Sue Killen, CEO of charity St John`s Ambulance is "challenging UK businesses to take action by providing first aid training to as many employees as possible as part of their corporate and social responsibilities or as an employee benefit."
Figures provided by the Office of National Statistics suggest that each year up to 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live.
Ms Killen and her charity point out that "many organisations have CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) policies or community initiatives that tackle problems we face as a society...by training more people in first aid they can give staff the ability to make an immediate difference."
The 150,00 figure quoted by SJA is not confined only to deaths in the workplace of course. By chance, the Health and Safety Executive has recently released information on the number of workplace deaths recorded in Britain between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010.
They have provided a regional breakdown - that infornation is available through the Central Office of Information website, though you have to search about a bit (click on the link for `News Distribution Service` and you should find it without too much trouble) - but that need not detain us here.
Nationally, the good news is that the total figure is a record low of 151, a significant reduction on the previous year`s figure of 178, which was itself a record low at the time. However, we would be wise to heed the words of Yorkshire and Humberside`s top Heath and Safety official, the strangely-named David Snowball ;
"Many of these deaths could have been avoided if simple and sensible precautions had been in place, and if workers were involved in devising the solutions to reduce risks."
Here are some useful links -
St John`s Ambulance - http://www.sja.org.uk/
Health and Safety Executive - http://www.hse.gov.uk/
Health and Safety Executive/First Aid - www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid
Institute of Occupational safety and Health - http://www.iosh.co.uk/
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - http://www.rospa.com/
Central Office of Information - http://coi.gov.uk/
Also useful is Hazards Magazine (http://www.hazards.org/) . I personally do not always care for the strident tone of Hazards, and I should stress that organisations like St John`s Ambulance probably wouldn`t want to be associated with it, but it remains essential reading for anyone interested in workplace safety.