Your questions answered: What is the difference between first aid and medical treatment?

By Portner Press on September 12th, 2019
  1. Fire, Emergency & Incidents
  2. First aid in the workplace

When a worker presents at a medical facility for a work injury and they are given a one-time preventative medication tetanus injection or medication for the relief of pain and discomfort – I believe this will be classified as a first aid case.

However, when the same patient is given a prescription for medication for the work injury – that is not one-time prevention and should be escalated in classification to medical treatment.

Please can you confirm if this is correct? We are based in Queensland.

We can confirm the following:

Medical treatment injury:

Medical treatment is defined under the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as treatment by a medical practitioner registered or licensed under a State or Territory law that provides for the registration or licensing of medical practitioners.

In our view, the fact that the medical treatment you have described in the first scenario is preventative treatment rather than prescriptive treatment does not result in the treatment of a tetanus shot being considered as first aid.

Any injury requiring treatment by a registered medical professional can be considered a medical treatment injury.

First aid injury:

We recommend reading chapter F1 First Aid in the Health & Safety Handbook for more guidance on first aid and first aid injuries in the workplace.

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