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Describing the Role of a First Aid Officer in the Workplace

First aid has become a legal obligation for many workplaces around the world. Therefore it is imperative that companies identify the role of a first aider and conduct training and recruitment processes accordingly.

What is the primary role of first aid officers in the workplace?

Short answer: Primarily, first aid officers are responsible for providing immediate life-saving care before further support is provided.

The role could consist of the following procedures,

  • Providing CPR 
  • Use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) 
  • Use of pressure to stop bleeding 
  • Incident management and casualty safety
Workplace First Aid

Qualifications for the Role of First Aid Officer in a Workplace

Currently, there are several nationally recognized qualifications one can obtain in Australia. Among them are,

  • Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (HLTAID009)
  • Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (HLTAID009) 
  • Provide first aid (HLTAID011) 
  • Occupational first aid skill set (HLTSS00068) 
  • Provide first aid in remote or isolated sites (HLTAID013) 
  • Provide advanced resuscitation and oxygen therapy (HLTAID015) 
  • Course in the Management of Asthma Risks and Emergencies in the Workplace (22556VIC) 
  • Course in First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis (22578VIC).

You can train and achieve these qualifications by signing up and completing courses offered by first aid organizations in Australia. Such organizations include,

  • St. John's Ambulance Australia 
  • Royal Life Saving Society Australia 
  • Australian Red Cross 
  • CareFlight

Safety Signs and Their Meanings

The short answer is, yes, they do.

  • Although all first-aid officers are well-versed in general first-aid procedures, certain high-risk workplaces might have specific hazards and risks that require first-aiders to go through expert training. 
  • Even if the workplace does not contain specific high-risk work, first aiders still need to refresh their knowledge and training regularly. 
  • Hence it is safe to say that first aiders need workplace training, irrespective of the workplace.

When planning first aid training for officers, be mindful of the following factors.

  • Assess the risks and hazards existing in the workplace. 
    • Through such an assessment, you can determine in which specific areas you need to train your first aid officers,
  • Comply with industry standards

At present, there are many organizations in Australia offering first aid courses. 

  • St. John's Ambulance Australia 
  • Royal Life Saving Society Australia 
  • Australian Red Cross 
  • CareFlight

Courses offered by these organizations can be tailored to fit your custom requirements.

  • According to the location
    •  On-site 
    • Online 
  • According to the modules needed

Listed below are some of the first aid courses that be conducted in your workplace to train your employees.

CPR Courses 

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an important life-saving skill that can save a life till an ambulance arrives.
  • CPR procedures will help you revive a casualty that is not breathing properly.
  • Completing a CPR course will instil in you the confidence to perform CPR on adults, infants, and children during emergencies. The 
  • Safe Work Australia First Aid in the Workplace Model Code of Practice requires first aiders to refresh their knowledge of CPR. 
    • Refresher training in CPR should be carried out every 12 months. 
    • CPR first aid qualifications must be renewed every three years.

Basic Emergency Life Support 

This will help arm first aiders against life-threatening situations, including, 

  • Managing an unconscious casualty 
  • Performing CPR 
  • Use of pressure to control bleeding

Provide First Aid 

  • An introductory and comprehensive course on first aid. 
  • Suitable for a low-risk workplace and as a beginners' course for high-risk workplaces.

First aid in an education or care setting 

  • Here, you will learn the skills and knowledge required to administer first aid to infants, children, and adults.
  • The course applies to early childhood workers and educators who work with school-age children in outside school hours care and vacation programs and are required to respond to a first aid emergency, including asthma and anaphylactic emergencies.

Note: Having a first-aid officer in the workplace might increase the survival chances of your employees by as much as 60% during an emergency.

Workplace First Aid

Emergency Roles of a First Aid Officer in a Workplace

The role of a first aid officer in the workplace involves dealing with high-stakes, high-stress situations. Therefore it is imperative that first-aid officers be well-versed in the following skills.

Assess the Situation in a Timely Manner

A good first aider must be capable of understanding the full picture and what happened by assessing the situation in a timely manner. This involves determining whether,

  • Someone is in immediate danger
  • The cause of the emergency 
  • The number of affected casualties

Stay Calm, Reassure, and Take Charge

Despite their surroundings, first aiders need to be calm and collected during emergency situations.

  • This will enable the first aider to earn the trust and respect of the casualties and the people around them. 
  • Furthermore, this will help the first aider to effectively administer aid and extract information from the casualty.

Protect Yourself or Any Casualties From Danger

In every emergency situation, your safety comes first. First aiders must be competent enough to arrange their safety before jumping in for the rescue of others.

Preventing Infections

Casualties have a higher risk of being infected. In the same way, there is a higher risk of the first aider being infected through the casualty. Therefore it is the duty of a first aider to take all measures possible to prevent infection and cross contamination

  • Wear gloves when dealing with the casualty. Wash your hands before and afterwards. 
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing while administering first aid to avoid contamination.

Assess the Casualties

Give early treatment and provide urgent care to casualties who need it the most. 

Provide First Aid Treatment 

Until further medical help arrives, you might have to deal with the casualty yourself. This may include,

  • Use of pressure to control bleeding. 
  • Providing CPR. 
  • Use of AED to relieve shock and other heart-related emergencies.

How Unique Is the Role of a First Aid Officer in the Workplace

The role of a first aid officer in the workplace is one that is certainly very unique. In most settings, the role of first aid officers in the workplace will consist of dealing with high-stakes, high-stress situations. 

In doing so, they need to be remarkably well-armed with a stellar bunch of qualities.

  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Calm and ability to work under pressure 
  • Initiative and leadership 
  • Team player 
  • Positive and selfless 
  • and more importantly, Properly Trained
Workplace First Aid

Related Questions:

How often should first aiders take up refresher courses?

The Safe Work Australia First Aid in the Workplace Model Code of Practice requires first aiders to undergo refresher training in CPR every 12 months and to renew their qualifications every three years. As for other first aid qualifications, it is advisable to renew your training every year or two years.


The role of a first aider officer in the workplace is certainly a unique one. Since it is a role that compels first aiders to deal with high-stakes, high-stress situations, it is essential that they are well-equipped with the best training they can get. The training they get will make the difference between saving a life or losing a life.


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