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Procedure: Provision of first aid services


To specify the requirements and responsibilities for providing first aid services at the Australian National University (ANU) and to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011 (Cth) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations, 2011 (Cth) and the University’s Work Health & Safety (WHS) Management System. This procedure sits within the University’s Work Health and Safety Management System and is linked to the University’s Work health and safety policy.


First aid is the immediate treatment or care given to a person suffering from an injury/illness until more advanced care provided, or the person recovers.

First aider is a person who has successfully completed a nationally accredited training course or an equivalent level of training that has given them the competencies required to administer first aid.

Senior First Aid Officer are persons who have successfully completed the “Apply First Aid” course.

Advanced First Aid Officer are persons who have successfully completed the “Apply Advanced First Aid” as well as a module on “Resuscitation”.

Automated External Defibrillator or AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient and is able to treat them through defibrillation.

Remote First Aid Officer are persons who have successfully completed the “Remote First Aid” course. “Remote First Aid” training is in addition to “Senior First Aid”.

Occupational First Aid Officer are persons who have successfully completed the “Manage First Aid in the Workplace” course.

First aid equipment includes first aid kits and other equipment (such as AED or eye wash or shower equipment) used to treat injuries and illnesses.

First aid facilities include first aid rooms, health centres, clean water supplies and other facilities needed for administering first aid.

Personal First Aid Emergency Plan (PFAEP) with a person’s consent, and only provided to applicable first aiders and kept confidential. A specific treatment plan for a person with specific needs required in a medical emergency e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart conditions, severe allergies or other known conditions which assists a first aid response in the event of a known medical emergency occurrence.

High-risk area in the context of this procedure means a workplace where workers are exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness and would require first aid.

Immunisation or vaccination is the processes of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce or enhance immunity.

Immunity is the body's resistance to disease.

Low risk areas in the context of this procedure means a workplace where workers are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness such as offices, shops or libraries. Potential work-related injuries and illnesses requiring first aid would be minor in nature.

Mental Health First Aid is the help given to someone developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Training in understanding of the signs and symptoms, is available at the University.

Vaccine is an agent that produces specific antibodies when introduced into the body, so conferring immunity against a specific disease.

Workers is anyone who carries out work for the University and include staff, Visiting and Honorary Appointments (VaHA), volunteers, titleholders, affiliates, labour hiring workers, student gaining work experience and contractors of ANU. HDR students may be ANU workers depending on their role but they are covered under the scope of this procedure.

Workplace - A workplace is a place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking (ie the University) and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be while at work.

The Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) Handbook provides practical guidance for University and its local areas on how to implement the University WHS Management System and defines the responsibilities and actions required by management and workers within the management system.



  1. This procedure is to be read in conjunction with the Working safely away from campus procedure.
  2. This procedure is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 First Aid.


College Deans, Research School and Service Division Directors

  1. College Deans, Research School and Service Division Directors or their delegate ensures workers and other persons are not exposed to unacceptable health and safety risks. Specific obligations for this procedure include:
  • ensuring all workers have access to first aid facilities and appropriate first aid equipment;
  • ensuring there is an adequate number of trained first aid officers, (Refer Section 11);
  • ensuring first aid assessments are conducted annually using WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix A;
  • ensuring first aid kits are checked frequently and contents are up-to-date in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 requirements;
  • ensuring the implementation of WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 within areas of their responsibility; and

  • any other responsibilities and actions specified in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 First Aid.

Local area WHS Officer and Occupational First Aider

  1. Local area WHS Officers or equivalent or occupational first aider are responsible for:
  • carrying out local area first aid assessment annually using WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix A to determining the first aid requirements in conjunction with the first aid officers in that area;
  • manage local area first aid record keeping in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Section 3.4.3 requirements;
  • monitoring the inspection and checking of first aid items allocated to the first aid officers;
  • monitoring the inspection and checking of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) through the nominated first aid officer/s; and
  • any other responsibilities and actions required in the WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 First Aid.

First aid officers

  1. The first aid officer classifications/categories and the corresponding training are as follows:
  1. First aid officers in the local area:
  • assist the WHS Officer or equivalent or Occupational First Aider in completing the annual local area first aid assessments;
  • are familiar with the local area hazard/s and risk/s posed by them, including particular conditions of their workplace;
  • upon treatment of an injury, report the incident via the Workplace safety incident and hazard reporting tool in lieu of the injured person and their supervisor as per the WHS Incident management procedure;
  • participate in the local area vaccination program if they wishes to;
  • undertake regular first aid kit checks
  • ensure that items within the kit have not deteriorated, are within their expiry dates, and in good working order; and
  • monitor restocking of used first aid kits and ensuring replacement after use; and
  • fulfill any actions required in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4
  1. The Work Environment Group is responsible for: Providing advice as required to Deans and Directors, local WHS Committees and Advisory Groups.
  2. Facilities and Services is responsible for maintaining the AED network, facilities wayfinding map and list of AED locations.

Local first aid procedures

  1. School Manager or WHS Officer/Manager, together with Occupational First Aiders, if applicable or Advanced First Aiders, if occupational first aiders are not appointed in consultation with Health and Safety Represents develop and implement local first aid procedures for medical emergencies which can potentially be life-threatening that require specific first aid processes (e.g. HF exposure, cyanide poisoning, peroxide explosion, confined spaces).
  2. These procedures are in line with local hazards using WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix H. This section is further explained in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Section Local First Aid Procedures.

First aid officer/worker ratios

  1. The number and composition of first aid officers considers the type, size and risks of the workplace as well as students, contractors, sub-contractors, visitors and volunteers engaged in the workplace.
  2. The University aims to ensure the number of workers trained in the first aid is relevant to the risks of local areas. First aid resources are as closely aligned to the below ratios as far as reasonably practicable:
  • Low risk areas (e.g. working in an office): have at least one first aid officer for every 50 occupants;
  • High-risk areas (e.g. working with chemicals in a laboratory): have at least one first aid officer for every 25 occupants; and

  • Remote areas: have at least one first aid officer for every 10 occupants.

First aid equipment

First aid kits

  1. All workers are able to access first aid kit without hindrance. The number of first aid kits required in an area/building be determined in first aid assessment. When conducting the first aid assessment, the following factors are considered including:
  • the number of levels in a building/structure;
  • ease of access to all areas within a building/structure;
  • the number of workers housed within the building/structure;
  • the number of first aid officers housed within the building/structure;
  • the nature of hazards within the building/structure (low/high risk hazards and tasks);
  • special locations (vehicle, remote sheds etc.); and
  • special requirements (Hydrofluoric acid, Cyanide, etc).
  1. First aid kits are:
  • kept in a prominent, accessible location and be able to be retrieved promptly;
  • located close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness;
  • inside or in the very close vicinity of laboratories or workshops and accessible to workers in that area; and
  • located on every permanently occupied floor of a multistorey building; and
  • portable if provided in vehicles owned by the University.
  1. Tier 2 and Tier 3 Inductions include locations of first aid kits and the first aid officer’s contacts details.
  2. Contents of first aid kits at minimum contain contents as specified in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix B for either the low and high risk area kits. Additional contents are also included based on the first aid assessment, taking into consideration the nature of the work conducted including known/expected hazards identified (med/high-risk), in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix B.
  3. Medication, including analgesics such as paracetamol and aspirin are not included in first aid kits. Workers requiring prescribed and over-the-counter medications carry their own medication for their personal use as necessary.
  4. It is recommended first aid kit maintenance be conducted by an external provider, who turn over more first aid stock as stockist as stored supplies expire at the same rate as stock held in kits.
  5. First aid kit contents for low risk areas kits are checked at least annually whereas for high risk areas and remote kits are checked at least six monthly.
  6. This section is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Section Planning, First Aid Assessment and Appendix B.

First aid signs

  1. First aid signs are in accordance with the AS 1319: 1994 - Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. Some example signs are shown in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix G. The signs are to be posted on first aid rooms and at least above the first aid kit to indicate the location of the first aid kit.

Emergency shower and eye wash stations

  1. Eye wash equipment is provided where there is a risk of hazardous chemicals or infectious substances causing eye injuries. Immediate access is provided to shower equipment in workplaces where there is a risk of:
  • exposure to hazardous chemicals that can result in skin absorption;
  • exposure to infectious or biohazardous substances;
  • serious burns to a large area of the face or body. This includes risk of chemical or electrical burns or burns that are deep, in sensitive areas or greater than a 20 cent piece; and
  • exposure to cryogenic liquid (showers are near cryogenic liquid usage areas).
  1. Shower facilities consist of:
  • an appropriate deluge facility;
  • a permanently rigged hand-held shower hose; and/or
  • a portable plastic or rubber shower hose that is designed to be easily attached to a tap spout—for small, relatively low risk workplaces where a fixed deluge facility would not be reasonably practicable, but the risk of serious burns is still foreseeable.
  1. Emergency shower and eyewash stations meet the Australian Standard, AS 4775-2007 Emergency eyewash and shower equipment and connected to the water supply. Where risk control requires an eyewash station, be plumbed to the potable water supply, tempered, and accessible within 10 seconds or less without major impediment.
  2. All emergency showers and eyewash stations be inspected tested and date recorded. This is a statutory requirement of the Facilities and Services - Campus Buildings and Requirements Manual (CBRM) administered by Facilities and Services.
  3. A green service record tag attached to each unit and marked upon completion of each service.
  4. Local areas check that F&S contractors have completed the green tag appropriately in workplace inspections or otherwise assign corrective actions.

Resuscitation equipment

Automatic external defibrillators

  1. Automatic external defibrillator (AED) can reduce the risk of fatality from cardiac arrest and is a useful addition to the workplace. Anyone can use an AED, following the visual and verbal prompts provided by the AED. Where a trained person is available, they operate the AED.
  2. AEDs are located in an area that is:
  • clearly visible and accessible from a buildings main entrance /lobby;
  • be accessible to anyone within 150 metres of the building in addition to the occupants of the building where the AED is located;
  • not obscured by columns and or plants;
  • housed in a dedicated AED box, fitted with an open door alarm to raise awareness of potential emergency situations;
  • at a convenient height for access (no higher than 48 inches above ground level);
  • indicated with signage that identifies the AED’s location; and
  • not exposed to extreme temperatures.

The requirement for an AED is an outcome of the local area first aid risk assessment.

  1. The School/Division Director or their delegate in consultation with WEG ensures the AED location signs and units are maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This includes maintenance of the pads and the checking and/or replacing of batteries. Refer to location map for all AEDs on campus.
  2. This section is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix B

Oxygen resuscitation equipment

  1. The need for oxygen resuscitation equipment and or medical oxygen cylinder is determined by a risk assessment.
  2. Oxygen resuscitation equipment are located where available in first aid room or within close proximity of the AED. The oxygen resuscitation equipment are administered by a competently first aider trained in resuscitation techniques.
  3. This section is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix B

First aid facilities

  1. The need for a first aid room is an outcome of the first aid assessment. See WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix E.1 for guidance.
  2. A first aid room is recommended for:
  • low risk workplaces with 200 workers or more (e.g. offices); and
  • high risk workplaces with 100 workers or more (e.g. laboratories and workshops).
  1. All new buildings that house 100 or more workers must have first aid room facility provision and local areas decide using the first aid assessment and Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix E.1 to determine if a first aid room is required.
  2. A first aid room:
  • is located within easy access to a sink with hot and cold water (where this is not provided in the room) and toilet facilities. Offers privacy via a screen or a door;
  • is easily accessible to emergency services (minimum door width of 1 metre for stretcher access);
  • is well lit and ventilated;
  • has an appropriate floor area (14 square metres as a guide); and
  • has an entrance that is clearly marked with first aid signage.
  1. First aid rooms are well maintained, managed and inspected frequently by an occupational first aider in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Appendix E requirements.
  2. The following items are provided in a first aid room:
  • a first aid kit appropriate for the workplace;
  • hygienic hand cleanser and disposable paper towels;
  • an examination couch with waterproof surface and disposable sheets;
  • an examination lamp with magnifier;
  • a cupboard for storage;
  • a container with disposable lining for soiled waste;
  • a container for the safe disposal of sharps;
  • a bowl or bucket with a minimum capacity of 2 litres;
  • electric power points;
  • a chair and a table or desk;
  • a telephone and/or emergency call system; and
  • the names and contact details of first aid officers and emergency organisations.

Contaminated items

  1. Soiled items with blood or bodily substance are placed into plastic bags, tied securely. Waste disposal complies with state or local government requirements. The person using sharps including needles, syringes and disposable probes disposes of items via an approved puncture resistant yellow sharps infectious waste labelled container in accordance with University Sharps handling procedure and AS 4031 – Non-reusable containers for the collection of sharp medical items used in health care areas and AS 4261 – Reusable containers for the collection of sharp items used in human and animal medical applications. Reusable items contaminated with blood and body substances require washing and disinfecting by a competent person or disposed of safely.

Emergency procedures

  1. Most University buildings have trained first aid officers. Seek help from either first aiders in own building or nearby occupied buildings in the case of medical emergencies. In a first aid emergency a nominated first aid officer is expected to take charge directing others on the scene until emergency services personnel take over.
  2. The University has developed general emergency procedures that guide workers on the appropriate action to take in the event of an emergency occurring on campus. Refer to Emergency response – medical emergency.
  3. During an emergency evacuation, first aid officers carry with them at least one first aid kit, and if available, the oxygen resuscitation equipment and AED (if located in their area) to the assembly point. First aid officers are identified by green hats and or vests with a white cross.

Health Service on Acton Campus

  1. Refer to Medical Services webpage for medical services available on the Acton Campus.


  1. In minimising the risk of contracting serious infections, the University’s
    Immunisation procedure identifies first aid personnel as having a higher risk of contracting serious infections than that faced by the general population. Therefore, the University seeks to minimise the risk by providing vaccination to first aiders. However it is the first aider’s decision on whether they take the vaccination. Refer to the University’s immunisation procedure, table 10 for vaccination.

Record keeping

  1. The reporting of injuries and illnesses recorded using Figtree in accordance to the WHS incident management procedure and WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.16 Incident and Hazard Reporting.
  2. Documentation related to first aid provisions is retained in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 Section 3.4.3 Record Management.

First aid allowance

  1. First aid officers are eligible to receive one of two allowances: senior or advanced level. The University’s Enterprise Agreement stipulates for a first aid officer’s eligibility to receive an allowance, they are required to hold a current:
  • certificate of first aid (senior or advanced level) competence or be a registered health professional such as medical practitioner or nurse; and
  • additionally hold a mental health first aid accreditation.
  1. Upon presentation of a current first aid and mental health first aid certificate’s, the University provides an allowance to authorised first aid officers in their local area. To claim the allowance, a completed and signed first aid allowance form be submitted to Human Resources.


  1. First aid officers hold nationally recognised Statement/s of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for the nationally endorsed first aid unit/s of competency or be a current registered medical practitioner (e.g. doctor or nurses).
  2. First aid officers attend recertification training, necessary in refreshing their first aid

knowledge and skills to confirm their competence in providing first aid. CPR training requires annual refresher training as the first aid component expires every three years. Mental health first aid also requires refresher training every 3 years.

  1. First aid officers wishing to receive first aid allowance are required to complete Mental Health first aid training. Mental Health first aid refresher requires recertification every three years.
  2. First aid officers may also need to be provided with additional first aid response instructions and training where specific situations may require their response. For example, where workers have severe allergies, or other types of medical condition brought to their attention by a worker in their Personal First Aid Emergency Plan (PFAEP). This instruction is in the form of a Local First Aid Procedure (for potentially life-threatening conditions that require specific first aid) or as per the Personal First Aid Emergency Plan.
  3. This procedure is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.4 First Aid.


Refer to ANU WHS Legal and Other Requirements Matrix.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Provision of first aid services
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000530
Version 10
Purpose To outline the provision of first aid services, including emergency services, at ANU.
Audience Staff, Students, Affiliates
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety
Effective Date 18 Dec 2020
Review Date 18 Dec 2023
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Delegations 0