What do I do in an emergency?


Check whether the casualty is conscious. If the casualty is unconscious or semi-conscious.

Check the mouth for any obstruction.

Open the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin using the tips of two fingers.

If the casualty has stopped breathing and you are competent to give Artificial ventilation, do so. Otherwise send for help without delay.


In most cases, expert help should be available fairly quickly, but if you Have an unconscious casualty, it is vital that his or her airway is kept clear. If you cannot keep the airway open as described above you may need to turn The casualty in the recovery position. The priority is an open airway.


Open wounds should be covered after washing your hands if possible. Apply a dressing from the first aid kit over the wound and press firmly on top of it with your hands or fingers. The pad should be tied firmly in place. If bleeding continues another dressing should be applied on top of the existing dressing. Do not remove the original dressing. Seek appropriate help.


Minor injuries of the sort which the person would treat themselves at home can be treated from the contents of a first aid kit. The casualty should wash his or her hands and apply a dressing to protect the wound and prevent infection. In the work place, special metallic and/or coloured or waterproof dressings may be supplied according to the circumstances. Wounds should be kept dry and clean.


If a broken bone is suspected, obtain expert help. Do not move the casualty unless they are in a position which exposes them to immediate danger.


Burns can be serious if in doubt seek medical help. Cool the part of the body affected with cold water until the pain is relieved. Though cooling may take ten minutes or more this must not delay taking the casualty to the hospital.

Certain chemicals may irritate or damage the skin, some seriously. Treat in the same way as for other burns. It is important that irrigation continues even on the way to the hospital if necessary. See treatment options.

Remove any contaminated clothing which is not stuck to the skin. Make sure that you avoid contaminating yourself with the chemical.


All eye injuries are potentially serious. The casualty will be experiencing intense pain in the affected eye with spasm of the eyelids. Before attempting to treat, wash your hands.

If there is something in the eye, irrigate the eye with clean, cool water or sterile fluid from a sealed container to remove loose material. Do not attempt to remove anything that is embedded.

If chemicals are involved, flash the open eye with water or sterile fluid for at least 10-15 minutes. Apply an eye pad and send the casualty to the hospital.


Electrical and gassing accidents can occur in work places. You must assess the danger to yourself and not attempt assistance until you are sure it is safe to do so. If the casualty has stopped breathing and you are competent to give artificial ventilation and cardiac resuscitation, do so. Otherwise send for help without delay.


Many everyday aliments can arise at work. Giving medicines is not within the scope of first aid at work.

Application of common sense and reassurance of the casualty is the most valuable help that you can give. If in doubt about the seriousness of condition, expert help should be sought.

If the casualty has his or her own pain relief tablets, they may take these as appropriate. People assisting should not offer medication of their own or belonging to others.


If you have a sudden issue with your teeth, such as severe tooth ache or a broken dental appliance, you may have to book an emergency appointment with your dentist. See more information.

Seeking medical attention as soon as possible means you will get treated urgently, rather than letting the problem get worse, which could lead to even bigger problems.


It’s good practice that any injuries or cases of illness which have been treated are recorded in a book. Include the following information in your entry:

  • Date, Time and Place of the incident or treatment
  • Name and Job of injured or ill person
  • Details of the injury/illness and the treatment given
  • What happened to the person immediately afterwards (e.g. went home, went back to work, went to the hospital)
  • Name and signature of the person providing the treatment

This sort of information can help identify accidents trends and possible areas for improvement In the health and safety risks.