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First Aid and Firework Safety

Training Expertise Firework SafetyAre you planning on going to a firework display this weekend?

Thanks to British (7114) and European safety standards, fireworks are safer now than they have been in the past.

The NHS fireworks fact sheet highlights some thought provoking points;
– Fireworks are not toys. They are explosives and the injuries they can cause can be devastating.
– Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil.
– Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blowtorch.
– The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties.
– Around half of all injuries are to children under the age of 17.
– The most common injuries are to hands, followed by the eyes and face.

Unfortunately though, accidents do happen.

To understand how to deal with burns or scalds or other injuries, please book onto one of our First Aid Courses. See our Course Diary for availability & cost.

The following NHS advice for the first aid treatment of burns and scalds:

  • Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water or smothering flames with a blanket. Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin. However, don’t try to remove anything that is stuck to the burnt skin because this could cause more damage.
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water for 10 to 30 minutes, ideally within 20 minutes of the injury occurring. Never use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances such as butter.
  • Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person’s body temperature drops below 35ºC (95ºF). This is a risk if you are cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
  • Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
  • Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when using over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.

When to go to hospital

Once you have taken these steps, you will need to decide whether further medical treatment is necessary. Go to a hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department for:

  • large or deep burns – any burn bigger than the affected person’s hand
  • full thickness burns of all sizes – these burns cause white or charred skin
  • partial thickness burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals – these are burns that cause blisters
  • all chemical and electrical burns

Also get medical help straight away if the person with the burn:

  • has other injuries that need treating
  • is going into shock – signs include cold clammy skin, sweating, rapid shallow breathing and weakness or dizziness
  • is pregnant
  • is over 60 years of age
  • is under five years of age
  • has a medical condition such as heart, lung or liver disease, or diabetes
  • has a weakened immune system (the body’s defence system), for example because of HIV or AIDS, or because they’re having chemotherapy for cancer

If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention. Some symptoms may be delayed and can include coughing, a sore throat, difficulty breathing, singed nasal hair or facial burns.

See recovering from burns and scalds for information on how serious burns are treated.

Water Safety; Managing Groups Near Water


Managing Groups Near Water

Managing Groups Near Water

Training Expertise has a long history of working with people heading outside, be it to work in remote locations around the world or to carry out some fieldwork in the local park.

We are therefore excited to have been working with the Royal Geographical Society on the National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP).

So many Excursions, Adventures or Expeditions venture on or near bodies of water – whether a school trip rock pooling, an overseas expedition or university research into fluvial dynamics, or marine ecosystems.

Visiting water can often be the most memorable aspect of any work. Ensuring that these experiences are as safe and enjoyable as they can be for both you and the people in your care is essential.

The Royal Life Saving Society (UK)’s NWSMP is a safeguarding programme that can be tailored to your specific Occupational Water Safety needs.

The NWSMP gives people the knowledge base and confidence to plan in advance and the flexibility to dynamically assess the risks on the ground.

The course will teach delegates to analyse, plan and respond to a range of factors. This includes;
– What has the weather been like recently?
– How will this affect the activity?
– Are there other people in the vicinity that could pose a threat to our activity, or vice versa?
– What should you do in the event of an accident?
– What if someone has an accident in the water?
– How should I affect a rescue?
– How much time do you have to get them out?
– What should you do with the rest of the group?

This Nationally Recognised pragmatic, principle based course is fast becoming the standard for organisations employing people that work on or near water.

Our next course is on 11-15 September 2015. This course will be covering Levels 1-3, Beach, River, Still Water and In-Water Rescue. Day One will be in the River Thames near Reading and Day Two in the sea near Christchurch.

To learn more about this course, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

HSE & Outdoor First Aid Training

Since October 2013 there has been a lot of confusion regarding how First Aid has been impacted by the changes to HSE First Aid Governance. Where does Outdoor First Aid Training fit in?

Training Expertise First Aid Explore, 2013 (36)

The fundamentals;

– What course should I choosee?
~ The HSE have handed the employer the power to choose what first aid provision is necessary in their work place.
~ If your work means that you spend most of your time outdoors, you no longer have to do a first aid course designed for office workers. Choose one tailored to your working environment.
~ For people working outdoors our 16hr Remote Emergency Care, Outdoor First Aid for Fieldworkers – L2 (FAFW -L2) is the perfect alternative.

– Is this going to cost me lots of money?
~ No. Many employers are choosing 16hr (2day) outdoor based first aid courses over the 18hr (3day) First Aid at Work (FAW) course.
~ When compared to the FAW course the FAFW-L2 is much cheaper. Being a two day course (but only two hours less contact time) you could be saving as much as £650, and that’s before taking into consideration time away from work.

– How many people should I have trained?
~ It is now up to you. The original guides were sensible, but with the saving on the course cost the more the merrier. We can certificate up to 12 people for the same cost. Our courses are costed on a per day basis!

– What about the Emergency First Aid at Work Course?
~ Our FAFW-L1 (8hr) runs at the same price as the old EFAW courses as they are all run in one day.
~ Being two hours longer this gives us more time for practice, detail and tailored content.

– Does this affect me if I still want one of the EFAW/FAW series courses?
~ No. We still deliver the Workplace First Aid FAW/ EFAW courses.
~ If your requirements haven’t changed then neither will the service you receive; outstanding training by outstanding trainers!

For more information; Please contact one of the Training Expertise Team.

First Aid Quiz time… ready, steady… GO

It is really important to keep your outdoor first aid and field safety skills up to speed, so stop what you are doing, strained your brain back to your last training course and see if you can answer these…

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Question 1

If you read our last newsletter – this should be an easy one!

You are out skiing.  Your friend falls at speed and immediately following the incident is confused and dizzy.  A few minutes later they are feeling fine and insist they are OK and continue skiing for the rest of the day.  At dinner that evening they feel sick and leave the table.  When you go to find them they say they have been sick but are feeling OK now and just want to go to bed.  What would you do?


The simple rule is any change in conscious level, following a head injury should go to hospital to be checked by a professional.  In particular now that symptoms have got worse rather than better we would be further concerned and should monitor them very carefully and if at all possible get them checked by a doctor.  It could be a concussion or a compression – one will generally get better, the other could get worse and even be fatal – so play it safe and get them checked.  If you would like more of a recap, check out our blog on dealing with head injuries.

Question 2

You are organising a geography fieldwork trip for a group of 30 undergraduates to the Low Tatras Mountains in Slovakia.  You are preparing a risk assessment – what would be your top five considerations…


OK – lots of potential for debate in coming up with a top five but we’ve gone with:

1 – Transport – probably has to come in any top five, sadly road traffic collisions account for most of the serious incidents which occur on overseas trips

2 – Downtime – management of what the students do when not in the program of study is a tricky business which needs some thinking about!

3 – Slips and falls in a mountainous environment – here we have both the common and relatively non-severe twists, sprains and breaks, and of course more serious falls from height.

4 – Weather – any factor which is as changeable and sometime unpredictable as the weather can be a major hazards.

5 – Wolves and bears – interesting one, the chances of a wolf or bear attack is really pretty slim, but clearly the consequences could be great so that’s snuck it into our top 5!

Hope you found our field safety and outdoor first aid quiz useful. If its time for you to update your risk management,  field safety or outdoor first aid skills then just get in touch.

Field Safety and First aid Quiz

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Following some great feedback on our New Year Quiz we plan to make the quiz a regular feature. We hope it helps you keep your skills up to date and fresh in your mind. So grab a cup of coffee, put on your best thinking hat and have a crack at these… 


Quiz question 1:

On returning to the youth hostel after a long day on the hills you come across an adult casualty collapsed in the car park who is unconscious and unresponsive, and not breathing. There is no one else in view what would you do…


You need to get help first – enter the youth hostel and rouse help or make a phone call yourself.  We have to assume the casualty has had a cardiac arrest and requires early defibrillation to give them the maximum chance of survival.  As soon as you have made the call, return to the casualty and then begin CPR with 30 compressions and then 2 breaths

Quiz question 2:

You are leading a 5 day trek with a group of 10 sixth form students and one teacher in the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.  You are accompanied by two local guides. You are camped in a small clearing in the jungle at the end of the first day of the trek.  One of the students is taken ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.  She is sick three times over the evening and has to make numerous visits to the toilet.  By the following morning she is exhausted, feeling weak and still being sick.  What would you do…


Not an easy one but certainly not uncommon!  And as with most scenarios the answer depends on lots of factors.  I think it is clear that the girl is not currently in a fit state to be embarking on 4 more days of trekking in the tropics.  Therefore the options are:

1 – To take a rest day with the whole group where you are.

2 –  To send the teacher and the local guide back with the sick girl and continue with the rest of the team.

3 – Turn the whole group round.

There’s never a hard and fast right or wrong here – it will depend on the experience of the teacher – the quality of the guides, the terrain you have passed through on day one and if you have time to extend the trek by a day, perhaps taking a rest day and seeing how she is on the following day.  Of course it will depend on how sick the girl is – are we happy that given a day’s rest she could walk back slowly with the teacher?  Of course we also have to consider the rest of the group – whilst we don’t want to cut short everyone’s experience we don’t want to push the group on with inadequate staffing and have to deal with a secondary issue.

My personal preferred option would be sit it out for a day.  To work with the local guide to teach the remainder of the group some jungle skills, perhaps shelter building or firelighting, then to assess and monitor the student through that day.  If she is no better by the next day then I would probably look to turn the whole team around to ensure getting her back safely.

A key thing is to ensure you have fully explained to everyone in advance that situations like this may occur and discuss what will happen.  If the only option which has ever been discussed is a 5 day trek from A to B, then it is far harder to deal with this situation when it comes up.

For the answers to both questions just follow the link to our first aid and field safety blog.

If its time for you to update your risk managementfield safety or outdoor first aid skills then just get in touch.

Field Safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Happy New Year to everyone.  We hope you have had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the adventures 2014 will bring. And what better way to welcome 2014, and to fill those difficult first few hours back in the office than to swot up on your outdoor first aid and field safety skills, to get you prepared for the 2014 field seasons. 

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Quiz question 1:

You are the first on the scene of a rock fall in the mountains.  You are an hour’s fast walk from the nearest road and have no phone reception.  You have the following casualties… what would you do?

Casualty 1 – Unconscious, fast shallow breathing, pale, cold and clammy
Casualty 2 – Alert, screaming of pelvic pain
Casualty 3 – Confused and slurred speech, small bleed from head
Casualty 4 – Conscious, panicking and broken right arm.


Firstly make sure it is safe for you to approach and shout for help, just in case anyone is nearby.

Then deal with the casualties in order of priority:

Casualty 1 – (Unconscious, fast shallow breathing, pale, cold and clammy) – is the most immediately serious – showing signs of shock – carry out basic AVPU, Airway, Breathing checks and ensure a Stable, Open, Draining Airway

Casualty 2 – Needs to be kept still, in case of a broken pelvis, they need to be reassured and monitored (perhaps by casualty 4!)

Casualty 3 – Is OK in the short term but needs the cut treating, and monitoring for signs of a compression injury.

Casualty 4 is probably going to be busy monitoring casualties 1 to 3 whilst you go and get help!

If you would like to update your skills check out our outdoor first aid and expedition first aid courses.

Quiz question 2:

You are part of a team of four researchers working in the Musandam Penisular in the north of Oman.  You have planned to work in pairs in the field collecting field sign of Arabian leopards.  You are told that there is reasonable mobile phone reception in the area.  What are the key elements of your safety and emergency plans…


With such small teams, communications and emergency management back up plans are crucial.  Should one team member become unwell or have an accident their partner is left in a very difficult situation.  Therefore testing the mobile phone coverage and ensuring each pair has their phones, with fully charged batteries will be part of the daily routine.  However you can’t always rely on these things so a simple back up plan of informing each other, and ideally an additional trusted person such as an in-country agent, of exactly the route planned each day and cut off times for return.

Expedition training and preparation is also important to ensure that all team members are aware of any specific hazards and can manage a first aid or other emergency.

Finally dynamic risk assessment is crucial – what if it turns out the terrain is far worse, or the mobile reception far more patchy… then we may have to rethink the plan, for example getting the whole team to work together.

Flexibility is the key and a constant eye on whether or not the existing safety measures are sufficient.

If its time for you to update your risk management,  field safety or outdoor first aid skills then just get in touch.

Graduate trainee course coordinator WANTED at Training Expertise!

We are currently recruiting for a new graduate trainee at TE.

The job is based at our Bramley office, near Basingstoke, Hampshire and is a full time role with an immediate start.

The details are below:

Training Expertise is a global provider of Safety Training; first aid, field safety and off road driving.

We are looking to recruit a graduate trainee to help expand the business. The role will involve:

~ Programme administration, including processing enquiries and bookings
~ Programme management, including staff and kit allocations
~ Staff management, including recruitment and training
~ Marketing, including the development and implementation of marketing initiatives to promote programmes
~ Client care, including quality assurance

The role has a structured career development plan linked to performance, and training and development opportunities are provided.

Starting salary £15,000 per annum, plus training budget.

Please send your CV to:

Tragic climbing death – a timely reminder of key outdoor skills in rock climbing safety

Well worth taking a few minutes to read this article and watch the video regarding some of the potential dangers of rubber band restrained quick draws.  Important key tips for climbers and as usual, a key outdoor skills and field safety message – check and know your gear well.

Incorrectly set up quick draw - BEWARE

The rubber band is the only thing holding a potential fall – check your kit carefully. UKC News, 09 Jul 2013

Sadly these lessons come out in the light of the tragic death of Tito Traversa so our thoughts go out to his family.  Please take a minute to read these top safety reminders from UKC.