5 Benefits of Having Employees First-Aid Certified

Knowing what to do during a medical emergency can not only save lives — it can be good for business.
First-aid Kit
Even if OSHA does not require first-aid certified for businesses in your industry, having staff members trained is a good idea. (Photo: Shutterstock)

First aid saves lives. So even if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not require first-aid training for businesses in your industry, it’s still a good idea for staff members to get some.

In many medical emergencies, time is of the essence, so having one employee — or several — trained in first aid can keep a scary situation from turning tragic. No, a barkeep or cashier attendant won’t be able to replace a doctor or emergency medical technician (EMT), but he or she can provide crucial care until help arrives, said Spencer Stelljes, regional sales manager for preparedness, health and safety services at the American Red Cross.

Spencer Stelljes

“Safety should be a priority for all small business owners since accidents and emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere.” -Spencer Stelljes (Photo: American Red Cross)

In the case of cardiac arrest, for instance, performing CPR within the first few minutes can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

“Safety should be a priority for all small business owners since accidents and emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere,” said Stelljes.

Here’s why having employees trained in first aid is a smart idea.

It’s the ultimate in customer service

Consider first aid the ultimate demonstration of good customer service. If a customer who’s choking or goes into cardiac arrest in your business gets appropriate first aid from one of your staff, chances are they won’t forget it — and neither will other customers who witnessed the event.

Seeing staff quickly and effectively handle an emergency can give customers great peace of mind, said Stelljes.

Employees certified in first aid have been trained in how to remain calm in a stressful situation. Not only does this allow them to assist the person in need, but it also helps maintain a semblance of order, which can be highly reassuring to customers.

It can help your own employees

It’s not just customers who are the potential beneficiaries of an employee’s first-aid knowledge; it’s other employees, too. In some cases, administering first aid can keep an injury, such as a burn, from becoming more serious. A swift response can also reduce recovery time for the patient. If the injured person is one of your employees, that means they can get back to work sooner, with less impact on your business.

Employees certified in first-aid are also taught prevention tactics, said Stelljes. Increasing safety awareness among your staff can help keep certain types of accidents and injuries from happening in the first place.

It’s good for society

First-aid training isn’t a skill your employees will use only at work. Knowing how to use an AED or perform CPR, bandage injuries and assist a choking victim are helpful no matter the time or place.

“Having your staff trained in how to prevent and respond to emergencies is an asset to any workplace, household and community.”
-Spencer Stelljes

It’s an investment not only in your business, but for society as well.

It boosts employee morale

Getting first-aid training as a group is a great team-building exercise. By learning helping skills together, you reinforce a culture of kindness in your workplace and bring employees closer together. This creates a more cordial (and safer) working environment, which can give a big boost to morale.

You may be able to get an insurance discount

CPR Training Red Cross

Increasing safety awareness among your staff can help keep certain types of accidents and injuries from happening in the first place.
(Photo: American Red Cross)

Some insurance providers offer a discount if your employees are first-aid certified, said Stelljes. Check with your agent to see if your carrier provides this option and what the requirements are.

If you are interested in getting your staff first-aid certified, the Red Cross offers a wide selection of programs that can be customized to meet the needs — and budget — of your small business, said Stelljes. Training courses are offered on everything from first-aid and CPR to basic life support and bloodborne pathogens. Owners should contact their OSHA and state/local regulatory agencies to find out about any training requirements and what level of training is needed before signing up for a course, he said.

People interested can contact their local Red Cross Chapter for more information.

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