We get asked this a lot. Of course we do. We’re a training provider, so people look to us for advice and guidance before booking training courses. And why do they ask? Well it’s simple really…because there are no hard and fast rules. Some would say it’s a bit of a ‘grey area’ with the legal spiel being rather generalised.
So with this in mind, let’s get some clarity on first aid in the workplace and then we can show you our handy first aid calculator (excited!).
What does ‘first aid in the workplace’ even mean?
Perhaps an obvious statement, but in the same way that people can become ill or suffer injuries in general life, this can also happen in the workplace. It is not just people who have existing health conditions that can be affected, illness and injuries can happen to anyone. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is even caused by the work they do or not. What is important is that a workplace is suitably able to give first aid should something occur.
First aid, as the name suggests, is that initial and immediate attention given to help somebody. First aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming major ones. And in more serious cases, it may be given to preserve life and keep an individual safe until the emergency services arrive.
Workplaces must ensure they fulfil their legal obligations to ensuring that this happens.
What the law says
The law says that all employers must comply with the following:
‘The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require you to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and people so your employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work.’
And this is where the confusion can arise. Because what is ‘adequate and appropriate’ will depend on the circumstances in your workplace. Hazards and risks can vary significantly across different organisations, which means a ‘one rule fits all’ approach wouldn’t work.
The bare minimum
What is clear is that there are minimum first-aid provisions for workplaces. As a minimum, it would be expected to have the following in place:
• an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements
• a suitably stocked first-aid kit
• information for employees about first-aid arrangements
An appointed person would be responsible for maintaining the first aid equipment and calling the emergency services if necessary. They don’t necessarily need to have first aid training. However, if you decide you don’t need a qualified first-aider, it is still important you have that appointed person in place in case an emergency occurs to take control of the logistics of the situation.
Whilst the above may be adequate and appropriate for example for a small, low risk office, workplaces where there are more significant health and safety risks are more likely to need a trained first-aider.
Do I have to consider customers and members of the public in the equation?
Quite simply, by law, the answer is no.
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 do not require employers to provide first aid for members of the public. However, The Health and Safety Executive strongly recommends that employers include the public in their first-aid needs assessment and make provision for them.
Think of it from a customer or visitor’s perspective. If they were to become sick or get injured on your premises, would they hope or pray that someone there would try to help them by providing adequate first aid? We expect they would.
Considering the public and your customers in every respect would be a positive and forward-thinking approach.
If you think about the type of visitors and footfall in your workplace, being able to treat them should a situation arise would be advantageous. For example, having staff trained in paediatric first aid if there are a lot of children who use your workplace or visit regularly would make perfect sense.
Why are there no set rules on how many first aiders we should have in the workplace?
The reason there are no exact specifications is because every workplace is different. There will be different set ups in a logistical sense, different numbers of employees and different hazards and risks involved.
That is why it is vital that employers consider their own individual set of circumstances and put into place the appropriate first aid provisions.
Some businesses are set across different buildings or floors, some use hazardous chemicals or machinery, some have shift workers and some have large numbers of employees. It is important to remember that accidents and illness can happen at any time. Provision for first aid needs to be available at all times people are at work. This means having sufficient first aid cover for absences and holidays too. It is not just the most risky situations that matter either. Accidents and illness can happen even in low risk, small organisations with few employees.
It is your individual working environment that determines what you need.
Carrying out a risk assessment is a great (and essential) place to start.
A simple solution to risk assessments
The good news is there is a super simple solution to identifying how many first aiders you need for your workplace.
It isn’t generic, vague or with any ‘grey areas’. It is bespoke and tailored to your exact organisational requirements.
This solution is what makes TH Training Solutions stand out from the crowd.
We don’t want to baffle or overwhelm you with all the things you need to consider.
We want to provide a clear and simple tool to make your life easy.
So let us introduce you to…… our amazing First Aid Requirements Calculator.
Now before you click (we know you really want to), know that it:
• only takes a few minutes to complete
• has 3 simple steps
• e-mails you instantly with a bespoke report
• details how many first aiders and what type of training they require
It uses the latest HSE guidelines too, so you can be sure you are legally compliant.
Watch how the tool helps you to:
Step 1 Determine your workplace areas
Step 2 Identify your risks
Step 3 Produce your report
What’s more, the written report provided for you is in a clear and concise format that can be used as the written evidence of your risk assessment. You can use this to review your workplace needs regularly.
Did we mention it’s completely and totally FREE?
How adequate and appropriate is that?
So whether you’re the office manager, facilities manager, health and safety co-ordinator or have simply been assigned the task of carrying out your workplace risk assessment for first aid provisions, help is right here for you.
Our clients have called it an ‘Invaluable tool’, a ‘Gadget for working out the grey matter’ and a ‘Handy and much needed first aid needs calculator’
We believe it is definitive guidance and advice that you can immediately put into practice.
The best bit of all?
We can then help you to put that report into action.
If your report has identified that you require trained first aiders, then consider us your regulated training provider.
Our first aid qualifications are accredited by Qualsafe, a regulated first aid qualifications Awarding Organisation, which means that both us as the training provider and the qualifications have already been verified as meeting the required standards.
We deliver our first aid training all across the UK.
You’ll find us delivering on the Wirral, Liverpool, Chester, North Wales to name a few. Whether you’re in London or Leicester, Burnley or Birmingham, Southport or Southampton we will come to you.
We deliver courses in:
Emergency First Aid at Work – Level 3 Award (1 day)
First Aid at Work – Level 3 Award (3 day)
First Aid at Work Requalification – Level 3 (2 day)
Emergency Paediatric First Aid – Level 3 Award (1 day)
Paediatric First Aid – Level 3 Award (2 day)
Combined First Aid at Work and Paediatric First Aid – Level 3 Award (3 extended days)
As well as our in house training courses, we also run open courses that you may wish to book onto if you only need one or a small number of people training.
Our learner feedback is outstanding too. Our training is enjoyable, relevant and engaging.
We hope you make use of the handy First Aid Needs Assessment Calculator to work out how many first aiders your business needs.
Link to the Health and Safety Executive