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A quick guide to First Aid requirements for employers

Do you know what you MUST have in your work First Aid Box? Do you need a first aider in the workplace? In our latest blog, we tell you everything you need to know about First Aid in the workplace.

24 April 2019

We’ve all got one. The little green boxes, bursting at the seams with plasters in every shape and size. It may seem that it’s just taking up valuable space under the sink, but the first aid kit is an essential tool for keeping your employees safe at work. You are legally required to have one and provide appropriate equipment to help with first aid in the workplace.

What do I need to have in my first aid box?

When you’re putting together your first aid box, there are some important things to take into account. Firstly, you need to assess your workplace to determine what is appropriate for you to provide for your employees. The best way to approach this is to look at your risk assessments. If you work in a low risk area, then it may not be appropriate to have the same amount of equipment available as if you work in a high-risk area, where the risk of injury is not only greater, but the resulting injury may be more significant and could require more specialist equipment.

There is no fixed guide as to what you need to have, but if you make the content of the box appropriate to the level of risk in your business, then you should be well prepared should you need it at any point. The Health and Safety Executive provides a list of the minimal recommended equipment that you should have available:

• A leaflet giving first aid guidance
• 20 sterile plasters of assorted sizes
• 2 eye pads
• 4 triangle bandages
• 6 safety pins
• Two large, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings
• At least two pairs of disposable gloves

Do I need a first aider?

Whilst you do not necessarily need a first aider, you do need to appoint someone to take charge of the first aid arrangements in your business. Because, even in low risk environments, injury and illness can occur, it is not only important, but a legal requirement that you appoint someone. There are no set numbers as to how many you need, but it needs to be appropriate to risk and number of employees. The HSE offer guidance on suggested number of first aid personnel to be available at all times where people work. Download the guidance.

The difference between an ‘appointed person’ and a first aider is that the latter is trained to directly aid a person. An appointed person on the other hand, is not necessarily trained in first aid, but is charged with ensuring that first aid equipment and facilities are up to date, and to call the emergency services when needed.

If you’ve identified that you need a first aider for your business, then you need to be aware of training that an individual will require in order to be competent in first aid. There are two main types of first aid training, the First Aid at Work (FAW) training, and the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training. The FAW is more comprehensive, including not only the curriculum for the EFAW, but also specific additional training.

First aid training lasts for 3 years after course completion and will need to be repeated in order to remain as a first aider.

You can find the extensive first aid guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive. Download their guide.

We offer both EFAW and FAW training, amongst other courses, run throughout the year. You can find them all here.

What if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed then you are required to ensure you have first aid equipment which is adequate and appropriate to the in the circumstances to provide first aid to yourself at work.

You should assess the hazards and risks ay tour workplace to establish the appropriate level of first aid provisions. If your work involves driving long distances or you are continuously on the road, the assessment may identify the need to keep a personal first-aid kit in your vehicle.

Need some help with health and safety? Think of us an extension to your existing team – we are your dedicated health and safety manager, available at any time. Just give us a call on 01522 533388 or drop us an email.

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