“If anyone experiences sudden chest pains, breathing difficulties combined with fatigue, nausea, becomes pale, starts to slur their speech, experiences a sudden numbness of the face, or if a person faints: Please call 113 immediately. The sooner the patient receives medical treatment, the greater potential for a positive outcome,” encourages Egil Fredriksen.
Fredriksen works for the Oslo and Akershus ambulance service and has gathered a group of Statnett employees for a first-aid course. The course starts with a theoretical introduction where the participants learn to recognise the symptoms of cardiac arrest and stroke, followed by what to do in the event of electrical injuries or bone fractures. The annual first aid training used to be mandatory only for employees at the various substations. Now they are mandatory for all Statnett employees.
“The purpose of the course is to provide all participants with a basic introduction into cardiopulmonary resuscitation, how to perform lifesaving first aid in the event of injuries and making them aware of the importance of calling 113 as soon as possible in the event of acute illness. It is great that Statnett has decided to make the courses mandatory for all employees, and that they learn how to use a defibrillator,” Fredriksen says, whilst telling the participants how to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions on first-aid dummies.
“You will need to apply some force. You may break a rib or two, but if it is a matter of life and death, that really doesn’t matter that much,” he explains.
- Our employees are our main resources. Without them, we will not be able to meet our obligations. By giving all employees the chance to attend first-aid courses, we are establishing an even stronger safety culture than the one we have already.
Good to be prepared
Inger Anne Groven Hissingby of Finance gets to have a go on a dummy. She has been working for Statnett for five years, but this is the first time she has attended a first-aid course.
“It is very useful. In particular, it’s good that we get to use a defibrillator so that we’re prepared should something happen,” she says. Hanne Goldstein of the Department for Power System Analysis also finds the course very useful. “It’s very interesting to learn about the experiences of someone who has been out there and seen so many heart patients and people who need help. It was particularly useful to try the defibrillator. I had never done that before. You never know, one day you may be the first person on an incident site,” she says.
Energy Technician Tore Schau works at the substations and has therefore attended a first-aid course every year. “Even so, it is important to repeat what we have learnt, so we don’t forget. I’d only used the defibrillator once, so for me it was useful to repeat that.
Luckily, we have very few incidents in Statnett, but it’s always good to be prepared,” he says.
Establishing Statnett’s safety culture
Statnett has between 80 and 100 defibrillators at various locations – where people work on a daily basis, at the facilities and for long-term projects. HSE Manager of Statnett Jan Roald Bjørkli thinks it is essential that all employees learn how to use a defibrillator in practice. “Our employees are our main resources. Without them, we will not be able to meet our obligations. By giving all employees the chance to attend first-aid courses, we are establishing an even stronger safety culture than the one we have already. Incidents may happen at the offices as well as at substations,” Bjørkli says.
Text: Sissel Fantoft Photo: Bo Mathisen