Training Safely During COVID

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Information

Expiration of current training certificates and requalification courses.

The HSE has announced 3 month extension to the validity for all certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16th March during the current Covid crisis

HSE statement in full

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981:  https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l123.pdf is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that  employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.     

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.  Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

There are a few sensible things you can do to protect yourself and others. ‘Coronavirus’ is actually a large family of viruses that includes the common cold. COVID-19 is a new (novel) virus that was first discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The exact mechanism of how COVID-19 spreads is understandably not yet proven, but it is very likely spread by the same mechanisms as others in the Coronavirus family. The virus is most likely spread in small droplets created when someone sneezes or coughs. These can spread up to 2 meters. If you cough on your hands, you are likely to contaminate everything you touch. If someone else then touches their mouth/food, picks their nose or wipes their eye with a contaminated hand, they can contract the virus. Follow this government advice to see if there is a risk that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

The exact time that COVID-19 can survive outside the body is not yet proven, but coronaviruses cannot usually live for more than a few hours outside of the body, so the WHO and the NHS say it is highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages or products received from affected countries.

To protect yourself

Frequently wash your hands or use a sanitiser gel. Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes unless you have just washed your hands. The World Health Organisation (WHO) say that there is no evidence that wearing a face mask in public protects you, although this is a wise precaution if you are in close contact (e.g. caring for) someone with a respiratory illness and fever. The patient should also wear a surgical mask if able.

To protect others

Precautions to stop it spreading include covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a tissue or a bent elbow – but never with a bare hand! If you use a tissue or a bare hand, IMMEDIATELY wash your hands or use an alcohol hand sanitiser. Dispose of the tissue straight away in a bin (DO NOT save it to use again!).

The majority of resuscitation manikins have features that help prevent the spread of infection (including respiratory infections such as COVID-19). Here are the options that can be used for manikin hygiene: If a learner re-uses a facemask for repeated CPR practise, they should ensure that the face mask is placed on the manikin same way around each time (so they blow into the same side of the mask each time).

Resuscitation Council UK Guidelines