What is Industrial First Aid?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
First aid is designed to keep a patient stable until more extensive medical help arrives.
First aid is designed to keep a patient stable until more extensive medical help arrives.

Industrial first aid is an approach to first aid which focuses on medical emergencies which can be found in industrial settings. People who provide emergency medical response in such settings often learn industrial first aid as part of their training. This can include on-call nurses who work in factories, emergency medical responders such as paramedics, and supervisors who may be first on the scene of an injury. Since every second counts when it comes to catastrophic injuries, companies are encouraged to provide training in industrial first aid to as many employees as possible, and they may even be rewarded for a particularly good first aid training program.

Paramedics often learn industrial first aid as a part of their training.
Paramedics often learn industrial first aid as a part of their training.

First aid in general is designed to keep a patient stable until more extensive medical help arrives. In the case of industrial first aid, all of the basics of first aid are covered, along with specifics such as responding to industrial accidents, handling chemical and electrical burns, and dealing with severe injuries which could appear in an industrial setting. Industrial first aid also provides training in dealing with suspected spinal injuries, as these injuries can be devastating if they are not responded to appropriately.

Industrial first aid focuses on medical emergencies that can be found in industrial settings.
Industrial first aid focuses on medical emergencies that can be found in industrial settings.

In addition to training people to manage industrial accidents, industrial first aid also provides training in preventing industrial accidents. Accident prevention can include safety programs, protocols which reduce exposure to dangerous situations, and education of employees. Employees who have learned industrial first aid are well aware of the potential dangers of the industrial setting, which makes them ideal candidates for education and intervention programs.

Training in this specialized type of first aid is offered by organizations which offer first aid certification, some hospitals, community colleges, and even unions. After taking an industrial first aid course, students will be given an examination, and those with passing marks will be certified. It is usually necessary to attend continuing education classes to keep up the certification, and periodic retesting may be recommended as well, to ensure that people are still able to function effectively in a medical emergency.

People with industrial aid certification may find it easier to find employment in industrial settings, as this type of training is viewed as an asset. Supervisors and other employees who want to learn this type of first aid can often ask their company to pay for the training; if enough employees are interested, a trainer may even provide the course on site. Unions may also sometimes compensate people for industrial first aid training.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

Misscoco

When employees join a school district, they are required to take a first aid and CPR training class. So many minor and major injuries happen to kids. I'm glad I took the course, even though I never had to use it.

I have one idea for improvement. It's difficult to remember the procedures and techniques to follow when administering first aid. I would like to see refresher courses given every six months. If you rarely put first aid to the test, then the next best thing is a refresher course.

live2shop

One type of industry that needs to do a better job of planning and execution of emergency first aid is the meat packing industry. In these plants, there are usually many undocumented workers.

The work is very dangerous and takes place in crowded areas. The machines, sharp knives and slippery floors are hazardous. There are many accidents, some very serious, that happen in this industry. Safety rules are often not known by the workers or they don't follow them.

Probably only if an injury is extremely serious, will the paramedics be called. Management does not want the poor working conditions of their plant exposed.

MissDaphne

@ElizaBennett - I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that people in any position can get industrial emergency first aid training. Most workplaces don't have medical personnel on staff all the time; the first responder would be someone in a regular position who has special training.

For instance, at the schools I've worked at, there have been special response teams. (Since classroom teachers find it difficult to leave their classrooms, the responders were usually PE teachers and administrators.) One person might be in charge of dealing with anything blood-related, another would be trained to operate the AED (automatic external defibrillator), another would be in charge of CPR, etc.

In a tight job market, anything that can set you apart from others can be helpful. Your brother could find out how much this kind of training would cost and could ask people he knows in his field whether it would be helpful. Good luck to him!

ElizaBennett

Is industrial first aid always done by a medical person? My brother is on the job market right now, basically looking for warehouse supervisor-type work. Is this kind of first aid and CPR training something that I could suggest to him as just a bonus? Or is it more medical?

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    • First aid is designed to keep a patient stable until more extensive medical help arrives.
      First aid is designed to keep a patient stable until more extensive medical help arrives.
    • Paramedics often learn industrial first aid as a part of their training.
      Paramedics often learn industrial first aid as a part of their training.
    • Industrial first aid focuses on medical emergencies that can be found in industrial settings.
      Industrial first aid focuses on medical emergencies that can be found in industrial settings.