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Are you ready for the unexpected? The adequacy of occupational health and safety (OHS) in workplaces has been called into question with recent research highlighting some organisations are not first aid ready. 


An estimated 117 Australian workers have been killed at work this year, and statistics reveal only 13% of organisations are confident they can use their first aid training to act quickly and decisively in a time of need.


St John Ambulance Queensland CEO Alex Hutton says: “Managers need to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to the safety of their employees, contractors, and other people in the workplace.


“Workplace safety undoubtedly becomes a larger issue as a company grows and it is necessary and essential for managers to assess their operations regularly,” Mr Hutton said.


“Many organisations focus on increasing their efficiency but to do that completely they need to look at more than just their bottom-line, they also need to maintain workplace safety, so their staff is ready for the unexpected, risks are minimised, and people have a safe workplace.


“The concerning truth is that while there are efforts to build a safe environment for employees, not many companies are up-to-date on their first aid training skills to handle situations from a paper cut to something as drastic as a heart attack or stroke.”


“It’s disturbing and quite scary, knowing 85% of the Australian workforce has a knowledge gap this serious,” Mr Hutton said.

“Many people head to work each day and take their return home safely for granted.


“The reality is an estimated 117 Australian workers have been killed at work this year, and each one of these could have been prevented in as little as five minutes if the right training and first aid skills were readily available during that person’s work activity.


“Every person deserves to go home safely at the end of each day; safety should be the number one efficiency in every workplace, and it will put business leaders at ease knowing their employees are prepared for the worst case scenario.


“There’s nothing worse than knowing you could have done something to help if you knew what to do.”


St John Ambulance Australia is urging business leaders to participate in the National Safe Work Month this October and ensure their procedures and employees are up-to-date with their first aid skills.


St John Ambulance Australia is a self-funded charitable organisation and not-for-profit with all funds raised going to charitable and humanitarian work such as first aid and health care; education and products; and social inclusion and reablement programs that empower the community with first aid skills.


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Interview opportunity

Alex Hutton – CEO of St John Ambulance Queensland is available for an interview to provide further information on St John Ambulance Australia Alive in Five campaign and National Safe Work Month.


About St John Ambulance Australia

Active in Australia for over 130 years, St John Ambulance Australia is a self-funding, charitable organisation active in all States and Territories, dedicated to helping people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger. Providing services to a broad scope of the community, St John Ambulance Australia is the country's leading supplier of first aid services and training.


About National Safe Work Month

This October 2016, is National Safe Work Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about committing to improving work health and safety in preventing injuries and saving lives. National Safe Work Month encourages discussion about safety at work and positive workplace stories from across Australia.



Media contact details:

Paula Price

General Manager, Marketing and Business Services

M: 0417 785 228

P: (07) 3253 0551


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