Essential First Aid Skills for Maintenance Workers

Steven Cumper, B.App.Sc. (Osteo.), M.Ost.

Posted 5/2/2024

Introduction – First Aid for Maintenance Workers

When it comes to maintenance, you’ve got your hands full keeping everything in working order. Not to mention the meticulous records you have to keep, or the late hours you spend working emergency calls.

On top of all of that, there is an element of safety and injury prevention that has to be at the forefront of your mind at all times, and it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to know. You can’t afford to be off your game, or there could be serious consequences.

That’s why having a thorough understanding of what first aid skills for maintenance workers look like and why they matter is so critical. While the hope is that you never have to use the knowledge, it can be the difference between life and death in an urgent situation. 

Understanding the Importance of First Aid in Maintenance Settings

OSHA sets specific requirements for maintenance workers because they recognize that there are inherent risks in the job. Because of the kinds of equipment and tools that maintenance workers use and the types of hazardous conditions you often have to work in, it’s important that you have a good understanding of first aid concepts.

Failing to stay up to date on first aid recommendations and procedures is dangerous and could cost you or your team members in an emergency. 

first aid for maintenance workers is important for burns

Common Injuries and Emergencies Faced by Maintenance Workers

Depending on your sector, some injuries are more common than others for maintenance workers. For example, a janitor might be prone to slips and falls, while an electrician might be more likely to deal with electrocution. Take a look at some of the types of injuries that are common in maintenance professions.


When dealing with equipment that can get hot, burns are a serious risk. Having the right supplies to treat burns, including burn cream and bandages, can help with the immediate pain of a burn.

Chemical Exposure

Maintenance workers like janitors, plant workers, and building managers may be exposed to harsh and dangerous chemicals on the job. These can be harmful if ingested or if they get in the eyes or on the skin. Make sure your first aid kit includes an eyewash solution that can help protect your eyes from further injury in the event of a splash.

Slips and Falls

No matter what kind of maintenance you do, slips and falls are a hazard. Janitors and building maintenance workers who have to walk over slick floors are at a particularly high risk. Falls can cause bruising, sprains, and even fractures or head injuries.

Electric Shock

For electricians and building managers, or any maintenance worker who comes into contact with electricity at work, electric shock is a real hazard. This can be extremely serious and even lead to death if not dealt with appropriately. Sometimes, CPR is necessary to be administered after someone has been shocked. 

Broken Bones

There’s not much you can do for a broken bone until you can get to a hospital, but there are some things you can do to help mitigate the pain caused by these fractures. Ice (check your first aid kit for instant ice packs), stopping bleeding, and getting the injured person into a still position can help prevent further damage.


Lacerations sometimes require sutures, which you won’t have in your first aid kit. But for smaller cuts or while you wait on an ambulance, you can apply pressure to stop bleeding and use bandages to prevent anything from getting into the wound.

Basic First Aid Techniques Every Maintenance Professional Should Know

While there are many important techniques to learn in order to be able to administer first aid effectively, these are some of the most critical:


If you haven’t gotten CPR certified, make that a priority and take care of it as soon as possible. Every maintenance worker should be able to confidently perform CPR in case of an emergency that causes someone’s heart to stop. This can happen from electric shock, heart attacks, and even severe injury.

Using a Tourniquet 

If severe bleeding is happening as a result of a workplace injury, you need to know how to stop it. Your first aid kit should include a tourniquet, which can be used to stop serious bleeding. Machine-related injuries that may include severed digits or limbs can cause excessive blood loss that can be prevented with a proper tourniquet. 

Treating Burns

Burns are tricky because it is not always easy to tell which ones need emergency treatment and which ones are surface-level. When in doubt, it’s always best to call for help. In the meantime, you’ll need to know how to treat the burn to help with any pain and prevent scarring as much as possible.

Essential First Aid Supplies for Maintenance Teams

Do you know what is in your workplace’s first aid kit? If you haven’t looked it over recently, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the essential first aid kit supplies you have available if an injury were to occur at work. 

A great first-aid kit includes an assortment of clean, unexpired supplies that can treat minor injuries, or help buy time until help arrives for more serious ones. Your first aid kit should include these basic items:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Eyewash solution
  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Aspirin 

Depending on where you work, more items may be recommended for your kit. That’s because different types of injuries are more common in different environments. 

Conclusion: Empowering Maintenance Workers with Life-Saving Skills

First aid for maintenance workers is more than a set of skills; it is life-saving information that can make a difference in your life, or that of a coworker. Proper training and preparedness are essential to worker safety. Since maintenance workers are at particular risk for workplace injuries, it’s critical that you know what to do when someone gets hurt.


Steven Cumper

Steven John Cumper, B.App.Sc. (Osteo.), M.Ost., is a businessman with a strong background in biomedical science and osteopathic medicine. He founded Medshop while studying at RMIT University in Australia, expanding its reach to markets in Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Malaysia. In September 2021, the Bunzl Group acquired a majority stake in Medshop, but Cumper remains involved as the Managing Director (Medshop Group). His journey from Zimbabwe to the UK and Australia reflects his dedication to academia and entrepreneurship, combining diverse knowledge and experience. 

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