Farms are often in remote areas, where help can be a long time coming. A quick response is critical. If you know what to do, you can improve an injured person's chance of survival. Take a first aid course! Get information on first aid courses in your area that are specifically farm related. You will be trained to administer CPR and to deal with wounds, burns, breaks and shock. These skills may save a life someday.
The minimum basics for first aid on the farm:
- Get trained. Take first aid training and make sure you update your training on a yearly basis. St. John's Ambulance offers first aid courses. Call the St John's Provincial office at 1-800-665-7114 for more information.
- Locate first aid kits in farm buildings and machinery. Know where the closest kit is to your work area. Ensure first aid kits are well labelled so they are easy to find.
- List emergency numbers at each phone along with legal land locations or rural addresses to give to the emergency operator.
- If possible, have a cell or mobile phone with you out in the field. If you or someone else gets hurt away from the farm yard, you can call for help.
- In an emergency, stay calm. The victim will be reassured by your confidence. Give first aid. Seek proper medical attention as necessary.
Detailed and current information is readily available on the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety website (Schedule 2). This website lists several types of first aid kits, depending on the number of workers and distance from main worksite along with other helpful information to help you get prepared for your specific operation.
The following is a list of first aid contents and supplies recommended by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. This is the standard used by other industries for emergency first aid treatment. The list for a Number 1 First Aid Kit contains enough material for up to nine workers, and includes:
- 10 antiseptic cleansing towelettes, individually packaged
- 25 sterile adhesive dressings, individually packaged
- 10 - 10 centimetres x 10 centimetres sterile gauze pads, individually packaged
- 2 - 10 centimetres x 10 centimetres sterile compress dressings, with ties, individually packaged
- 2 - 15 centimetres x 15 centimetres sterile compress dressings, with ties, individually packaged
- 2 conform gauze bandages - 75 millimetres wide
- 3 cotton triangular bandages
- 5 safety pins - assorted sizes
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 pair of tweezers
- 1 - 25 millimetres x 4.5 metres of adhesive tape
- 1 crepe tension bandage - 75 millimetres wide
- 1 resuscitation barrier device with a one-way valve
- 4 pairs of disposable surgical gloves
- 1 first aid instructional manual (condensed)
- 1 inventory of kit contents
- 1 water proof waste bag
When an accident occurs on the farm, it's imperative to act quickly. In order to do so, it's even more important to have the proper training, the right materials and the tools close at hand to take control of the situation.
Every farm family should have a first aid kit. By having a complete first aid kit in a busy work area, such as in the tractor, shop or kitchen, you can be prepared to save a limb or even a life if and when the worst does occur.
Putting together your farm first aid kit begins by looking around your home. Be imaginative! Dressings and bandages can be made from old sheets or hockey tape could be substituted for adhesive tape. Many of these items can be found in your own home.
Start your search for these items today!
Alberta Farm Safety Program
or toll-free: 310-FARM (3276)