First aid kits for chainsaw operatives

First aid kits for chainsaw operatives

CHAINSAW OPERATIVES AND SAFETY

A chainsaw can potentially be a very dangerous tool if not used correctly. Whilst it's recognised that chainsaw operatives have the training and skillset to practice safe use, it is a fact that accidents do sometimes happen. Unfortunately, occasionally these accidents can be life changing or even fatal. Carrying appropriate first aid equipment is critical to ensure the best chance of mitigating the impact of an injury. 

 

CHAINSAW ACCIDENTS AND THEIR MAIN CAUSE - STATISTICS FROM THE HSE

HSE and Chainsaw Operatives

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigations conclude that most fatal and major injuries are caused because chainsaw operators took shortcuts to save time. Between 2002 and 2011 there were 19 fatalities in forestry - 5 of these were directly caused by contact with a chainsaw.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE AND FIRST AID KITS – What should chainsaw operatives be carrying in their first aid kits?

Legislation states that employers are responsible for making sure that employees received immediate attention if injured at work.

As a minimum requirement, any employer must have:

  • a suitably stocked first-aid box
  • an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • information for all employees giving details of first-aid arrangements

There is no legal requirement for chainsaw operators to hold an emergency first-aid at work certificate. However, the HSE strongly recommend they do so by an approved training provider.

Many chainsaw operatives are self-employed. Therefore, the responsibility is theirs and attention should still be paid to guidelines given by the HSE.

 

WHEN THE UPDATE IN HSE GUIDANCE CAME INTO EFFECT – AUGUST 2019

The Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG) had raised the issues surrounding bleed control with HSE on several occasions, requesting that guidance be updated. As a result, in August 2019 the HSE Tree Work web pages were updated to reflect changes in relation to personal first aid kits.

The HSE considered it was not necessary to outline the additional items that may be carried in a personal first aid kit, or indeed the contents of the larger worksite first aid kit, which should be identified as part of the relevant risk assessment process. The HSE also noted that suitable first aid training for tree work should include how to apply a haemostatic dressing and a tourniquet, as well as when such products should be used.  (Issue 187 Winter 2019 of the ARB Magazine).

The HSE now advise that personal first aid kits should now contain one or more haemostatic dressings and a tourniquet, rather than as previously advised a large wound dressing, for situations where control of a significant haemorrhage is required.

Whilst the 2019 update in the HSE guidelines for chainsaw operatives and what they should carry on their person is only guidance, it should be taken very seriously.

 

BLEED CONTROL KITS

The HSE state that chainsaw operatives are required to be trained in emergency first aid, including how to control major bleeding and how to deal with crush injuries.

Given the HSE guidelines, it is wise to be equipped with the necessary equipment – including the updated recommendations for first aid kits. The main risk around chainsaws is bleeding. Bleeding should be dealt with as quickly as possible, therefore operatives are strongly advised to carry a small Bleed Control Kit on their person at all, times. It is also recommended that chainsaw operatives also carry a more comprehensive first aid kit/bleed control kit in their vehicle.

For more information see HSE’s web pages on first aid at work (www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid)

 

HARKIE BLEED CONTROL KITS

Harkie Bleed Control Kits are designed specifically for the arboricultural industry to tackle major bleeds that are not managed by a traditional personal first aid kit alone. These kits are an essential for every chainsaw user or other worker potentially at risk of severe bleed injuries.

The kit, available in two variants, is contained in a tough, water resistant pouch with adjustable straps that will attach to a harness or belt.

HARKIE BLEED CONTROL KIT WITH SWAT TOURNIQUET & CELOX GRANULES

Contents:

  • Celox haemostatic granules sachet
  • SWAT-T tourniquet
  • Large wound dressing
  • Vinyl disposable gloves
  • Assorted fabric plasters
  • Resuscitation aid

 

HARKIE BLEED CONTROL KIT WITH SWAT TOURNIQUET & CELOX GAUZE

Contents:

  • Celox Z-fold gauze
  • SWAT-T tourniquet
  • Large wound dressing
  • Vinyl disposable gloves
  • Assorted fabric plasters
  • Resuscitation aid

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

We also stock a Personal First Aid Kit for basic requirements. It also comes in a sturdy, water resistant vinyl pouch with straps to attach to a harness or belt.

Contents:

  • 1 x No. 4 Ambulance dressing
  • 1 x Mouth to mouth resuscitation device
  • 2 x Alcohol free wipes
  • 20 x Fabric plasters
  • 1 x Vinyl gloves
  • 1 x First aid guidance leaflet
  • 1 x Whistle

We hope you have found this blog useful. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our team.


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