When it comes to first aid in an emergency, most of us are no longer up to date - knowledge about life-saving emergency measures fades over time and is rarely refreshed.
To ensure that emergency aid in companies is not a matter of luck and that a competent person is always available in case of emergency, the Occupational Safety and Health Act provides for the training of first-aiders. The number of first-aiders depends on the size of the company: one first-aider is required for every two to 20 employees. From 20 employees in the craft, production and transport sectors, 10% must complete the training for emergency assistance, which is paid for by the Employer's Liability Insurance Association. These quotas are binding and can result in heavy fines if they are not met.
We at FACO officially fall under the 10% rule and would have to provide 3 first aiders. Anyone can be a first aider who completes a nine-hour training course, which is normally held outside the company. The selection and motivation of the candidates is not always easy for many companies, because the candidate takes on additional responsibility and has to invest additional unpaid time in the training.
It's different with our FACO team: the general interest in safety issues among our staff is particularly high. Being able to provide assistance in an emergency gives a good feeling and self-confidence. Apart from that, the knowledge gained in the courses is also available in the private sphere and should something happen, it is extremely satisfying to know that we can help in an emergency.
More than ten years ago, we had the idea of offering first aid training in-house for all employees. The response was positive, so we realized the plan and invited everyone. In the past, many people had already considered the idea of refreshing their knowledge, but had not yet found any private impetus to implement it. Now was the opportunity. As a quasi team-building measure, the training also took on a certain community character. Identification with what we had learned increased because we conducted the training in our own company and not, as usual, in external training rooms with other external participants. Despite the personal benefit, it should be mentioned that the event took place on Saturdays and meant that we had to forego free time. We have great respect for the fact that almost 75% of the workforce attended each event. We are also aware that we had a great speaker who could explain in an exciting and entertaining way.
In retrospect, the topic of operational safety has become more in the collective consciousness after the event and everyone feels even more responsible. Work steps are not only checked for productivity, but also automatically and increasingly for safety aspects. Sources of danger can therefore be identified early and not only when it is too late. The certificate for first aiders must be renewed every two years. At the next event, we will of course continue the proven tradition.