First aid in the workplace
Code of Practice 2014
This Queensland code of practice
was made by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice on 30 May
This code commences on 30 May 2014.
This code is based on a national model code of practice developed by
Safe Work Australia and approved by the Select Council on Workplace
Relations in July 2012 as part of the harmonisation of work health and
This Code of Practice on first aid in the workplace is an approved
code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act
2011 (the WHS Act).
An approved code of practice is a
practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare
required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulation
2011 (the WHS Regulation).
A code of practice applies to anyone who
has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most
cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance
with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act, in relation to the
subject matter of the code. Like regulations, codes of practice deal
with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks that may
arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all
risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and
codes of practice exist.
Codes of practice are admissible in court
proceedings under the WHS Act and Regulations. Courts may regard a code
of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control
and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable
in the circumstances to which the code relates.
Compliance with the WHS Act and
Regulations may be achieved by following another method, such as a
technical or an industry standard, if it provides an equivalent or
higher standard of work health and safety than the code. An inspector
may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or
This code of practice has been developed
by Safe Work Australia as a model code of practice under the Council of
Australian Governments’ Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and
Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety for adoption by the
Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
SCOPE AND APPLICATION
This Code provides practical guidance for persons conducting a
business or undertaking on how to comply with duties under the WHS Act
and Regulations to provide adequate first aid facilities in the
workplace. It includes information on first aid kits, procedures,
facilities and training for first aiders.
This Code applies to all types of work
and all workplaces covered by the WHS Act, including workplaces that are
outdoors, mobile or remote.
How to use this code of practice
In providing guidance, the word ‘should’ is used in this Code to
indicate a recommended course of action, while ‘may’ is used to indicate
an optional course of action.
This Code also includes various
references to provisions of the WHS Act and Regulations which set out
the legal requirements. These references are not exhaustive. The words
‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ indicate that a legal requirement
exists and must be complied with.
Providing immediate and effective first aid to workers
or others who have been injured or become ill at the workplace may
reduce the severity of the injury or illness and promote recovery. In
some cases it could mean the difference between life and death.
1.1 The meaning of key terms
First aid is the immediate treatment or care given
to a person suffering from an injury or illness until more advanced
care is provided or the person recovers.
First aider is a person who has successfully
completed a nationally accredited training course or an equivalent
level of training that has given them the competencies required to
administer first aid.
First aid equipment includes first aid kits and
other equipment used to treat injuries and illnesses.
First aid facilities include first aid rooms,
health centres, clean water supplies and other facilities needed for
administering first aid.
High risk workplace means a workplace where
workers are exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or
illness and would require first aid. Examples of workplaces that may
be considered high risk are ones in which workers:
- use hazardous machinery (e.g. mobile plant, chainsaws, power
presses and lathes)
- use hazardous substances (e.g. chemical manufacture,
laboratories, horticulture, petrol stations and food manufacturing)
- are at risk of falls that could result in serious injury (e.g.
construction and stevedoring)
- carry out hazardous forms of work (e.g. working in confined
spaces, welding, demolition, electrical work and abrasive blasting)
- are exposed to the risk of physical violence (e.g. working alone
at night, cash handling or having customers who are frequently
- work in or around extreme heat or cold (e.g. foundries and
prolonged outdoor work in extreme temperatures).
Low risk workplace means a workplace where workers
are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or
illness such as offices, shops or libraries. Potential work-related
injuries and illnesses requiring first aid would be minor in nature.
1.2 Who has health and safety duties in relation to first aid?
A person conducting a business or undertaking
has the primary duty under the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is
reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed
to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.
The WHS Regulations place specific obligations on a person
conducting a business or undertaking in relation to first aid,
including requirements to:
- provide first aid equipment and ensure each worker at the
workplace has access to the equipment
- ensure access to facilities for the administration of first aid
- ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to
administer first aid at the workplace or that workers have access to
an adequate number of other people who have been trained to
administer first aid.
A person conducting a business or undertaking may not need to
provide first aid equipment or facilities if these are already
provided by another duty holder at the workplace and they are adequate
and easily accessible at the times that the workers carry out work.
Officers, such as company directors, have a duty to exercise
due diligence to ensure that the business or undertaking complies with
the WHS Act and Regulations. This includes taking reasonable steps to
ensure that the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate
resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and
Workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own
health and safety and must not adversely affect the health and safety
of other persons. Workers must comply with any reasonable instruction
and cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to
health and safety at the workplace, such as procedures for first aid
and for reporting injuries and illnesses.
1.3 What is required in providing first aid?
First aid requirements will vary from one workplace to the next,
depending on the nature of the work, the type of hazards, the
workplace size and location, as well as the number of people at the
workplace. These factors must be taken into account when deciding what
first aid arrangements need to be provided.
This Code provides information on using a risk
management approach to tailor first aid that suits the circumstances
of your workplace, while also providing guidance on the number of
first aid kits, their contents and the number of trained first aiders
that are appropriate for some types of workplaces.
The risk management approach involves the following
four steps (summarised in Appendix A):
identifying hazards that could result in
work-related injury or illness
• assessing the type, severity and likelihood of
injuries and illness
providing the appropriate first aid equipment,
facilities and training
reviewing your first aid requirements on a regular
basis or as circumstances change.
Guidance on the general risk management process is
available in the How to Manage
Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice.
Consulting your workers Consultation involves
sharing of information, giving workers a reasonable opportunity to
express views and taking those views into account before making
decisions on health and safety matters.
Sometimes you may have
responsibility for health and safety together with other business
operators who are involved in the same activities or who share the
same workplace. In these situations, you should communicate with each
other to find out who is doing what and work together in a
co-operative and co-ordinated way so that all risks are eliminated or
minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
For example, if you provide labour
hire workers as part of your business you have a duty of care as well
as the host business. In these situations, you must discuss the
hazards and risks associated with the work and ensure the host
business has appropriate first aid arrangements that your workers can
If you share your workplace with
other businesses that have workers trained in administering first aid,
you may be able to ensure that your workers have access to them
instead of training your own workers. In these circumstances, it will
be necessary to:
consult the other business
operators to work out what first aid arrangements are needed
co-operate with each other in
sharing first aid equipment and facilities
co-ordinate access to the first
Further guidance on consultation is
available in the Work
Health and Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination Code of
Records of injuries, illnesses, ‘near miss’ incidents and other
information that has already been obtained to assist in controlling
risks at the workplace will be useful to make appropriate decisions
about first aid
You should check the safety data
sheets (SDS) for any hazardous chemicals that are handled, used or
stored at your workplace. The SDS provides information about the
chemical, possible health effects, controls that may be used to reduce
exposure and first aid requirements.
Manufacturers, importers and
suppliers of hazardous chemicals have a duty under the WHS Regulations
to ensure that the current SDS is provided to a person at the
workplace if the person asks for it.
2.2 Size and location of the workplace
In relation to the size and
location of the workplace, you should take into account:
the distance between different
the response times for emergency
First aid equipment and facilities
should be located at convenient points and in areas where there is a
higher risk of an injury or illness occurring.
A large workplace may require first
aid to be available in more than one location if:
work is being carried out a long
distance from emergency services
small numbers of workers are
dispersed over a wide area
access to a part of the workplace
the workplace has more than one
Where there are separate work areas
(e.g. a number of buildings on a site or multiple floors in an office
building), it may be appropriate to locate first aid facilities
centrally and provide first aid kits in each work area. This may
include portable first aid kits in motor vehicles and other separate
The distance of the workplace from
ambulance services, hospital and medical centres should be taken into
account when determining your first aid requirements. For example, if
life-threatening injuries or illnesses could occur and timely access
to emergency services cannot be assured, a person trained in more
advanced first aid techniques (such as the provision of oxygen) will
Additional first aid considerations
may be necessary for workers in remote or isolated areas. For example,
where access is difficult due to poor roads or weather conditions,
arrangements may need to include aerial evacuation.
In minimising the risks to health
and safety associated with remote or isolated work, you must provide a
system of work that includes effective communication with the worker.
This will assist in enabling an immediate response in an emergency.
Further guidance about working in remote or isolated areas is
available in the Managing
the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice.
2.3 The number and composition of workers and other people
When considering the size of your
workforce, you should include any contractors, subcontractors, and
volunteers you engage. This may mean the size of your workforce may
vary over time. For the purposes of deciding who requires access to
first aid, you should consider the maximum number of workers that you
may engage at any one time. Generally, a larger workforce requires
more first aid resources.
You should also consider:
the particular needs of workers
who have a disability or a known health concern
others at your workplace who are
not your workers (e.g. students in workplaces such as schools,
members of the public in places of entertainment, fairgrounds and
Appendix B provides an example of
how to determine first aid requirements
3. FIRST AID EQUIPMENT, FACILITIES AND TRAINING
The information provided in this chapter may be
used as a guide to determine the appropriate first aid equipment,
facilities, first aiders and procedures needed in various workplaces.
First aid equipment, facilities and first aiders
must be accessible to workers whenever they work, including those
working night shifts or overtime.
3.1 First aid kits
All workers must be able to access a first aid kit. This will
require at least one first aid kit to be provided at their workplace.
The first aid kit should provide basic equipment
for administering first aid for injuries including:
- cuts, scratches, punctures, grazes and
- muscular sprains and strains
- minor burns
- amputations and/or major bleeding wounds
- broken bones
- eye injuries
The contents of first aid kits should be based
on a risk assessment. For example, there may be higher risk of eye
injuries and a need for additional eye pads in a workplace where:
- chemical liquids or powders are handled in
- spraying, hosing or abrasive blasting
operations are carried out
- there is any possibility of flying particles
causing eye injuries
- there is a risk of splashing or spraying of
- welding, cutting or machining operations are
Additional equipment may be needed for serious
burns and remote workplaces.
The recommended content of a typical first aid
kit and information on additional equipment is provided in Appendix C.
Design of kits
First aid kits can be any size, shape or type to
suit your workplace, but each kit should:
- be large enough to contain all the necessary
- be immediately identifiable with a white
cross on green background that is prominently displayed on the
- contain a list of the contents for that kit
- be made of material that will protect the
contents from dust, moisture and contamination.
In the event of a serious injury or illness, quick
access to the kit is vital. First aid kits should be kept in a
prominent, accessible location and able to be retrieved promptly.
Access should also be ensured in security-controlled workplaces. First
aid kits should be located close to areas where there is a higher risk
of injury or illness. For example, a school with a science laboratory
or carpentry workshop should have first aid kits located in these
areas. If the workplace occupies several floors in a multi-storey
building, at least one kit should be located on every second floor.
Emergency floor plans displayed in the workplace should include the
location of first aid kits.
A portable first aid kit should be provided in the
vehicles of mobile workers if that is their workplace (e.g. couriers,
taxi drivers, sales representatives, bus drivers and inspectors).
These kits should be safely located so as not to become a projectile
in the event of an accident.
Restocking and maintaining kits
A person in the workplace should be nominated to
maintain the first aid kit (usually a first aider) and should:
monitor access to the first aid kit and ensure any
items used are replaced as soon as practicable after use
undertake regular checks (after each use or, if the
kit is not used, at least once every 12 months) to ensure the kit
contains a complete set of the required items (an inventory list in
the kit should be signed and dated after each check)
ensure that items are in good working order, have
not deteriorated and are within their expiry dates and that sterile
products are sealed and have not been tampered with.
Eye wash and shower equipment
Eye wash and shower equipment may be permanently fixed
or portable, depending on the workplace. Eye wash equipment should be
provided where there is a risk of hazardous chemicals or infectious
substances causing eye injuries.
Immediate access should be provided to shower
equipment in workplaces where there is a risk of:
exposure to hazardous chemicals resulting in skin
absorption or contamination from infectious substances
serious burns to a large area of the face or body
(including chemical or electrical burns or burns that are deep, in
sensitive areas or greater than a 20 cent piece).
Shower facilities can consist of:
an appropriate deluge facility
a permanently rigged hand-held shower hose
a portable plastic or rubber shower hose that is
designed to be easily attached to a tap spout—for small, relatively
low risk workplaces where a fixed deluge facility would not be
reasonably practicable but the risk of serious burns is still
foreseeable (e.g. a fish and chip shop).
Portable, self-contained eye wash or shower units have
their own flushing fluid which needs to be refilled or replaced after
use. Further guidance is available in AS 4775 – Emergency eyewash
and shower equipment.
3.4 First aid facilities
A risk assessment will help
determine the type of first aid facilities needed. For example, a
clean, quiet area within the workplace that affords privacy to an
injured or ill person may be suitable and practicable for some
Access to a telephone for
contacting emergency services or an emergency call system should be
provided as part of all first aid facilities.
First aid rooms
A first aid room should be
established at the workplace if a risk assessment indicates that it
would be difficult to administer appropriate first aid unless a first
aid room is provided.
For example, workers who carry out
work at workplaces where there is a higher risk of serious injury or
illness occurring that would not only require immediate first aid, but
also further treatment by an emergency service, may benefit from
having access to a dedicated first aid room.
A first aid room is recommended
low risk workplaces with 200
workers or more
high risk workplaces with 100
workers or more.
The contents of a first aid room
should suit the hazards that are specific to the workplace. The
location and size of the room should allow easy access and movement of
injured people who may need to be supported or moved by stretcher or
The following items should be
provided in the room:
a first aid kit appropriate for
hygienic hand cleanser and
disposable paper towels
an examination couch with
waterproof surface and disposable sheets
a cupboard for storage
a container with disposable
lining for soiled waste
a container for the safe disposal
a bowl or bucket (minimum two
electric power points
a chair and a table or desk
a telephone and/or emergency call
the names and contact details of
first aiders and emergency organisations.
A first aid room should:
be located within easy access to
a sink with hot and cold water (where this is not provided in the
room) and toilet facilities
offer privacy via screening or a
have entrances and corridors
leading to and from the first aid room that are wide enough to
permit transport of injured or ill persons supported by a stretcher,
wheelchair and carrying chair, and other people
be well lit and ventilated
have an appropriate floor area
(refer the Building Code of Australia)
have an entrance that is clearly
marked with first aid signage.
Maintaining a first aid room should
be allocated to a trained occupational first aider, except where this
room is part of a health centre or hospital.
Types of first aid training
First aiders should hold nationally recognised
statement/s of attainment issued by a registered training organisation
(RTO) for the nationally endorsed first aid unit/s of competency.
Apply First Aid provides competencies required to
recognise and respond to common life-threatening injuries or
illnesses, including life-support using cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), and to manage the casualty and incident until the arrival of
medical or other assistance.
In low risk workplaces, first aiders are sufficiently
trained if they can perform CPR and treat minor illnesses and
Apply Advanced First Aid – provides additional
competencies required to apply advanced first aid procedures. This
type of training is suitable for some high risk workplaces.
Manage First Aid in the Workplace (Occupational First
Aid) – provides competencies required to apply advanced first aid
procedures and to manage a first aid room.
Provide First Aid in Remote Situations – provides
the competencies required to administer first aid in a remote and/or
isolated situation, including preparing for aero-medical evacuation.
This type of training is suitable for high risk workplaces that are
likely to have a major delay in accessing emergency services.
Additional training for first aiders
First aiders should attend training on a regular basis
to refresh their first aid knowledge and skills and to confirm their
competence to provide first aid. Refresher training in CPR should be
undertaken annually and first aid qualifications should be renewed
every three years
First aiders may also need to undertake additional
first aid training to respond to specific situations at their
workplace. For example, where workers have severe allergies, first
aiders should be trained to respond to anaphylaxis if this topic has
not been covered in previous first aid training.
Number of trained first aiders
The following ratios are
• low risk workplaces – one first
aider for every 50 workers
high risk workplaces – one
first aider for every 25 workers.
The number and type of trained
first aiders can be further refined by following the five-step guide
Identify the maximum number of workers at the
workplace at any one time.
Consider the nature of the work being carried out at
the workplace and determine if your workers are at a high risk of
being exposed to hazards that could require immediate first aid
Determine if the workplace is remote or if access to
emergency services is difficult. High risk workplaces that do not have
timely access to medical and ambulance services should have at least
one first aider for every 10 workers.
Consider the variety of ways that
your workers carry out work, for example:
if a worker spends most, if not
all, of their time working alone and in transit i.e. their workplace
is their vehicle and the places they visit in the course of their
work (e.g. couriers, taxi drivers, sales representatives,
door-to-door charity collectors and inspectors)
if a worker’s location varies on
a regular basis and they often work without supervision (e.g.
tradespeople, construction workers in the housing industry, farm
hands and cleaners)
if a worker sometimes works alone
for relatively short periods of time (e.g. when opening or closing a
business for trade or working back late to meet a deadline).
In these situations, it may not be
practicable to have a first aider available at all times at the
workplace. However, these workers must be able to access first aid
assistance, for example by ensuring they are provided with:
an effective means of contacting
emergency services or first aiders
information, instruction and
training on how to respond if a serious injury or illness occurs.
Before finalising the number of
first aiders your workers require access to, consider if there are any
other factors that indicate that your workplace needs additional first
aiders, for example:
the arrangement of work (multiple
shifts or overtime)
seasonal work, where there may be
a sudden and significant increase or decrease in the number of
where there are large numbers of
other persons present on a regular basis (e.g. schools, shopping
centres, hotels and function centres)
workplaces that have unique
hazards such as fitness centres, amusement rides and dive schools
access during times when a first
aider is absent (e.g. annual leave).
3.6 First aid procedures
You should develop and implement first aid procedures to ensure that
workers have a clear understanding of first aid in their workplace.
The procedure should cover:
- the type of first aid kits and where they are located
- the location of first aid facilities such as first aid rooms
- who is responsible for the first aid kits and facilities and how
frequently they should be checked and maintained
- how to establish and maintain appropriate communication systems
(including equipment and procedures) to ensure rapid emergency
communication with first aiders
- the communication equipment and systems to be used when first
aid is required (especially for remote and isolated workers). These
procedures should contain information about how to locate the
communication equipment, who is responsible for the equipment and
how it should be maintained
- the work areas and shifts that have been allocated to each first
aider. These procedures should contain the names and contact details
of each first aider
- arrangements to ensure first aiders receive appropriate training
- arrangements for ensuring that workers receive appropriate
information, instruction and training in relation to first aid
- seeking information when a worker commences work about any first
aid needs that may require specific treatment in a medical
emergency, such as severe allergies. Information about a worker’s
health must be kept confidential and only provided to first aiders
with the worker’s consent
- how to report injuries and illnesses that may occur in the
- practices to avoid exposure to blood and body substances – refer
to Appendix D
- what to do when a worker or other person is too injured or ill
to stay at work (e.g. if they require assistance with transport to a
medical service, home or somewhere else where they can rest and
- access to debriefing or counselling services to support first
aiders and workers after a serious workplace incident.
A record of any first aid treatment given should be kept by the
first aider and reported to managers on a regular basis to assist
reviewing first aid arrangements. First aid treatment records are
subject to requirements under Health Records legislation.
Further guidance on emergency plans and preparing
emergency procedures is available in the Managing the Work
Environment and Facilities Code of Practice.
3.7 Providing first aid information
You must provide information about
first aid to your workers so that they know what to do and who to
contact if they are sick or injured.
Information should be easy to
understand, accessible and should take into account the language and
literacy levels of your workers. Information may be given using verbal
methods (e.g. explanations and demonstrations) or visual methods (e.g.
videos and posters).
The information and instruction on
first aid should include:
the location of first aid
equipment and facilities
the names and location of persons
trained to administer first aid
the procedures to be followed
when first aid is required.
The information and instruction
should be provided as part of workers’ induction training and when
there are any changes, for example in the location of first aid
facilities or in the names, locations or contact details of first
4. REVIEWING YOUR FIRST AID REQUIREMENTS
You should regularly review your first aid arrangements in
consultation with your workers to ensure they remain adequate and
- Check that the people who have responsibilities under your first
aid procedures are familiar with them.
- If the way work is performed is changed, or new work practices
introduced, review first aid against a risk assessment to ensure the
arrangements are still adequate.
- Organise a mock first aid emergency to check that first aid is
effective. Check that kits and first aid rooms are accessible and
suit the hazards that are unique to your workplace.
- If an incident has occurred that required first aid, evaluate
the effectiveness of the first aid that was provided and make
changes if necessary.
- If new information is obtained about a previously unidentified
hazard, review the first aid measures you have put in place.
The following questions can assist you to review first aid and
assess whether improvement is needed:
Medication, including analgesics
such as paracetamol and aspirin, should not be included in first aid
kits because of their potential to cause adverse health effects in
some people including asthmatics, pregnant women and people with
medical conditions. The supply of these medications may also be
controlled by drugs and poisons laws. Workers requiring prescribed and
over-the-counter medications should carry their own medication for
their personal use as necessary.
Some types of workplaces may
require additional items to treat specific types of injuries or
If work is performed outside and
there is a risk of insect or plant stings or snake bites, assess
whether the following items should also be included in the first aid
a heavy duty crepe bandage
sting relief cream, gel or spray.
Where people work in remote
locations, a first aid kit should include:
heavy smooth crepe roller
bandages, 10cm wide and sufficient quantity to bandage lower limbs
to immobilise limb after a snakebite
splint to immobilise limb after a
snake bite or fractures
hydrogel burn dressings if there
is no cool water supply
large clean sheeting (for
thermal/emergency blanket for the
management of shock and to assist portability of a patient
first aid manual or book
whistle (for attracting
torch and/or flashlight for use
at night and for attracting attention.
note pad and pen/pencil for
recording the injured or ill person’s condition, and treatment
The appropriate contents will vary
according to the nature of the work and its associated risks.
If your workers are at risk of
receiving burns, you should include the following items:
burn treatment instructions on
two water-proof instruction cards: one for the first aid kit and the
other to be located on the wall next to the emergency shower or
hydro gel (8 × 3.5 gram sachets)
hydro gel dressings
clean polythene sheets (small,
medium and large)
7.5cm cotton conforming bandage.
APPENDIX D – STANDARD PRECAUTIONS FOR INFECTION
First aiders should take standard precautions to avoid becoming ill
and exposing others to illness when handling blood or body substances.
Standard precautions are work practices that are applied to all
patients and their blood and body substances, regardless of their
infectious status, to ensure a basic level of infection prevention and
control. Standard precautions include hand hygiene, use of personal
protective equipment, appropriate handling and disposal of sharps and
waste, cleaning techniques and managing spills of blood and body
Providing first aid safely
Before providing first aid to an injured or ill person, first
aiders should assume they could be exposed to infection. First aiders
should wash their hands with soap and water or apply alcohol-based
hand rub before and after administering first aid. First aiders should
also wear personal protective equipment to prevent contact with blood
and body substances, including disposable gloves. Eye protection, a
mask and protective clothing may also be necessary if splashes of
blood or body substances are likely to occur.
You should establish procedures to avoid workers becoming ill and
exposing others to illness when handling blood or body substances.
Procedures could include:
- proper hand hygiene practices
- how to handle and dispose of sharps
- how to clean surfaces and reusable equipment
- how to manage spills and handle and clean soiled laundry
- how to handle and dispose of waste
- when to use personal protective equipment (e.g. using
resuscitation masks for cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
First aiders should be aware of what to do if they have accidental
contact with blood or body substances, a sharps injury or contact with
a person known to have a contagious illness. Any part of the body that
comes in contact with blood or body substances should be washed with
soap and water immediately. Prompt medical advice should be obtained.
All first aiders should be offered hepatitis B virus vaccination.
All items that are soiled with blood or body substances should be
placed in plastic bags and tied securely. Waste disposal should comply
with any state or local government requirements.
Sharps, including scissors and tweezers, that have become
contaminated with blood or body substances should be disposed of in a
rigid-walled, puncture-resistant sharps container by the person that
used them. The materials, design, construction, colour and markings of
sharps containers should comply with:
- AS 4031-1992 – Non-reusable containers for the collection of
sharp medical items used in health care areas
- AS/NZS 4261-1994 – Reusable containers for the collection of
sharp items used in human and animal medical applications.
If a first aider sustains a sharps injury or thinks they are at
risk of infection from blood or bodily fluid contamination, they
should seek prompt medical advice.
Cleaning should commence as soon as possible after an
incident involving blood or body substances has occurred. First aiders
should wear disposable gloves when cleaning spills and if splashes of
blood or body substances may occur, additional protective equipment
such as eye protection, plastic aprons and masks should be worn.
Surfaces that have been contaminated with blood or body substances
should be wiped with paper towelling and cleaned with warm soapy
water. It is generally unnecessary to use sodium hypochlorite
(chlorine bleach) for managing spills but it may be used in specific
circumstances, for example if the surface is hard to clean.
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