In Practice - Implementing Medical Standards
Our extensive knowledge in the development, review and implementation of medical procedures is evidenced by two recent client examples, operating in the industrial and logistics and renewables sectors.
Recently, we were asked to review a port logistics operator’s existing on-site medical procedures and first aid equipment provision, due to the level of on-site incidents and casualties which had occurred.
We set about devising a bespoke medical standard for this particular organisation, taking into consideration;
- Site-specific information
- The level of risk
- Nature of recent incidents
- The level of first aid and medical response required
Our partner’s situational analysis;
- A high-risk environment
- Existing health and safety culture
- High level of casualties
- Incident response times needed to reduce
During this process, we were able to quickly identify the common theme of multiple major trauma incidents, which could not be properly handled by their current capabilities and equipment.
The review process pinpointed a number of challenges including;
- Response times needed to be improved (up to 12 minute response time for attending incidents)
- The level of existing equipment provision adequate for the level of on-site risk and the nature of incidents occurring
- Employee skills gap
- Fixed position of existing defibrillators
As part of improving medical standards for our partners, we provided a thorough debrief and post-incident review.
Bespoke Training Programmes
We sourced equipment which was specifically tailored to their environment and developed a bespoke training programme for all of their on-site first responders, which helped their competency levels, confidence and levels of response at an incident.
We sourced the clinical governance to allow these responders to administer safe pain relief as well as use more advanced airway techniques and trauma management systems.
Communications And Mobilisation Strategy – For Safe, Timely Resource Delivery
A communications and mobilisation strategy was then implemented for alerting responders to incidents, to ensure that by following a structured team response, personnel and equipment arrived at the injured person promptly and safely.
The final phase of this project evolved around implementing a post incident briefing system accounting for the psychological distress, which can be encountered by not only the injured person and the rescuer, but also anyone else that becomes involved, even if they didn’t witness the incident.
Having been tasked with writing, developing and implementing medical standards on our partner’s behalf, it resulted in our partner holding regular structured reviews of processes and refresher training to ensure that their medical standards and first aid procedures are maintained and continue to be as effective as possible.
Credible outcomes achieved included;
- The development of a team approach with individuals understanding their responsibilities
- Our partner’s response team are better prepared for handling medical incidents
- Improved incident response times (not exceeding 3 minutes)
- Specialist equipment such as user-friendly defibrillators are now located in mobile units
- Unique stretchers were implemented which are able to fit on their vessels
Increased Competency And Skills – Preventing Skills Fade
It has also resulted in HFR Solutions CIC providing several of the partner’s response team with the skills and experience to be workplace medical trainers, which allows our partner to deliver regular maintenance of skills training sessions, definitely resulting in reduced skills fade.
For our partner, who operates in a high-risk environment, a 75% improvement in response times and the introduction of user-friendly and noise controlling defibrillators has helped their operation implement safer systems of work.
A high-risk and challenging environment such as an offshore operation provides additional obstacles to overcome, for example providing rescuers with access to the incident scene.
Given some recent notifiable examples affecting the renewables sector highlighted below, we were tasked with undertaking a thorough review of Centrica’s medical procedures, which identified the aforementioned issue as well as tackling incident response times and the provision of essential medical equipment.
- A vessel colliding with an offshore wind turbine resulting in damage to the vessel, some onboard crew being taken to the hospital, luckily nobody was seriously hurt.
- An offshore wind technician suffering a heart attack and having to undertake a self-rescue and evacuation.
During this review, Centrica’s emergency response procedures were tested with a live casualty evacuation from the spinner in the nacelle, leading them to request HFR Solutions CIC to conduct specific on‐site rescue training.
As a result of reviewing their existing medical procedures as part of the Boy Scout project, the following outcomes were achieved;
- All new processes meet legal compliances
- In-situ testing of plans to ensure viability (rescues from a vessel/items dropped from the top of a wind turbine)
- A step-by-step dedicated rescue programme and emergency process
- Timed rescues
- Increased capabilities – equipping contractors and business partners with the confidence to undertake rescues where appropriate
- Equipment – correct equipment for specific scenarios
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