, many of whom have used their skills to save a life. Employers shouldn’t shy away from highlighting their achievements, as it can help build on your positive image to celebrate employees who have contributed to a safer workplace and community.

To this end, St John Ambulance has launched a new First Aid Awards that will recognise individuals who have used first aid to save lives, and organisations in the private and public sector that have gone above and beyond first aid legal requirements broadening the positive impact of first aid training for their businesses, employees, customers and the community. As well as highlighting their courage and knowledge, it’s a chance to reward and enhance the reputation of businesses that are doing their utmost to ensure first aid is there when you need it.

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