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  • Sharon Burbidge

First Aid During the Coronavirus Pandemic

This guidance aims to help employers ensure first aiders are confident that they can help someone injured or ill at work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Check your first aid needs assessment

As an employer, when reviewing your risk assessment to include working during the pandemic, consider refreshing your first aid at work needs assessment.

Ask your first aiders if there are any factors that should be taken into account as part of your risk assessment, for example vulnerable workers with first aid responsibilities.

You should discuss the risk assessment with your first aiders so they are confident about providing the right assistance. This includes knowing what equipment they can use to minimise risk of infection transmission, as explained below.


Guidance for first aiders

Try to assist at a safe distance from the casualty as much as you can and minimise the time you share a breathing area.

If they are capable, you can ask them to do things for you, but treating the casualty properly should be your first concern. Remember the 3P model – preserve life, prevent worsening, promote recovery. If available, use:

  • a fluid-repellent surgical mask

  • disposable gloves

  • eye protection

  • apron or other suitable covering


Only deliver CPR by chest compressions and use a defibrillator (if available) – don’t do rescue breaths. Ensure you safely discard disposable items and clean reusable ones as best as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as soon as possible

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