Accidents happen – make sure you’re prepared

Accidents happen - make sure you’re prepared

St John South Africa provides comprehensive first-aid training and services that make dealing with day-to-day emergencies in the food and beverage industry easier

Many employers in the food and beverage industry are under the impression that they’re not operating in a high-risk environment, or that their company is so small that first-aid training is unnecessary. Unfortunately, this is precisely what leads to minor accidents turning into major emergencies. These companies should arm themselves with the right training to avoid potential crises.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act No 85 of 1993, as amended by the OHS Amendment Act No 181 of 1993: “An employer must take all reasonable steps, that are necessary under the circumstances, to ensure that employees in the workplace receive prompt first-aid treatment in the event of injury or medical emergency.”

It is, therefore, crucial that all employers with five or more employees find out exactly what emergency measures need to be in place for their business.

St John is an international first-aid training and supply organisation that has been active in South Africa for more than 130 years. It is fully accredited with numerous international organisations, as well as the South African Department of Labour, the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA) and the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa.

For businesses that are just starting out, or for those that simply want to review their safety and first-aid protocols, St John provides all the necessary information, training and equipment.

The food and beverage industry is prone to many unseen and unexpected risks, ranging from poisoning and choking to cuts and burns. If there is no one on the premises trained in first aid, any of these can quickly turn into serious and life-threatening situations.

St John provides the right training and equipment, and has a comprehensive support and information system.

On the St John website, there are printable infographics detailing everything that needs to be done in the case of emergencies such as choking, poisoning and fevers. The infographics can be put up around the workplace and are an excellent way to remind everyone of potential risks. They also provide an easy reference in case of an emergency.

St John also has its own first-aid app, which contains step-by-step instructions for a wide range of possible workplace emergencies. This is another simple way to ensure employees have instant access to the correct information.

It goes without saying, however, that infographics and an app are no substitute for proper first-aid training. They’re easy reference guides, but it is essential that there is always at least one person on site who has completed an accredited first-aid course.

In this regard, St John offers Level 1, 2 and 3 first-aid training to commerce and industry. Training is “hands-on” so that learners can confidently apply the knowledge they have acquired.

In the food and beverage industry, preparation is the key to success and this should also be the approach taken when it comes to health and
safety in the workplace. Knowledge is the best defence against workplace injuries and illness,
so companies should make sure that they are prepared and employees receive the appropriate training.

Visit www.stjohn.org.za for more information or to contact one of its ten national branches.

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