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Incidents, injuries need first aid and more

Cheryl DeCooman for Progressive Dairy Published on 02 June 2021

An injury or illness may involve an employee or other individual and actually results in harm. Critical injuries are defined by each province. 

They are serious injuries that may be life-threatening; they also include broken bones, amputation, loss of consciousness and significant bleeding.



A near miss is an incident where no property was damaged and no actual injury happened, but if the circumstances were slightly different an injury or damage would have been likely. These situations are extremely important to learn from because they can reduce the risk of a similar situation in the future. For example, you are walking into the barn and almost slip on a patch of ice, but you catch yourself before you fall and there is no injury to yourself.

But what about if the next person who encounters the patch of ice falls, hits their head and becomes unconscious? What if this next person is pregnant and the fall could seriously injury themselves and their baby? This is why it is important to report near-miss incidents, investigate and take action on the cause, so the danger is eliminated.

A non-occupational injury or illness is something that may happen in the workplace but is not directly related to the work being completed. This may include a heart attack or asthma attack.

Other types of incidents include motor vehicle incidents, property damage, fires or chemical spills.


The first priority when someone is injured is to attend to their injuries. This may mean getting first aid or some other medical treatment if required. This is the priority for non-occupational illnesses as well.


The next priority is reporting. All injuries and incidents must be reported immediately to the supervisor. This includes near misses. The reporting forms will need to be completed at this time.

Incident investigation

All events and incidents will be investigated to determine the root causes by asking these questions:

  • Who (was injured and/or involved)?
  • What (happened, what material or equipment was involved)?
  • Where (did the event take place)?
  • When (did the event take place)?
  • Why (did the event happen, what were the root causes)?
  • How (do we prevent the event from happening again)?

Employees and witnesses will be asked to provide details of the incident. The goal of the investigation is not to find blame but to determine which factors led to the incident and what steps can be taken to ensure a similar incident does not happen again. Taking pictures of the scene is helpful in determining steps to prevent the incident from occurring again.

Critical injuries must be reported to the Ministry of Labour and will require additional investigation. If a critical injury occurs, you must cordon off the scene and begin the investigation immediately.

Early and safe return to work (ESRTW)

If an employee is injured at work and not able to complete their regular tasks, it is important that the employer do everything they can to get the employee back to work completing tasks that fit within their current restrictions. Employees and supervisors must work together to discuss any restrictions and determine a return-to-work plan. This approach will minimize the WSIB costs and will ensure your employee recovers safely and can get back to their regular duties as soon as they have recovered.

First aid

If an injury does occur, it is important to have employees available to administer first aid. You must follow the first-aid regulations, which stipulate the number of trained first-aid providers in your workplace. At a very minimum, at least one person (on-site at all times) should have valid first-aid training in your workplace – but most workplaces need more than one. This is to ensure that, if one person who is first-aid trained is on vacation or on a different shift, there is always someone on location who is certified. A copy of their first-aid certificate must be posted on your health and safety communication board. The first-aid log must be used whenever first aid is administered.


Having the right first-aid supplies available is also very important. The first-aid regulations also stipulate the first-aid supplies required based upon the number of employees on your dairy. You must have at least one first-aid kit in your workplace. More will be needed for larger workplaces and in farm vehicles or other equipment. The first-aid kits must be easily accessible, and the location must be marked on your emergency map.

The first-aid kit must be inspected quarterly and kept clean and well stocked, containing the specific supplies required based on the number of employees in the workplace.

Eyewash facilities

If an eye injury occurs, it is critical to get the eye rinsed as soon as possible. A continuous flow eyewash station with at least 15 minutes of flush must be in the workplace if tasks are being completed that pose a risk of eye injury. Examples may include working with chemicals, using tools or other tasks that generate small particles. The continuous flow eyewash station should be located by the hazard if possible.

Bottled eyewash solution can be located throughout the workplace and can be used as an immediate, very limited flush of contaminated eyes to get the injured person to the continuous flow eyewash station.

Eyewash stations must be clean and inspected regularly to ensure the station is working. end mark

References omitted but are available upon request. Click here to email an editor.

Cheryl DeCooman
  • Cheryl DeCooman

  • President
  • PeopleManagement Group
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