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Quick! Brush up on the Heimlich manoeuvre to save the life of a choking employee!

by , 10 May 2013
Lunch time is usually a relaxed part of the workday, with employees turning their focus away from work stress to eat and catch up on admin. But it also poses specific lunchtime health and safety risks you need to be aware of. For example, what would you do if one of your employees started to choke on her sandwich? Here's a quick refresher on how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre...

More than 240 pupils at Belper School are receiving first aid training after one of the children saw her mum choking and was inspired to learn what to do in an emergency, says BelperNews.
But it's not just children who benefit from learning the basics of first aid.
Make sure your company's appointed a first aider and trained them on specific lunchtime health and safety risks…
Because 'if your company employs five or more employees, it must meet the minimum first aid requirements,' warns Richard Swift in the Health and Safety Advisor.
This means you need to make sure at least one of your employees is appointed as a first aider and trained in first aid procedures to ensure you're complying with the general safety regulations stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, says FSP Business.  
In the case of a choking employee, your first aider will need to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre, also known as the 'choke saver', says Burlington.org.
To do so, your first aider needs to first notice that the employee is choking.
If the victim is coughing strongly or able to talk, let them first try to expel whatever's causing the choking using her own efforts.
But watch her, as clear sign that the employee's airway is blocked is that she won't be able to cough or speak, says eHow.
That's the cue to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre immediately.
Learn the three steps to performing the Heimlich manoeuvre today!
  1. To do so, ask the choking person to stand, then pace yourself behind the standing victim.
  2. Then, place your arms around his waist, make a fist with one hand and place your thumb toward the victim, just above her belly button.
  3. Grab your fist with your other hand and deliver five strong upward squeeze-thrusts into the abdomen.
That should dislodge what's causing the victim to choke, says eHow.
If this doesn't work and the collapses with weakened pulse and breathing, your first aider can begin CPR, says FSPBusiness.
Knowing the Heimlich manoeuvre could save the life of a choking employee, so make sure your first aiders know how to do it today!

Get 5 legally compliant training modules for less than R200 each when you click here

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