In addition to reporting some work related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority it is essential that you have appropriate facilities and equipment available to render first aid to persons who may become ill or injured at work.
In particular, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations and the Approved Code of Practice give details of the equipment you require to have available.
The main requirements of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations are:
Employer to Make Provision for First-Aid
The level of first aid training required for employees is dependent on the type of business you are operating and the hazards with which staff may come into contact.
At the very minimum it is necessary to appoint a person as responsible for first aid within the premises and ensure that they have a basic knowledge of the emergency procedures required.
The person(s) given responsibility for first aid within the premises must be trained to a suitable standard and they should be aware of their responsibilities within the workplace. It must be borne in mind that employees may work shifts, or be on holiday therefore, it is important to ensure that there is a suitable cover for first aid at all times the business is in operation.
Employer to inform employees of the arrangements made in connection with first aid
The simplest way of keeping employees informed is by displaying first-aid notices. The information given should detail first-aid provision, the location of first aid equipment, facilities and identify personnel.
Self-employed person to provide first-aid equipment
A self-employed person shall provide, or ensure that there is provided adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment appropriate in the circumstances to enable him/her to render first-aid to himself/herself while he/she is at work.
Where the self-employed work on premises under the control of an employer or with other self-employed workers they are each responsible for making their own first-aid arrangements. Joint arrangements can be made to provide common first-aid measures.
- Someone to take charge when someone is injured or falls ill, including calling an ambulance if required
- Someone to look after the first aid equipment, e.g. restocking the first aid box
- Someone who has undergone a training course in administering first aid at work
- Holds a current first aid at work certificate
Suggested numbers of first aid personnel
- First aid personnel should be available at all times people are available for work, based on risk assessments and number of workers.
Low risk premises
e.g. shops, offices, libraries etc.
- fewer than 50 employees - at least 1 appointed person
- 50 - 100 employees – at least one first Aider
- more than 100 employees – one additional first aider for every 100 employed
Medium risk premises
e.g. light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing etc.
- fewer than 20 employees - at least 1 appointed person
- 20 – 100 employees - at least one first aider for every 50 employed
- More than a 100 - one additional first aider for every 100 employed
High risk premises
e.g. construction sites, slaughterhouses, etc.
- fewer than 5 - at least 1 appointed person
- 5 – 50 employees - at least one first aider
- More than 50 - one additional first aider for every 50 employed
Where there are special circumstances such as remoteness from emergency medical services, shift work, or sites with several separate buildings, there may need to be more first aid personnel than set out above.
Increased provision will be necessary to cover for absences.
- The Health and Safety First Aid Regulations (LEGUK)
- L 74: First Aid at Work: The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (HSC)
- HSG 212: The Training of First Aid at Work - A Guide to Gaining and Maintaining HSE Approval (HSE)
- INDG 4(P): General Guidance for Inclusion in First-Aid Boxes (HSE)
- INDG 214: First Aid at Work - Your Questions Answered (HSE)
- INDG 215: Basic advice on First Aid at Work (HSE)
- INDG 347: Basic Advice on First Aid at Work (HSE)