Locking lips with your workmates may not be high on your agenda, but you should know how to do the deed if there's an accident.

A report by St John Ambulance says only 13 per cent of Australian workers know proper first aid, including CPR.

That means 87 per cent of workplaces are not properly training their workers in first aid, and that could cost lives.

St John Ambulance says the first five minutes after an accident can dramatically change an injured person's chance of survival and businesses need to properly train their employees in first aid.

"It's not just a matter of buying a first aid kit and assuming staff will know what to do," the charity said in a statement.

"Businesses face serious legal risks if they aren't first aid-ready and are also putting the safety of their employees and customers at risk."

The majority of Australian employers are unaware of Safe Work Australia's new Code of Practice for first aid.

The retail industry is the worst performing overall, with just six per cent of workplaces being first aid-ready.

The education sector was the best performer, but even there only 21.5 per cent of workplaces made the grade.

Victoria, NSW and ACT were the highest scorers, while less than 9 per cent of WA workplaces met the guidelines set out by the new Safe Work Code.

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