Legislation on first aid needed

Dr Kwame Apedzi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of St John Ambulance Ghana (SJAG), has called on all employers and labour unions to ensure that they are trained in first aid.

“There is the need for employers to ensure that first aid boxes are available in their organisations,” he stressed.

“First Aid is the quick response to anyone who is injured or taken ill, it requires the demonstration of skills to help the injured quickly, before a definite care in the hospital.

“Such pre-hospital care is mandatory for employees under the Factories, Offices and Shops Act, Act 328 of 1970,” Dr Apedzi noted.

Section 28 of the Act 328 makes it obligatory for first aiders and first aid boxes to be available in every workplace.

These were contained in a statement signed and issued by Dr Apedzi to commemorate the 81st anniversary of SJAG held in Accra.
“The purpose of first aid training is not to turn trainees into medical doctors, but to equip the individuals with knowledge and skills to help each other in medical emergency situations,” it said.

Lamenting that institutions, both public and private, were not investing in First Aid and health and safety, although there are enough laws for that, the statement reiterated “it is sad a programme to ensure that all vehicles carry First Aid kits, ended up with some challenges, forcing the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to suspend the programme.

“St John supports such programmes as it is a unique way to make drivers get first aid kits in their vehicles, we hope that DVLA will be given the opportunity to look at the challenges again and make drivers have first aid kits during renewal of their documents.

“The Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Employment and Labour alone cannot go round to verify whether institutions abide by the tenets of Act 328 and it is time employers and labour unions negotiated on how best first aid boxes and training can be made available to their institutions.

“There are different forms of first aid and the major content entails how to help a person with respiratory challenges, inhalation of fumes, chocking, stop bleeding, seizures (epilepsy), fainting, heart attack, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the usage of automated external defibrillator (AED), among others,” the statement said. -GNA

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