Organisation working with HSE to improve site safety and highlights importance of firms having first aid training

St John Ambulance has called on construction firms to give staff first aid training as a means of reducing deaths and accidents on site.

Richard Evens, commercial training director at St John Ambulance, revealed that the organisation is working closely with the Health & Safety Executive on a new drive to improve site safety.

He said larger firms were often more aware than their smaller counterparts of the need for so-called “secondary safety”.

“The difference between a life lost and a life saved is often decided in those critical few minutes before the emergency services arrive,” he said. “First aid has been overlooked in its health and safety role.

“Although we see a number of firms trying to do the right thing, there is also a message to get across that proper provision of first aid in the industry can make a significant difference.”

Evens said aggregates firm Lafarge and Worcestershire-based construction company Chalcroft had invested in first aid training with the latter giving all staff training and site managers a three-day course.

The construction industry has the worst fatalities record of any industrial sector with 50 workers killed in the year to March 2011.

According to St John Ambulance, about 150,00 people die every year in the UK in situations where first aid could have made a difference. A survey by the organisation also found that 79% of businesses have periods where no first aiders are present.

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