First Aid News and Updates




First aid in the workplace

All workplaces must provide first aid equipment, facilities and trained first aiders.

Equipment and personnel

You must provide your workers access to:

first-aid equipment and facilities

trained first aiders.

Keep first-aid kits close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness, for example, in the kitchen or warehouse. Also keep kits inside all work vehicles.

A trained first aider should hold a nationally recognised statement of attainment from a registered training organisation. Ensure all staff know who the trained first aiders are in your workplace.

Determining your first aid needs

To determine what sort of first aid you might need, think about:

the type of work you do and the safety issues involved

the size and location of your workplace – there might be substantial distance between work areas or between your facilities and emergency services, which could affect response times

the number of workers.

What we recommend

As a rule of thumb, there should be one first aider for every:

50 workers in low-risk workplaces (eg an office)

25 workers in high-risk workplaces (eg a construction site).

A trained first aider should hold a nationally recognised statement of attainment from a registered training organisation.

We recommend a first-aid room for workplaces with more than 200 workers, or high-risk workplaces with more than 100 workers.

Frequently Asked Questions First Aid for Management of Bleeding.

MARCH 2018

How do recent updates to ANZCOR Guideline 9.1.1 First Aid for Management of Bleeding affect the first aid Units of Competency? 

Updates to the ANZCOR Guideline 9.1.1 First Aid for Management of Bleeding in July 2017 has caused some discussion within the sector regarding how the guideline affects the first aid Units of Competency. For this reason the First Aid Industry Reference Committee (IRC) is providing the following advice to RTO’s. 

The first aid Units of Competency include the following statement regarding bleeding: There must be evidence that the candidate has completed the following tasks in line with state/territory regulations, first aid codes of practice, Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines and workplace procedures: 

Applied first aid procedures for the following º Bleeding control The ANZCOR Guideline 9.1.1 states the following: If there is severe, life threatening bleeding from a limb, not controlled by pressure, apply an arterial tourniquet above the bleeding point, if trained in its use and one is available. (CoSTR 2015: weak recommendation/low quality evidence) 

If there is severe, life-threatening bleeding from a wound site not suitable for tourniquet, or from a limb when a tourniquet is not available or has failed to stop the bleeding, apply a haemostatic dressing, if trained in its use and one is available. (CoSTR 2015: weak recommendation/low quality evidence) 

The important information from these two statements is ‘if trained in its use and one is available’. Suitably trained instructors and training resources are needed to ensure that the training and assessment of these skills are conducted effectively (tourniquets, tourniquets trainers, haemostatic dressings, wound trainers etc). 

In addition, instructors of these skills must ensure that they are suitably trained and experienced before delivering such content. For this reason the First Aid IRC believes that that teaching and assessment of Tourniquets and Haemostatic Dressings to all first aid learners is not necessary and that the delivery of these skills should be included in contextualised training when the RTOs industry engagement has identified the need for these skills in a specific workplace/community setting; for example security and police work. 

First Aid Management of Bleeding

The Australian Resuscitation Council has updated the following guideline.Guideline 9.1.1 – First Aid for the Management of Bleeding. 

This update contains significant updates for first aiders and first aid providers. 

Anaphylaxis Epi-Pen Update

Information updates 3 second EpiPen®s are now available  

June 13, 2017:

EpiPen® and EpiPen®Jr adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors with the 3 second label will start to enter 

pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand from 13 June 2017 onwards. The devices have not changed, just the instructions on the label, which now include:

  • Reduced injection time from 10 to 3 seconds – this is based on research confirming efficacy and delivery of adrenaline through the 3 second delivery.
  • Removal of the massage step after the injection – this has been found to reduce the risk of tissue irritation.

Whilst it is important that anyone who requires anaphylaxis training (including school and early childhood education/care staff) are aware of the changes, there is no need for immediate re-training on the 3 second EpiPen®.EpiPen®s with a 10 second label can continue to be used and should not be replaced unless they have been used, are just about to expire or have expired.  All EpiPen®s should now be held in place for 3 seconds, regardless of the instructions on the label.  However, if they are held for 10 seconds it will not affect the way that the adrenaline works. 

To access updated ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis, ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses, the 3 second EpiPen® training video and other resources go to  

Information sourced from 

Statement: A Guide to Automated External Defibrillators – July 2017

Learn thunderstorm asthma first aid

Tuesday 14th November 2017 Save a life this spring, learn thunderstorm asthma first aid

MELBOURNE: Asthma Australia Ltd is urging people to learn the asthma first aid steps as the anniversary of last year’s tragic thunderstorm asthma event approaches.The Victorian government has invested $15m in health initiatives to tackle thunderstorm asthma including an alert system via the emergency services.Alerts can be accessed online or via a smartphone app. 

Early warning allows people to prepare for thunderstorms and high pollen days by limiting pollen exposure, staying indoors with windows closed and air conditioning set to recycle.This relies on people being aware of the risk and knowing they are susceptible, yet many of those affected by last year’s event were taken by surprise.A/Prof Janet Davies from QUT said, “What we saw last year was very unexpected, in particular because about forty percent of those affected were not diagnosed with asthma.

Most people in the community did not know about thunderstorm asthma prior to the event in November. Many people at risk – those with hay fever, or asthma and hay fever, may not see themselves as vulnerable to thunderstorm asthma.”Asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians so most people will know someone with asthma in their workplace, school, family or social group.Michele Goldman, CEO of Asthma Australia said; “Good asthma management year-round as well as treating hay fever symptoms makes a person less vulnerable to a severe flare-up during a thunderstorm asthma event. 

This includes taking preventer medication as prescribed, having an asthma action plan and an annual review with your doctor.”Asthma Australia Ltd is urging people to learn asthma first aid steps in case they are affected or encounter someone else experiencing an asthma flare-up.Ms Goldman said, “When someone has an asthma attack it can come on suddenly and symptoms can worsen quickly so it’s really important that people know the asthma first aid steps, even if they don’t have asthma. They may be able to help others affected if need be.”Reliever medication to treat asthma flare-ups is effective first aid; it is available over the counter at pharmacies and can be accessed at hospital in an emergency. 

Schools and workplaces may also carry a blue reliever puffer in their first aid kits.Ms Goldman said; “In an emergency, giving asthma medication to a person struggling to breathe could be the difference between life and death. 

The high prevalence of asthma in Australia means more people are at risk of a flare-up but it also means there are more people around with that life-saving medication in their pocket, handbag or car.”Ms Goldman added: “Asthma medication is very safe. Even if someone does not have a diagnosis of asthma but is experiencing serious asthma symptoms, particularly when there are high pollen and thunderstorm conditions, a blue reliever puffer is unlikely to do harm and could save their life.Anyone with asthma should carry reliever medication at all times. 

However, if someone is without their medication or is experiencing their first asthma flare-up, perhaps pre-diagnosis, we’d urge people to get medication the quickest way they can.”Preventative treatment for pollen sensitisation in the lead-up to spring can help those allergic to grass pollen, including people with hay fever who have not experienced asthma before.

Recent evidence has also shown many people are not managing their asthma well, relying heavily on reliever medication rather than using a preventer, leaving them at risk of flare-ups. Anyone with asthma using their reliever puffer on more than 2 days per week should talk to their doctor about improving their asthma management.

Prof Jo Douglass from The Royal Melbourne Hospital commented; “It’s important to remember those worst affected were people diagnosed with asthma. The greatest risk is poorly managed asthma that leaves people vulnerable when exposed to triggers such as thunderstorm asthma conditions.

”Asthma Australia has released a short video showing the asthma first aid steps, which are:

  1. Sit the person upright, do not leave them alone.
  2. Give 4 separate puffs of blue reliever puffer:*
    • Shake puffer
    • Put 1 puff into spacer
    • Take 4 breaths from spacerRepeat until 4 puffs have been takenRemember: Shake, 1 puff, 4 breaths

  1. Wait 4 minutes- If there is no improvement, give 4 more separate puffs of blue/grey reliever as above**
  2.  If there is still no improvement call emergency assistance.

- Dial Triple Zero (000)- Say 'ambulance' and that someone is having an asthma attack- Keep giving 4 separate puffs every 4 minutes until emergency assistance arrives*** 

Information sourced from: