First Aid Procedure

Document Number000998
Date Approved27 November 2012

THIS POLICY REPLACES First Aid Officer Procedure 000121 and the First Aid Policy 000122.

1.      Context

1.1      This procedure supports the implementation of the University of Newcastle Work Health and Safety Policy 000972 and Critical Incident Management Policy 000828 and must be read in conjunction with those documents.

1.2      The University of Newcastle is committed to providing First Aid care in a way which is consistent with the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated Regulations and Code of Practice: First Aid in the Workplace.

2.      Definitions

2.1      In the context of this document:

First Aid means the emergency care of the injured and sick when the injury or illness is first suffered and before specialist medical aid can be administered, if required, or the person recovers.  It encompasses a broad range of activities, ranging from the definitive treatment of some minor injuries, through primary management of more significant injuries or illnesses, to life-saving resuscitation in critical circumstances.

First Aid Officer (FAO) means a person who holds a current First Aid Certificate issued after successfully completing a WorkCover approved first aid course, or a current Occupational First Aid Certificate issued after successfully completing a WorkCover approved occupational first aid course, or a Level 3 or greater NSW ambulance officer or a medical practitioner or a registered nurse.

3.      Procedure

3.1      Responsibilities of First Aid officers

(i)    First Aid Officers (FAOs) must:

  1. Ensure that their qualifications remain valid, by enrolling in an appropriate course to renew their qualifications prior to expiration. FAO’s can attend training courses during normal working hours for new certification and recertification. The University will fund attendance at the course, which will generally be offered via HR online, or via arrangement with the Safety and Wellbeing Advisor, Health and Safety.
  2. Complete the first aid induction form after reading through the induction information located at:

(ii)   Read and ensure that they are familiar with and understand the Infection Prevention and Control for Blood Borne Pathogens Guideline (see essential supporting documents).

(iii)   Provide immediate first aid treatment of illness and injury in the workplace.

(iv)   Arrange for further medical assistance, transportation to hospital, or safe return home to occur for the person requiring treatment, as appropriate.

(v)    Complete an incident/ hazard report online including details of treatment administered.

(vi)    Provide first aid services during an emergency evacuation. Note: In the event that a first aid officer is also an evacuation warden, the evacuation warden role should take precedence in an emergency situation. Where a first aid response is also required, the First Aid Officer should assess the circumstances and act appropriately, which may require that the warden role be allocated to others.

(vii)   Ensure that they are familiar with the services provided via the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which can provide debriefing or counselling services to support First Aiders and other workers after a serious workplace incident. Refer to link:

(viii)  Participate in additional first aid training and associated training programs as directed.

(ix)    Ensure that the first aid kit for which they are responsible has correct contents and is checked for expiry dates and items replaced on a monthly or more regular basis as required. Ensure that the first aid kit is accessible and clearly signposted. Note: Analgesics and Epi-pens are prohibited stock items in University of Newcastle first aid kits. Analgesics are not to be administered by FAO’s.

(x)     Inform the Health and Safety Team if they are moving offices or taking extended periods of leave, or if their first aid allowance is required to cease for any other reason.

3.2      Disposal of Contaminated Waste

3.2.1   All waste generated during the administration of First Aid is regarded as contaminated or hazardous waste, and should be handled as follows:

(i)    Place the material in a biological hazard plastic bag and tie securely with tape.

(ii)   Place the biological hazard plastic bag inside another plastic bag.

(iii)  Campus Information:

  1. Callaghan Campus: Bag to be taken to the University Health Service.
  2. Ourimbah Campus: Bag to be taken to Biology SL1.
  3. HMRI and JHH: Follow normal biological waste disposal procedures.
  4. City: Contact the Health and Safety team to advise
  5. Other campuses: Contact the Health and Safety team to advise.

(iv)   The biological hazard bag will then be disposed of in accordance with State regulations.

3.3      Responsibilities of Faculty/ School/ Division      

3.3.1  The Faculty/ School/ Division will:

(i)    Determine the requirements for numbers of First Aid Officers in each applicable area;

(ii)   Order replenishment stock for first aid kits as directed by the First Aid Officer, and ensure that the FAO is regularly checking the kit in order to maintain stock levels;

(iii)  Purchase first aid kits if more are required; and

(iv)  Allow staff members to attend relevant first aid training.

3.3.2  There must be a need for a FAO to be appointed to identified buildings or locations.

3.4      Selection Criteria for First Aid Officers

3.4.1  Staff appointed as First Aid Officers will:

(i)    Demonstrate enthusiasm for the duties of providing First Aid services to other persons.

(ii)   Possess the capacity to deal with injury and illness.

(iii)  Demonstrate an ability to relate well to other staff.

(iv)  Be flexible, and be aware of the need to be summoned from their normal duties at short notice.

(v)   Be a permanent employee, unless circumstances do not allow for this.

(vi)  Be able to maintain confidentiality.

(vii)  Be able to maintain first aid kits as required.

4.      Privacy of Patient Information

4.1      Information concerning the treatment of staff/patient is confidential under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 in accordance with the Privacy Management Plan 000258.  However, information about First Aid treatment provided must be:

(i)    Disclosed to attending ambulance services and other treating authorities.

(ii)   Restricted to essential information.

(iii)  Recorded in the online Incident/ Hazard report form.

5.      Indemnification

5.1      University of Newcastle staff who are nominated as FAO’s and are performing FAO duties in the course of their employment are protected by law, providing they have acted reasonably and with a proper motive. (Please refer to the Civil Liability Act 2002 No 22 – Part 8 Good Samaritans.)

6.      Entitlements of a First Aid Officer

6.1      FAO Allowance

6.1.1   The first aid allowance will be paid while a current first aid certificate is held and while the person exercises sole responsibility for the role of FAO or is responsible for maintaining the first aid kit.

6.1.2   Where a first aid certificate has lapsed for a period of one month, the FAO allowance will cease.

6.1.3   When a FAO is on an extended period of leave of more than four weeks their allowance will cease until they return to work.

6.1.4   If it is found that a FAO is failing to adequately maintain the first aid kit or report first aid incidents via the incident/ hazard report online, then the allowance will cease and they will be removed from FAO status.

6.2      Hepatitis B Immunisation

6.2.1   All FAO’s are entitled to be immunised against Hepatitis B. An appointment with a University Health Service registered nurse should be made to commence the course of three (3) immunisations over six (6) months. One month after completion a blood test is required to confirm immunity. FAOs previously immunised should also be tested for confirmation of immunity.

7.      Delegations and Responsibilities

7.1      Associate Director, Health and Safety, Human Resource Services

The Associate Director, Health and Safety will, as appropriate, authorise payment of a FAO allowance or authorise cessation of payment of FAO allowance when the officer’s qualifications expire or in other circumstances as described above.

7.2      Safety and Wellbeing Advisor, Health and Safety

The Safety and Wellbeing Advisor will:

(i)    Coordinate appointments.

(ii)   Maintain training records.

(iii)  Advise managers and staff on first aid issues.

7.3      Organisational Development Unit

The Organisational Development Unit will arrange First Aid training courses and payments to training providers.

8.      Essential Supporting Documents

Work Health and Safety Policy 000972

Critical Incident Management Policy 000828

Privacy Management Plan 000258

Infection Prevention and Control for Blood Borne Pathogens Guideline 000165

Accident and Incident Reporting Requirements and Procedures

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated Regulations

Code of Practice: First Aid in the Workplace

Civil Liability Act 2002 No 22 – Part 8 Good Samaritans  

9.      Related Documents

Workplace Safety - First Aid

First Aid Kit Contents

Emergency Assistance 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


Approval AuthorityDirector Human Resource Services
Date Approved27 November 2012
Date for Review27 November 2015
Policy SponsorDirector Human Resource Services
Policy OwnerAssociate Director, Health and Safety
Policy ContactSafety and Wellbeing Advisor, Health and Safety
Amendment History

New procedure to replace the First Aid Officer Procedure 000121 and the First Aid Policy 000122, approved Acting Director Human Resource Services 27 November 2012