Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke

dizziness & confusion, nausea, fainting, muscle cramps, headaches, heavy sweating, tiredness, temp +38C, severe thirst.

What to do?
Move them to a cool place
Lie them down and raise their feet slightly
Get them to drink plenty of water (or sports/rehydration drinks)
Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.

If they do not recover within 30 minutes, they may develop Heatstroke.

HEATSTROKE is a medical emergency and you should call 999.

People with heatstroke may stop sweating, even though they are too hot, their temperature may pass 40C and they may have seizures or lose consciousness.

#Safety First

Return to the Workplace

For businesses and public services, quickly getting to grips with Covid-19 safety guidelines and putting the right procedures in place have been essential to keeping themselves, their colleagues, customers and service users safe.

An estimated 20 million individuals in the UK worked from home during the Coronavirus pandemic compared to pre-lockdown figures of less than 2 million. Employees have been faced with numerous challenges concerning this sudden workplace change, including remote technology, homeschooling and homeworking, mental health challenges and furloughing. 

No one wants to see another national lockdown, so here are some essential steps and useful reminders for businesses and organisations, as more people return to the workplace and businesses open their doors to the public.

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

  • A first step for any business or organisation is to consider how public health guidance impacts on your workplace and the way in which you manage workspaces and provide your services to others. Like all risk assessments, it should be a ‘live’ document, that is reviewed and updated regularly and any actions suitably communicated to your employees, customers or service users.

Preparing Safe Workspaces

  • Are your utilities are all safe and operating correctly? If your water system has been static you may need consider the risk of legionella or other water contamination.
  • It is important any equipment you use can be relied on when you return to work. Electrical equipment, mechanical parts, seals, lubricants and batteries can all deteriorate when not in use. Check initial procedures, manufactures information and industry guidance and safely test any equipment with a pre-use inspection, before it’s needed.
  • Check for out of date products, gas concerns, security lighting and any setting or timers.
  • Consider other safety procedures that require actions by individuals in an emergency i.e. fire evacuation, first aid and CPR.
  • Can staff, customers, and service users enter, move around and leave the workplace safely and maintain physical distance? Do you have shared facilities that need to be considered i.e. toilets, kitchens and reception areas?

Prevent the Spread

  • Your premises are likely to need a deep clean, before it fully opens. Look at your cleaning practices and develop hygiene procedures to reduce the risk of infection. Could you provide sanitising stations for employees, customers and services users? Take the opportunity to review your cleaning schedule and enhance cleaning practices, like wiping down equipment and tools, as well as frequent touch surfaces.
  • Unhygienic surfaces attract germs, vermin and dust. This can be very harmful, triggering dust related illness like asthma or present a serious fire risk. You may need to consider improving ventilation of your workspace?
  • The safest distance is still 2m, where possible ensure that the 2m rule is in place. If this is not possible – ensure the correct PPE is available; is used correctly and can be disposed of safely.

Looking After Staff, Customers and Service Users

  • Many business and services have adapted incredibly well during lockdown and found innovative ways to provide their services. As a result, it may still be possible for staff to continue to work from home, have flexi- working hours or stagger shifts into the workplace, but this will require prior consultation with your employees and senior management. Equality, Inclusion & Diversity policies should be given due consideration.
  • It is important you know if everyone is mentally and physically fit to return to work. Individuals’ mental or financial health could be suffering following the lockdown and they may need time and support to adapt a full return to work.
  • Is your staff CPD up to date? Substantial time away from the workplace can mean that certain skills take time to return and may require a period of adjustment or ‘familiarisation’. The speed and use of tools and equipment like the use of sharps, forklifts and manual handling tasks could initially pose an increased risk. The way businesses recruit and on board new team members, or conduct staff inductions for people who have been furloughed or spent significant time working from home, should be reviewed.

We joined the Mental Health Charter

… and we’re proud to play our part in promoting mental health awareness, and show our commitment to improving mental well-being in the workplace.

“The purpose is to provide a flexible and consistent framework to enable all businesses to access mental health support, provide awareness and training and put in place a structure and systems to support people in the workplace.Mental Health Charter

Abacus Training Centre provide world class health & safety training, and offer bespoke Mental Health First Aid Training. We know that every sector continues to face its own set of challenges due to the pandemic, and the cost of ill-health to employers. We want take the fear and stigma out of discussing mental health in the workplace.

The Long Stretch?

Phew, finally, it’s February! The New Year heralded a new set of lockdown restrictions and the Government asked us to stay at home … again. For many of us, our homes have become places of work and education. So whether you’re taking care of business from home; looking after your children and supporting their home learning or looking for work – chances are, you’re spending quite a bit of time online or staring at a screen.

With the onset of a cold, dreary winter; school & business closures and continued uncertainty, you would be forgiven for lacking motivation and falling back on old habits that you broke during the last Lockdown. Feels a bit ‘Groundhog Day’, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, some of these old habits can have a detrimental effect on your health and well-being.

We have a glimmer of hope in the UK’s testing and vaccine strategy, but that isn’t going to impact on the majority of the population until later in the year … so what can we do in the meantime to continue to look after ourselves and our families, whilst spending more time in the home?

Public Health England has just launched the ’Every Mind Matters’ campaign, (and if you can bare looking at another website, we think it’s well worth a look). If you’re an employer with staff working from home, it offers some useful strategies that you could discuss with your workforce. You can also contact us on 01785 501750 for more information about our Mental Health First Aid Training course.

‘Every Mind Matters’ suggests seven strategies to help us cope with the continued lockdown and better manage working from home:

  1. Set & stick to a daily routine
  2. Make a dedicated workspace
  3. Give yourself regular breaks
  4. Stay connected with friends, families, work colleagues and neighbours
  5. Set boundaries with members of your household
  6. Think longer term
  7. Be kind to yourself

No one is immune from stress, anxiety or loneliness. A new survey, commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) at the start of the current government restrictions, reveals the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on adults’ mental wellbeing across the country.

So whilst you’re taking care of business….who’s taking care of you?

If you’re feeling concerned, worried, stressed or low, or if you are worried about someone you know contact The Staffordhsire Mental Health Helpline on 01782 406000.

Covid 19 & First Aid

If you’re feeling unsure about providing others with first aid – here are some helpful tips on how to make it as safe as possible:

A lot of first aid is very straight forward and, if your casualty is conscious and able, you can still help them whilst maintaining social distance.

For example, if they’re bleeding heavily, you can ask them to apply pressure to the wound while you call 999 or 112.

Keep talking to the casualty and offering reassurance. The fact that you’re there, remaining calm and getting help will go a long way to helping someone who may be feeling panicky or scared.

Ask other people present to help you. For example, calling emergency services 999 or 112 and placing them on loudspeaker, or helping maintain social distance of those present.

The risks to the first aider are low, especially if good hygiene practices are followed:

  • Wear a face mask, gloves and apron, if available to you.
  • Wash your hands before and after any contact with someone. Washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser gel if water is not available will significantly reduce the risk of infection.
  • Maintain social distance, wherever possible.
  • Take a short risk assessment. Ask the individual if they have travelled within the past 14 days and/or have experienced any of the following symptoms:
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Flu like symptoms
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • In any first aid situation, always consider your safety first.

If your casualty is seriously unwell, unconscious or not breathing, they are going to need your assistance. The following tips will help reduce any risk of infection:

When checking for breathing:

If they are talking – then they’re breathing! If not, then look for a rise and fall of their chest or stomach, and normal breathing. DO NOT listen for breathing by placing your face close to a person’s mouth.


New Covid-19 guidance from the Resuscitation Council UK advises NOT to perform recue breaths on a casualty.

  • If a casualty is unresponsive and not breathing normally, call 999 or 112 for immediate assistance.
  • Use a towel or piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose of the casualty.
  • Start chest compressions straight away. Do not give rescue breaths.
  • If someone else is present, ask them to fetch the nearest defibrillator, if available.

Continue to perform chest compression only CPR until:

  • emergency help arrives and takes over  
  • the person starts showing signs of life and starts to breathe normally
  • you are too exhausted to continue (if there is a helper, you can change over every one-to-two minutes, with minimal interruptions to chest compressions)
  • a defibrillator is ready to be used.

News just in!

We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Pandemic Response Award at Keele University’s Breaking the Mould Awards 2020 @KeeleBusiness

Breaking the Mould shines a spotlight on the growing innovation-led organisations, businesses, not-for-profits and charities that have benefitted from the suite of innovative support programmes that are available from Keele University.

The awards celebrate Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s engaged collaborative community, and culminates in an exciting online celebration of local enterprises that are the best in their field.

We’re looking forward to the awards evening in December…wish us luck!

Water Rescue

On the 22nd July, 4 fire fighters were taking part in water rescue training having recently completed their FPOS training.

It was around 12:30pm when we heard a cry for help from the water. We were situated in the car park having lunch at this point so we quickly donned our dry suits and proceeded to the riverbank. It became apparent quite quickly that the unknown male was face down in the water as his friend was trying to keep him afloat but was physically exhausted and therefore his face had gone underwater.

I turned around and shouted to FF Scullion to get the FPOS kit and bring it over to the riverbank. FF Meason and myself (FF Maddern) tried to locate signs of life, but could not find any, I made sure the airways were clear and we began CPR. It became apparent after removing his top to fix the defib pads that the male had a pacemaker. This was not a concern so we still attached the pads. After approximately 30 sets of compressions and 2 shocks on the defib, the man came back around. He was then placed on oxygen.

We quickly got him up to the car park and waited for the Ambulance. Once the ambulance arrived I then gave them a casualty hand over and assisted them where needed.

The man was taken to hospital and was alive and doing well when he left our care.

I truly believe that if it wasn’t for our FPOS training that we have received then this man sadly wouldn’t have made. It was because of our fast acting and confidence in our training that we had received that he survived. The training we receive ensures that we keep calm under pressure and I believe this also had a big price to pay in this incident.

FF Maddern

New AED Sign and Poster

The British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council have developed a new AED location sign and supporting information poster.

New AED Sign and Poster

The new sign and poster have been created to reinforce the following key messages:

  • Anyone can use an AED – you do not need prior medical or first aid training
  • It is easy to use – just follow the instructions
  • It is for use on an unresponsive person not breathing normally

The new AED sign, supporting poster and information can be found on the Resuscitation Council website.

Emergency First Aid at Work & First Aid at Work Qualifications

Both the Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work and the Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work have been reviewed recently.

During the review, it was decided that the Emergency First Aid at Work qualification should be re-levelled and, from October 2017, it will be a Level 3 qualification.

The content of both qualifications has changed very little, but changes have been made to the assessment criteria to ensure the focus rests on the key areas of the qualifications. Additional guidance has been added to the structure of both qualifications to ensure that learners and training providers have a clear understanding of all aspects of the qualifications.

The new Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work and Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work qualifications will be launched on the 1st October 2017.

Paediatric First Aid – Early Years Foundation Stage

The Department of Education have launched a new statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is a mandatory framework that all early years providers in England must adhere to.

The new framework came into force on the 3rd April 2017 and sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old for maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools (including free schools and academies), all providers on the Early Years Register and all providers registered with an early years childminder agency (CMA).

Early years providers must have at least one person, who holds a current full paediatric first aid qualification (this is the 2 day (12 hour) paediatric first aid course), on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.

Childminders, and any assistant who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must also hold a full current Paediatric First Aid certificate.

Providers should take into account the number of children, staff and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.

All other child care staff who are included in the mandatory staff to children ratio, must hold either a full Paediatric First Aid (as above) or Emergency Paediatric First Aid qualification, (this is the 1 day (6 hour course), and gain this qualification within three months of starting work.

Exceptions can be made if a person is unable to gain a paediatric first aid qualification if a disability would prevent them from doing so, but wherever possible they should still attend a paediatric first aid course and obtain a certificate or written letter of attendance.

To read the full guidelines click here