12/04/2009

Training, personal protective equipment for safeguarding emergency medical responders

The US American Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a
guidance document, Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders During
Treatment and Transport of Victims of Hazardous Substance Releases, that
addresses adequate training and personal protective equipment for emergency
medical services responders who assist victims of hazardous substance release
incidents.

This document, a companion to OSHA's Best Practices for Hospital-Based First
Receivers, advises that employers provide, at a minimum, awareness level
training to EMS responders. Workers receiving awareness-level training are not
permitted to rescue or treat contaminated patients, but are responsible for
notifying authorities if they suspect hazardous substances at a scene.
Operations-level training teaches EMS responders skills for entering hazardous
areas and caring for contaminated individuals.

"Healthcare workers, including EMS personnel, play a critical role in a
community's emergency response program," said acting Assistant Secretary of
Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Emergency workers who protect the lives of
victims at dangerous incidents should not risk becoming victims themselves
because they lack proper training and protective clothing."

The guidance document helps employers to determine the type of training and PPE
needed by anticipating the EMS responder's role in a worst-case scenario,
identifying hazards associated with the responder's assigned duties, and
developing an emergency response plan detailing safe accomplishment of those
duties.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration