First Aid Skills and Emergency Procedures Need Practice!

Safety Alert Type: 
Various locations in British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Ken Hardy Contracting
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Investigations into several incidents in the southern interior region this winter show that some first aid procedures have been weak. Underestimating the potential for serious unseen injuries is a common mistake for inexperienced first aid attendants. First aid skills get rusty without use or review.

Following a standardized procedure and regular practice assists you in remembering crucial steps and helps with the transfer of information to Ambulance crews and other responders.


  1. Assess the Scene: Hazards, What happened, Number of victims
  2. Conduct Primary Survey:  C-spine control, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Rapid Body Survey
  3. Perform Appropriate Critical Interventions (eg: open/clear airway, assist breathing, do CPR, treat for shock, control deadly bleeds)
  4. Make a Transport Decision – How -Vehicle/ETV/Ambulance/Other? How fast?  Where to?

Remember: Some incidents require the victim be transported to hospital as rapidly as possible even if no injuries are obvious and the victim insists they are “ok”. Some items from the list automatically requiring rapid transport are:

  • A fall from 20 ft or higher
  • A vehicle incident where there was a rollover, high speed, major damage, broken windshield, bent steering wheel, an occupant was thrown from the vehicle, or another occupant was killed.
  • A person was struck by something going more than 30 kph.
  • Any crush injury
  • Any smoke or gas inhalation injury
  • Any near drowning or electrical injury
  • Any reduction in consciousness, even if they appear recovered. Dazed and confused is considered a reduced level of consciousness. Anger and combativeness is also often a sign of a head injury.
  • The types of injury and parts of the body affected and specific signs and symptoms observed in the Primary Survey can also require rapid transport.

(Refer to the WorksafeBC First Aid Manual for a full list of Procedures and Rapid Transport Criteria)

Excerpt from Workers Compensation Act- Division 10 — Accident Reporting and Investigation 

172  (1) An employer must immediately notify the Board of the occurrence of any accident that

            (a) resulted in serious injury to or the death of a worker,

            (b) involved a major structural failure or collapse of a building, bridge, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system or excavation,

            (c) involved the major release of a hazardous substance, or

            (d) was an incident required by regulation to be reported.

            (2) Except as otherwise directed by an officer of the Board or a peace officer, a person must not disturb the scene of an accident that is reportable under subsection (1) except so far as is necessary to

            (a) attend to persons injured or killed,

            (b) prevent further injuries or death, or

            (c) protect property that is endangered as a result of the accident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. All worksites should have a designated first aid attendant trained and equipped to the level required by WorkSafeBC OH&S Regulation and identified in a First Aid Assessment.
  2. Review general first aid procedures and specific response guidelines as part of monthly safety meetings. Use recent incident reports and pictures as the basis for your scenario.
  3. Each year do two full drills using the worksite first aid equipment. The drills should involve checking key contact numbers and communication methods.
  4. Remember to report all serious incidents to WorksafeBC via the general reporting number as soon as possible. Always consider the potential severity not just what injuries occurred.

In the Okanagan and Similkameen the daytime reporting number is 1-888-621-7233. After office hours it will forward your call automatically to the afterhours reporting service.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Rick Beaulieu (250) 551-0237 or Don Hardy (250) 212-0253 at Ken Hardy Contracting

File attachments
First Aid Skills and Emergency Procedures Need Practice!.pdf

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