First Aid

Workplace First Aiders


First aid in the workplace can be governed by both national and provincial/territorial legislation. A workplace First Aider has additional responsibilities and may be legally required to provide first aid in the workplace if the need arises. He or she may also need to know other information, including

  • Where emergency equipment is located.
  • How to properly complete documentation following a workplace incident.
  • What the workplace-specific emergency procedures are.
  • How to call for help in an emergency.

Getting Permission to Help

Once you decide to act, you need to get the ill or injured person’s permission (also known as consent) to assist. To get permission:

  • Tell the person who you are.
  • Tell the person that you are here to help.
  • Ask the person if that is okay.
  • You may be legally obligated to provide first aid as needed to any child or baby in your care. If a baby or a child is ill or injured. Ask the parent, guardian, or caregiver for permission. If the child or baby is alone, you can assume you have permission to give first aid.

Special Situations

There are times when it is difficult to get permission to provide care for an ill or injured person or when the person denies the help of First Aiders or bystanders.

The Person Is Unresponsive Or Confused Or Has a Mental Impairment

Someone who is unresponsive or confused, or who has a mental impairment, may not be able to grant permission. In these cases, the law assumes the person would give permission if he or she were able to do so. This is called implied consent. Implied consent also applies when a child or baby needs emergency medical assistance and his or her parent, guardian, or caregiver is not present.

The Person Refuses Care

An ill or injured person may refuse care, even if he or she desperately needs it. A parent or guardian also may refuse care for his or her child or baby. You must honor the person’s wishes. Explain to the person why you believe care is necessary, but do not touch or give care to the person, and never attempt to give the person help by force. Remember, you should never put yourself in any danger. Stay nearby, if possible, in case the person later decides to accept your help or becomes unresponsive. If you believe the person’s condition is life-threatening, call EMS/9-1-1 and communicate that a person requires medical assistance but is refusing help. The EMS personnel who arrive will deal with the situation. If the person gives consent initially but then withdraws it, stop giving care and call EMS/9-1-1 if you have not already done so.

You and the Person Do Not Speak the Same Language

If you do not speak the same language as the injured or ill person, obtaining consent may be challenging. Find out if someone else at the scene can serve as a translator. If a translator is not available, do your best to communicate with the person by using gestures and facial expressions. When you call EMS/9-1-1, explain that you are having difficulty communicating with the person, and tell the dispatcher which language you believe the person speaks. The dispatcher may have someone available who can help with communication.

Duty to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

Every adult has a legal duty to report child abuse or neglect, even if it is not confirmed. Information around the specific how-to-report details can be found in your jurisdiction’s Child Protection Act, but the duty to report is uniform in all acts. If you are responding to a first aid emergency and you think a child is being harmed, then there needs to be a report to child protection and/or police. Even if you are unsure, child protection needs to be informed and needs to guide the next steps. Also, share your concerns with the EMS personnel who respond to the situation.

Responding to Disclosures of Violence

A person revealing experiences of abuse—past or present—can be challenging and upsetting. This is even more true if the individual receiving the disclosure is close to the person and/or knows the perpetrator. Your response to the disclosure is critical. Studies show that the manner in which disclosure of interpersonal violence is handled is a significant factor in determining the psychological impact on the victim. Indifference and blame are damaging responses that can have long-lasting consequences.

If you receive a complaint of abuse, neglect, harassment, or bullying, you must know what steps need to be taken, when they need to occur, and how they need to be carried out. The complaint cannot be diminished or ignored. There must always be a response. Both verbal and nonverbal disclosures need to be handled sensitively while following specific procedures. If the disclosure is from a young person, your jurisdiction’s Child Protection Act may govern how you respond.

The Emergency Medical Services System

The emergency medical services (EMS) system is a network of community resources and trained personnel, organized to give emergency care in cases of injury or sudden illness. The system begins when someone sees an emergency and decides to take action by calling EMS/9-1-1. This action allows the EMS dispatcher to take down information about the emergency and provide it to the trained EMS personnel who will respond to the scene. Many EMS dispatchers are also trained to provide first aid and CPR instructions over the phone to assist the caller until EMS arrives.

Chain of Survival Behaviours

The Chain of Survival Behaviours is a series of steps that help ensure a positive outcome for an ill or injured person. As a First Aider, your role is to prepare, recognize emergencies, provide first aid, and/or access help.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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