A REPORT issued this week highlighted an annual increase of 2700 major and fatal accidents at work in Scotland over the last five years.
Last year, more than 500 staff across the Scottish hospitality industry received an injury that kept them off work for at least three days.
As any employer who has been through this will tell you, dealing with an accident is time consuming and can have an effect on staff moral and trust in managers.
Of course the best way to deal with accidents is to prevent them.
But when accidents do happen, first aid skills in the workplace can save employees’ livelihoods and lives.
Restaurants and hospitality businesses take first aid seriously but are they doing enough?
Currently, the sector must only comply with the requirements set down by the Health & Safety Executive based on the employee first aid needs.
The customer-facing nature of the hospitality industry means that staff are in contact with far greater numbers of the general public than other businesses. This increases the chances that hospitality staff will be in a position of authority when facing an accident or emergency.
At St Andrew’s First Aid, we promote first aid knowledge to help Scotland become more resilient in emergencies.
By going beyond the HSE regulations and thinking about customers, we believe the hospitality industry can lead the way for Scottish businesses in first aid awareness.
That’s why we are launching a new accreditation scheme, Setting the Standards in First Aid, which will help Scotland’s hotels, restaurants and attractions become more first aid aware by recognising those which also take guests into consideration in their first aid planning.
Each year, St Andrew’s First Aid trains 20,000 people. We see that learning life-saving skills gives most people an enormous boost in confidence and self-worth which translates into motivation in the workplace.
But this is about more than corporate social responsibility and staff training. First aid skills are transferable, equipping trained first aiders to help in emergencies anytime anywhere, making Scotland a safer place to live and visit.
With over 200,000 people employed in Scottish hospitality and visitors on more than 15.7 million trips using their services, not to mention local guests, we believe the hospitality sector can lead the way, helping to place trained first aiders throughout society.
Let’s make hospitality the frontline in making Scotland a more resilient community and a safer destination by setting the standard in first aid.
• Mary McLuskey is the managing director of St Andrew’s First Aid Training and Supplies Ltd.