02 July 2021
The Health and Safety Inspectorate (HSI) has recently undertaken a targeted initiative to review arrangements for first aid on construction sites.
To comply with the general duties imposed by the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 and Regulation 36 of the Management in Construction Regulations (Jersey) 2016, all sites must have an adequate first aid kit and a nominated person to take charge of first aid arrangements and manage the initial response.
The HSI visited 20 sites across the island providing advice and guidance.
Three quarters of the sites visited had trained first aiders, while another three are looking at enrolling on a course following the initiative. For those sites where a trained person was not present, all had a nominated person.
In addition to complying with their legal requirements, the value of first aid training was highlighted during several visits with people giving examples of when they have used their training outside of the work environment. This included giving assistance at a road traffic collision while waiting for the emergency services to attend, performing CPR on a relative at home, and administering initial first aid to a man who had collapsed in the street.
It was encouraging to see that mental health is now being included as part of the approach to health and well-being on some sites. This comprised of messaging being included on the site hazard board “Mental Health - Be Kind + Talk” and operatives being provided with Mental Health training by Mind Jersey in March this year.
Whilst the overall findings of the initiative were positive and demonstrated a good level of compliance with the legal requirements relating to first aid provision, one key lesson was the need to check first aid kits for both contents and expiry dates. Although present on all sites, the contents varied considerably with some items found to have expired in 2006 and 2009.
A short questionnaire was emailed following each visit seeking feedback on the initiative. Of the twenty questionnaires sent out, twelve sites responded. Of those 100% found the initiative helpful, with eleven of the twelve changing their first aid practices as a result.
This initiative was also a good opportunity to remind people of first aid during COVID-19, especially with an increase in positive cases during the duration of the initiative.
Further guidance on the provision of first aid and first aid during the COVID-19 outbreak.