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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

First Aid – Spine Boards

Topic: First Aid – Spine Boards Issued by: Director, Chief Compliance Office
Statute: First Aid Regulation – 2004-130 Date Issued: July 2016
Subsection: Schedule B – Module 8 Date Revised:

Question
What is WorkSafeNB’s expectation for training regarding immobilization techniques using hands, cervical collars and spine boards?

Answer
Immobilization techniques are meant to immobilize an injured worker until trained help arrives. In most instances this can be done with practical training using hands. WorkSafeNB assumes that immobilization techniques using cervical collars and spine boards are taught in theory and are not required to be taught in practice, as these techniques require advanced training that is outside the scope of the Workplace Standard First Aid Course. At a minimum, the first aid provider should recognize that these techniques are for use by people trained in immobilization techniques.

If a workplace identifies spinal cord injuries as a high risk and work is at a remote site where it is necessary to transfer an injured worker from an isolated site to an ambulance, the designated first aid provider must not move the victim and must wait for qualified assistance, unless not doing so puts the injured worker in a life-threatening situation.

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