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.
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.
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.