What Are The Requirement For First Aid In The Workplace?
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate equipment, facilities, people or another employee who is trained in first aid. A company must have enough workers present with the correct qualifications for whichever situation arises so that any injured party can get immediate attention if needed - this includes qualified medical professionals too!
We've worked through the HSE guidelines to simplify the key points to help and provide a link to the full HSE Guidelines if there are any areas that you feel you need more detailed clarification about.
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Our guide to the requirement for first aid in the workplace includes:
- What is a needs assessment?
- How many first aiders do we need?
- What are the two types of courses?
- HSE first aid resources for the workplace
What is a needs assessment?
The conduct of a first aid needs assessment will help you identify what type of first aiders are required and how many people are required to be trained to meet your legal obligation. It will also help with where they should be to provide maximum coverage in the case of an accident or an emergency situation. The amount of first-aid provision an employer must make for their workplace depends on the situation.
The Health and Safety Executive last updated their guidelines on 1st October 2009, which contain full details, you can check them out here. There are two levels of workplace first aid providers. You must assess your employees' needs in order provide appropriate coverage. Certain businesses and environments will require specialist courses.
The HSE outline the following to be considered in a first aid needs assessment:
- The nature of the work and workplace hazards and risks
- The nature of the workforce
- The organisation’s history of accidents
- The size of the organisation
- The needs of travelling, remote and lone workers
- Work patterns
- The distribution of the workforce
- The remoteness of the site from emergency medical services
- Employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites
- Annual leave and other absences of first-aiders and appointed persons
- First-aid provision for non-employees
How many first aiders do we need?
There are no hard and fast rules on how many appointed persons or first aiders you need. It will depend upon the circumstances of your workplace, the first step is to take into account the items on the checklist for assessment of first aid needs:
The HSE provides a general guide on how many appointed persons or first aid responders you might need. However, it is important to assess your needs in light of particular circumstances like shift work and sites with several buildings because there could be more people needed for those types environments than what's suggested here.
You will also want an increased supply covering absences which will come into play if someone can't make their scheduled shift due either sickness/injury etc.
What are the two types of courses?
There are now two levels of workplace first aider certification that you will have identified in the previous step. The workplace regulations stipulate two primary levels of first aid qualification are:
The Emergency First Aid at Work program is a single day course aimed to give you the knowledge and vital life saving skills so that in an emergency situation, like injury or illness among your co workers; they can be looked after quickly. This first aid training program especially suits those who work within smaller organizations with lower risk jobs such as small offices where there's less chance for accidents happening on site.
The First Aid at Work program is a three day course that will give you the vital skills necessary to diagnose and treat injuries or illness, with an emphasis on dealing with life threatening situations until professional help arrives. This first aid training is especially suited for nominated workers in medium risk environments such as construction sites who need basic knowledge of what they can do if faced by emergency situation.
HSE First Aid Resources For The Workplace?
The best way to ensure your workplace is compliant is by following the HSE's checklist. This will ensure that you have thought of everything and can answer any question or concern either an employee or employer may have about first aid requirements.
As an employer you should make sure our employees know how they should respond in case there arises difficulties while on site, these resources have been created by the HSE and may prove useful for you:
- HSE: First Aid at Work - Your Questions Answered
- HSE: Basic Advice On First Aid at Work
- The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
- HSE Frequently Asked Questions On First Aid
If you need any help or advice regarding your requirements for first aid at your workplace, please get in touch.