Why retailers should train their staff to provide first aid for customers

Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2016. -  
Blog, First Aid, Courses, Training

In busy convenience stores, it’s all go. Mums are racing around the aisles trying to do a weekly shop in record time, children are in ninja mode stealthily putting sweets into the basket unnoticed, and staff are constantly on the move restocking shelving and directing customers to checkout areas - there’s always a constant flurry of activity.  
Quite often in the hustle and bustle of your store, accidents will occur and unfortunately cannot be avoided no matter how many health and safety policies you have in place. All it takes is an avalanche of apples, a spillage in aisle 12 or a puddle from wet weather conditions to cause an injury.
Serious medical emergencies that you have no control of may also occur which is why it is vital that you have qualified first aiders on duty to deal with a crisis protecting both customers and members of staff.

“Shopper speaks of horror after seeing six-year-old boy suffer suspected cardiac arrest outside Aldi”

Why should I invest in first aid training?
In critical emergencies such as someone experiencing a cardiac arrest or choking, it’s crucial that you act fast. If they do not receive medical attention immediately the likelihood is that they will lose their life. 
The emergency services may not be able to reach you in time, so having knowledgeable members of staff available to offer a helping hand will give the casualty the best possible chance of survival. 
Qualified first aiders will also be able to help you improve the number of absences caused by serious injuries, providing swift and effective treatment from the offset will help to prevent infections and stop injuries from getting any worse helping the casualty onto the road to recovery.  
How many employees need to be trained in first aid?
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations of 1981 state that employers must provide equipment and enough trained first aiders to help ill or injured employees. This also applies to businesses that have their doors open to members of the public. 
When appointing first aiders you should consider shift patterns and absences related to illness and holidays, the more first aiders you have available the easier it will be to ensure that you are always prepared to deal with a crisis. 
Training the majority of your employees in first aid will also ensure that all areas of the store will be covered so that they can respond to an emergency promptly and notify the emergency services. 
The amount of first aiders you have also depends on the nature of your work, if employees are working in a high-risk environment such as warehouse operating machinery and handling heavy loads you will require more first aiders than lower risk working environments such as offices.
If any members of staff have a known medical condition this must also be taking into consideration and extra precautions must be taken to ensure their welfare, first aiders may require specialised training to help them understand and deal with their medical condition appropriately. 
We hope that you found the content in this post useful. For more useful hints on protecting customer’s and staff in a retail environment, we recommend that you should read up on our Retailer’s Guide to Enhancing Customer Safety.
Get in touch with our customer service team to discuss our training packages and lay the foundations for a safer workplace. Contact us today on 0845 071 0820
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