First Aid Provision changes in Forestry

HSE requirements have changed for First Aid training and first aid kit on site for ‘Treework’.

  • These changes are:
  1. First Aid Training for ‘+F’ must include application of haemostatic dressings and tourniquets.
  2. Personal first aid kits on site for chainsaw operators must include haemostatic dressing and tourniquets.

First aid provision must always be adequately assessed for any work site using HSE recommendations and approved codes of practice.

It must be adequate and appropriate to the people and any activity being undertaken, so that employees are given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work. When undertaking an assessment for first aid provision account must be taken of a number of factors including:

  • Nature of work.
  • Remoteness from emergency services (including terrain and weather).
  • Distribution of the workers.
  • Holidays and any absences of first aiders.
  • Specific medical conditions or allergies.

Following the changes to HSE requirements, we have confirmed with our main first aid training provider that the additional training is already covered.

Our training provider confirmed that they are already covering the additional training within their session including allowing students to have hands on practice with tourniquets. They include training with the Celox Z-Fold Haemostatic dressing and recommend WoundClot Tramama 8cm x 20cm Haemostatic Gauze Dressing together with a Large Wound Dressing for the personal first aid kits.

The advice when using a haemostatic dressing or agent is to ensure that the wrapper is sent with the casualty to hospital, wrapping it in the last turns of the dressing is a good way to do this.

We recommend that our contractors check with their own first aid trainer providers that they are aware of these changes and ensure any first aid training they source going forward includes application of haemostatic dressings and tourniquets.

As a result of these changes we are reviewing our minimum requirements for first aid provision on our working site and will provide the updated recommendations to our contractors at approval or next renewal.

HSE is advising these changes across a number of sectors including forestry. In updating their guidance the HSE hopes to draw attention to the blood clotting performance of haemostatic dressings, which when applied correctly, stop blood loss much quicker than a trauma bandage. When it is also appropriate to safely apply a tourniquet, haemorrhage control is further improved.