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There are a number of industries in New Zealand which are full of risks to our health and safety, but it is gratifying to see these industries taking on a genuine and strategic approach to ensuring all staff go home safely.

The demographics of industries are a significant hazard on their own with the ageing workforce, and often the long hours worked can lead to aliments which may require first aid, as an example:  heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Let’s look at some of the risks that need to be managed, and how we can ensure that staff can assist their workmates, if the need arises, with effective first aid.

Machinery and chemicals on site can cause significant injuries and illnesses such as crushing, eye injuries and head and spinal injuries. The environment is often a significant hazard as well and can involve heat and sun as well as snow, ice and sleet. All of these can cause the body stress, trauma and significant ill health. The terrain can be steep, or have major trenches; a roadside environment can have several thousand people travel by each day, either as pedestrians or speeding by with only a ‘cone’ between the worker and the bus travelling at 110km per hour.

All of these are business as usual in a normal ‘day at the office’ in New Zealand, so why do people get second-rate and insufficient first aid training with the ‘new’ unit standards 26551 and 26552? However these unit standards are simply not relevant to most industries, although they are great for Ma and Pa who would just like to know a little first aid in case the neighbour needs a hand one day.

The first aid providers who are providing these unit standards to New Zealand industry either don’t know the risks involved or they don’t care that many risks are not covered in these unit standards. The result is that staff are at risk. As with any training, first aid training needs to be fit for purpose, relevant and specific to the learning styles and the outcome requirements of the trainees.

NZQA has recognised the 26551 and 26552 unit standards are not fit for industry and has reverted back to the 6400 series. If your first aid provider is not providing the 6400 series for your staff I believe they are ticking the box for you rather than providing best practice for you and your staff.

What do Life Care Consultants provide? 6400 series of course. Don’t make first aid training a tick box exercise in your workplace, book onto a fit for purpose course today.

You can view the courses available and book online here.

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